What is functional training? It is a term that has taken the world of fitness by storm. It is presently one of the most notable phrases in fitness. This technique of training is famous for its style, capability, a mix of high and low intensity exercises known to widely improve an individual’s fitness.
Functional exercises are known to enhance strength, stability, power, mobility, endurance and flexibility. A form of training that has been incorporated by athletes in the workout regime; it has now become popular with the masses for its ability to effectively work the entire body, giving fast results.
Considered one of the most popular exercises, the deadlift movement is known to stimulate both the lower and upper body. It works the muscles in the glutes, upper thighs, hamstrings, upper and lower back. The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen the pulling muscles. In a real life scenario, the benefits of the exercise extends to lifting or carrying objects.
- When doing this exercise, it is important that you activate from the hips. Bend at hips and knees (Like you are going to sit on a chair), and grab a loaded barbell with an overhand grip, about twice as wide as shoulder-width.
- Without allowing your lower back to round, stand up and thrust your hips forward as you squeeze your glutes. Ensure you don’t lock your knees.
- Pause, then lower the bar back to the floor while keeping it as close to your body as possible.
- Do three sets of 15 repetitions, each. If you are a beginner, use just a barbell or switch to a pair of kettle bells.
This squat is an essential full body exercise that strengthens your lower back, and improves athletic posture. It is a technique that involves jumping and pushing.
- Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart.
- Squat down as if you are performing a normal squat.
- Tighten the core, glutes and jump in the air explosively.
- On landing, lower your back into a squat position. Ensure that on landing, you keep your feet planted and knees bent, to avoid injury to the knees.
- Do 10-12 repetitions of three sets each.
This is another full body exercise which works every muscle in the body. This means you can burn more calories, and in a shorter time. It targets most muscle groups such as the deltoids, biceps, triceps, glutes, quadriceps, etc. This exercise is sure to give you maximum results.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your side.
- Lower into a squat position with your hands flat on the floor in front of you.
- Kick your legs backward into a push-up position and lower your chest to the floor.
- Push your chest back up to the press-up position, thrust both feet forward so you are back in the squat position.
- Jump up and raise both hands over the head. Repeat.
- Do eight repetitions of three sets each.
This exercise improves one’s posture by strengthening the muscles in your upper and mid-back, shoulders and arms, while also toning and strengthening the legs and improving your hip flexibility.
- Stand with your body upright. This will be your starting position.
- Step backward with your right leg around two feet or so from your left foot, and lower your upper body down, while keeping it straight and upright; maintain your balance. Do not allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, as this will put more stress on the knee joints.
- Push up, and go back to the starting position as you exhale. Make sure you use the ball of your feet to push, in order to accentuate the quadriceps. To focus on the glutes, press with your heels.
- Now repeat with the opposite leg.
- Do eight to 10 repetitions of three sets each.
The bicycle crunch is an abdominal workout that will help you achieve a flat belly in no time. This abdominal exercise works by targeting the entire core, including the upper and lower abs and oblique muscles. An additional bonus with this ab exercise is that it targets the butt and thigh muscles, much like cycling.
- Lie flat on the floor with the lower back pressed into the ground.
- Place your hands slightly on either side of your head, do not lock your fingers or pull the head up.
- Lift your knees to a 45 degree angle.
- At first, slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion with the legs.
- Alternately touching your elbows to the opposite knee, twisting back and forth through the core, keep the elbows back rather than forward to the chest as this could strain the neck.
- Do this for 45 to 60 seconds.