Function Better With These Exercises
Functional training is geared toward helping you perform everyday tasks much easier.
For many, basic functions such as standing up from a chair, moving furniture, carrying groceries, picking up things from the floor and even playing with their children can be difficult.
By shifting your focus to functional training, you can improve the quality of your life.
In order to improve overall functionality you must perform exercises that strengthen and increase mobility in 3 key areas of the body:
1. The abdominals
2. The hip abductors and rotators
3. The shoulders
Functional exercises are those which involve different muscle groups that simulate everyday movements you might do at home, work and other aspects of daily life.
These are the basic compound exercises that utilise multi-joint areas in the hips, shoulders and which activate the core muscles.
The 5 important exercises for functional training are as follows:
The Deadlift works more muscles in your body than any other exercise. The starting position of the Deadlift is similar to that of getting up from a chair.
The Deadlift teaches you the importance of using your legs and hips to assist your back in lifting objects from the floor.
2. Power Clean
Power Clean is an explosive exercise that helps you build coordination.
It involves transitioning movement from the legs to the hips and the shoulders; all 3 of the primary stabilisers in functional exercise.
3. Overhead Press
There is an argument that all functional training should be performed standing up which is why the Overhead Press has nudged the more popular Bench Press.
The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint. Its primary function is rotation which is why it needs to be mobile and flexible.
Overhead Press allows you to build strength, mobility and stability across the entire shoulder girdle safely and effectively.
4. Front Squat
The Front Squat gets the nod over the traditional back Squat because of the positioning and angle of the shoulders.
The forward placement of the barbell on the shoulders is more natural and does not hyper-extend it or place pressure on the oft-injured rotator cuff.
The Front Squat improves hip mobility and stability as well as engages the core muscles to support your lower back.
5. Pull Ups
Pull Ups are a great exercise for building stability and mobility in the shoulder complex because it teaches you how to activate and contract the scapulae in your upper back.
Majority of shoulder injuries are due to having weak, under-developed and tight scapulae.
In fact, orthopedic surgeons recommend finishing the Pull Up with a 20 to 30 second dead hang to improve blood circulation and flexibility in the shoulder area.
Add these great functional exercises in your rotation.
You can even use these exercises as components of a MetCon or Metabolic Conditioning workout:
- Deadlift x 10 reps
- Power Clean x 10 reps
- Overhead Press x 10 reps
- Front Squat x 10 reps
- Pull Ups x 10 reps
Use the same weight for the first 4 exercises. If you can’t do 10 Pull Up reps, go for the Assisted Pull Up version.
Do as many intervals as you can in 16 minutes.
Functional training will not only improve your health and reduce your risks of acquiring dangerous illnesses and diseases but it will make your life so much easier.