At the gym, I have heard trainers telling their clients that functional fitness exercises are great for them.
So, what are functional fitness exercises?
Functional fitness exercises train your muscles to help you do everyday activities safely and efficiently. These exercises focus on improving the quality of life.
Functional fitness exercises assists you in training your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements that one does at home, at work, or while playing a sport. While using various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness exercises also emphasize core stability.
Here are five functional fitness exercises that most experts would advise and you should be doing.
According to Shape, a joint health magazine, we should do as many reps of the caterpillar workout as possible for 60 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. On an average we should be completing 2 or 3 cycles of this workout.
The caterpillar walkout sounds pretty basic and it is. This is how you do it.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, keeping your hands at your sides. Bend forward and touch your toes. Now slowly crawl forward, one hand at a time till you reach the plank pose. Remain in the pose for 10 seconds and crawl back to the initial position, touching your toes and then slowly stand up. Repeat the entire process as mentioned above. You will feel the difference.
Burpees, my biggest enemy during my Pure Burn class. Burpees are almost similar to the Caterpillar Walkout, however getting into the plank pose is a bit more difficult.
How to do it:
Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and arms at your side. Squat, bend forward and balance your upper body with arms, kick your legs back to come into the plank position, do a push-up, go back to a squat position and jump back to the initial standing position.
A warning. I have hurt my knee going into the plank position so be careful!
Carry out at least 5 reps of 10 burpees with a 10 second break each time. Just remember not to hurt yourself.
Dumbbell Reverse Chop
What I like about Men’s Fitness Magazine is that they have pictures so the visual learner can see what they are supposed to do rather than figure it out with written directions.
Here is how the magazine explains the steps for the exercise.
First, stand with your feet a bit more than shoulder width apart. Hold the dumbbell with both your hands. Start at your left hip and raise the dumbbell diagonally above your right shoulder and back down to your left knee. The action looks similar to you chopping wood. Perform five reps of 5 sets on each side.
Yes, as in the tennis tournament across the pond in Wimbledon, England. With this exercise, you have a choice between holding an actual tennis racket or you can use a rip trainer. Get into a low lunge and rotate stance with a small bounce. You can change it and make it more difficult with a low lunge and when rotating and bringing body up. Your core will feel it and so will your legs, bum, and arms.
You can use a fitness cord on the tennis court, but it you do not have one improvise with a racket or whatever another piece of equipment you have.
Pull up with Knees Raised
For those of us looking for more of a challenge, try a pull up with knees raised exercise. If you can do a pull-up kudos to you, however I would be quite jealous. No matter how hard I try, I never seem to have the upper body strength to pull myself up.
To complete this exercise, it is best to probably go to a gym where you would find the necessary equipment. Look for a chin up bar with an overhand grip. Hold the bar, ensuring that your hands are more than shoulder width apart and then hang. When you are ready, pull your body up and ensure that your chin goes over the bar, otherwise it is not a complete pull-up.
Now, when you pull your body up, tuck tuck your legs into your chest in the same movement and in the same way, when you go down bring your legs down too. This is similar to doing a pull up sit up.
These are all great functional fitness exercises in which you do not even need a gym membership. Next time you are at the gym and hear functional fitness exercises, you will not only know what the trainers are talking about but also know some exercises.
You can also watch: Functional Fitness: Learn Fitness Functional Exercises from Dr. Adam
Meighan Sembrano has done her Mass Communication degree. In her free time, she likes to write about Health, Lifestyle Fitness, Glozine world news and Beauty. She is an author at Consumer Health Digest since 2012. To know more about her, follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest.