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The Benefits of Functional Fitness

July 3, 2018 by

What is the use of having sculpted arms if you aren’t strong enough to lift anything heavy?

The mindset behind functional fitness is popular these days, as it focuses on actually using your physical fitness to benefit you in your everyday life. This idea isn’t new, however, and you probably do it on a regular basis without even realizing it.

Functional fitness works on getting you ready for your life instead of something specific like a marathon or a weight competition. This involves things like squatting to pick something up and reaching up for the cereal on the top shelf of your pantry. This type of fitness represents your everyday actions by engaging several muscle groups.

There are a few things to think about when doing functional fitness. Because everyone has different needs, goals, and levels of ability, not every exercise is right for every person. However, most of the moves focus on general things such as balance, flexibility, cardio, and multi-directional exercises.

Functional fitness uses body weight as well as props such as battle ropes and suspension trainers or weights to get the most effective workout.

Functional fitness can greatly improve the quality of your life and help you notice a positive change in your overall strength and stability. This will balance your muscles and decrease your chance of injury. If you are currently recovering from an injury, make sure to consult a professional before beginning this exercise routine.

If your body is healthy and you are not injured you can easily add functional fitness into your routine. Here is a routine that focuses on important multi-directional moves that will help strengthen your body:

Dumbbell Lateral Goblet Squat

Stand up straight with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart and hold each side of a dumbbell with your hands at the height of your chest. Push your hips back and lower your left knee until your thigh is almost parallel to the floor, keeping your spine neutral. Push through your left hip to get back to your starting position. Do 6 reps of this before switching sides and repeating.

Lateral Bound

Stand on your left leg and slightly bend your knee to put your weight into your left hip. Swing both of your arms to your left side. Give yourself power through your arms and hips and jump as far to the right as possible. Safely land on your right foot. Jump back to your starting position and hold the pose for two seconds. Do this four or five times before switching sides.

Lateral Half-Kneeling Cable Pull

Grab the rope handle with both hands that is attached to a cable machine at the lowest setting. Kneel down on your right knee and extend your left leg out to the side. Facing forward, pull the rope up and across your body and then return to your starting position. Do this six times before switching to the other side.

Medicine Ball Rotational Throw

Stand perpendicular near a wall while holding a medicine ball. Position your feet shoulder-width apart and engage your core. Rotate your arms, abdomen, and hips away from the wall before quickly rotating toward the wall and throwing the ball into it. Keep your hands out to catch the ball, pause, and start back at the beginning. Do this five or six times before switching to your other side.

Single-Arm Overhand-Grip Dumbbell Row

Hold a dumbbell in your left hand and place your right knee and hand on an exercise bench. Push your left arm straight down from your shoulder with your palm facing your left leg. Lift your elbow up and out to the side and pull the dumbbell toward your chest. Reverse your movement to get back to where you started. Do ten reps before switching to the other side.

Side Plank

Lie on your right side with your right forearm on the floor. Make sure your elbow is under your shoulder, and your feet are stacked one on top of the other. Bring your left hand to your right shoulder and push down into your forearm while raising your hips to form a straight line. Hold this for 45 seconds before repeating on the other side.

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