Strength training is an essential part of any exercise
routine. While many fitness and workout programs focus on lifting weights using a specified
set of exercises, many aren’t designed to give you the practical training that
will help you in everyday activities. Some, however, are designed to be
functional daily routines because they allow you to strengthen your muscles in a
way that will actually improve the activities you perform on a regular basis.
This is what is known as functional strength training.
Functional strength training means training your body so it
is better able to perform the movements you use for regular activities. This
fitness routine will incorporate exercises that include: dynamic strength,
agility and flexibility. These are very important aspects of strength and
overall fitness because they will help by providing a practical use to your
Each day your body goes through a wide variety of motions,
a simple fact you might even consider as you perform various tasks and
activities. Just think of all the items you lift within the course of a day: a
laundry basket, your kids, boxes and grocery bags to name only a few. You reach
and pull when opening doors, picking items up off the floor or putting clothes
in the washing machine. Even standing up or walking up stairs takes effort and
energy. There are many actions performed each day that are normal, regular
tasks, but wouldn’t they be easier if your body was more conditioned to do them?
The answer to this question is yes and that is exactly what functional strength
training is all about.
When it comes to planning your fitness routine, you will
want to consider exercises that will help you function better on a daily basis.
You want to make sure you will be able to do all the tasks mentioned above
easily. Even something as simple as balancing while carrying boxes or bags can
be a challenge if your body isn’t conditioned for it.
There are four functional exercises you can apply to your
fitness routine every day that will help you achieve a more functional body. You
can do these any time no matter where you are which is another reason why they
should be incorporated into your exercise routine.
Pushups work well for functional strength training. You can
even do them standing up. Begin by placing your hands on the wall and pushing
your body away. Bend your arms so your body will move in closer to the wall once
more but don’t allow your body to touch the wall. Several of these will help
strengthen your chest, arms, back and abs. After doing them for a while you can
make it a little more difficult by placing your hands on a counter or table and
pushing up that way.
Squats are another great exercise that should be
incorporated into any fitness routine. Most movements where you reach, bend or
lift involve squatting in some form or fashion. They also involve lunging which
can also easily become a part of this exercise. Squats involve assuming a
squatting position and standing up. You can raise your arms above your head if
you want to also work on your balance or stretch them out on either side of you.
Make sure they are straight at all times. Continue squatting and raising back up
several times. Lunges can be performed by placing one foot in front of the other
to take a long step and bending the front knee. Switch legs and continue this
exercise several times.