Functional fitness workouts have emerged as a dynamic approach to exercise that goes beyond the confines of traditional fitness routines. At their core, these workouts aim to improve your physical strength, everyday functionality, and overall well-being. Functional fitness exercises enhance your body’s ability to perform everyday tasks more efficiently and reduce injury risk.
They focus on movements that mimic real-life activities, making them effective and practical. This comprehensive guide will focus on a series of functional fitness workouts that you should know to enhance your physical fitness, boost your health, and elevate your quality of life. Whether new to functional fitness or a seasoned enthusiast, these workouts offer a valuable toolkit to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.
Table of Contents
Functional Fitness Workouts
Farmer’s Walk Workouts
The Farmer’s Walk is a fundamental exercise in functional fitness workouts. It assesses your ability to carry heavy and awkward objects for an extended period without dropping them.
This exercise primarily targets your grip strength, which is incredibly useful in workouts involving numerous deadlifts, pull-ups, and even when unloading a stack of grocery bags in a single trip. To perform a Farmer’s Walk, take a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand.
Maintain a tight core, lift your chest, and keep your head up. Proceed to walk forward with a steady and even pace, covering a specified duration or distance. As you start with the Farmer’s Walk, it’s advisable to use short and quick steps. As you grow more comfortable, you can gradually increase your pace and step length, leading with your hips. This exercise helps enhance grip strength and overall functional fitness.
Deadlifts are a cornerstone of functional fitness workouts, mirroring everyday actions such as moving furniture, hoisting bags of dog food, or gently placing a sleeping child into bed. Integrating deadlifts into your workout routine equips you to handle these daily tasks with greater ease and safety.
For newcomers to deadlifting, it may appear intimidating. A great way to begin is by trying the Romanian Deadlift using light dumbbells. This variation is a starting point to establish the fundamental technique required for effective deadlifting. Suppose you want to explore various deadlift variations or ensure you use the correct form.
In that case, our comprehensive guide offers step-by-step instructions on how to execute deadlifts safely and efficiently.
Adding deadlifts to your fitness regimen boosts your strength and makes your everyday activities more manageable.
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Crunches are a timeless exercise that targets and fortifies your abdominal muscles. To execute a proper crunch, lay on your back and bend your knees and feet, resting flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head, being cautious not to strain your neck. Engage your core muscles, exhale, and lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the ground.
Carry out several repetitions, but don’t hesitate to take breaks if needed. You can incorporate variations like bicycle or reverse crunches for an extra challenge. Regularly including crunches in your functional fitness workouts can positively impact your core strength and overall physical performance.
Squats are fundamental to strengthening your legs, glutes, and core muscles while enhancing your balance and stability. Incorporating squats into your functional fitness workouts can improve leg and core strength and greater balance and stability.
Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward. Keep your back straight and engage your core as you bend at the knees and hips, keeping your weight in your heels.
Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Push back up through your heels to return to the starting position. Maintaining proper form is crucial by keeping your knees aligned with your toes and preventing them from collapsing inward. As you gain experience, you can add weights using hand weights or a barbell to increase the challenge.
Wall Handstand Push-Up
Wall handstand push-ups are excellent for developing shoulder and triceps strength while engaging upper-body and core stabilizers to maintain balance. Before attempting the push-up, practice holding a handstand against the wall for a few sets over several weeks. Once you’re comfortable upside down, you can proceed to the push-up. This workout helps build strength and balance in your upper body. To perform this exercise, follow these steps:
- Place your hands about a foot away from a wall, shoulder-width apart on the floor.
- Kick up one foot at a time to get into a handstand position against the wall, or have a partner assist you.
- Maintain this position with your heels touching the wall, keeping your body straight and your feet together.
- Look straight ahead (not down at the floor), and with complete control, bend both elbows to lower yourself as far as you can without letting your head touch the ground.
- Keep your core engaged as you push back up to the starting position.
Bicep curls are a timeless exercise designed to enhance the strength and definition of your arms. Stand with your feet, ensure your shoulders are shoulder-width apart, and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your elbows close to your sides and lift the weights slowly toward your shoulders, contracting your biceps at the movement’s peak.
Lower the weights back down to the starting position and repeat for several repetitions. A good goal is to aim for three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions each.
For an added challenge and to further build strength over time, you can try alternating curls or increase the weight of the dumbbells you use. These bicep curls can help you achieve greater arm strength and well-defined muscles if added to your functional fitness workouts.
The Woman Maker
The Woman Maker exercise combines various functional movements, including the burpee, renegade row, push-up, squat clean, and overhead press. It all adds up to a demanding full-body workout that’ll challenge your routine and core.
Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides, crouch, and gently place them parallel to the floor in front of you while keeping your hands on the dumbbells. Jump your feet behind you into a plank position, followed by a push-up. At the top, perform a one-arm row on each side, keeping your elbows close to your body. Then, do another push-up and jump your feet back underneath you. Lift the dumbbells along the front of your body as you stand, shrug your shoulders fully at the top, and flip your elbows underneath to position them at shoulder level. Descend into a complete squat, and then, with an explosive motion, push the weights upward while rising to a standing position.
These functional fitness workouts require a strong connection to your core and gluteal muscles. Before you start this workout, it’s advisable to do some glute activation exercises during your warm-up, like squats with a resistance loop above your knee, to prepare your body for this challenging move.
Incorporating functional fitness workouts into your routine is a transformative step toward a healthier and more fulfilling life. These workouts don’t just build strength; they empower you to tackle everyday activities easily and gracefully. By mimicking real-life movements, functional fitness enhances overall functionality and reduces the risk of injury.
The workouts we’ve explored here are a gateway to a more active and vibrant existence. Whether just starting or well-versed in functional fitness, these exercises offer valuable tools for a stronger, healthier, and more dynamic you. So, embrace the power of functional fitness and embark on your journey to a better, more active you.