Top 5 Functional Fitness Exercises for a stronger you

Get fit for everyday life

Functional Fitness typically involves combining open space exercises with indoor skill and strength training. It’s the type of training that your body was designed for – the type of training that your body deserves.

Here are the absolute 5 best functional fitness moves to combine flexibility, mobility, core strength, balance, power and fat loss all in one super-charged workout.


Functional Fitness Move #1: Turkish Get-Up

The Turkish Get Up is a phenomenal total body exercise. It’s great for cardiovascular conditioning as well for building functional strength and power. Start by lying on the floor, on your back with your knees bent. The kettle-bell should be on the floor to your right (or left depending on side working). Place your right hand fully into the kettle-bell handle and pull the weight to your chest. Now, with both shoulder blades on the floor, raise your right arm straight up so that the kettle-bell is directly above your chest. The right knee should be bent so that the right foot is flat on the floor. Your left arm should be flat on the floor at a forty five degree angle.

From the start position, rise up onto the left elbow, ensuring that the other arm is locked out. From there, come up further so that you are supporting your body with just your left hand and your right foot. Your left leg should be straight and slightly off the floor. Now move your butt and left leg back behind you to rest your left knee on the floor. You can now rise up to the lunge position, with your left hand off the floor and the points of contact now being your right foot and left shin. The kettle-bell is still locked overhead.

Push off the back leg rise to a standing position. Keep your focus up on the kettle-bell the whole time. Now reverse the exact motion to return to the start position.

Just change sides to work the other arm.


Functional Fitness Move #2: Reverse Lunge with Rotation

The reverse lunge with a rotation involves a variety of movement patterns that will improve your balance, coordination, core integrity and lower body strength.

Hold a light pair of dumbbells or one kettlebell at chest level with your elbows tightly in at your sides. From here step backwards into a reverse lunge position. Now rotate your upper body to the right (or left), moving the dumbbells across the forward leg. Reverse the movement to bring the dumbbells back to the starting position and stand back up.

Repeat with the other side.


Functional Fitness Move #3: Yoga Squat

The Yoga squat is a fantastic movement for developing phenomenal quad strength while improving mobility. You’ll want to focus on breathing during this movement, which has four distinct parts as follows:

  1. Descend into a full squat, with thighs below parallel. Breathe out as you squat down. Your hands should be in the “y” position above your head. Make sure that you keep the heels on the ground throughout. Now place your palms on the floor.
  1. 2. Straighten the legs at the back, keeping your finger tips on the ground. Breathe in as you lock out your legs.
  2. 3. Go back into the full squat, breathing out again. Place both hands in the air in a “y” position once more.
  3. 4. With your hands in the air ascend out of the squat to stand tall as you once more breathe in.

Functional Fitness Move #4: Kettlebell Halo

The kettlebell halo is a brilliant movement for working your entire core and trunk area as well as your thighs, glutes, hamstrings and shoulders. Take hold of the kettlebell handle in a double handed overgrasp grip, and lift it up to the level of your chin. Make sure that your elbows are tucked in at your side.

Drive your elbows to the left side, allowing the dumbbells to travel up and around your head. Keep a tight core and a flat back throughout the movement. Move the weight around your head. Now drop down into a full squat position as you bring the dumbbell back to the start position. The weight should move in a halo pattern around your head.

Change rotational direction.


Functional Fitness Move #5: Lunge Clean / Lunge Press

This is a fluid movement that allows you to get a great power/cardio combination workout. It is beneficial for your heart and lungs and is a tremendous fat burner. Start by holding a kettlebell at your right side, with feet shoulder width apart. Now lunge your right leg forward. As you come out of the lunge, clean the kettle-bell to your right shoulder. Now continue moving forward by lunging with your left foot. As you come out of this lunge, press the kettle-bell overhead. Continue this lunge-clean-lunge-process for required time/reps.

Putting It All Together

Combine these movements into the following quick 20 minute blasting workout . . .

Time: 20 mins

Circuits: 3 times through

Exercise Reps
Turkish Get-Up 10 reps
Reverse Lunge with Rotation 12 reps each leg
Yoga Squat 20 reps
Kettlebell Halo 20 reps
Lunge Clean / Lunge Press 15 reps

 

Author: Steve Theunissen
Author Bio: Steve Theunissen is the Nutrition Souq Bodybuilding and Workouts Editor. He is a former gym owner and personal trainer. Steve is the author of 5 hard copy books and dozens of e-books on the subject of fitness, bodybuilding and weight loss.