In last week’s Wednesday Workout post, we discussed the definition of functional fitness and why it is so important to your physical well being. In a nutshell, functional exercises focus on doing real life movements in real life positions, so that your strength, balance, and stability translates to your real life. You exercise to teach all of your muscles to work together, so that when you sit, squat, lift, reach, and twist in real life situations, your body responds properly and you don’t injure yourself.
This week I’ve taken it a step further and created a functional workout that is challenging, fun, and fast. You will work just about every muscle in your body, not just the major ones. All the smaller muscles that work to stabilize and balance your movements will be working as well.
Warm up for 5-10 minutes before doing the workout. You’ll need dumbbells, a medicine ball, and a stability ball or chair. The workout will be done circuit style. Each exercise should be performed for 45 seconds, with about 15 seconds in between. At the end of the circuit, rest about a minute, then repeat the whole circuit 2-4 more times. Perform each movement with control and perfect form. Your abdominals should be contracted and your spine neutral.
A quick note about the following video. To be frank, it is a disaster. I use my iphone to take video, and Video Editor Free, an app I usually love, to edit. Last night, which would be the Wednesday in the Workout, I could not get the completed video to save, upload, or anything else. I finally went back into Video Editor, pulled out a clip (the deadlift with rows), and took out the transitions. I was finally able to upload it, but somehow in my editing, I switched a couple exercises around (the final exercise, which is supposed to be the seated twist, appears before the hip bridge with bicep curls). So it is what it is. I apologize for the sloppy work. I plan to re-record it when I can and take this ridiculously long paragraph out. In the meantime, use it to take a look at the exercise if you are unclear about how to perform it correctly.
Instructions for the Deadlift with a Row (which was edited out): Stand with feet about hip distance apart, knees straight but not locked. Hold your dumbbells at your side, palms facing back. Contract your abdominals, keep your spine long and neutral, and bend at the hips, to the point where your upper body is perpendicular to the ground (you can bend your knees slightly if you need to). Do not round your back. Hold that position, turn your palms to face in and bend your elbows into a row, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Slowly return your arms to the starting position, turn your palms to face the back, then straighten up to your starting position. Repeat for the set.
Looking for more functional workouts? Check these out:
Do you have a favorite functional move or moves that you use in your workouts?