What Is Functional Fitness? 5 Workouts That Basically Make Your Life Easier
Whether you're a nanny who's constantly carrying around a baby, or you simply want to sit up straight at your desk without feeling like you're going to fall asleep, everyday activities require a strong body that's able to meet the requirements your particular life throws at you. And though it's great to hit up the treadmill on the reg (if that's what you're into), constantly pounding your feet into an automatic cardio machine isn't going to do you any favors when it comes to carrying out those unique day-to-day activities. However, there are exercises that can help you strengthen your entire body and help you with achieving your lengthy to-do list, which is where functional fitness comes in to play.
According to Greatist, functional fitness essentially involves an array of exercises that improve daily activity. These workouts include moves that challenge your coordination and balance, while also increasing your range of motion and upping your overall strength.
Think about it this way: Athletes and Olympians train for their sport, so if you're neither of those, you can start to look at your workout as training for life instead. Being able to make daily activities easier is extremely rewarding in the long run, when your daily activities become substantially less complicated, so try including any of these five functional fitness workouts into your fitness regime to make noticeable changes where it matters the most.
The Break Dancer Push Up
Guys, the name of this exercise gives me life and TBH, it's as fun (and challenging) as it sounds.
Break dancer pushups increase mobility throughout your hips, which is extremely important when it comes to preventing injuries within your day-to-day routine. It also improves shoulder stability and requires a good amount of core strength.
Oh, and if you hate push ups to begin with, you might even forget that you're doing them if you turn on a bumpin' playlist and have fub with it.
Real talk: this bad boy truly does it all.
Lateral Lunge With Reach
You've probably included a classic lunge in your sweat sesh at some point, but the side lunge is truly where it's at for complete functionality from head to toe.
Including some lateral lunges with reach into your workout routine encourage back strength, hip mobility, and glute strength. With just a few reps, you'll be feeling the burn, my friends.
And, I mean, Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim does side lunges, too... so, personally, when I do them, I feel like a total beast.
Even though there's a weight included in the video above, that part is totally optional. You can reach without the extra weight if you desire.
The Yoga Squat
Yoga is an incredible form of functional fitness, because when you think about it, the entire practice is lengthening and strengthening your entire body and thus helping you to achieve those day-to-day tasks.
If you don't feel like hitting up a local studio, or yoga just isn't your thing, simply incorporating one yogic move — the squat — into your exercise sessions will help you with all over mobility in no time.
Go from standing to squatting for a couple of reps to get your blood pumping and your joints and muscles working. Your legs will thank you for this one next time you have to go up a bunch of stairs because the elevator is broken.
Single Leg Dumbbell Row
This bad boy requires all the balance and coordination, while simultaneously strengthening a bunch of neglected muscles in your body. Adding it to your workouts on the reg will keep your body happy and strong AF.
Single leg dumbbell rows literally reverse all the sitting that you might be doing all day if you have a desk job. If you don't do exercises to strengthen the muscles that weaken from an inactive lifestyle, it'll be a lot easier to get injured and a lot harder to have sturdy hip stability in the long run.
Keep a flat back and really engage your cores while you're completing your rows. Functional training is hard work, but it's worth it, friends.
Stability Ball Push-ups
You guys, who knew that Khloé Kardashian's fav arm workout was actually a form of functional fitness? You go, Khlo. You go.
Adding a stability ball to your regular push-up situation adds a twist to the classic arm exercise by challenging your shoulders, chest, and of course, your core.
Plus, this baby will really strengthen the delicate joints in your wrists, so you won't have to deal with any persistent wrist pain, if that's something that keeps popping up in your life.
TBH, though, my favorite part about having one of these Swiss balls in my house is simply because they're fun to bounce on. Judge me, I dare you.