Best FUNCTIONAL workout
You might be looking for a good ‘functional’ workout because somehow you’ve become convinced that you should be doing ‘functional training.’ How did that happen? You probably don’t really know. A couple of years ago you probably thought you should try Crossfit and then a few years before that it was Pilates…. mmm and why? Well fitness definitely does goes through fads, and something is always the latest – remember how we’d never seen a kettlebell in a gym 10 years ago? Now they’re everywhere… But Mac has more to say about kettlebells and fitness fads than I do… Point is, fitness buzzwords get bandied about and suddenly we all think that’s what we should be doing.
A good functional workout for me is one that is made up of ‘functional movements’.
To quote from Michael Boyle’s latest book, New Functional Training for Sports, “Function is, essentially purpose. When we use the word function we are saying that something has a purpose. So when we apply that term to training for sports we are talking about purposeful training for sports.”
So if we apply the same term to training in the gym – I think it means purposeful training for life – we are not preparing ourselves to play a sport, we’re preparing ourselves for daily life.
For my money, the best functional movements are: Deadlifts = picking up heavy stuff; Chin-ups = pulling yourself up, over a fence, out of the swimming pool, up a tree to retrieve your kid’s kite; explosive movement = jumping out of the way of moving vehicle, catching a falling bottle, jumping on a trampoline for fun; prone/plank hold (lower abs) = sitting for hours on end and farmer’s walk, or farmer’s carry = carrying heavy groceries (number one most functional movement in my book!)
Here’s my functional workout for you…
Warm up – work through your best range of motion, include lunges with a twist as well as walking lunges, walkout to plank, total body extensions (that’s a jump where you reach for the sky) and some medicine ball passes and rotations (If you don’t know what I’m talking about don’t worry too much – just make sure you are warm and working through your best range of motion)
- Farmer’s Walk x 3
- Chin-ups x as many as you can (say 4-12)
- Wall Ball – lateral chest pass x 1min
- Deadlifts x 8
- Reverse Plank x 1 min
Do 3-5 rounds depending on your level.