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woman doing push-ups for functional strength training

How to Improve Functional Fitness From the Comfort of Your Home

Simple everyday activities can be demanding if your body is not properly conditioned. You might also get injured if you’re not careful enough or if you have poor posture. Thankfully, you can prevent these issues by doing functional training.

Functional fitness can make you stronger, healthier, and more agile. In this blog, we’ll talk about the basics of functional training, as well as seven exercise routines you can try at home.

What is Functional Training?

Functional exercises focus on routines that can help you perform daily activities better. It uses movements you commonly do at home, work, or school, such as reaching, squatting, and lifting heavy objects. This way, your body can take on day-to-day tasks with little to no strain.

Instead of focusing on specific muscle groups like bodybuilding or strength training, these practical exercises train multiple muscle groups in one go. These exercises are more for function over form. The routines also emphasize core strength and stability, which is helpful for a variety of everyday tasks. By using your entire body in workouts, you can make the most out of your functional training.

Functional exercises are also practical since you can do them whether you’re at home or the gym. Regular household items can replace exercise equipment. For example, if you don’t have dumbbells, you can use water jugs instead. 

What are the Benefits of Functional Training?

Improve Bodily Functions for Daily Activities

Functional training works your entire body so that you can do your day-to-day activities more easily. With stronger arm muscles, carrying heavy objects like groceries or gallons of water won’t be much of a problem. This full-body workout also lets you clean your house or your yard more efficiently.

Reduce Risk of Falls and Injuries

Some household tasks can hurt and cause injuries if you’re not prepared or in bad shape. For instance, you can easily slip from a ladder if you have poor balance. With functional fitness, you can work your muscles and joints to be more agile, balanced, and flexible so you can prevent household injuries.

Achieve a Better Quality of Life

Functional fitness is not all about its positive effects on your body. By doing functional exercises regularly, you can improve your overall well-being as you stay fit. After all, exercise is key to staying fit and healthy

Functional Fitness Workouts to Try at Home

Interested in functional fitness but don’t know where to begin? Here are seven different workouts that you can do at home. 

Squats

Squats are a great functional exercise since you often do them for simple tasks like sitting and carrying groceries. To do this, stand with your feet wide apart and arms straight on the side. Push your hips back and bend your knees like you’re sitting while engaging your core. Make sure to keep your knees in place and your chest straight. Pause when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then, push yourself up using your foot and return to your starting position.

Multi-Directional Lunges

Lunges can strengthen your hips, legs, and buttocks while also improving your balance. Stand straight with your arms on the side. Keep your left leg in place and step the right leg to the front, back, or side. Then, bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle. Repeat the process with the other leg in the same direction. You can also change the direction of your foot (e.g., from front to side) after a few reps.

Push-Ups

This classic functional exercise is a full workout using your body weight. Start by getting down on all fours and with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Make sure your body forms a straight line from head to toe. Next, bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest hits the ground. Then, push back up to your starting position and repeat.

Hip Extension with Reverse Fly

This functional exercise is for training your balance and coordination. To do this, stand straight with a 5-pound dumbbell on each hand. Keep it straight as you extend your right leg backward and let your toe touch the floor. Then, lightly lean forward using your hips. Raise your right leg behind and let your hands fall straight. Make sure to keep your head aligned with your neck. After this, return to your original position and repeat the steps with the other leg.

Step Up to Shoulder Press

You can use a bench, a chair, or your stairs to work your body for this workout. Begin by standing behind an elevated surface and a dumbbell in each hand. Make sure the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Then, step up using your right foot and lift your dumbbells overhead. After this, move the dumbbells back to shoulder level and step back down with your left foot first. Repeat this with your other leg.

Supine Bridge with Arm Extension

This modified bridge with arm extensions strengthens the muscles in your chest and front hips, which can become tighter than usual if you’re sitting in front of a computer all day. Begin by sitting on the floor with your hands underneath your shoulders. Your knees should be bent and your feet should lay flat on the floor. Next, use your legs to push your hips upwards until your torso becomes straight. Your form should resemble a tabletop.

Then, raise your right arm straight upward while rotating your upper body and keeping your hips lifted. After this, bring your right arm down to the starting position and slightly lower your hips. Repeat this routine with your left arm until satisfied.

Woodchop

The last functional fitness exercise on our list can greatly improve your core strength. You can do woodchops by holding a dumbbell in each hand. Place them on the right side of your body. Then, slightly lower your body into a squat and rotate your trunk to the right. After this, stand up, twist your torso, and bring the dumbbell up and across your body with your arms extended. Return to the starting position and repeat the process.

Work On Functional Fitness Today

Functional fitness not only prepares your body to accomplish daily tasks but also improves your overall well-being. With these exercises, you can remain fit and live a better life as you do your chores. Visit the LifeClinic blog for more tips on health and exercise.

Dr. Reza Alizadeh

Dr. Reza is the visionary behind LifeClinic. His leadership is the foundation for the patient and team member experience, and overall direction of the LifeClinic. As the creator of IMJT, Dr. Reza continues to be the primary teacher on this technique.

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