Home | Training | Workouts | Functional Training
Functional training

Functional Training

Full-body functional training programmes have the ability to improve your posture and balance, increase your range of motion, build strength and endurance, and reduce the pain and discomfort associated with inactivity and the dysfunction that our modern sedentary lifestyles cause.

A functional training programme that is true to the basic principle of improving human movement will therefore target your muscles as integrated units, which is how they were designed to perform or, to be more specific, function.

Benefits of functional training

  • Teaches muscles to work together rather than working them independently by isolating them.
  • Enhances movement efficiency by strengthening movement patterns.
  • If done correctly, functional exercise should improve function, not reinforce dysfunction.
  • Multi-joint movements help to burn more calories than single joint movement.
  • Improves balance and coordination.
  • Helps to prevent injuries.
  • Improves quality of life.
EXERCISE SETS REPS
Squat Press 4 10
Pike Press 4 10
Kettlebell One-Legged Deadlift 5 10 on each leg
One Legged Push Up 4 10
Rope Pull Up 4 10
Kettlebell Overhead Jack Knife 4 10
Kettlebell Pistol Squat 4 10 on each leg
L-Sit Chin Ups 3 5
Hanging Side Leg Raises 3 10 each side
Front Squat Calf Raises 4 30 each side
Kettlebell Overhead Pendulum 4 10 each side
Seated Rope Slams 5 30 seconds

Squat Press

  • How to do it:
  • Targeted muscles:
Squat – Get into the rack position by cleaning two kettlebells to the shoulders. Squat down while looking straight ahead and keeping your torso upright. Push your knees outward as you squat down. Slowly rise up again by driving through your heels.
Press – Upon rising up from the squat position use momentum from the legs to drive the kettlebells overhead. Once the kettlebells are locked out overhead, lower the kettlebells back to the rack position and repeat the squat press.
Shoulders, triceps, glutes, quads and calves.

Pike Press

  • How to do it:
  • Targeted muscles:
  • Form Tip:
Rest the toes on a bench, wall or step and get into the push up position. Keep the legs straight and walk your hands towards the wall or bench in order to bend at the waist until your head and shoulders are pointed towards the ground. Bend at the elbows and lower your shoulders until your head touches the floor. Slowly push yourself back up.
Shoulders and core.
Initially start the pike press by keeping your feet on the floor, shoulder-width apart, while bending at the hips so that the body forms an upside down ‘”V”.

Kettlebell One-Legged Deadlift

  • How to do it:
  • Targeted muscles:
  • Form Tip:
Stand upright holding a kettlebell with both hands. Shift your weight onto one leg, keeping the knee slightly bent. Perform a stiff-legged deadlift on one leg by bending at the hip and slowly lowering the kettlebell to the ground. As you do so extend your free leg out behind you for balance. Once you are parallel to the ground slowly lift the kettlebell back to the upright position while maintaining your balance.
Hamstrings, glutes and lower back.
Start off with a lighter weight and hold the kettlebell with one hand to assist with balance.

One-Legged Push Up

  • How to do it:
  • Targeted muscles:
  • Form Tip:
Place a kettlebell on its side and position one foot on it while assuming the push up position. Keep the free leg parallel to the ground and move it outward away from the kettlebell. Bend your elbows and slowly lower your chest towards the floor while keeping both legs straight. At the bottom of the movement slowly push yourself back up to the starting position.
Shoulders, triceps and core stabilisers.
A small step or bench can be used as an alternative to a kettlebell.

Rope Pull Up

  • How to do it:
  • Targeted muscles:
  • Form Tip:
Hold the ropes with your arms extended and feet flat on the floor. Pull on the ropes, relying on your lats to lift your off the floor as high as possible. Drive downward with your elbows to engage that lats and keep your legs slightly bent behind you. Hold this position for five seconds and then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.
Lats, biceps and grip strength.
Start by  keeping your feet on the floor. Grasp the ropes and lean back keeping your legs and body straight. Slowly pull yourself towards the ropes keeping your body straight and your elbows close to your sides.

Kettlebell Overhead Jack Knife

  • How to do it:
  • Targeted muscles:
  • Form Tip:
Lie on the ground or mat on your back. Hold the kettlebell close to your chest with the handle facing down and your elbows close to your body. Raise both legs off the ground with your knees bent towards your torso. Slowly extend the kettlebell straight back behind your head while extending your legs at the same time, like you would with a jack knife.
Abdominals and shoulders.
Keep your back straight while engaging your core.

Kettlebell Pistol Squat

How to do it:
Targeted muscles:

  • How to do it:
  • Targeted muscles:
  • Form Tip:
Pick up a kettlebell with two hands and hold it by the horns. Hold one leg off of the floor and squat down on the other by flexing the knee and sitting back with the hips. Keep holding the kettlebell up in front of you. Hold the bottom position for a second and then reverse the motion to return to the starting position by driving through your heel and keeping your head and chest up.
Quadriceps, calves, glutes, hamstrings and shoulders.
Initially build your strength by performing normal chin-ups to build arm and shoulder strength.

L-sit chin ups

  • How to do it:
  • Targeted muscles:
Raise your legs until they are parallel to the floor. Pull your upper chest towards the bar while maintaining the L-shape position.
Abdominals (entire core), shoulders, back and biceps.

Hanging Side Leg Raises

  • How to do it:
  • Targeted muscles:
  • Form Tip:
Hang from a chin up bar with arm and legs straight. Raise your legs sideways, aiming towards your elbow, while bending your knee at a 90-degree angle. Go back to the starting position and repeat the movement on the other side.
Abdominals
Side leg raises can also be done on a bench in order to support the back.

Front Squat Calf Raises

  • How to do it:
  • Targeted muscles:
Assume the static squat position (see static squat). Lift both heels off the floor without raising your hips, then drop them back down.
Calves

Kettlebell Overhead Pendulum

  • How to do it:
  • Targeted muscles:
  • Form Tip:
Lie with your back on the floor or mat while holding two kettlebells straight above your chest with your elbows locked. Raise both legs until they form a 90 degree angle with your hips. Keep your legs straight as you slowly lower your legs to the left. Rotate them until they almost touch the floor. Return your legs to the upright position and then slowly lower them to the right side in the same manner.
Core and shoulders.
Keep the kettlebells straight above your chest with your elbows locked for the duration of the workout as this will strengthen shoulder stability.

Seated Rope Slams

  • How to do it:
  • Targeted muscles:
In a seated position with your feet out in front of you, grab the ends of the rope in each hand with a neutral grip. Lean back slightly. With your arms slightly bent at the elbows explosively alternate your arms in an alternating up and down motion to create waves that run down the length of the rope.
Major muscles of the shoulder and arm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

x

Check Also

Overcome Festive Season Stress

The end of the year is here, but despite the holiday season you’re often left juggling more tasks than ever. According to Mokete Sekhesa, Brand Manager for the Energy Supplement ...

Grind OCR Gets New Venue

Date: Saturday 03 February 2018 The high-intensity Grind Obstacle Course Race will host their next mass participation event over 5km and 30 obstacles at The Cape Town Ostrich Ranch. The ...

Our Editor’s Ultimate Healthy & Fit Vacation Guide!

The last few months of the year are often frantic as we try to drop those last few kilos we picked up during winter, just to look great in our ...