Functional movement exercises can boost your brain and body mobility. They can also increase your strength and energy at all levels. The workouts activate muscles and joints to strengthen your core muscular structure. Here are a few functional exercises to help you become stronger:
This functional movement targets and activates your upper trapezius muscles. Shrugs mimic the reaching and bending movements in day-to-day activities. They stabilize your shoulder girdle and neck muscles, improving your posture. Stable and stronger trapezius muscles facilitate efficient neck rotation and scapulae movement. Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your arms at your sides. Raise your shoulder to your ears while inhaling. Pause for a second to activate the neck and shoulder muscles. Slowly lower your shoulders and exhale. Add weight as you advance to build strength.
This exercise imitates the daily movements involved in changing vertical levels. These everyday movements engage triple flexion and the body’s core. They can strengthen your lower back, glutes, and legs. Regular squat reps improve mobility and flexibility. Start with air squats to master the basics and avoid injuries. Start gazing forward in a shoulder-width stance. Push your glutes and hips backward and start to bend your knees. This orients and supports your knees. Don’t overexert your back or curl up your toes when lowering your body. Ascend while engaging your core and keeping your trunk and tibia parallel.
Carrying children, backpacks, or groceries engages multiple muscles. A solid carry targets the back, core, arms, and shoulder muscles. Weak or underutilized muscles get sore when you carry items around. Carries can improve your core strength and dynamic stability. Carry variations like the farmer’s walk, waiter’s walk, and suitcase carry can help you target different upper body muscles. Proper form during the exercise protects your spine and joints. Take short, fast steps with kettlebells on each side, standing on each foot firmly. Relax your shoulder blades when fatigued to avoid straining your neck and upper back.
Hinges mimic bending movements like hinging your hips to lift items or tie shoelaces. The exercise targets your hamstrings, back, and glutes. Hinges can strengthen these muscles, boosting flexibility and comfort when bending. Sit and keep your hips and back against a raised surface. Extend your arms out to each side. Keep your feet flat and bend your knees with your core tightened. Lift your hips to the level of your torso and neck. Raise through the heels while targeting your quads and glutes, then lower your hips down and repeat.
Rotation workouts strengthen your trunk and hips, preventing serious injuries. Improved functional strength stabilizes your torso, neck, and SI joints. Position your feet shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms and bend your knees slightly for stability. Turn gently off one foot while rotating your body and swinging your arms crossways to the opposite side. Repeat the motion with the other foot and keep your arms straight. Repeated repetitions can help reinforce your oblique, core, and gluteal muscles, preventing neck and spine injuries.
Lunges can help shape and strengthen your thigh muscles, calves, and glutes. They engage hip flexors, replicating front-to-back movements like walking or jogging. You work your large lower-body muscles, improving your stability and helping to prevent injuries. Position your feet hip-width apart with your arms down to your hips. Extend one foot forward, bending your knee to create a 90-degree angle. Move towards your extended foot and drive through your front heel to an upright position. Repeat the motion on the other foot to complete a rep and gradually add weights for a more dynamic movement.
Explore Functional Movement Exercises
Functional movement can help you burn calories and boost muscle and bone health. Each exercise targets specific muscle groups to improve balance, mobility, and quality of life. Yoga uses these movements to optimize agility and prevent injuries. A certified trainer can help you perform specific workouts safely and optimize results. Find a reputable yoga instructor to learn more.