Functional Fitness

Functional fitness training is all the rage these days.  It can be defined as a series of exercises that coordinate and condition your joints and muscles to work together in preparation for daily tasks you might do at work, at home or in sport.  These include movements that cause you to reach overhead, squat, push, pull, twist, bend, lift, lunge, jump, balance, sprint and climb.

Functional Exercise:

  • Involves the three planes of motion – (movements forward/backward, sideways and rotation)
  • Works the whole body in a coordinated manner (e.g. Squat to overhead press)
  • Tends to be multi-joint and multi-muscle (e.g. lunge with side dumbbell raise)
  • Trains movements not isolated muscles (e.g. kettlebell swing versus leg extension)
  • Progresses from a stable to less stable platform (e.g. two-legs to one-leg)
  • Involves bend-and-lift movements (deadlift), single-leg movements (lunge), pushing movements (push-ups), pulling movements (chin-ups), and rotational movements (standing cable twists)
  • Incorporates speed, agility and plyometrics (only after stability, strength and technique are well established)

Follow Andre’s quick 8-minute functional fitness routine that will stimulate your entire body and prepare you for the rigours of life and sport. Each functional exercise is to be performed for 20-seconds with a 10-second transition time to the next exercise.  Repeat the sequence 4 times.

1. Squat to Single-arm Overhead Press

2. Deadlift to DB Row

3. Push-up to Jump up

4. Plank to One Arm Cross Roll Leg Under

Happy Training!

André Noël Potvin, MSc, ACE, ACSM, BCRPA TFL, is a Clinical Exercise Specialist, Vancouver Personal Trainer and Owner of INFOFIT Educators, North America’s Premier School for Health and Fitness Education