Functional fitness refers to exercise that helps you with everyday activities, like getting up off the floor, carrying heavy objects, and putting something up on a shelf.* By strengthening the muscles in the same way you would need to use them for certain tasks, it reduces your risk of injury and can help to increase your quality of life.* We’ll take a look at three workouts you can do to take advantage of what functional fitness has to offer.
Step downs-This exercise can greatly help improve your balance and stability.
- Stand to the side of your bench, or step with one foot on it and one foot on the ground.*
- Pushing through the heel of the foot on the bench, step up to extend your leg fully, then slowly lower back down to start.*
- Complete 2 sets of 15 reps on each side.
Rows-A row is a similar movement to getting a heavy object out of your trunk.* Targeting your back and arms will help you stay strong.*
- Attach your resistance band to an anchor slightly above your head. Sit in a chair, holding the handles so they’re taut.
- Pull your elbows down and back, pausing for one second, then releasing back to the start.
- Complete 2 sets of 15 reps.
Single leg lifts-Exercises that work one leg at a time force you to engage your core and work each side of your body separately.*
- Stand with your feet together and your hands on your hips.
- With your weight in your left leg, hinge slightly forward at the hips while slowly raising your right leg straight back until it reaches a 45-degree angle.
- Return to start. Repeat for 2 sets of 15 reps with your right leg, then switch.
Trying these three exercises can increase the likelihood that you will experience functional fitness more efficiently and hopefully reaping the benefits from it as well. As always, please consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or exercise regiment.