Functional Training for a Well-Balanced Workout

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Updated: 1/24/2013 4:28 pm Published: 1/23/2013 4:23 pm

Fitness is at the top of the to-do list this time of year and for some athleticism comes naturally, but everyone could use techniques to become well-rounded in the fitness world. "A well-balanced athlete is stable on their feet, able to maintain good posture in whatever they are doing, core is strong, able to accomplish variety of tasks in their sport or in their daily lives without injury," Sean Call, Oklahoma Sports and Fitness Magazine said. "This is not only because they are strong, but they have good mobility and balance as well."

Call says incorporating functional training into your workouts will help improve your overall skill level. "Through incorporating more functional training in our workouts – thinking about how our body moves to perform our sport or our daily activities," Call said. "Functional training is defined as 'an activity that trains movement' and includes: balance, stability, core training, and strength training geared towards your sport and/or your activity," he said. "The result is performing sports and daily activities more easily and without injuries. The benefits start from the use of training that emphasizes the body's natural plane of motion, versus training only on a fixed plane."

Here are two exercises that recruit a majority of our muscles and improve mobility, balance and strength.

Exercise #1: Turkish Get Up

The Turkish Get-Up is a highly functional movement that recruits virtually all the muscles of the body to accomplish the task.

The TGU is great for coordination, core strength, and shoulder strength.
It is and “old school classic” and an amazing exercise for a complete body movement

1. Start off with lightweight dumbbell or kettlebell.
2. Arm Straight, Pack shoulder down (engage lat), Raise knee on same side as dumbbell up, palm down
3. Using core, push up get elbow underneath you, good posture
4. Extend up to hand
5. drive through heel and raise hips, squeeze glutes
6. pull back knee and set up on knee
7. Lunge up, driving through front heel
8. Reverse motion.

- Always looking at kettlebell.
- At no time is the arm bent or does the wrist break.

Exercise #2: Squat Press

The squat press strengthens your body from head to toe.

1. Grab two dumbbells, start light (don’t sacrifice good form for weight)
2. Hold at shoulders, feet shoulder width apart
3. Stomach tight, back straight
4. Sit back on your heels, quads parallel to the ground
5. Explode straight up

Look for more functional training exercises in the current issue of Oklahoma Sports & Fitness. Oklahoma Sports & Fitness Magazine is available at all specialty running stores and bicycle shops in town, as well as various fitness centers, sporting goods stores, book stores, coffee shops and restaurants.

Digital format is available at:

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