Over the last few years, functional fitness has taken over the fitness industry by storm and for a good reason: It works!
Whether your goal is building muscle and burning fat or simply improving performance, strength, power and endurance and augment the quality of your life in general, implementing functional exercises into your workout routine can make a world of a difference.
A lot of people however, do not have the option to train at the gym, either because they can’t afford it or simply because they prefer training in their own personalized home gym. Whatever the case might be, adding functional exercises to your home workout routine can be easily accomplished with limited training equipment and in some cases, without any equipment whatsoever.
Full Body Functional Workout With The Power Sled
Functional fitness is all about training the body as a whole, instead of isolating and working on a different body part every day. Your best and probably cheapest bet to make that happen is by utilizing a Push-Sled also known as Power-Sled. The Power Sled is a compact and very versatile piece of equipment you can use both in your home gym and outside the house.
When it comes to the Power Sled, the training options are virtually endless, but here are the basics:
- Sled Push: Add a few plates on the sled and push it over a distance, rotate it and push it back to the starting position.
- Low Sled Push: Grab the poles much lower and perform the exercise with a much more bent-over torso position than before. Amazing for training the glutes, quads and shoulders.
- Sled Pull: Attach the harness attachment on the sled, grab the harness and start pulling the sled over a distance. You can combine it with the previous exercises by pushing the sled at first and then pulling it on the way back to the starting position using the harness.
- Sled Row: Grab the harness like before but instead of turning your back to the sled and pulling, face the sled and start rowing it towards you. Take a few steps back and keep rowing. Excellent for targeting the entire back and biceps.
- Landmine Press: Attach a barbell to the sled and perform the classic Landmine Press, one of the best exercises to train your upper chest and delts, as well as to develop unmatched tricep pressing power.
- Landmine Twist: Attach a barbell to the sled like before and perform a rotary motion to move the barbell across your body from side to side. This functional movement is intense and will fry up those abs and obliques like no other.
- As a bonus you can attach resistance bands to the sled and perform any kind of band workout you wish such as band presses, rows, woodchoppers, lunges, squats, delt presses and much more! The possibilities are endless.
“Nothing beats a Push Sled workout. It's the ultimate functional leg workout that builds muscle as well. My legs burn like crazy and my heart rate spikes when I use the Push Sled. For me it also replicates the feel of blocking like no other exercise equipment.” – Rob Gronkowski
Full Body Workout With Bodyweight Exercises
A great alternative to the sled workout, especially for those who cannot afford it, is simply using your own bodyweight to perform 4 or 5 exercises as part of a circuit. Just go through the entire circuit as fast as you can for as many reps as you can, take a short 1 – 2 minute break and start over. Perform 3 – 5 circuits in total, depending on your current fitness level.
- Band Woodchoppers
For the Pull-Ups you can either use a doorframe or you could invest in a Ceiling Mounted Pull-Up Bar which will make things far easier and safer. You can also go outside, find a park pole or a tree branch and perform your circuit there. All it takes is some imagination.
The Woodchoppers come at many different variations and the easiest one is probably using a dumbbell as resistance. However, as far as woodchoppers are concerned, bands are a bit more beneficial since they provide constant tension across the entire range of motion. You could either use some inexpensive strength bands or perhaps the Gronk Fitness cable cross resistance tubes by securing them on a stable pole and performing the woodchopper exercise. Remember that trunk-rotation movements are absolutely critical when it comes to core health and functionality so do not avoid them.
Functional fitness moves not only burn calories, they also reduce the risk factors of aging. This style of training improves heart health, joint health, bone density, loss of muscle and helps with weight management.
Whatever your workout goals, ensuring the principals of functional fitness makes up the bulk of your routine is one of the best ways to achieve incredible results and most of all, a happy and pain-free life. Training at home is no longer an excuse to avoid functional fitness since all you need is limited equipment, if any at all.
Stay functional, stay healthy and as always…get your mind right!