By: Albert K.
Functional strength is what we employ when carrying out the tasks and activities that we encounter in our day-to-day lives. As such, a good functional strength-oriented fitness routine needs to echo daily life’s physical challenges. Follow the simple steps below to improve mobility in your joints, increase endurance, and build strength where it matters so that you can increase your overall functional strength.
- Lift Weights
We spend our days lifting objects of all sorts. We might carry a stuffed briefcase into the office, bring a laptop from room to room between meetings, or carry a child to their bedroom before tucking them into bed. Every now and then, we’re tasked with lifting even heavier objects. We might have to carry a hefty box of Christmas ornaments back down to the basement, bring a large platter of food to your mother’s party, or move a mattress into the next room. Lifting small weights can be a simple and effective way to give you the mobility and strength you need to conquer your daily physical demands, no matter how small.
- Chin Ups
Yes, we’re always lifting a variety of different items on any given day, but perhaps none is more consistently present—or potentially more burdensome—than your own body. Whether you’re climbing a ladder to fix a drain pipe, hoisting yourself out of a bathtub or pool, or simply lifting yourself out of your office chair at work, being able to support your own body weight is a crucial target for any functional strength training. Chin ups are a great way to increase functional strength while improving upper-body strength as well.
Walking is perhaps one of the most common and consistent daily activities that we participate in. It gets your whole body in motion, and the activation of your shoulders, hips, and knees provide wonderful opportunities to improve joint mobility. Unfortunately, many people don’t walk around as much as they should. More and more people spend their days in office chairs, on sofas, or in bed. If you want to increase your functional strength, make sure you’re making an effort to be up and walking around throughout the day! Consider scheduling walks with friends or loved ones to make the experience even more enjoyable.
Feeling more ambitious? Turn your walk into a run and push your joint mobility and endurance to new limits! Whether you’re sprinting to a meeting, barrelling down the sidewalk to catch the next bus, or dashing through your front door to tell your family about your new promotion, running is an important activity that gets you where you need to be as quickly as you can get there, and it’s a great way to increase your functional strength, too.
Boxing is essentially a functional strength super-workout. The sport’s quick and flexible movement provides opportunities to challenge joint mobility and endurance, just like in running. Its foundation, upon delivering forceful punches to your opponent, provides opportunities to improve arm strength, just like lifting weights. Furthermore, by requiring you to have the strength to pick yourself up time and time again, boxing can make a chin up look easy. You also get the added bonus of learning a sport that doubles as self defense. If boxing is for you, consider checking out the studios in your neighborhood. Sessions are relatively affordable, and you’re sure to eventually feel a tremendous increase in your functional strength. Craft sessions to fit your needs by asking your trainer questions and telling them areas in which you would like to improve.
Albert K. is a contributing writer for Gloveworx, a boxing fitness studio located in Santa Monica, California. Albert’’s hobbies include swimming and cooking for his wife and two daughters.
Lifting weights picture: https://unsplash.com/photos/Vn39uEkX00s Chin up picture: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pull-up_(exercise) Boxing picture: https://pixabay.com/en/boxers-females-boxing-sport-882716/