Examples of Different Functional Movements In 2023
Functional movement exercises mimic daily movements, such as squatting down to pick something up or reaching up to grab something from a high shelf.
These exercises can help to create a balanced physique, increase your range of motion, and improve overall health and fitness. Here are examples of different functional movements you can incorporate into your workout routine:
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Squats are functional movements that help you perform everyday activities like sitting, standing, bending, and lifting. They engage several muscle groups, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, core, and back muscles, that support and strengthen these actions. Adding weight to a squat can also help increase bone density and prevent injuries.
To practice squatting properly, position your feet shoulder-width apart, pointing your toes slightly outward. Lower your body slowly, as if sitting in a chair, until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
Keep your back straight and the chest up, and make sure your knees are over your toes. Hold this position briefly, then push your feet into the ground to stand back up.
Lunges work several muscles simultaneously, including the hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, and calves, making it an effective compound exercise. Performing lunges regularly may help your body adapt to movements by improving neuromuscular connections and strengthening the stabilizer muscles in your lower body.
This can help improve balance, stability, and coordination, which can enhance your performance in daily activities, sports, and fitness routines.
To perform this functional movement, stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your core engaged. Take a large step forward with one foot, exhale, and lower your body towards the ground, bending both knees.
Make sure the front knee is over your ankle and the back knee hangs slightly above the ground. Push through your front foot and return to your starting position.
Repeat the same movement with your other leg to achieve balanced strength and stability. Remember to keep your spine straight and avoid leaning forward to distribute the weight evenly between your legs, reducing the strain on your joints.
Push-ups target your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core to help improve strength, stability, and endurance. They also engage the lower body by requiring a strong plank position for a full-body workout.
The versatile nature of push-ups allows for modifications that cater to various fitness levels and target specific muscle groups. Beginners can start with modified push-ups on their knees or against a wall, gradually working up to traditional push-ups on the floor.
If you want to target specific muscle groups, such as the triceps or chest, variations like diamond push-ups or decline push-ups can be incorporated.
Individuals with a higher fitness level can increase the functionality of the movement by incorporating weights into their workout. These weights may include a weighted vest or resistance bands.
To properly execute a push-up, start in a plank position with the hands placed shoulder-width apart and your legs extended behind you. Slowly lower your body by bending your elbows until your chest is just above the floor. Then push back up until your arms are fully extended.
Engage your core muscles throughout the entire movement to maintain stability and prevent injury. As you progress, you can modify the push-up by changing hand placement or adding resistance with weights.
Pull-ups are a common functional movement that can help increase upper body strength and muscular endurance. This exercise involves using your body weight to pull yourself up towards a bar, engaging muscles in your back, shoulders, and arms.
To execute this functional movement, make sure you have a secure and sturdy bar or pull-up station. Grip the bar with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart, keeping your shoulders down and back. As you pull yourself up, focus on engaging your core and pulling your shoulder blades back and down.
Once your chin is above the bar, lower yourself at a controlled speed, with your arms fully extended before beginning your next repetition. Increase the repetitions you complete in each workout to optimize your exercise benefits.
Include Functional Movements in Your Routine
Incorporating functional movement exercises into your workout routine is an effective way to improve your overall physical function and well-being.
When done correctly, these exercises can enhance your core strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and endurance. Perform functional movements with proper form and posture to reduce the risk of injury and optimize the benefits of your workout.