Let’s face it—we’re all busy these days and it can be easy to forget to focus on ourselves, our nutrition and our exercise routines. Not to fret, here are our top three functional exercises that require no gym or additional weights- at all to keep you fit, without wasting time.
We selected these specific moves because they are all compound movements meaning that you are engaging multiple muscle groups at once and thereby getting the most benefit in the least amount of time.
Strengthen your legs (calves, hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes) in one fell swoop with the mighty squat.
How to do a Squat
- Keep your legs approximately shoulder-width apart with your toes slightly turned out
- Look upward to keep your chest up
- Pull your shoulder blades together to maintain a strong back (crossing your arms in front of you will also help you do this)
- Push knees outward when both squatting down and coming up. Watch to ensure your knees are not tracking forward beyond your ankles
- Squat downwards (just past 90 degrees) but make sure you maintain your flat, strong back
- Push through your heels
- Squeeze your glutes at the top
Aim for 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps of squats with your bodyweight to begin!
The widely known push-up is great for so many reasons and is the ultimate full body workout.
How to do a Push-Up
- Rest your hands on a bench or ledge (or drop down to your knees) for beginners. A more advanced start is in a plank on a flat or declined surface
- Place your hands and arms shoulder-width apart, keeping your hands directly underneath your shoulders
- Fire up your legs by squeezing your quads and glutes
- Tighten your core and try to lift your belly button towards your spine
- Slowly lower your chest towards the ground (or ledge) until you are 1-2 inches from the ground
- Push directly back up until your arms are straight
Aim for 3-4 sets for 10-15 reps.
Tighten up your core with a plank- this move is fantastic as it targets your entire abdomen and can be done anywhere.
How to do a Plank
- Choose if you’ll be planking on your hands or elbows (both are great in my opinion!)
- Place hands or elbows directly under the shoulders and engage your back (retract/pull your shoulder blades together)
- Form your body in a horizontal position with straight legs balancing on your toes
- Engage your lower back and abdomen, and pull your belly button to your spine
- Fire your glutes and legs for extra strength
Aim to hold your plank for 30-60 seconds. Remember to keep that perfect form- keeping your hips high and bellybutton pulled in!
Use these three workout moves at the gym, at home or outdoors if you’re looking to engage multiple muscles while getting strong.
What are your favorite functional exercises?