Ever felt like your back is strained from carrying that carton of drinks you bought from your last grocery shopping trip? Does climbing a few flights of stairs in heels to get to your appointment leave you aching after? Well, all these everyday tasks and challenges seems to be at the back of your mind, but have you thought of how you can make these everyday movements more effortless.
Functional Training is intended to improve our quality of life which helps us be prepared and adapted to participate in life events while being healthful. In this blogpost, we will be introducing 3 basic functional exercises that all individuals should practice, as these movements are commonly used in our daily lives and easily transferable to life movements.
Variations: Bodyweight, Weighted, Unilateral, Bilateral
The squat movement ranks high for functional movement as it is a movement that we use almost daily. Being able to squat safely translates to movements such as tying your shoelace, using a squat cubicle, just to name a few.
In addition, incorporating squat variations into your daily workout brings about various health benefits:
Strengthening of your core
Strengthening of your lower body muscles
Reducing the risks of injuries
However, a proper squat technique is commonly overlooked, resulting in inefficient mechanics of the movement. Listed below are some pointers on what to look out for when performing a squat:
Feet should be placed shoulder width apart
Break (Hips backwards) when executing the squat
Neutral spine position at all times
Chest to maintain upright at all times
Weight of body to be on the heels
Knee to track toes at all times
DID YOU KNOW that one of the best core exercise is the barbell front squats? This is because it requires a full body focus and control so as not to lose balance. In order to achieve that, core strength is developed as you hold your breath while squatting and exhaling while returning back to the original standing position!
Variations: Single Legged, Deficit, Kettlebell, Dumbbell, Barbell
The deadlift, another functional movement that is a Must-Do! Being able to deadlift with sound mechanics efficiently and effectively translates to the simple action of picking up things from the ground. This translation to life movements relates to the "Hinge" action of the deadlift which is to push the bum backwards while maintaining a neutral spine position. With the "Hinge" action in mind, use it to pick up loads from the ground which brings about injury prevention!
Similarly, being able to deadlift brings about various health benefits which includes:
Strengthening the core
Improved core stability
Strengthening the back and legs
Now let's discuss the pointers on what to take note of when performing a deadlift:
Nature lower back curvature of the spine to always be maintained
Weight of body always on heels
Shoulders are slightly in front of the bar in the set-up position prior to lifting
Bar stays in contact/close to the legs throughout the movement
Hips and shoulders rise at the same rate until over the knees
At the top of the lift, chest is up and knees are straight
3. Overhead Press
Variations: Kettlebell, Dumbbell, Barbell, Unilateral, Bilateral
The last movement of our top 3 functional movement is the overhead press! The overhead press is often neglected, however it is also a movement that we commonly have to use in our daily lives. For example, putting our luggage in the overhead compartment of the aircraft.
Being able to properly execute an overhead press brings about various health benefits as well:
Strengthening the shoulders
Strengthening the upper back
Strengthening the core
Improved core stability
With the many benefits of performing an overhead press movement, let's go through the pointers of what to take note of when performing a barbell overhead press:
In the front rack position, elbows should be placed slightly in front of the bar
Keep the body tight and rigid at all times
Press the bar straight up while moving your head back and out of the way
Knees to come in full lock out at the end of the press
Arms to come in full lock out overhead
Torso is always kept upright
Technique First! To start off, do not do any overhead movements with a barbell. Instead, progression starts with everyday items in your household such as a bamboo pole or PVC pipe and then advancing to dumbbells, getting the mechanics and the technique right, then moving on to an empty barbell. Always keep in mind that with proper technique comes efficiency with the movement.
With that, let us all start incorporating functional movements into our workout routine and lifestyle! For more exercise and training tips on how to achieve your personal fitness goals, look no further! Train with our Celebrity Fitness Trainers at our FITLUC Flagship Gym and #GetThatFITLook. It is fully equipped with state of the art equipment, hence training will be effective and efficient, you can be assured. Our dedicated trainers are more than happy to help you customize a training program and provide you with the right advice to help you achieve your fitness goals ! So what are you waiting for? Drop us a WhatsApp message at +65 8812 0110 or book a personal training trial with one of our dedicated trainers to explore if personal training is the best choice for you!
Just a heads-up, it will probably be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.
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