I'm all for functional Training as it is an easy way to train, strengthen your muscles and helping with right posture and even getting you to lose a few extra calories... It also helps out with keeping you fit & in shape without having to go to a gym if you simply don't have the time for it! So today, we're all about free and natural movements. Grab a chair (..not so you can sit down! ), a broom handle (or something of that sort) and a couple of Dumbbells.
* Please be advised that these exercises are for the purpose of this blog only and might be damaging if performed under certain medication and/or medical conditions.
Shall we get started ?
Perform all 3 exercises in a row (back-to-back, no rest in between them) for 12-20 reps each. After you have done all 3, take 60 mins rest. This is considered as 1 round. Perform 5-6 rounds according to your own level of exertion.
1. First exercise (and one of my all time favorites with many versions and adaptations to it):
THE OVERHEAD SQUAT- (you can choose the broom stick or a stretch band) grab your broom stick. For the squat, place your legs hip width apart, toes slightly facing out.
Maintaining your back as straight as possible, tucking in your abs, squat down- accentuating your buttocks out (as if you are about to seat down). While squatting for the first rep, raise your arms holding your broom stick up in wide grip (slightly wider than shoulder width) . your hands should stay up throughout the exercise. Push yourself back up again , driving from your hips & heels- NOT YOUR BACK! check yourself, perform it slowly & gradually, you are in no rush :) remember to breathe!!
Easier version: perform your squats with only your hands forward, parallel to the floor.
Harder one: perform a one legged squat (i.e using only one leg at a time squatting)
2. DYNAMIC LUNGE WITH ROTATION
This exercise will also use the broom stick, however it can absolutely be done without it.
If you are using the broom stick, choose a corner in the room and place the stick standing with one end of it in the corner, and the other one in your hands tilting towards you. Your start position is standing straight, abs engaged, back straight &looking forward with chest open.
With one leg, lunge backwards, flexing both of your knees. Ideally, both of your knees should be at a approx. 90 degrees angle. If you do find it challenging, squat down as much as you feel is right for you!
Make sure both of your toes are facing forward, and your back knee should be about 2 inch of the floor (almost touching..but not!).
As you lunge backwards, rotate your torso towards the other side from the leg doing the lunge; (meaning, if you lunge first with your left leg, rotate to your right side and vice versa). make sure your hips stay as much facing forward as possible, holding the upper end of the stick as assistance.
Perform first all the reps with one leg, then do the other one.
Easier version: Perform a forward lunge instead/ or lose the rotations.
Harder one: perform with a Dumbbell (or other king of load)
3. 'BOX PLANK' +TOE TOUCH /PLANK ON A CHAIR WITH TOE TOUCH ON FLOOR
Don't be intimidated by this just invented long exercise name :) the important thing is that you understand what you're supposed to be doing..Just get to it..!
Grab yourself a chair. Now, take as much time as you need to organise your body in the right position; Place both of your hands on the floor. Your chair is just behind you.
Place one leg on the chair behind you, making sure both palms of your hands are placed fully & firmly on the floor. When you feel ready, place your other leg on the chair- joining the other one. Make sure your neck is in line with your back (don't look down/up, just look at the floor in directly in front of you). Your body should be now at a 'table like' position, parallel -ish to the floor :)
Now, hold your abs, don't let your hips sink down. When ready- Take one leg slowly of the chair, slightly & gently touch the floor with the toe, and bring it back up. Perform all reps first with one leg, then move on to the other one.
Easier version: Lose the toe touch, and just hold that position for as long as you can. Challenge yourself and measure your time each time.
Harder one: Choose a higher chair or add a cushion or any other kind of elevation; The higher it is (don't push it..), the greater the load on your core (among them some of very important ab+back muscles) .
If you want to go for an even harder version: add a hand twist when your toe is back; for example: if your performing with the right leg , right after your right toe is back from touching the floor, take your right hand and slowly, while in the air, take it beneath your right one for a a small peek to your left and take it back on the floor.