Post Attributed to Kyle Decker, FAST Facility Manager, ATC, CSCS (Arrowhead Location).
Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training is a group of locally-owned Phoenix personal training facilities that help people all over the valley reach their fitness goals. We provide hands-on, individualized training plans to our clients of all ages and athletic abilities. We also offer a free consultation to evaluate your needs, which can be scheduled online here today. For more advice about Phoenix personal training, check out our blog.
Kyle Decker is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Athletic Trainer who has worked with a wide range of athletes, including professional baseball teams. He is here today to explain the benefits of a functional training program, and how to start one.
For years, we have been conditioned to believe we need to spend countless hours in the gym doing strength training and cardio exercise in order to maintain fitness. Isolation exercises that only work one muscle group at a time have become the norm. However, fitness is changing. We now understand that the body works through a chain of movements, rather than one isolated movement at a time. As a result, more people have begun performing functional training programs that use the entire body.
Functional training programs are great for people on a time crunch who are still trying to maintain or build fitness and strength. These programs are more efficient and effective, because it makes the muscles work harder – leading to increased strength and a faster metabolism. If you incorporate just 5 different functional movements in every workout, you utilize muscles all over your body while adding variety and decreasing boredom during exercise.
The 5 movements you should perform are: push, pull, hip-hinge, squat, and plank. Each of these movements requires multiple joints and body systems to work together, and they are also incorporated in activities we do every day. When you pick something up off the floor, you squat down to pick it up, pull it towards the body, and push it away to place it somewhere. A plank strengthens your abs, helping you maintain core control while lifting and carrying.
Creating a plan to implement this type of training is actually quite simple. Just pick an exercise from each of the 5 functional movement categories, and perform 3 to 5 sets of the exercises during every workout. Follow this template and choose different exercises for each workout during the week.
Here is a list of possible exercises for each type of movement:
- Push: Push-ups, incline press, single-arm kettlebell or dumbbell press, push press
- Pull: Dumbbell rows, cable rows, pull-ups, lat pull downs
- Hip-Hinge: Kettlebell swing, Romanian dead lift, dead lift, glute bridges
- Squat: Body weight squats, dumbbell goblet squats, weighted front/back squats, lunges, split squats
- Plank: Plank for time, plank with movement, bird dogs, side planks, heavy carries (farmer and suitcase)
To send your metabolism into a high gear, add cardio to the end of workouts. Be sure to make it fun by doing hill sprints, using rowing machines, climbing rock walls, or jumping rope.
If these exercises are done correctly, every movement will work the part of the body it is focused on, as well as other systems at the same time. However, like most things in life, you can do too much. This program should only be followed three or four times a week: more than that would be overtraining and would not allow the body to fully recover.
Every total body functional workout should incorporate these five movements. This programming technique will help you spend less time at the gym, increase strength, and add variety to your workouts. Contact FAST for to learn more about personal training techniques today.