Want to know the secret to getting stronger and more fit every day? I’ve done a lot of research in my time, and also a lot of different work outs. In my point of view, the best bodies are not the ones that have the most muscles or are the skinniest, they are the ones that can function in the most ways. Functional fit bodies are the ones that move the smoothest and explode the quickest. This meant that I can put you in any sport and you will be a decent player in a matter of hours.
There are a few categories to fulfill in being an adequate functional athlete:
- Stamina: In any sport, you’re going to have to move your body. Learning to keep up is vital
- Strength: Whether in dodgeball or football, you’ll have to apply force to an object. Be strong enough to do so
- Speed: The faster you are, the harder you are to catch. Speed means both acceleration and top speed
- Flexibility: You can reach further and stretch further. Flexibility is underrated.
- Core Strength & Balance: This is a category on its own, as I feel this is the most important. The core muscles incorporate everything from the bottom of your chest to the top of your knees. If you can strong muscles here, everything else is fall into place. The stronger core you have, the more balance and stable your body will become.
Through my years of training, I’ve researched and discovered the 7 best exercises for training your inner functional athlete. The method to become a top tier functional athlete is quite simple…
EXERCISE #1: Two Arm Kettlebell Swing
The Kettlebell Swing is perhaps the most effective exercise of them all. If you do nothing else, do this one exercise. It is a total body workout, with focus on your core, arms, and glutes. Do this at about 70-80% of your max weight, and do for at least 75 reps. Perform it 3-4 times a week and in 5 weeks you will see a major difference.
EXERCISE #2: Lunges (with weights)
To strength your core & balance, perform lunges with weights in both hands. This also works on your thighs/leg strength, giving you a more explosive acceleration in sports. Do this with light weights, and do 3 sets of 20 reps(steps).
EXERCISE #3: Sprints
Modern marathon runners have now quit the traditional approach of running long distance for 5 hours a day. They choose to do short bursting sprints of 100 – 400 meters to build their speed, and surprisingly builds their stamina as well. For starters, perform 400 meters x 4 laps at 90% max effort, with a 2 minute rest in between each lap.
EXERCISE #4: Myotatic Crunch on BOSU/Exercise Ball
If you want to build up your 6 pack quickly, Myotatic crunches are the best. Perform 20 reps a day, for 4 days a week. To make it harder, add weights in your hands. However, I recommend adding less than 10 pounds maximum.
EXERCISE #5: Turkish Get Up
This is a foundation exercise that is fantastic for preventing injuries. Once again, it is a whole body exercise using the kettlebell. It is a stabilizing exercise that works on your balance and torque strength in combination. It’s hard to explain the Turkish get up here, so I recommend you looking up the exact directions for it. I recommend doing 10 reps a day, for 3 days in a week.
EXERCISE #6: 2 Arm Single Leg Deadlift
Another core stability and strength exercise. It also works on your one foot balance. Use 2 dumbbells that add up to about 50-60% of your max weight. Perform 2 sets per leg, at 10 reps each.
EXERCISE #7: Yoga
The final exercise isn’t really an exercise. Attending a Yoga class once a week can change your life. It works on your flexibility, core strength, and everything else. The biggest lessons I learned are the ways of using your breath. You learn to release tension and stresses through your depth of your breath.