Happy Thursday to you,
I’m pleased to inform that we are all steaming along nicely with the 30 day kettlebell clean challenge.
This week sees the introduction of the clean, squat and press which is a very challenging complex for the whole body, not to mention the heart and lungs too!
If you have ever tried 10 reps of this full body exercise then you will know what I’m talking about 🙂
If you haven’t started the challenge yet, then what are you waiting for? Everything you need is right here.
Finally, thanks for all the wonderful feedback I received on the new website workout app.
Now you have no excuses, if ever you are lost for what to do, or need some motivation then you can generate a workout with just one click.
You may have heard this buzz word bandied about at your local gym.
Functional training refers to exercises and workouts that have transferable benefits to daily life or activities.
For example, soccer players should use exercises that help them get better at soccer and prevent them from getting injured.
Bicep curls or overhead presses would not be the best choice for a soccer player.
And just as you can use functional training for sports you can also use it for daily life too.
For example, those who love gardening should focus more on learning to bend correctly while keeping their back nice and protected.
The kettlebell clean and other hip hinge movements would be a perfect choice for gardeners as they have excellent carry over to bending.
Each activity, whether an occupation, sport, or hobby has movements that functional training can help to improve and protect.
Tennis and squash players need lots of lunges, runners need single leg strength, martial artists and kayakers need good rotational core strength, plasterers need overhead stability, and desk workers need better thoracic mobility.
Back in 2006 I started to take functional training seriously, I swore I would never use another bicep curl or tricep extension again. No longer would I think in old body building terms of chest days or back days.
As you know, I now think in movement patterns. I want each movement to serve many purposes. I want each exercise to improve your life.
When you learn to clean a kettlebell you not only activate 100’s of muscle in one go but you also improve your motor skills so you can pick up a heavy object from the floor safely.
When you lunge nice and deep, you not only create a stunning backside and legs but you also strengthen your knees and improve your overall hip mobility so running and stair climbing is easier.
Functional training is a way to have your cake and eat it!
You can get strong, look great but also have skills that carry over to daily life so you can live long and pain free.
What can be better than that!
Learn more: Ultimate guide to functional training
Here’s a quick 4 minute core workout from my 37 core workouts:
- Hip Openers x 60 seconds
- Dead Bugs x 60 seconds
- Bird Dog with Rotation Left x 60 seconds
- Bird Dog with Rotation Right x 60 seconds
There is lot of great stuff going on in this core workout.
The hip openers not only improve your hips but your core and upper back mobility too. The dead bugs are great for improving pelvis stability so you can control your pelvis during movement.
Finally, the bird dogs are the ultimate back line strengthening exercise from the Glutes up to the neck. Then add in the rotation and you get core sling strengthening from shoulder to opposite hip across the front.
Breathe in on extension then draw your belly button inwards as you bring elbow to knee to improve your inner core stabilisers.
Here’s a question that was emailed to me this week:
Q. My left side is much weaker how should I improve this with my training?
A. When exercising it is always a good habit to start each exercise with your weakest side. So if you are weak on your left side then make sure you always start each set with your left.
Now for the important part, never perform more with your stronger side than with your weaker side. So if you manage 8 reps with your left then you ONLY perform 8 reps with your right.
For most people just making this simple change is enough for the weak side to catch up over time. However, if there is a large difference then you can add in one final set only on your weak side. Like this:
- Set 1: Lunge left 8 reps / Lunge right 8 reps
- Set 2: Lunge left 8 reps / Lunge right 8 reps
- Set 3: Lunge left 8 reps / Lunge right 8 reps
- Set 4: Lunge left 8 reps
OK, that’s all for today.