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Functional Exercises

Bhakti Satalkar Jan 22, 2019
The latest trend in the world of fitness are functional exercises. It originated in rehabilitation processes. However, more and more people are looking at them as a form of fitness as well.
Functional exercises involve training the body to perform the daily activities in life better.
Physical therapists developed exercises on the lines of activities, which are done at home or at work, so that the patients can return to their normal lives after an injury or surgery. It usually involves weight bearing activities, which target the core muscles of the abdomen, lower back, etc.
These activities aim at helping the patients perform the activities more easily and without any injury. Some exercise equipment is required for doing these exercises, namely cable machines, dumbbells, medicinal balls, exercise balls, resistance tubes, balance disks, sandbags, etc.

Functional Exercise Training

Push Ups

It is the best exercise for the shoulders and chest. It also helps in firming the chest, arms, abs, and back. You can start off with wall push ups and then after some practice, you can make use of the kitchen counter for added intensity.
  • Place your hand on the wall or kitchen counter a little wider than your shoulder width.
  • Your feet should be placed about 1 foot away from the wall (1½ feet away from the kitchen counter) and keep hip width distance between your feet.
  • Now slowly without lifting your feet or moving your hands, push your torso towards the wall.
  • Hold in the position and return to the starting position. You will be able to do approximately 8 to 10 push ups, while you wait for your food to warm up in the microwave.


Most of the actions we do through the whole day like reaching, lifting, bending, involve an element of squatting or lunging. The functional exercise for legs is squats. They help in strengthening the knees, quadriceps, and the gluteal muscles.
  • Stand with a shoulder width distance between your feet and keep your hands at shoulder level.
  • Slowly lower your torso, so that your thighs and feet are perpendicular to each other.
  • Make sure, when you come down in the position, your knees do not protrude further than your toes.

Back Extension

Back pain is a chronic problem faced by a number of people. This is very true of our elders. To relieve yourself of the back pain, back extension is the best exercise. It helps in strengthening the back muscles and it also helps in releasing the tension, which mounts on the cervical disc.
  • Lie face down on the floor and place your hands besides your body.
  • Slowly lift your chest off the floor, but make sure you do not use your hands for support.
  • Do not strain your neck but keep it straight, use the back muscles.
  • Hold in the position for 5 seconds and come back to the starting position and repeat.


This is one of the exercises for runners. It retains the bending habits and gives free leg and back exercises at the same time. Doing this exercise properly helps in preventing back and knee pain.
  • Stand erect with your feet apart. Slowly slide one foot behind you, but make sure that your foot is placed straight and not turned out.
  • Tuck the hips, so that the back is not arched and there is a considerable stretch on the back and hip.
  • Bend your knees, so that your knees dip to the floor, but do not touch the floor.
  • When you are bending your knees, make sure, the knee of the front foot is over the ankle.
Remember that functional exercises are not the normal exercises, which you repeat 12 to 15 times. When you are doing the exercise, you should concentrate the effects which the exercise has on different body parts. This will help in strengthening the respective muscles and also prevent any form of injury.