As most of you would notice we spend a lot of time designing and creating programs that are focused on functional fitness for your stage of life, your sport or general body maintenance. Sometimes there are exercises that you don’t particularly like but they play an important role in your body mechanics and well-being as well as injury prevention as you age. Here are some of those moves and their brief purpose:
Lunges – These can be completed using only your body weight or with dumbbells or suspension straps, they help strengthen you lower limbs which in turn support you lower back. .
Crawl patterns – Now bear crawls (or any version of them) are nobody’s favourite but this exercise is based on human developmental sequences. It has applications in rehabilitation and core training and has neural benefits since more complex movements engage both sides of the brain.
Single-leg exercises – These help to develop balance and are a great exercise to assist with asymmetries. They are also very functional because walking, jogging and running involve literally falling and coming to balance on one leg before transitioning to repeat on the other leg.
Turkish get-up – one of my favourites (Michelle), this is an old-school strength exercise that has applications and benefits for everyone. It can be broken down into four separate movements that can be trained separately and then integrated into one sequence. It is great to do with a dumbbell or kettlebell and a perfect all over body exercise.
Rotational pushing and pulling movements – These can be performed with cables and/or resistance bands, or a suspension training system. The most powerful way for us to move is through rotation.
If these skills are not practised and optimised, then our ability to perform such actions gradually decline, leading to a higher likelihood of injury and decreases in performance.