Categories
Workout Tips Workouts

5 Functional Fitness Movements to Improve Your Overall Strength

How about one effective set of exercises? A set that covers the entire body, with each one targeted at a particular group of muscles. Welcome to functional workouts where you don’t need all the mod cons or top of the range gym equipment to get fitter and stay in shape.

This is where your functional fitness training will forge a plan to help you get in shape for the Summer.

The human body can perform seven primary movements, from which all other exercises are derived: Push, Pull, Squat, Rotation, Hinge, Lunge, and Gait.

Compound exercises like lunges, squats, and deadlifts usually make up a functional workout. Either the gym or home is great for functional fitness exercises. For instance, dumbbells or resistance bands can be used at home. You can also perform bodyweight movements like sit ups, pushups, squats, and planks.

It is easy to perform functional exercises with your own bodyweight serving as training resistance, hence, it is pretty much scalable and can be used by professional athletes, as well as everyday trainers.

Here are a 5 functional fitness training moves to try.

 

Farmers Walk

This is a very simple movement that only involves picking up a couple of weights and walking.

The weights can be increased to make it more difficult or achieve the same by walking further.

It is basic and functional at the same time because moving from one place to the other while carrying objects is an everyday routine for most people. You can use a kettlebell, dumbbell, or weighted case as weight.

To do the farmer’s walk correctly,

  • Pick up the weight and hold your shoulders back and maintain a tight posture.
  • Walk-in small, consistent steps for a distance of say from 10 to 15 steps and back again.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Bodyweight Squat

Stand with a shoulder-wide gap between both feet. While balancing your weight on your heels, take a squat position, hold it and then push up. Perform this movement in 20 reps for your first sessions.

With routine squatting training, you will find it easier to get off the ground, shovel snow, and move in and out of chairs. Though it is great when you start with simple bodyweight squats, assisted bodyweight squats are just as good if you find it too difficult at first.

 

Bear Crawl

  • Take a pushup position and bend your knees directly under your hips at an angle of 90 degrees. Keep your knees elevated. With your lower back remaining flat, not rising or rounding, contract your abs the way you would when taking a punch in the gut.
  • Maintain this contraction throughout the period. With this starting position, move a few inches forward on your right hand and left foot.
  • Stop and return to your starting position. Again, move a few inches forward on your right foot and left hand. Return to the starting point.
  • Repeat this for 2 minutes every 10 seconds. 

Push-ups

Good ol’ pushups are a fitness staple. It is a great functional exercise. You will develop a great deal of strength in your core with the ability to push yourself up while holding a firm position in a straight line without sinking.

You can also level up your pushups and create a more dynamic exercise by adding some variation.

Let your exercise plan include functional fitness training. This fitness routine has many benefits such as the faster recovery of muscles after injuries, posture improvement, fat elimination, stress relief, and an increase in endurance.

Kettlebell Swing

An explosive full-body movement, the kettlebell swing targets strength building along your hip range.

The kettlebell swing is performed as outlined below:

  • Position yourself bent-over with your back flat and then with both hands, grab the kettlebell by the handle.
  • Be prepared to jump up as you swing the kettlebell over your back.
  • With your feet firmly on the floor, jump up and swing up the kettlebell. At the climax of the movement, you should be standing at your full height.
  • In a reverse movement, bring down the kettlebell behind you again.
  • Repeat. 
Categories
WOD Workout Tips Workouts

5 Home Kettlebell Workouts To Help Build Muscle

Off the back of the recent government announcement of a 4 week lockdown we decided  to put together a selection of great home kettlebell workouts you can do that will help you to build muscle.


Before getting started on any of these workouts please remember to warm up! 

It doesn’t have to be a long warm up but you want to spend at least 5 minutes warming up your muscles and getting your heart rate up. You can easily find some routines on YouTube that suit your fitness level but the one below is a great one to use with the kettlebell workouts below.


 

1. King Kettlebell from WOD Well

5 Rounds for Time:

– 15 Kettlebell Swings (75/55 lb)
– 10 Lunges
– 15 calorie Assault Air Bike
– 10 Push-Ups
– 15 Sit-Ups
– 10 Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift High-Pulls (75/55 lb)

Via Wodwell

Kettlebell Swings

 


 

2. Home Workout from Joe Taylor

40 minute EMOM:⠀

– 250m run⠀
– 30 double unders + 10 kettlebell swings @ 24kg⠀
– 12 burpees over the kettlebell⠀
– rest⠀

Via @joetayla


 

3. Home Workout from Joe Taylor and JST Compete

4 minutes on 1 minute rest (x4)

– 8 handstand pushups
– 4/4 kettlebell thrusters
– 8 kettlebell swings

3 rounds and 8 handstand pushups on all 4 rounds – give it a go.

Via @joetayla

 

View this post on Instagram

 

No dumbbell, no problem 😬 . Thankfully I have been able to get away with using the kettlebell until I get my new @extremefitnessuk dumbbells on Friday 🙌 My shoulders were on 🔥 on this one @jst_compete… 4 minutes on 1 minute rest (x4) – 8 handstand pushups – 4/4 kettlebell thrusters – 8 kettlebell swings 3 rounds and 8 handstand pushups on all 4 rounds – give it a go. ———————————————————————— 💚 lookout for an @activitsnutrition giveaway coming over the next few days 😬 in the meantime get 10% off Activits on @reactnutrition – use code JT10 💰 #activits ———————————————————————— #kettlebellworkout #homeworkout #tuesdaymotivation #handstandpushups #thrusters

A post shared by Joe Taylor | CrossFit | Leeds (@joetayla) on


 

4. Kettle Bear from WOD Well

2 Rounds for Time

– 20 Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift High Pulls (24/16 kg)
– 20 Double-Unders
– 20 Single-Arm Overhead Walking Lunges (24/16 kg)
– 20 Double-Unders
– 20 Alternating Kettlebell Snatches (24/16)
– 20 Double-Unders
– 20 Kettlebell Clean-and-Presses (24/16 kg)
– 20 Double-Unders
– 20 Kettlebell Swings (24/16 kg)
– 20 Double-Unders

Via Wodwell

Kettlebell Workouts

 


 

5. Kettlebell Home WOD via Crossfit Bath

5 Rounds

– 15 Kettlebell / DB Swings
– 15 KB / DB Thrusters
– 15 Push Ups on KB / DB

Via Crossfit Bath

Kettlebell push Ups

 

 


 

Bonus Workouts. 10 Crossfit Workouts with a Kettlebell

Categories
Workout Tips

5 Home Workouts Without Equipment To Keep You in Shape

Off the back of the recent government announcement of a 4 week lockdown we decided  to put together a selection of great home workouts you can do without equipment. You can add dumbbells, resistance bands or kettlebells if you have them into these workouts but they aren’t essential.


Before getting started on any of these workouts please remember to warm up! 

It doesn’t have to be a long warm up but you want to spend at least 5 minutes warming up your muscles and getting your heart rate up. You can easily find some routines on YouTube that suit your fitness level but the one below is a great one to use.


 

1. (Home)Workout#15 from WOD Well

for time:

– 100 mountain climbers
– 80 squats
– 60 sit ups
– 40 tricep dips
– 20 burpees
– 40 push ups
– 60 alternating v-ups
– 80 lunges
– 100 mountain climbers

Via Wodwell and @heatherblackfit

Mountain Climbers

 


 

2. Home Workout from Joe Taylor

5 Rounds:

– 400m run
– 50/40/30/20/10 Lunges
– 100/80/60/40/20 Double Unders

Via @joetayla

 


 

3. Home Workout for 2 people alternating from Joe Taylor

25 Minute AMWRAP Burping Cindy into Annie.

Partner A completed Annie, whilst partner B completes an AMWRAP of Burping Cindy until Annie is finished

Annie
– 50/40/30/20/10 Double unders then sit ups

Burping Cindy
– 5 Burpees
– 10 Press ups
– 15 air squats

Via @joetayla

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Great #homeworkout for 2 people alternating so ideal for couples #couplesworkout, family or friends via Zoom #homeworkout shared by @joetayla from @formleeds It was a 25 minute AMRAP of Burping Cindy into Annie 💪 . Partner A completed Annie, whilst Partner B completed an AMRAP of Burping Cindy until Annie was finished – then swap. . Annie: 50/40/30/20/10 – double-unders – sit ups Burping Cindy: – 5 burpees – 10 press ups – 15 air squats #homeworkout #crossfituk #dumbbellworkout #crossfitmotivation #crossfitwod #crossfitbox #crossfitmotivation #homeworkout #fitnessmotivation #workoutideas #workoutmotivation #gymmotivation #wednesdayworkout #homeworkoutideas #crossfitworkout

A post shared by ActiVits (@activitsnutrition) on


 

4. (Home)Workout#14 from WOD Well

for time:

-100 sit ups
– 400m run
– 75 squats
– 400m run
– 50 push ups
– 400m run
– 75 squats
– 400m run
– 100 sit ups

Via Wodwell and @heatherblackfit

Running WOD

 


 

5. Super Legs

5 rounds for time:

– 20 Air Squats
– 20 Alternating Lunges
– 20 Alternating Split Squat Jumps
– 10 Squat Jumps

Via Wodwell

Crossfit home workout

 

 


 

6. Body Burner

1 Symmetrical Sequence:

– 50 air squats
– 10 burpees
– 40 sit ups
– 10 burpees
– 30 walking lunges
– 10 burpees
– 20 push ups
– 10 burpees
– 10 tuck jumps
– 10 burpees
– 20 push ups
– 10 burpees
– 30 walking lunges
– 10 burpees
– 40 sit ups
– 10 burpees
– 50 air squats

Via What’s Danny Doing

Crossfit full body burner wod

Categories
Workout Tips

Can a weight vest make you stronger and build muscle

What is a weight vest?

Weight vests are a great piece of training equipment generally made from heavy duty vinyl, they are worn over the torso, providing varying amounts of resistance depending on the weight of the vest. Most are designed so you can add or remove weight from them to increase or decrease the overall weight of the vest, which can help when varying exercise. They are very flexible in use and allow you full range of movement, they are often used in exercises such as: push ups, pull ups, runs, burpees, rope climbs, sit ups and many others. The weighted vest is perfect for bodyweight exercises and gives you a way to increase the intensity on the workout.


Before getting started

Some things to think about before using a weight vest:

Your current health
If you have any longterm conditions or injuries it would be good to first speak to your doctor or physician before training with a weight vest.

Your overall fitness level
You shouldn’t start with a fully loaded weight vest allow your body time to get used to it and increase the weight as you do, the last thing you want is to injure yourself.

What are the benefits of training with a weight vest? ⠀

Increase strength
Using a weigh vest during your workout will put your muscles under more stress than normal which will help you to improve your overall strength.⠀ ⠀

Improve your aerobic endurance
Wearing a weight vest during cardio workouts such as jogging tire you out quicker which will improve your aerobic endurance.

Help you to lose weight
Wearing a weight vest during your workout will make your body work harder this in turn will mean you need to get more oxygen into your system and to your muscles, this process will burn more calories due to the increased intensity. Wearing a weight vest can speed up and improve your weight loss goals.⠀

Improves your cardiovascular system
The effect wearing a weight vest has on your heart rate and intake of oxygen through training improves your cardio system which helps you when lifting weights.

Strengthens your core
The added weight during exercises helps to build your core more than without a weighted vest.

Musculoskeletal system
The additional weight puts your body under more stress to support it this which will start building extra muscle to support this but it will also start to strengthen your bones and connective tissue, which can help in avoiding injuries.

 

What exercises can you do with a weighted vest?

This is a great example of the flexibility when using a weighted vest, they work great with any kind of bodyweight exercise or cardio exercises like jogging or when working your core. Try wearing a weighted vest when planking to take it to a whole other level! The most well known vest workout is the ‘Murph’ which was named in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y who was killed in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005. This was one of his favourite exercises that he named ‘Body armour’ but forever on it is now the Murph to remember and honour a focused warrior and war hero.

‘Murph’

For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

Categories
Workout Tips

How to improve your snatch technique and increase your strength

Snatch is one of the olympic lifts used in Crossfit and is one of the hardest full-body exercises is the snatch and can take years to properly master but when performed correctly it can have more benefits than any other single movement. The olympic lifts in general but especially the snatch activates muscle fibres quickly due to the explosiveness of the movement. This explosiveness is something that benefits all forms of sport and it teaches you to to use your muscles in the proper sequence or a chain of events this can help you improve your form with other movements.

Why is it important?

Some benefits of the snatch include:

Core strength
Building your core strength is not only crucial to improve your snatch technique but will help with all other movements and workouts in general

Lat strength
The snatch really helps to improve your lat strength and hits that muscle group in a few ways through the movement.

Flexibility
The reason why some find the snatch tough especially if you are purely into bodybuilding is due to flexibility but also the benefit from the exercise if you persist with it is improved flexibility.

Body awareness (Proprioception)
This one is more important than you think, the more complex movements and the more focused you are on getting form right the more you will tune into your own body. this gives you the bonus of beginning to tap into your weight distribution, alignment, posture and balance all of which will help you in all areas of your life.

Kinetic chain syncronization
Being able to synchronise your body through a series of movements again is something that will aid your overall training.

Explosive power
One of the attributes sought after in most sporting disciplines.

Improved mobility
The snatch works a number of joints as part of the sequence and as long as your form is correct and you aren’t doing any of the most common mistakes (see below) this can be great for your mobility and strength around those joints. 

Faster sprinting
If you add explosive power, improved flexibility, improved mobility and increased leg strength from training this movement you get faster sprinting. 

 

How to improve your snatch technique for crossfit

 

What are the most common mistakes when it comes to snatching?

Common mistakes when performing the snatch. ⠀ ⠀

Inconsistent grip widths
Loss of focus can sometimes lead to inconsistent grip widths which can effect the set up of the movement, bracing and overall body position during the movement.⠀ ⠀

Hips/Pelvis shooting up in snatch pull
Many lifters fail to synchronise the hips and shoulders moving upwards together which causes the hamstrings and hips to take the brunt of the force from the pull.⠀ ⠀

Shoulders falling backwards in snatch pull
Has the opposite effect of the last point whereby the shoulders take the brute force of the pull if not synced with hips.

 

How can you improve your snatch technique?

 

Hip Width Stance
Set up with a hip width stance and toes under the bar, if you start with your toes away from the bar it will stay away from you during the movement.

Hands Wide + Hook Grip
Your hands should be wide so that the bar rests in the crease fo your hips when standing and you should be using a hook grip on the bar.

Don’t forget your shoulders
Your shoulders should be slightly in front of the bar to begin with.

Rise in unison
Your hips and shoulders should rise together at the same rate.

Don’t forget the shrug
You should shrug to start of the pull.

Wait till the bottom
Bar should be received at the bottom of an overhead squat.

Extend, extend, extend
At completion you should have full hip, knee and importantly arm extension.


Mobility drills
Use these drills to improve your shoulder mobility for the snatch.


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