What is functional strength training?
Functional strength training takes us back to basics with tools like dumbbells, kettlebells, weighted balls, resistance bands, and even just bodyweight. You don’t always need eight sets of weights or an expensive gym membership to get an efficient workout. (Yes! You read that right!) Today I'm sharing my favorite way to break a sweat–and the holy grail of my own fitness journey–functional strength training.
I’m gonna show you how much of a burn is possible with just one piece of equipment (resistance bands!) and some creativity in this intense booty circuit to work the glutes, legs, and core.
Benefits of functional strength training
Because functional strength training encourages us to use our body as a whole rather than isolating one part of it (think: a stationary machine, for example), you reap a few incredible benefits.
- You build strength that’s adaptable inside and outside of the gym,
- You work your large muscle groups and your smaller stabilizer muscles,
- Finally, you burn some serious calories combining strength training with moderate to intense cardio.
Loop Band Better Booty Circuit with @fuelingfunction
Perfect for: runners with tight hips
These moves strengthen the glutes and hamstrings but also target an area many of us have issues with: our hip flexors. If you’re a runner, you know that the source of almost all injuries can be whittled down to hip strength. Our trunk muscles (the glutes and hips) play a crucial role in keeping our stride strong, smooth, and injury-free for the long haul.
Improves: balance and coordination
This workout is functional because the movements challenge balance and coordination. The single-legged kicks are much harder than they look so plant both feet as often as you need to in the beginning. As you become more comfortable on one leg, start to challenge the length of time you can go single-legged. Once you start feeling comfortable with the movements, try using a tighter band! The tension will strengthen your stabilizer muscles in the knees and hips while simultaneously engaging your core.
Tightens and tones: booty, legs + core
Last (and most difficult) I’ve incorporated some plyometrics (jump training) into this loop band circuit to burn the bejeezus out of your lower body. I like to end my workouts with some challenging cardio to have the total satisfaction that I gave it my all!
APRIL GALLEGOS | FUELINGFUNCTION.COM
April Gallegos is the founder of Fueling Function, a food and wellness blog devoted to streamlining a healthy lifestyle. April shares nutrient-dense meal prep recipes and training tips that promote functional strength. In her free time, April loves breaking a sweat, drinking iced coffee, and spoiling her Jack Russell Terrier. Read more >
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