We’ve come to love every kind of workout at aSweatLife. Whether that’s one of our go-to favorites or something we go to with a friend because it’s her go-to favorite, we love it all – in and out of the gym.
But we do some workouts more frequently and other perfectly good forms of exercise just fall by the wayside. I know that I should work more functional movements into my workout routine, but it’s in my “wayside” category. When I do make time for functional fitness, I’m always surprised by how exhausted I am by the end of the workout.
What’s functional fitness? According to the Mayo Clinic, “Functional fitness exercises train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports.”
This set of functional and bodyweight exercises is your 30-minute workout of the day.
It also just so happens to be themed after animals – they’re pretty much functional-movement machines. (Also, who doesn’t love a good themed workout?)
The key with these movements is to aim for fluidity and to keep up a steady pace throughout the :60 of work. Keep your transitions smooth from move to move.
Here’s your next 30 minutes:
You’ll go through each of the following 10 exercises below for 60 seconds each without any breaks. After your first set, rest for :30 to :60, then repeat again, doing all 10 exercises, two more times total.
These functional movement exercises start slowly, so they can be your warm-up as well as your workout. Try this workout and let us know what you think in this short survey.
- Flamingo (:30/:30)
- Bear push-ups
- Crab toe touches
- Pelican push-ups
- Gorilla shuffles
- Bird dog (full plank or modified, :30/:30)
- Modified froggers
- Swimming butterfly crunches
Here’s what the moves look like:
Inchworm: Start standing. Fold forward, keeping your legs mostly straight (a slight bend in your knees is fine). Walk your hands out to your plank position, with your legs all the way straight and shoulders over wrists. Engage your core to walk your hands back to your feet, legs still straight. Stand back up.
Flamingo (complete :30 on your right and :30 on your left): Stand on one leg and draw your knee into your chest, as you bend your standing leg, send your lifted leg behind you, hinge your body forward and bend knee behind knee. Squeeze your legs together at the bottom of your one-legged squat. Exhale to stand back up, bringing your knee into your chest. Switch legs after 30 seconds.
Bear push-ups: Start on all fours. Tuck your toes under and hover your knees off the ground. Exhale to hop both hands out at the same time and land low into your push-up position, elbows bent close beside you. Then press back up and hop your hands simultaneously back to your starting position. Take out any part of the hops as you start to fatigue and just move one hand and then the other forward/back.
Froggers: Start in an athletic stance and bring your hands to the ground. Exhale to hop your feet straight back to a plank, keeping a slight bend in your knees. Then hop your feet back forward outside of your hands, landing with heels down and hands still on the ground.
Crab toe touches: Set up in a reverse table top position, with your shoulders held back and down and your hips lifted. Exhale to lift your right leg and your left arm up and towards each other so that your fingertips reach for your toes. Return to your reverse table top and switch sides. Keep your hips level and lifted the entire time.
Pelican push-ups: From down dog, keep your elbows wrapped in and slide your body through your arms until you pull yourself up to upward facing dog, keep your hips off the ground the whole time. As you exhale, lift from your back and pull your hips back up high, landing softly in your down dog again.
Gorilla shuffles: You’ll move low to the ground the entire time here. From a squatting position, extend both arms straight out to the right of you. Put your weight into your hands, lift your hips and slide your body to the right. Now your hands will be outstretched to the left of you. Move your hands back to the right to continue the same motion in the same direction. Switch the direction of your movements every 4 shuffles.
Bird dog (full plank or modified, complete :30 on your right and :30 on your left): Either from table top or a full plank position, extend your right leg back and left arm forward. Exhale to round your spine and draw your knee towards your nose and elbow in towards your knee. Inhale to extend back out long, keeping your hips and shoulders square to the ground the whole time. Switch sides after :30.
Modified froggers: From a plank position, step your right foot up and outside of your right hand, as close to your wrist as possible. Engage your core muscles to hop-switch your legs, landing with your left foot outside of your left hand and your right foot straight behind you. To modify, your foot can come half the distance to your wrist.
Swimming butterfly crunches: Lie on your back, with your feet in a diamond shape and your arms overhead. Exhale to sit all the way up, keeping your feet together, open your arms out wide and reaching forward towards your feet. Lift your feet up as you reach the top of your sit-up. As you lower, bring your back down one vertebra at a time and move your hands through the center of your body and back up overhead.
(Disclaimer: This workout is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor is it a replacement for seeking medical treatment or professional nutrition advice. Do not start any nutrition or physical activity program without first consulting your physician.)