Functional Strength Training Workout
Functional Strength Training is becoming increasingly important to combat our increasingly sedentary life. When our jobs included long days in the wilderness hunting and gathering, or field work on a farm from dawn to dusk our bodies were pushed physically and our diets were making up for calories lost at work. However, now we find ourselves sitting in the car, sitting at work, and then sitting in front of the tv/computer when we get home. All of that sitting is taking a toll on our overall physical well-being.
What functional workouts provide is a means to physically push our bodies outside of the seated position and through a wide range of motion. This will help alleviate joint stiffness and pain that comes from sedentary life and will also tone and sculpt those muscles that define an ideal physique. By doing functional strength training the body will also respond better in our day to day lives. A stronger core will improve posture and reduce back pain. Stronger hip flexors will help align your knees and ankles, which is important not only for a weekend runner, but also for the weekend shopper.
More Bang for your Buck
The reason the Wide Knee-up Push-up and other Functional Strength Training is so beneficial is the extra incorporation of otherwise unused muscle groups. Without the Kbands this exercise is good, however when the Kbands are included so then are all the muscles in the stationary leg as well as the pulling leg. The resistance bands are what push this functional workout to the next level. As one leg moves wide of the body it will pull against the stationary leg, and that leg must then compensate. This means more results with less time.
The other benefit to this functional strength training movement is in how the Kbands force all muscles engaged to work at a higher capacity. Because the Kbands provide resistance the movement requires more effort from beginning to end. More effort equals more calories burned and more muscle toning in much less time.
Tips for the Wide Knee-up Push-up
From beginning to end it is important to keep a straight flat back. This is the foundation, the core. From their focus on widening the hips while doing the Knee-up portion, and keep the knee pointed away from the body. This will ensure proper muscle engagement. Bring the knee as far forward as possible - this will vary with strength, but the goal is for it to be even with the arm-pit. Move slowly through the full range of motion to get the most out of this functional workout.
There are many options for this exercise as far as how many and in what order. A one knee-up to one push-up ratio with alternating legs will have a faster pace with the shoulders tiring possibly before the hips and abs. A four knee-up to one push-up ratio is mentioned in the video and will focus more on the core and lower body. For the truly hard core a more complex movement can be attempted where the push-up is done during the knee-up. There are a lot of moving parts in this high-end functional strength training movement, so reserve it for when the basics are mastered.
Recovery After a Functional Workout
Since functional strength training is all about a higher effort through a full range of motion it is very important to stretch through that full range of motion in the cool down phase. By choosing Kbands to intensify the workout we’ve burned calories faster and toned muscles with less overall workout time. Rather than simply cut out early, use the extra time to stretch. Stretching helps accomplish multiple goals that are a part of a functional workout.
- Stretching ensures less pain in the joints post workout.
- Stretching lengthens the muscles after routine and promotes blood flow, which will reduce that post workout ache.
- Increased blood flow will help heal all the damage done during the workout (small damage is good, it’s how the muscle gets stronger).
- Stretching helps us breathe and reenergize after a good session, helping us enjoy that post workout high.
After the Wide Knee-up Push-up it will be important to stretch the shoulders and the legs. The Kbands Recovery Roller is a great tool to get the most from the recovery phase, and there is an entire section of our website dedicated to post workout recovery. Follow these links for the IT Band Stretching Recovery Roller video (which will loosen that tight outer thigh), the Shoulder Stretching Recover Roller, and the Hamstring Stretching Recovery Roller. With these videos and the Recovery Roller you won’t want to skip the cool down again.
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