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Func­tion­al Fit­ness: 5 Essen­tial Exer­cis­es That Will Pre­pare You for Your Every­day Chal­lenges

We’ve all been there: After a long day at work you’ve bare­ly man­aged to go gro­cery shop­ping and run the basic errands. You don’t even remem­ber the way home and now you’re faced with the last chal­lenge of the day: climb­ing the stairs to your apart­ment, while bal­anc­ing two full bags of gro­ceries. Sud­den­ly the 30 steps look more like the Kil­i­man­jaro and not like a sim­ple stair­well. You take in a deep breath and start the ago­niz­ing climb and after a few min­utes that feel like hours, you’ve final­ly reached your apart­ment. Now that you’re grasp­ing for air, you’re won­der­ing if life real­ly has to be this hard? News­flash: it doesn’t!

Peo­ple who exer­cise reg­u­lar­ly and pre­pare them­selves with sim­ple exer­cis­es for their every­day chal­lenges, will most like­ly still be a lit­tle out of breath, but prob­a­bly not feel like they’ve climbed a moun­tain. So we’ve put togeth­er five easy func­tion­al exer­cis­es select­ed from Valerie Bönström’s and Katha­ri­na Brinkmann’s book about func­tion­al train­ing. With Func­tion­al Train­ing für Frauen they’ve cre­at­ed an acces­si­ble and easy to under­stand guide that helps any­one to pre­pare their body for their unique every­day chal­lenges.


1. Mobi­liz­ing the spine in table­top posi­tion

This exer­cise is also a pop­u­lar yoga warm-up as it slow­ly eas­es the body into the work­out. 

You’re in table­top posi­tion. Knees are in align­ment with the hips, hands are aligned with the shoul­ders. The toes are curled under your feet and you look toward the floor, while you length­en your spine.

Now, try to pull your bel­ly but­ton toward your spine and there­by move your pelvis for­ward. Smooth­ly round your spine and move your chin toward your chest in order to cre­ate even more length in your spine.

After this, move in the oppo­site direc­tion: low­er your bel­ly but­ton and tilt your pelvis back­ward. Move your glutes and ster­nup up. Pull your shoul­der blades back­ward and low­er them, while your eyes wan­der for­ward. Try to repeat this exer­cise smooth­ly 5- to 8-times.

2.Rotation in table­top posi­tion

You’re in table­top posi­tion again. Knees are in align­ment with the hips, hands are aligned with the shoul­ders. The toes are curled under your feet and you look toward the floor, while you length­en your spine.

Now, the right arm reach­es up, while your upper body opens up. Pull back your right shoul­der. Your eyes move toward the fin­ger­tips of your right hand. After this, you move back into the ini­tial posi­tion and you per­form the exer­cise on the oth­er side. Repeat 5- to 8-times.

 3. Dynam­ic lunge

This exer­cise starts in an upright posi­tion. Your feet are aligned with your hips and your arms are loose­ly placed in front of your chest.

Now you step for­ward with your right foot. Your right thigh is par­al­lel to the floor and the left knee is close to the ground. Make sure the right knee is direct­ly over your ankle. Your upper body remains upright through­out the exer­cise. 

Now step into anoth­er lunge, this time with the left foot. Repeat 5- to 8-times.

4.Dynamic side lunge

For this type of lunge you need a tow­el. Place it under your left foot. This exer­cise also starts in an upright posi­tion. Your left foot is placed on the tow­el, your toes point to the out­er edge. Your arms are loose­ly placed in front of your chest.


Now you move the tow­el with your foot toward the left side. Bend your knee while mov­ing and low­er­ing your glutes back­ward. Your right thigh is almost par­al­lel to the floor and your left leg is elon­gat­ed. Now you smooth­ly pull back your leg to your body, bring­ing your upper body back into an upright posi­tion. Repeat this exer­cise 5- to 8-times, then move to the oth­er side.

5. Indoor-row­ing

For this exer­cise you need a door and a tow­el. Posi­tion your­self, fac­ing the upper edge of the door. Tie your tow­el around both sides of the door han­dle. Place your feet on the left and right side of the door. Now grab your tow­el and bend your body back­wards until your arms are straight. Your upper body is acti­vat­ed. Make sure your back is always straight.


Now, bend your elbows and pull your upper body as close to the door as pos­si­ble. Move your elbows close to your body to sta­bi­lize your upper body. After that bend your body slow­ly back­wards again. Repeat this exer­cise 5- to 8-times.


Con­clu­sion: With these five sim­ple and easy exer­cis­es you can pre­pare your body for your unique every­day chal­lenges, because who wouldn’t want to effort­less­ly car­ry the gro­cery bags up on the third floor?


Pho­to cred­it: Nils Schwarz

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