Functional Workouts – 6 Movements

bigstock-woman-workout-fitness-posture--21838448When you have a few minutes, what do you do for fun? I don’t know about you, but I make up new workout routines. I’m designing a workout I call the “Push-Pull Punisher” right now, but this post is about functional training.

There are many ways to design a workout. The last post showed how to design based on two important fitness scales. Another way is to design for functional activity; that is, the workout reflects how you use your body every day.


The human body has only 6 basic movements: push (upper/lower body), pull (upper/lower body), bend (torso, extremities), twist (torso, extremities), squat (lower body) and lunge (lower body). These correlate to things like: closing a car door, taking a can from a shelf, picking up a child, reaching for a doorknob, standing up from a chair, and walking.

When designing a workout for these functional patterns, think about whole-body movements and strengthening your core. Body weight exercises are ideal for this type of workout because they are combination, multi-joint, multi-planar and emphasize stability and mobility.

You can do the arm movements of these exercises with or without weight (a few dumbbells or a resistance/medicine ball) and have a solid workout. Always maintain good technique. If you can’t maintain good technique, then you should stop or modify the exercise–for example, by sitting rather than standing.

  • Warm up 5 minutes – step run, high knee run, jumping lacks, etc.
  • 10 Push Ups from knees or toes (Push, Bend)
  • 10 Curtsy Lateral Raise (Pull, Bend, Lunge)
  • 10 Squat Press (Push, Squat)
  • 10 Bent Row (Pull, Bend)
  • 10 Bridge to Plank (Push, Bend)
  • 10 Ab Chop (Bend, Twist)
  • Cool down 5 minutes – walk, stretch



You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.