“Functional training” has become one of the buzz words in the health and fitness industry in the last several years. So, what is functional training? Functional training involves exercising the body in ways that prepare it for activities of daily living. Physical therapists were the original teachers of functional training, as the method is used to help patients recover from injuries or surgeries and return to their normal activities that they need to perform at home and work. In the context of the fitness world, functional training helps you to be able to perform activities of daily living safely and more efficiently. If your typical activities involve sports, functional training can also be applied to help you improve certain skills that you use in the sport.
Functional exercises tend to involve multiple joints and muscles. Most functional training is performed while weight-bearing and likely involves muscles of the hip flexors, abdomen, and back. A great example of a functional exercise is the squat. The squat involves both the hip and the knee joints and activates the primary muscles of the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus. As secondary stabilizer muscles, the erector spinae, transverse abdominus, abductors, adductors, and calf muscles are also activated with the squat. The squat can easily be applied to daily activity as it mimics being able to sit down and get back up. There are numerous types of functional exercises, including the deadlift, pull-up, push-up, lunge, kettlebell swing, and any number of compound movements, such as a squat to overhead press.
Exercises that are performed on machines tend to be at the lower end of the functional training continuum because machines isolate muscles and joints. That is not to say that machines should never be incorporated into workouts, as there are good uses for isolating muscles at times. However, if you are hoping to strengthen your body in a way that allows you to apply the strength to your everyday life, you definitely need to incorporate some functional training into your workouts. Come check us out at the Tough Spot Gym to learn more about functional training!
Spotters ever since we mounted the TRX in The Tough Spot Gym, we must say as of late it’s been our preferred tools for conditioning regimens. If used correctly, the TRX can be highly beneficial for any functional training program. This exercise is one of the toughest I can think of, when it’s done correctly. It involves every muscle in your upper body and core through the entire range of motion. Now Spotters enjoy.
Every muscle group has a gold-standard exercise for strength and growth. These time-tested compound movements form the backbone of any training regimen. When it comes to back training, no exercise can equal the pull-up for effectiveness and versatility.Despite its usefulness, the same big guys who jump at the chance to get under the bar for a double heavy bench press shy at the thought of jumping up to a pull-up bar. Yeah Spotters , pull-ups are tough , Sure, you might be bad at them. But everybody has to start somewhere. Now rise above the rest
Ever heard of the farmer’s walk exercise (think farmer walking with heavy milk containers)? Do the farmer’s walk exercise to primarily improve core
strength (especially back strength), grip strength and burn fat. The farmers walk routine can be done to improve maximal strength or to improve endurance & strength. If you are doing the farmer’s walk exercise to improve maximal strength, you will use heavy dumbbells. The combined weight of the dumbbells should be about equal to your body weight. You may have to work your way up to this amount of weight by improving your deadlift, squat & grip strength. Walk 10-15 yards, stop set the dumbbells down or let them drop. Rest for a minute then walk back. Use good upright posture and look straight ahead while walking! Never lean forward or jut your head forward while walking. If you are trying to build serious strength work up to walking with each dumbbell being equal to your bodyweight. If you are trying to improve endurance strength, do the farmer’s walk with lighter dumbbells. Experiment with the dumbbell weight amount so you are challenged. To up the intensity add an elevation mask coupled with timed farmer’s walk intervals. Now come take a walk with us on the wild side.
Push ups are a great work out that exercises your chest, shoulders, triceps, abdomen and lateral muscles (connecting to your back). They’re also extremely easy to do and are a more than adequate alternative to bulky equipment or costly gym memberships. Still, they can be awfully boring if they’re the only thing you do, and boredom is the death knell of a consistent exercise routine. As well, you might not be maximizing the workout potential by doing traditional push ups only. Get more from your push-up routine try our KATMA Strength & Conditioning Guide Tough Spotters push routine to keep it spicy
Whether it’s for business or pleasure, it’s easy to skip out on your workouts when you’re traveling and don’t have access to the Tough Spot Gym or your usual workout routine. Although we definitely believe in the benefits of taking a well-deserved rest from hardcore Tough Spot workouts once in a while, if you travel frequently or for long periods of time, it becomes necessary to find a way to maintain your workouts. The following are some tips that will help you to stay active and fit while traveling:
1.) Try to book a hotel with access to a fully-equipped gym: Although most hotel gyms offer little besides a few pieces of cardio equipment, some hotels do have contracts with local gyms in order to offer free or reduced access to guests. Or, if you can afford the higher-end hotel/resort, the hotel gym may come fully-equipped, which will make it very convenient for you to fit in your workouts.
2.) Plan ahead and check rates with local gyms: If you are unable to find a hotel with access to a fully-equipped gym, check out the local gyms. Many gyms offer day or week passes designed for those who are traveling. This will allow you to have access to most of the equipment you need for a Tough Spot workout.
3.) Incorporate bodyweight exercises into your routine: If it proves to be too difficult to find a fully-equipped gym, don’t worry! It’s entirely possible to create a tough workout using only bodyweight exercises. Push-ups, squats, planks, handstand push-ups, sit-ups, dips, leg raises, bridges, calf raises, burpees, supermans, and many different variations of these exercises can be done with only your bodyweight.
4.) Find a playground or workout station: A playground will give you access to bars, which can be used for pull-ups and hanging abdominal exercises. If you are traveling to a tourist location in a warm beach climate, you may also find workout stations designed specifically for this purpose. Check along the beaches and running/walking trails.
5.) Improvise what you already have for the use of equipment: You can turn your duffel bag or suitcase into a weight! Stuff it full of your (non-fragile) belongings and use it as you would a sandbag in your workouts.
6.) Pack a few light pieces of equipment: We’re not suggesting that you take dumbbells or kettlebells in your suitcase, but a resistance band and TRX straps are light and don’t take up too much room. This equipment could also go a long way in helping you to create fun workouts while traveling.
7.) Take advantage of sightseeing while using the local terrain for workouts: If you are traveling to the beach, go for a jog in the sand and take a swim in the ocean. If you are in a mountainous area, get a good leg workout in while hiking. Be sure to plan activities that will allow you to stay active while still enjoying the local sights.
8.) Have fun!: Traveling can be very exhausting, so be sure to incorporate some rest and relaxation and FUN into your travels while making sure to remain active. Bon voyage!