When we are at home doing household chores, we might accidentally sprain or injure ourselves. It is probably because we did not train our body muscles well to support our body. Therefore, we need daily exercise training to help us get through our daily routine with ease.
Though we might be working from home, or busy handling our toddlers, simple exercise like functional exercise can help prepare our body for our day-to-day tasks such as lifting grocery bags, picking things up from the floor, climbing stairs and carrying baby while on the phone. Functional exercise helps to enhance our balance, coordination and stamina to help us perform everyday activities safely and effectively.
Push-up with hip extension
Functionality: To strengthen our upper body, including the chest, shoulder, triceps, as well as core muscles and gluten.
Exercise: With your knees and hands placed wider than shoulder width apart, extend your right leg straight back, and while your leg is lifted, lower your chest to the ground until each of your elbows is at a 90-degree angle, then push up.
Repeat 10-15 times for each leg
Torso rotation with medicine ball
Functionality: Strong oblique muscles are key to avoiding lower back injuries. Helps improve the strength and coordination of all your core muscles and will improve our tone and tighten our waist.
Exercise: Sit on the ground with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, holding a medicine ball at your chest with both hands. Lean your torso away from your thighs, increasing the angle at your hips and pulling your belly button in toward your spine. Maintaining your hip angle, rotate your torso to the right, moving your right elbow toward the floor behind you. Return to centre, and rotate to the left.
Repeat 10 to 15 times for each side. As you get stronger, perform the rotations with straighter arms, or use a heavier medicine ball. Always keep your belly button pulled in.
Functionality: This squatting training is ideal for developing leg strength and improving mobility.
Exercise: Breathing rhythm is important when performing squats. There are four parts to this exercise. Lower your body until you are in a deep squat while breathing out. Bring your hands downhill your fingertips touch the floor if possible, as you straighten your legs and inhale. Return to the deep squat position with your hands up while exhaling. Stand back up to the starting position and inhale.
Complete as many repetitions as possible with good breathing. Move as fast as your breathing will allow.
Functionality: Rowing exercises are a good way to counteract sedentary behaviour that involves sitting too long. They are also effective in working those back muscles which are rarely targeted by other exercise.
Exercise: Do the exercise while standing on one leg to help improve hip stability. This is important in improving your gait, or the way you walk. Ensure you maintain a flat back throughout the exercise to protect your spine.
Try eight repetitions per leg, rest 60s, and repeat for three to four sets.
Stair climb with bicep curl
Functionality: Doing standard biceps curls while climbing up the stairs will strengthen your arms and improve your ability to carry things up the stairs. It’s also great as a cardio blast.
Exercise: Hold a two to 4kg dumbbell in each hand and climb the stairs while performing the curls. Follow this by walking or jogging down the stairs while holding the weights, but without performing the curls.
Suggested routine: Repeat the exercise five to 10 times. As you get better, increase the dumbbell weight as your arms get stronger, and take two steps at a time.
Not only these functional exercise help to train our muscles, it can save us from unexpected injuries from the task that we are performing in our daily lives.