Functional Fitness with Kathy Smith

What Is Functional Fitness?
Functional fitness is using your body the way you would use it in every day life when you train. We use the term integration not isolation. Isolation is when you pick up a weight and isolate your bicep or abs and you isolate a part of your body. That’s the opposite of what functional fitness is or integrating your body in your everyday life. When you pick up a suitcase and put it in your overhead compartment you have to lift and twist and everything from groceries or swinging your grandkids around uses this principal and making your muscles work together. You add the balance element into it and then you’re training your muscles in a way that you use them.
You’ve Talked In Your Seminars And Articles About Training Your Core. Why Is That So Important?
Each of the exercises I’m going to show you uses your core. You can engage your core while you are sitting or standing. You don’t have to get on the ground and do crunches. I’ve got some crunchless ab exercises you can do throughout the day and this will help you protect your lower back, improve your posture and look good just by doing these very simple exercises while you’re standing.
What Are Some Exercises We Can Do That Will Increase Our Functional Fitness? SQUAT WITH OVERHEAD PRESS: Everyone says they can’t do squats but that’s simply not true. Every time you sit in a chair, you’re doing a squat but if you don’t practice these, you won’t be able to get out of the chair. I can take someone who has literally atrophied in their legs and show them how to use their arms in an assisted squat and how you go from that to doing a squat without using a chair.

ONE-LEGGED SQUAT WITH DISCUS ARM:This particular exercise is about transferring weight. You won’t be standing all on one leg and you’ll have 80% of weight on one leg and this trains you to use your stabilizing muscles in your ankles and develops balance. When you pick something up, you’re thrown off balance. This helps you develop those muscles so you can stay on balance.

PLANK VARIATIONS:Planks help develop your core. A beginner plank can be done against a wall or chair. An intermediate plank is done on the ground and then you can make that harder by lifting your opposite arm and leg.

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