Somewhere along the way, the idea of “functional fitness” got, well, a little twisted — and not in the beneficial “rotational core exercise” sort of way.
More like, let’s shun the most popular, foundational exercises for unnecessarily “creative” and complicated movements. People will use bands, kettlebells, TRX trainers, tractor tires, flaming Swiss balls, rusty tools from an old shed (and whatever else is handy), perhaps even combining more than one of them into an awkward, multi-step movement that would make most America’s Got Talent acts roll their eyes.
So, right off the bat, we’d like to get something straight: Functional fitness isn’t about things you normally don’t do. Instead, it’s all about getting better at the types of things you do every day. We all squat, lunge and hinge at the hips. We’ll push, pull and carry objects. And yes, we’ll often also rotate in one direction or the other while doing so.
The best functional workouts, then, incorporate these simple motions. Nothing should feel all that foreign to you when you’re doing a well-designed functional session. That was the driving philosophy of Oxygen Elite Ambassador Josefine Holmberg, a celebrity trainer, online coach and NPC Bikini competitor based in Los Angeles (Instagram @holmbergjosefine) when she created the following five-move bodyweight-only routine.
“The following is my go-to workout when I travel and I don’t have access to any equipment because it targets all the main muscle groups in the body,” she says. “It can be performed either ‘bodybuilding’ style, doing three to four sets of eight to 20 reps each, or if you want to add a cardio element and pump your heart rate up a little, make it an AMRAP-type approach — setting a timer for 20 minutes and then rotating between the five movements, completing as many rounds as possible. I tend to switch between the two styles, depending on how much time I have and if I’m in a muscle-building bulking phase or pre-contest shredding phase.”
Equipment Required: Exercise mat (if you’d like one); you also can use a weighted vest if you’re an advanced athlete looking for an extra challenge.
Josefine Holmberg’s 20-Minute Total-Body AMRAP Circuit
Set a timer for 20 minutes and do as many rounds as possible of the following five exercises:
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