Functional Fitness

Functional movement is fundamental when exercising, that is, doing movements that mimic those we do in daily life.  Exercise should prepare you for everyday situations in which your body may be asked to; jump, stand, squat, push, pull, lunge, run, or pick something up.  These are all basic skills that a growing amount of people cannot perform on a daily basis.  Does your day-to-day life ask your body to do any of these things?  If it doesn’t, it should.  Our bodies are meant to MOVE, you were not given legs to sit, or hands to type (ironic, I know), they were meant to move, often and with intensity.

I make up these workouts with YOU in mind.  By YOU, I mean YOU, yeah you, sitting there reading this article because you’re interested in getting healthier.  A critical part to getting healthier is exercising, if you already exercise and have stopped seeing results, that’s probably because your body has changed, but your momentum hasn’t.  It’s time to step it up a notch, turn the music up loud (you know you want to), get your heart rate going and start sweating.   These workouts are geared toward people who don’t have a lot of time, money, or equipment to workout, or for people who have tones of time, an unlimited budget, and access to a full-service gym, in other words, THESE WORKOUTS ARE FOR EVERYONE.

The workouts I will lay out in this section are for you to do at your own discretion.  When I say move with intensity, I mean move with the intensity that YOUR BODY allows you to.  If you are just starting out,  scale these workouts; do less reps, cut down on the distance of a run, walk instead of run, take as much time as you need.  If you start out too hard, your body will insist that you slow down, and usually not politely.

On the other hand, challenge yourself, if your muscles burn, that doesn’t mean you should stop.  “You will never grow as a human being unless you step outside of your comfort zone.”

An important part of working out is properly warming up, making sure your muscles are warm and ready for movement.  Spend some time before your workout stretching and moving, the point is to prepare your muscles and your heart for the workout, so get your heart rate up a little bit and get a little sweat going.  Yes, all this BEFORE you workout.

3 Rounds for time:

  • 50 double unders (or 150 singles)
  • 35 lateral jumps (over an object 8″ off the ground)
  • 20 box jumps (on a stair, a box, a rock, whatever you can get your hands on)

With the proper amount of rest in between each event:

  • Run 1 mile for time, rest as needed
  • 50 burpees for time, rest as needed
  • 150 double unders for time (or 450 single skips on a jump rope)

10 rounds for time:

  • 10 push-ups (chest to the ground!!!!!!)
  • 10 sit ups
  • 10 squats (full depth!)

Burpee/Situp Ladder (do as fast as you can)

  • 10 burpees, 11 sit ups
  • 9 burpees, 12 sit ups
  • 8 burpees, 13 sit ups
  • 7 burpees, 14 sit ups
  • 6 burpees, 15 sit ups
  • 5 burpees, 16 sit ups
  • 4 burpees, 17 sit ups
  • 3 burpees, 18 sit ups
  • 2 burpees, 19 sit ups
  • 1 burpee, 20 sit ups

5 Rounds for time

  • 100 meter dash
  • 10 air squats

The dash is meant to be as fast as YOU can!  That may be a jog, that may be a dead sprint.  You decide.

1 Round for time:

  • 70 lateral jumps over an obstacle 8 ” off the ground
  • 60 air squats (full depth= hip crease below the knee, see video)
  • 50 walking lunges (25 each leg, your knee must touch the ground, see video)
  • 40 sit-ups (follow instructions in video for full range of motion)
  • 30 box jumps or step ups onto an box or chair at least 12″ off the ground (see video)
  • 20 push ups (chest all the way to the ground)
  • 10 burpees (see video)

Walking Lunges

400 Meter walking lunge for time

Find a track or map out a distance 400 meters (1/4 mile long) in your neighborhood and do lunges the whole way!  Make sure you REALLY stretch out afterwards–this is a GREAT workout.  It could be scaled by distance (100,200 meters, 300 meters.)


4 rounds for time:

  • 15 Box jump/Step Ups (onto a surface 12-24 inches off the ground)
  • 25 double unders/ or 75 single jump ropes

In 20 minutes, do as many rounds as you can of the following:

  • 5 pushups
  • 10 sit ups
  • 15 air squats

This could be scaled by time; doing it for 5, 10, or 15 minutes.

You Gotta Tabata

8 Rounds: (4 minutes)

  • For 20 seconds, do as many squats as you can, followed by 10 seconds of rest (30 seconds total)

Rest 1 Minute

8 rounds (4 minutes)

  • For 20 seconds, do as many push ups as you can, followed by 10 seconds of rest (30 seconds total)

Rest 1 Minute

8 rounds (4 minutes):

  • For 20 seconds, do as many sit-ups as you can, followed by 10 seconds of rest (30 seconds total)

You can use ANY exercise for this.  You can run, do pull-ups, jump rope, burpees, box jumps/step-ups, kettlebell swings, handstand push ups, tuck jumps, lunges…. ANYTHING YOU WANT!  Dance vigorously if you want to, just move!

I’ll call this first workout, “Hip Hip Hooray, It’s Valentine’s Day!” or maybe “Run Your Heart Out”

4 rounds for time

  • Run 400 meters
  • 15 sit ups
  • 50 skips on a jump rope
  • 15 sit ups

The scaled version might be:

4 rounds for time

  • Run 200 meters
  • 15 sit ups
  • 25 skips on a jump rope
  • 15 sit ups


4 Rounds for time

  • Walk 400 meters
  • 15 sit ups
  • 50 skips on a jump rope
  • 15 sit ups

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