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Functional Strength Exercises to Train Your Body and Mind

Updated on September 21, 2012

A great example of someone who really knows how to manipulate their own body weight!

Why Are You Exercising?

Do you know exactly why you are exercising? Do you do it to lose weight, gain muscle, run a triathlon? More importantly, when you workout, are you really there? Or is your mind somewhere else while your body goes through the motions? Chances are, if you are tuning out and trying to ignore your body, you will soon tune out of your exercise program.

One of the biggest benefits any program can give you is the ability to connect your mind and your body, and help you feel the powerful life force within you. Yogis understand this, and obtain a deeper connection through special attention to the breath.during exercise.

To get similar results, while at the same time building strength and endurance and burning fat, start making bodyweight exercises a staple of your workouts. Using nothing but your body's weight has a way of forcing conscious manipulation during a movement. You must be present and focused. When we lift free weights, or do cardio on a machine, it can be easy to let the tools guide the body, instead of the other way around.

To incorporate body weight workouts into your current routine, start by choosing a handful of exercises, and using them to cool down after a heavy weight workout. If you prefer, use them in conjunction with weights to blast your muscles into new growth.

For endurance athletes, practicing body weight movements is an excellent way to build muscular strength and endurance. Try using a complex of quarter squats, full squats, lunges and split jumps for a thorough warm-up or cool down.

IN fact, doing nothing but manipulating your own body, you can take your strength, endurance, agility and flexibility to amazing levels. Best of all, the more these exercises are performed, the more fit and complete you are going to feel, no matter what your current fitness level is.

Try this simple routine to assess your fitness level in relation to bodyweight exercises:

  • Hindu Push-ups to Flat Pushups: 10+10
  • Isometric Squat hold into Jump Squats: 10seconds+10
  • Double Leg Raise while laying on side: 6 each side
  • Full Bridge with Extended Arms: 5-6 with 2 second hold at top
  • Mountain Climbers: 20 for speed.

This list could include any number of exercises, but these will give you a good idea of how in tune you are with your body. For beginners, do the minimum listed above two to three times, intermediates double the reps for two to three rounds, and advanced bodies do twice the reps for four rounds or more.

It is truly amazing how many great exercises can be done with your own body, and I highly encourage you to get started. How about right now? Why not? All you have to do is get up; although I do recommend some comfortable clothes.

Get in touch with your body, and this will become the most important reason for exercising. The increases in strength, loss of fat, and better health are just happy bonuses!

For instructions on any of the exercises listed above, they are all easily available on YouTube, or my blog, I also recommend the Bodyweight Blueprint which you can check out below. I've learned some great exercises and routines from them.

Get to work and have fun!

Functional Training for Sports
Functional Training for Sports
Reach a higher level of athleticism with Functional Training for Sports! Functional training is a complete system of athletic development that focuses on training the body the way it will be used in competition, making it the most efficient and effective form of training today

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