In Part 1 of the article Expert Kelly Bentley discussed “Primal Pattern Movements” – the movements that the human body was designed to perform on a regular basis.

These moments are necessary for us to function optimally in our daily lives.

Kelly also provided us a list of these functional exercises, beginning with Pushing and the Reverse Fly. This list continues below:


3. Lunging – Walking Lunges:

There are so many things we do daily that mimic lunging. Our legs are also the biggest calorie burners in the body, so it’s very beneficial to add at least one of a variety of different lunging exercises to any workout routine.

Primary muscles worked: Quadriceps

Secondary muscles worked: Calves, Glutes & Hamstrings

1. Start position: stand with feet hip width apart, holding dumbbells down by your sides in each hand.

2. Step forward with your right foot a generous distance but not so far that you lose your balance. While keeping the torso upright, lower your upper body downward until your left knee is just above the floor. Make sure that your front knee stays directly over your front ankle and does not move past the toes. Inhale as you lower down and exhale as you return to standing.

3. Step your left foot in to meet your right foot and continue forward with the left leg.

4. Alternate legs as you lunge walk forwards. If you’d like to challenge yourself a bit, practice walking backwards when you reach the end of the room. Remember to keep the front knee directly over the front ankle!

4. Squatting – Goblet Squat:

Squatting is anther movement we do each and every day. This should be another movement that continues to be easy to perform daily and as we age.

Primary muscles worked: Quadriceps

Secondary muscles worked: Glutes, Calves, Hamstrings & Low Back

1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart with your toes slightly pointed outward. Hold one dumbbell with both hands vertically in front of your chest. Keep your head up and your back straight at all times. This will be your start position.

2. Bend your knees and lower the body downward, sitting your weight back and down into your heels. Stop lowering when the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees. Focus on making sure that your knees do not come past your toes. There should be an imaginary straight line connecting your knees and your toes that remains perpendicular to the front.

3. Inhale as your lower down, exhaling as you stand back up.

Tip: You can practice this facing a wall to get the hang of the leg position, the wall will act as a guide to keep your knees from moving past your toes.

functional training workout_25. Bending – Good Morning:

Bending is another extremely important action that we all perform each and every day in our lives. Continuing the practice of bending in our workouts will help prevent us from being slow or in pain while bending over and getting up in our older years.

Primary muscle worked: Hamstrings

Secondary Muscles worked: Abdominals, Glutes & Low Back

1. Stand with feet hips width apart, keep a slight bend in the knees. To help keep the shoulders open, place bar across the back of your shoulders, not on top of them. Other options include just keeping your hands behind your ears, elbows bent, or hold a dumbbell in front of you, close to your body at shoulder height. Focus on sticking out your chest and back side to keep a concave arch in the spine. This will be your start position.

2. Keep the shoulder blades close together on your back. Hinge from the hips, bending forward, allowing your hips to move back in space until your upper body is near parallel to the floor.

3. Reverse the motion by extending through the hips with your glutes and hamstrings until you have returned to the starting position. Inhale as you stand up, exhaling as you lower the body back down.

Kelly Bentley’s Functional Exercises List continues tomorrow in Part 3 of this article.

Connect with Expert Kelly Bentley

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
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