Today’s workout brings it all together. We’ll target all muscle groups — hitting the upper body, lower body and core in this low impact workout routine.
We’re going to push, pull, squat, hinge, lunge and rotate throughout today’s workout with compound exercises that mimic the moves you do every day.
Functional Strength Workout FAQs
What Is A Functional Strength Workout?
Functional strength training is training for movement, not for aesthetics. This full body functional strength workout is made up of compound, functional movements that mimic things you do throughout the day (like squatting down to pick things off the floor, climbing stairs, or twisting to put things away).
Is Functional Fitness Training Effective?
Functional fitness workouts are some of the best workouts you can do to build muscle, improve endurance and reduce risk of injury. This form of training targets the muscle groups we rely on the most for daily movement (and builds in core strength to every workout).
Why Is Functional Training Important?
Functional training creates a base of strength that directly enhances your ability to perform daily movement patterns, like squatting, reaching, and twisting. This is important for your everyday life! Functional training makes it easier to do the things you’re doing every single day. You’ll stay strong and reduce your risk of injury.
20-Minute Full Body Functional Strength Workout
Strong 20: Day 5
Build total body strength with this functional exercise routine. We’ll work through the best functional fitness training exercises to build strength and better prepare you for your every day life.
Today’s workout is made up of seven dumbbell strength training exercises designed to target the total body in a dumbbell workout at home.
I suggest doing this full body workout once a week as part of a well-rounded workout routine.
A medium-to-heavy set of dumbbells.
I recommend 8-30 lbs depending on your fitness level. We’re using 10-20 lb dumbbells in this workout. The last 2-3 reps of each exercise should be challenging to complete with good form.
Shop My Dumbbells
We’re using 10, 15 and 20 lb dumbbells in this full body workout.
Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstring, quads, hips, shoulders, abs and core.
How To Do An Alternating Squat Thruster
Start standing, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one dumbbell in each hand at your shoulders (front-rack position, overhand grip, palms facing in).
With your weight in your heels, sit your hips back as you lower into a squat, striving for a 90-degree angle between your hips and knees.
Then, drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes to stand tall. As you stand, perform a single arm squat thruster, pressing the dumbbell in your right hand straight overhead. Your right bicep should be near your right ear.
Bring the weight back down to shoulder height and perform another squat.
This time, as you stand, alternate to perform a single arm thruster on the left arm.
Modification: Option to hold one dumbbell horizontally at your chest. Or omit the overhead press and perform a goblet squat.
5 Single Arm Back Rows And 1 Dumbbell Snatch
Targets: The latissimus dorsi (or lats, the largest back muscle), shoulders, legs, quads, hamstrings, hips, glutes and core.
How To Do 5 Single Arm Back Rows And 1 Dumbbell Snatch
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent.
Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, palm in towards the midline of your body (narrow grip).
Hinge forward at the hips maintaining a flat back, belly button pulled back towards your spine.
Pull the dumbbell back towards your right hip (think of pulling from your elbow joint versus your wrist), as if you were starting a pull-start lawnmower. Stop once your elbow is in line with your rib cage, making a straight line from shoulder to elbow. Hold the row at the top for a moment squeezing your shoulder blade in.
With control, lower the dumbbell back to the starting position and repeat, completing five rows on the right side.
Then, perform a single arm dumbbell snatch. Hinge forward at the hips, pushing your hips back as you lower the dumbbell down the front of your body. You should feel a stretch in the back of your legs (range of motion looks different for everyone).
Then, drive your hips forward as you ‘snatch’ the weight overhead with your right arm (using the power and momentum created by your legs and hips). You should finish standing tall with your right arm straight overhead; lock out your elbow.
With control, lower the dumbbell back down to shoulder height and repeat five single arm back rows.
Modification: Option to omit the snatch and perform single arm back rows for the entire set.
Deadlift Clean And Lunge
Targets: Hamstrings, glutes, hips, quads, back, shoulders and core.
How To Do A Deadlift Clean And Lunge
Start standing feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold one dumbbell horizontally in front of you.
Hinge forward at the hips, pushing your hips back as you lower the dumbbell down along the front of your body. You should feel a stretch in the back of your legs (range of motion looks different for everyone). Focus on keeping your back in neutral alignment with your neck and shoulders throughout the entire movement (straight line from head to tailbone). Keep a slight bend in your knees to avoid ‘locking out’ the joint.
Then, drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes as you drive your hips forward to return to standing.
As you stand tall, clean the dumbbell up, catching it at shoulder height.
Then step your right leg back into a reverse lunge, lowering your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle, front thigh parallel to the ground.
Then squeeze your left leg glute, driving your back, right leg forward as you stand up back to the starting position.
Modification: Option to perform the deadlift and lunge, omitting the clean.
2 Bicep Curls And 2 Shoulder Presses
Targets: Biceps, shoulder muscles (posterior, lateral, and anterior deltoids) and core.
How To Do 2 Bicep Curls And 2 Shoulder Presses
Start with feet under hips, core engaged. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in towards each other (hammer curl).
Squeeze the front of your arm to curl the dumbbells up to shoulder height, palms facing in. Avoid swinging the weights.
With control, lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position. Repeat for a second hammer curl.
At the top of the second bicep curl, press the dumbbells straight overhead, locking out the elbows, performing an overhead press.
With control, lower the dumbbells to your shoulders. Then, repeat for a second shoulder press.
Curtsy Lunge And Dumbbell Pass
Targets: Mainly the quads and glutes, but also engages the gluteus medius (outer butt and thigh muscles), inner thighs and core.
How To Do A Curtsy Lunge And Dumbbell Pass
Stand with feet hip-distance apart, holding one dumbbell in your right hand.
Step your right leg back into a curtsy lunge (right knee should meet left calf), right knee lowers towards the mat. Lower your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle, front thigh parallel to the floor.
Then squeeze your left glute, driving your back, right leg forward as you stand up. As you stand, pass the dumbbell to your left hand.
Immediately step your left leg back into a curtsy lunge (left knee should meet right calf), left knee lowers towards the mat.
Squeeze your right glute, driving your back, left leg forward as you stand and repeat, passing the dumbbell as you alternate the leg that steps back into a curtsy lunge.
Modification: Option to slow this down and make it a bodyweight exercise, omitting the dumbbell handswitch.
2 Chest Presses And 2 Leg Lowers
Targets: Chest (pecs), shoulders (deltoids) and triceps.
How To Do 2 Chest Presses and 2 Leg Lowers
Lay flat on your back, extending your legs straight up, slight bend in the knees, feet are flexed. Hold one dumbbell in each hand (palms facing legs), elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.
Exhale as you push both dumbbells overhead at the same time; dumbbells stacked over shoulders at the top of the press. Make sure your wrists are strong and in line with your shoulders.
Lower the dumbbells back towards your chest with control and repeat for a second chest press.
Then, keeping the dumbbells overhead and your low back pressed into the mat, brace your core and and slowly lower you right heel towards the mat.
Exhale as you raise the right foot back up to meet the left foot.
Repeat on the left leg; lowering your left heel towards the mat and then returning it to starting position.
Repeat this sequence, alternating two chest presses with two leg lowers.
Modification: Option to shorten the lever, keeping the knees bent during the chest press and performing bent knee lowers.
Plank, 2 Knee Drives And Army Crawl
Targets: Full body; arms, shoulders, chest, triceps, back, legs, glutes, quads, abs, obliques and core.
How To Do A Plank, 2 Knee Drives And Army Crawl
Start in high plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists, weight evenly distributed amongst all ten fingers. Hold this high plank position, maintaining a straight line with your body, gaze slightly in front of you.
Then perform two crossbody knee drives — pulling right knee towards left elbow and left knee towards right elbow.
Then drop your left forearm to the mat. Followed by dropping your right forearm to the mat; so you are now in a low plank or forearm plank position with your shoulders stacked over your elbows.
Exhale as you push yourself back up to the starting high plank position; starting with your left arm and following with your right arm, while trying to maintain stable hips, square to the ground.
Repeat this sequence of two knee drives to army crawl.
Modification: Option to perform two standing marches and two overhead presses.
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