5 free functional workout videos that could change your attitude to exercise

Training for sports or aesthetics is all well and good, but what if your primary goal is to be able to move through your daily life with more ease? These workout videos might change your perspective on exercise completely

When we think of ‘training’, often, the first thing that comes to mind is preparing for sports, or for aesthetic goals. But there is another option.

Functional training is all about doing exercises with more ease – things like bending, twisting, lifting, loading, pushing, pulling, squatting, and hauling. It can also help with your balance and stability, as well as overall strength. And, of course, we couldn’t forget the mental health benefits of exercising, too.

Over time, you may be able to protect yourself from domestic injuries (how often do we hear about people throwing their back out after lifting something incorrectly?), as well as being able to go about chores and hobbies for longer periods of time.

Ultimately, anyone can benefit from focusing on functional training, but it may be particularly helpful for those who struggle with the link between exercise and body image, and want to find a way of staying active without focusing on aesthetic results.

Tempted? We’ve collected together five online functional workout videos, to help you take your first steps.

1. Daily strength training

This video from doctor and physiotherapist Jared Beckstrand is a great place to start. Here, he takes you through some very basic exercises that you can try out, and do whenever it suits you. These are the kinds of exercises that you can pick up in spare moments – a couple of squats while the kettle boils, for example – making them a nice way to gently ease yourself in.

2. Functional body weight training

Using just your own body weight, this video will get your heart rate going, and build strength across your whole body. Now, this class is listed as suitable for beginners, but it’s definitely meant to be a challenge. As the instructor says, go at your own pace. If what you see on the screen is too fast for you, slow it down – the aim is to get your heart rate going and to challenge yourself, but you should still be able to complete the workout.

3. Targeted core training

Strengthening your core can support your overall wellbeing in many ways. It can help you improve your posture, so that you’re less likely to injure your back, and it can also help with your balance and stability. This targeted workout is short and sweet, coming in at just eight minutes, and it doesn’t need any equipment for you to complete it. Some of the moves are reasonably advanced, so if you are struggling, slow it down, or repeat another move that you’re more comfortable with.

4. Full body workout, with equipment

This workout requires two pieces of equipment: a set of dumbbells and a resistance band. Adding in the additional weight of the dumbbell takes these exercises up a level, but instructor Kayleigh Cohen demonstrates modifications that you can make to each step, to make sure that you’re doing moves that work for your body.

5. Daily stretches for mobility

Being tight and tense does us no good, and we can hold a lot of tension in our bodies. Stretching away the day once you reach the evening is a great idea, but stretching becomes even more important if you’re doing more intense exercises, like some of those in the other videos in this article, then add this one into your routine.

Want to talk to someone about your relationship with exercise? Connect with a life coach using the Life Coach Directory.

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