- Are you interested in building your own personal body armor to make you resistant to injury?
- Do you have a legitimate interest in building real world strength and fitness to prepare you for most any life scenario?
- Are you interested in tweaking your strength program to build more resiliency and function?
If I’ve learned one thing in my nearly 20 years of being a strength coach it’s that functional strength training will fix most everything. That’s right, strength is a life cure.
Functional Strength Training
If you build strength throughout your body you automatically transform yourself from the inside out. I’m talking about transformation that goes as deep as the microscope down into your cellular makeup!!!
It’s true…I’m not even joking about this.
Strength will help you overcome depression, anxiety, disease, reduce the incidence of injury, and will help you recover much faster if you should suffer from an injury.
Strength will give you aesthetics while bulletproofing your joints. It can get you off that heart and cholesterol medication while giving you a chiseled look when you step foot on the beach.
The building of strength in your body will sharpen your memory, your focus, and often times even foster creativity.
Strength will enhance your athleticism, as well as your day to day function to help you knock out that backyard construction project. As a result the benefits of strength are tremendous, but more specifically the benefits of functional strength training are astronomical.
I posted a quote on Facebook earlier this week in which I said..”My goals for training aren’t to add more years to my life, but rather to add more life to my years.”
Take a moment and allow that to sink in.
Functional Strength Training For Building Your Own Body Armor
So knowing all of this about functional strength training what can you do to make sure you’re getting the most out of your own training? Here are 5 strength movements to help you to build super strength while keeping you resistant to injury…
1. Squats: Squats and squat variations build tremendous total body strength and are one of the best exercises for helping you to prepare for most any physical feat.
In addition to helping you create core stability, hip drive, and leg power squats will also help you to pack on a lean foundation of muscle. The muscle mass you can build from squats serves as a metabolic enhancer and will add to your body armor in terms of being resistant to injury.
2. Pulls: Pulls involve movements that force you to, you guessed it, pull. You can achieve this movement with pull-ups, deadlifts, rope climbs, kettlebell snatches, or even rows.
By incorporating pulling movements you strengthen your posterior chain of muscles (muscles on the back of your body). Most people typically neglect these muscles in society. As a result this can equate to poor postural imbalances which frequently cause injury.
3. Presses: Presses can come in a variety of ways. So even though people typically associate presses with moving a free weight… presses can also involve your bodyweight.
As an example here you have to press your body away from the ground to perform a push-up. Like anything you need to seek variations for your presses in order to continue to adapt your functional strength training.
Functional strength training works, but variation is still crucial. This reminds me of a quote I once heard from a colleague years ago where he said “Everything works, but nothing works forever.”
4. Carries: Loaded carries such as farmers walks, or even sled drags using your grip are tremendous for a number of reasons.
These drills build your grip strength, force you to train to brace your core midsection, and assist you in even developing anaerobic work capacity.
In addition to this a stronger grip will equate to a more stable shoulder girdle for you. Yes, you read that correctly…a stronger grip means stronger shoulders.
If you don’t believe me then take a second to try this little experiment. Take a pause from reading this and extend your right arm out in front of your body.
Next, make a fist and clinch it as hard as you can. As you do this you’ll notice the tension run from your fist up your forearm, your upper arm, and into your shoulder. By clinching your fist you’re activating the kinetic chain of muscles that track from your hand all the way to your shoulders.
Yes, it’s pretty fascinating, right?
5. Hinge/Bend: The ability to hinge or bend is initated in your hips.
Just like it sounds imagine a door hinge.
A door hinge only moves in one direction when you bend the hinge.
Your hips should be able to perform this same movement. As a result this is critical so that you are capable of loading and firing the muscles of your glutes and hamstrings. This will occur when you bend, or hinge to pick something up.
Hinging can be developed through squatting, deadlifting, or performing kettlebell swings.
Because of this there are many other ways to perform hinges to develop optimal physical function. The point is that this movement is vitally necessary.
Functional Strength Training: The Takeaway
I promise you this is some valuable stuff. Take the time to apply this to your own life and you will notice drastic changes in your physical body. You’ll build your own body armor.
So if you’re serious about learning how to utilize strength in a comprehensive way to be your own life cure then you need to learn how to leverage these movements to give you an advantage.
Are you applying this type of functional strength training to your workouts?
Have you had to deal with injury?
Post up and share below in the comments.
Check out my brand new 120 Day Functional Fitness Program right here below!