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10-minute functional movement workout for long-lasting strength

with Oakley Woodhouse, lululemon ambassador and Crossfit athlete

 

I define a functional movement as a way of setting people up for a long and healthy life inside and outside of the gym. This workout will work your whole body – equipping it with the strength to live independently for longer, while accomplishing daily tasks more easily. You can do it in just 10 minutes at home, and without any equipment.

I’ve provided three levels for each movement. When picking the level of difficulty that’s right for you, you should always make sure you can master the base movement first. Try to complete 25 repetitions of the base movement with perfect form before moving to the next level. That way you’ll build a strong, lasting foundation.

 

 

The warm-up

 

TWO-MINUTE STATIC JOG

Start slow and speed up gradually to raise your heartrate. You should be out of breath by the two-minute mark.

 

ARM CIRCLES

Circle both arms forward ten times, aiming to brush your ears as your arms pass overhead. Repeat the movement backwards

ten times, trying to make your arms as long as possible. To spice it up, circle one arm forward and one arm backward

simultaneously.

 

30-SECOND PLANK

Fire up your abs by placing your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders with your legs outstretched behind,

positioned on your toes. Keep your body flat and focus on squeezing your abs in nice and tight, while pushing the floor away

from you with your hands.

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The workout

Set a timer for 10 minutes and try to complete as many rounds as possible.#

- 20 pistols

- 10 hollow to v-ups

- 15 pike push ups

 

PISTOL

- 20 reps

A squat is our most foundational movement as humans. Whenever you take your centre of mass from seated to standing,

you’re doing an air squat. By advancing this movement with training, we make daily tasks easier and protect our bodies as we

age.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Base movement - Air Squat

Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, looking straight ahead.

Squeeze your abs.

Raise your arms above your head.

Make sure your knees are tracking straight forward, engage your glutes and hamstrings and sink your bum back and down until it’s lower than your knees.

Stand up by pushing the floor away with your heels and big toes (imagine you’re trying to spread the floor apart with your feet).

Repeat.

Intermediate movement - One Leg Squat

See this movement as a bridge between the Air Squat and the Pistol, which will provide you with an increased awareness of how to accomplish a full range of motion pistol.

Find an object like a box, sofa or chair. Stand to the side of it so you can use it for support.

Stand tall and raise one leg out in front of you – it will stay off the floor throughout the movement. With your abs pulled in tight and one hand on the object, focus on a spot on the wall in front of you to stay balanced.

Sit your hips back slowly and down as far as you can, using the object to keep you stable. This will fire up your hamstring, as you get lower you may also feel it in your quads.

Drive through your heel to stand back up, remembering to keep your other foot off the floor. You can also push through your hand to help.

Place both feet on the floor and complete the same movement with the opposite leg raised (10 reps on each side).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced movement - Full Pistol

Stand on one leg. Lift your other leg out in front of you high enough that the heel of this foot does not come into contact with the floor when you lower your body in the next steps.

To find your balance, pick a point on the wall to focus on. Engage your abs and either keep your arms by your sides, or reach forwards. Sit your hips back and down until your hips reach below the angle of your knee. Focus on keeping your weight in your standing heel, with the other foot outstretched and off the floor.

Stand up by driving through the standing foot, pushing the floor away from you.

Once you’re standing tall, place both feet on the floor, switch legs and repeat on the other side (10 reps on each side).

HOLLOW TO V-UP

- 10 reps

Almost every movement we make in our day-to-day life requires some engagement of our abs. A hollow to V-up helps develop strength and control within your abdominals to support these daily movements and activities.

Base movement - Hollow position

Lie down on your back, stretch your arms above your head and squeeze your legs and ankles together.

Push your lower back into the floor by squeezing your abs to pull your rib cage towards your hip bones.

Lift your hands and feet slightly off the floor.

Hold for 3 seconds then relax so that there is a hollow in your back. Repeat.

Intermediate movement - V-Up

Lie down on your back, stretch your arms above your head and squeeze your legs and ankles together.

Raise your arms and legs off the floor simultaneously until your fingers come into contact with your toes in a pike position (If you can’t touch your toes, aim to touch your ankles or shins instead).

Push your lower back into the floor by squeezing your abdominals, pulling your rib cage closer to your abdomen.

With control, slowly return to a lying position and relax so that there is a hollow in your back.

Repeat.

Advanced movement - Hollow to V-Up

Start in the hollow position you mastered in the base movement, with your arms and feet slightly off the floor.

Lift your arms and feet to touch in the middle performing the V-up, and then control your body back down to regain the hollow position, without touching the floor.

With this movement you must maintain the hollow position or be moving through to the V-up at all times (no resting until the set is complete).

 

PIKE PUSH-UP

- 15 reps

Although a push-up isn’t as functional and as necessary as an air squat in everyday life, it has a valuable place in functional strength training. For example, if we were to fall, we would use the muscles we strengthen by doing push-ups to get back

 

 

 

 

 

Base movement - Basic push-up

Start in full plank position with straight arms (as you did in the warm- up).

Keep your neck straight and bend your elbows until your chin touches the floor in front of your hands.

Press back up to a straight arm position.

Repeat.

 

 

 

 

 

Intermediate movement - Moderate pike push-up

Start in full plank position with straight arms (as you did in the warm up).

Walk your feet two steps closer to your hands, so that your body is in an upside-down V-shape, resting your gaze at your knees.

Tuck your chin to your chest and bend your elbows until the crown of your head touches the floor in front of your hands.

Push the floor away – still looking at your knees, until your arms are fully extended (If this is a struggle, place your knees on the floor and take a few deep breaths before trying again).

Repeat.

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced movement - Full pike push-up

Find a stable, secure object such as a box, chair or bed.

Stand in front of the object and place your hands on the floor, shoulder width apart, with locked out arms.

Step both feet on to the object towards the back, so your hips are higher than your shoulders.

Keeping your spine straight and neck long, bend your elbows so that the crown of your head (not your forehead), touches the floor in front of your hands.

Push through the palms of your hands to extend your arms.

Repeat.

The Cool Down

Cool-downs are critical in allowing your heart rate and breathing to return to resting levels naturally, while helping you avoid dizziness after intense physical exercise. Aim to hold each stretch for 30 seconds (longer if you need to). Focus on taking deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.

FORWARD FOLD

Stand tall with your feet shoulder width apart, arms at your sides. With straight legs, hinge forward at the hip and try to touch the floor. Relax and breathe.

COBRA

Lie face down on the floor and place your hands beneath your shoulders. Keeping your hips in contact with the floor, slowly extend your arms. Look up to the sky and breathe.

CRESCENT LUNGE

Place one leg forward in a low lunge position, keeping your back knee in contact with the floor and on the ball of your foot. Gently lean backwards, pushing your hips forward. You can place your hands on your hips. Ensure to keep your tummy tight and back in a neutral position to feel this stretch along the quad of your backward leg, rather than your lower back. Switch legs and repeat.

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