Lift and lose

Tags: Good Living
Lift and lose
Last week we started the conversation about functional training. It is nothing but going back to the basics of exercise and movement. It focuses on training movements rather than muscles. When doing functional training, you are supposed to do movements that most closely resemble movements we actually make in our day to life. The following exercises will help you get comfortable with this system.

Medicine ball squat with overhead lift: Stand with your feet wide, holding a light medicine ball or a heavy book in front of you in both hands. Squat down, moving your rear back and keeping your knees over your ankles, and lower the medicine ball to the floor, keeping your head up and back straight. Return to a start position and lift the medicine ball over your head. Repeat the squat and lower ball to the ground. Perform three sets of 10 reps. Invest in a couple of medicine balls of different weights as you get stronger.

Diagonal reach with medicine ball: Stand tall, holding a medicine ball at your chest with both hands. Lift the medicine ball diagonally overhead to the right, straightening your arms while extending your left leg to the side, and making a diagonal line from the medicine ball to your toes. Lower to start position. Repeat 10 to 15 times for each leg. Increase the weight of the medicine ball and strap two- to five-pound weights on your ankles as you get stronger.

Torso rotation with medicine ball: Sit on the ground with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, holding a medicine ball at your chest with both hands. Lean your torso away from your thighs, increasing the angle at your hips and pulling your belly button in toward your spine. Maintaining your hip angle, rotate your torso to the right, moving your right elbow toward the floor behind you. Return to centre and rotate to the left. Repeat 10 to 15 times for each side. As you get stronger, perform the rotations with straighter arms and/or use a heavier medicine ball.

High 5’s supine bridge: Sit on the floor with your hands underneath your shoulders, knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keeping your arms straight, use your legs to push your hips up to the ceiling until your torso is flat like a table top. Lift your right arm straight up towards the ceiling, rotating your upper body so that it is supported by your left arm, keeping your hips lifted. Lower your right arm to start position and just slightly lower your hips but don’t let them return to the floor. Repeat 10 to 15 times for each side.

Inverted V push up (cobra push up): Get on your hands and toes, facing the floor, keeping your head, back and legs in a straight line and your arms straight underneath your shoulders. Lift your rear to the ceiling, pulling your belly button into your spine, forming a pike, lengthening your arms and legs. Return to plank position and bend your elbows against your sides, lowering your torso and legs to the floor. Keeping your lower body flat on the floor, use your arms to push your chest and head up towards the ceiling, stretching out the front of your body. Lower down and push your body back into plank position. Repeat five to 10 times. As you get stronger, increase the number of repetitions.

(The author is a wellness expert and runs a fitness centre in New Delhi)

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