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Functional Fitness Exercises: Get Moving Like Your Body Was Made To!

Functional fitness exercises mimic everyday movements, making you stronger and more prepared for real-life activities. Here's a long list to get you started:

Lower Body

  • Squats: King of leg exercises, squats target quads, glutes, hamstrings, and core. Engage your core, keep your back straight, and push through your heels. (Image of Squats exercise)
  • Lunges: Work balance and each leg independently. Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees bent at 90 degrees. Push back to start and repeat on the other side. (Image of Lunges exercise)
  • Deadlifts: Hinge at your hips, keeping your back straight, and lift a weight (dumbbell, kettlebell, barbell) from the floor to hip height. Focus on hamstrings and glutes. (Image of Deadlifts exercise)
  • Step-ups: Find a sturdy platform (bench, box) and step up, leading with your front knee. Drive through your heel and bring your other leg up. Step down and repeat on the other side. (Image of Step-ups exercise)
  • Calf raises: Stand on the balls of your feet and raise your heels as high as you can. Slowly lower and repeat. Targets your calves for better stability and jump power. (Image of Calf raises exercise)

Upper Body

  • Push-ups: Classic chest exercise, start in a plank position and lower your chest to the ground, keeping your elbows close to your body. Modify on your knees if needed. (Image of Push-ups exercise)
  • Rows: Pull a weight (dumbbell, band) towards your chest, engaging your back muscles. Can be done seated, standing, or bent over. (Image of Rows exercise)
  • Overhead press: Push weights (dumbbells, barbell) straight overhead, starting from your shoulders. Works shoulders, triceps, and core. (Image of Overhead press exercise)
  • Pull-ups: The ultimate upper body challenge, pull yourself up to a bar until your chin is above it. Start with negatives or assisted variations if needed. (Image of Pull-ups exercise)
  • Dips: Lower yourself between two parallel bars (bench, chairs) until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. Targets triceps and chest. (Image of Dips exercise)


  • Plank: Hold a push-up position for as long as you can with your core engaged and back straight. Variations include high plank (on hands), low plank (on forearms), and side plank. (Image of Plank exercise)
  • Crunches: Lie on your back, knees bent, and lift your upper back off the ground. Focus on contracting your abs, not pulling with your neck. (Image of Crunches exercise)
  • Russian twists: Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet flat. Lean back slightly and twist your torso from side to side, passing a weight (medicine ball) from hand to hand. (Image of Russian twists exercise)
  • Bird-dog: Start on all fours, then extend one arm and the opposite leg simultaneously, keeping your back flat. Bring them back in and repeat on the other side. (Image of Bird-dog exercise)
  • Dead bug: Lie on your back with legs bent and arms raised towards the ceiling. Slowly lower one arm and one leg at a time, keeping your core engaged and back pressed to the floor. Bring them back in and repeat on the other side. (Image of Dead bug exercise)


  • Burpees: Combine a squat, push-up, and jump for a full-body cardio and strength challenge. Squat, jump back into a plank, do a push-up, jump your feet back in, and stand up, jumping with your arms overhead. (Image of Burpees exercise)
  • Mountain climbers: Start in a plank position and bring one knee towards your chest, then quickly switch legs. Keep your core engaged and hips stable. (Image of Mountain climbers exercise)
  • Jumping jacks: A classic cardio exercise, stand with feet shoulder-width apart and jump, spreading your legs and arms out wide. Jump back to start and repeat. (Image of Jumping jacks exercise)


  • Start with lighter weights or bodyweight exercises if you're new to functional fitness.
  • Gradually increase the intensity and difficulty as you get stronger.
  • Focus on proper form to avoid injury.
  • Listen to your body and take rest days when needed.

This is just a starting point, and there are endless variations and combinations of functional fitness exercises. Explore, have fun, and get moving!