Functional fitness is leading fitness trends today and for good reason, we need strength to perform basic everyday tasks and your quality of life drops when your body is unable to move as you want it to. Ask anyone who has had an injury before and they'll tell you. We speak with Daniel De Sanctis, an elite CrossFit athlete and personal trainer at TripleFit Singapore, who guides us through his favourite circuit to build strength and keep fit.
This workout is meant to be done as a circuit so complete one set of each exercise till you have finished one round and then start your next set. Do not rest too long in between sets as keeping the tempo up and your heart rate high is how you get the conditioning. Remember form is all-important so feel free to adjust the reps and sets to ensure you are able to perform each exercise safely and with proper form.
1. Kettlebell Squats (10 Reps x 5 Sets)
Tip: Your legs should be spread out wider than your shoulders and your toes should be pointed out from your body. Keep your back straight and your heels on the ground throughout the entire exercise.
Benefits: This squat helps in toning your legs and thighs along with strengthening the hip, quads, lats, flexors, calves, hamstrings and gluteal muscles. Hence, this squat is great for building strength for the lower part of your body.
2. Assault Bike (2 Minutes x 5 Sets)
Tip: Try alternating your arm movements: 30 seconds you want to push the handles, 30 seconds you want to pull the handles.
Benefits: Riding an Assault Bike works your hamstrings, calves, hip flexors and quadriceps, and your core and upper body share the work load with your legs.
3. Hollow Hold (30 Seconds x 5 Sets)
Tip: Flatten out the lumbar spine so there's no gap between the floor and the lower back. Your upper torso will crunch upward slightly, but you're not actively trying to do this – it's a result of the flattening of the lumbar spine.
Benefit: The hollow hold allows you to properly transfer force from your upper body to your lower body without any energy leaks. The stronger and more stable you are in this position, the more power you’ll have when squatting, throwing, pushing, pulling, jumping, hitting, kicking, or sprinting.
4. Kettlebell Thrusters (10 Reps x 5 Sets)
Tip: Squat down while the kettlebells are in your hands and keep your back straight as you squat.
Benefit: Shoulders are the primary beneficiary whiles your quadriceps and triceps are the secondarily affected muscles.
5. Pull-Ups (10 Reps x 5 Sets)
Tip: Make sure your chest is open and your shoulders are down in a hang. Lean back and pull from your lats to start. Your legs should move forward in front of you, toes pointed. When you get about half-way up, that’s when you’ll need more of your arm muscles. Keep pulling engaging your biceps, but don’t hunch your back forward. Pull your chest towards the bar with your shoulders down, and your legs will swing back to be almost lined up right beneath your shoulders. You may just want to hoist yourself up to the bar as fast as possible, which is totally understandable, but it’s important to move with the right form.
Benefit: Pull-ups recruit the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius, deltoids, pectoralis, brachialis and triceps. These are anatomical names for the back, shoulders, chest and arms.
6. Kettlebell Deadlifts (10 Reps x 5 Sets)
Tip: When you stand tall and neutral, get your hips under you, not out front and don’t lean back.
Benefit: Kettlebell deadlifts adds muscle to your hips, hamstrings, glutes, and back. It also ingrains a good hip-hinge — the process of bending forward at your hips while keeping your lower-back flat and bending your knees slightly.
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