5 Secrets to Develop Your functional Strength

5 Secrets to Develop Your functional Strength

There is the strength we gain in the gym and the functional strength (of the everyday). Here are 5 secrets to develop yours

Secret # 1: Develop your explosiveness

If you were to train for a normal race, all you need to do is improve the ability to secret # 5, which is endurance. But it takes much more than that to overcome all the obstacles in the city, and that’s where explosiveness comes in, that is, the ability to develop maximum strength and release it from one stroke. The more propulsion power you generate, the faster you are and the easier it is to overtake others.

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Test yourself.

Standing, feet on one line, spread shoulder width apart. Jump as far as possible. Ask a partner to measure the distance between the starting line and your heels.

Your goal.

2.30 meters

How to reach it?

Make squats by body weight: standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands behind your head, move your elbows to the center of the body. Flex your knees and make a vertical jump. At the ground reception, crouch down and count two times before jumping again. Make 3 to 5 sets of up to 6 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds between sets.

Secret # 2: Strengthen the upper body

Bounced pecs and biceps inflated block do indeed effect on the beach, but they are not the only muscles to hoist you to the top of the walls and move from one bar to another on a horizontal scale. It also requires a sturdy back and good shoulder mobility. The main thing is not to gain muscle volume, but to optimize the force according to the weight of the body. From a certain point, the big muscles become just a dead weight.

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Test yourself.  

Take the pull bar with your hands in pronation grip wider than your shoulders. Pull your chest to the bar, pause and return to the starting position. Stay a few seconds and repeat the movement.

Your goal.

10 repetitions.

How to reach it?

Add pull ups during 3 of your weekly sessions. Perform 5 sets of 3 repetitions, with 30 seconds of rest between each set. If it’s too easy, make fewer sets with more repetitions or use a ballast, such as a dumbbell or a medicine ball held between the knees. If the pulls are too difficult, opt for vertical pulling at the high pulley.

Secret # 3: Work on your balance

Nobody wants to have one leg stronger than the other or the right arm more massive than the left. This is however what can happen if we practice only bilateral exercises: indeed, the dominant limb compensates the weakness of the non-dominant limb, which accentuates the muscular imbalances. By making each member work independently, unilateral exercises produce the opposite effect: they avoid these imbalances and enhance the overall stability of the body.

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Test yourself.

Take two dumbbells with a total weight of about half your weight and place the top of your right foot on a bench behind you. Slowly lower the body until the left thigh is parallel to the floor. Mark a time out, then return to the starting position.

Your goal.

10 repetitions of each leg.

How to reach it?

Add this exercise (called Bulgarian Squat) to your weekly schedule. Perform 2 to 4 sets of 6 to 12 repetitions per leg. Rest for 60 to 90 seconds between sets.

Secret # 4: Shield your trunk

Well designed abs can be misleading because, to have a strong trunk, it is necessary to strengthen all the muscles from the pelvis to the shoulders, a work that neglects often those who only want to have a nice chocolate bar. If the trunk is deficient, there can be no effective force transfer (eg legs to the arms), which is detrimental to athletic performance. This power is not mobilized correctly in everyday gestures.

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Test yourself.  

Grab the pull up bar with your hands in pronation, shoulder width apart. Knees are slightly bent and feet together. Keeping your arms straight, raise your legs until your shins touch the bar. After a pause, return to the starting position.

Your goal.

5 repetitions.

How to reach it?

Choose two exercises for the trunk muscles (pull-ups, dips in isometry, press with dumbbells…) and add them to your weekly sessions. Above all, drop the exercises that round the back, like the bust lift. Repetitive bending of the spine can increase the risk of lower back pain.

Secret # 5: Improve your endurance

You are advised to measure the breath and the aerobic capacity (capacity of the muscles to use the maximum available oxygen) thanks to the test carried out on 2,5 kilometers. The more effective we are at this distance, the better we will be for the competition.

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Test yourself ?

On a flat track or track, run as fast as you can for 2.5 kilometers.

Your goal.  

10 minutes and 30 seconds.

How to reach it?

Basic endurance work is only one element of success. If you forget the split (several sets of intense effort followed by active recovery), you will miss the aerobic power needed to move up a gear when you need it the most. The “cardio plan” below shows you how to improve speed and endurance.

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