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Short on Time? These Functional Fitness Moves Are For You

These Functional Fitness Moves Are for You .png

You’re busy. Right? You have a job, kids, responsibilities...maybe all three. You have a social life and things you like to do outside the 9-to-5 grind, shuttling kids to school and practice, and taking care of your personal stuff (like laundry, grocery shopping, paying bills, yardwork, fix-it projects, and homework). In fact, there’s never a shortage of things to do, but there often seems to be a shortage of time. Sound familiar?

Working Out: Can You Really Find the Time?

When you’re in short-on-time mode, you have to make decisions that are nothing short of opportunity costs. You can either play with your kids or do the dishes. You can catch up on work deadlines after hours or visit with your partner. You can eat chicken and broccoli for dinner or hit the drive-through. You get the idea.

And then there’s the struggle of finding time to work out when you’re always busy. Do you just throw in the towel and say “Forget it. I’ll start working out again when I’m not so busy”? No. Stop right there. Neglecting your health and fitness isn’t an opportunity cost you can afford to make. Seriously. Even if you’re mega-busy, you can still carve out a little time to work out.

Short on Time? Stay in Shape with This 30-Minute Functional Fitness Workout

“But I’m so busy,” you’re thinking. You’ve probably thought about this before and maybe even skipped a few workouts, thinking you could somehow bend time and fit a workout in later. Yeah, probably not gonna happen. Right? Fortunately, you can get, in 30 minutes or less, a great workout that works your entire body, builds strength and endurance, and burns plenty of calories using functional fitness moves.

What’s functional fitness? It’s basically a form of exercise designed to train your body to handle everyday activities as efficiently as possible. It’s a great way to stay in shape and reduce your risk for injuries from things like playing basketball with friends, working in the yard, helping a friend move, picking a crying kid up off the ground, or warding off back pain from a sit-all-day kind of job.

Short on time? Hustle through this functional fitness workout in 30 minutes or less and you’ll feel better, grow stronger, burn more calories, and check off one more thing on your to-do list. You can fit this workout in just about anywhere, anytime: the gym, your living room, the park (while your kids are playing), or your hotel room if you’re on the road.

Ready? Here’s a brief description about how to perform each of these functional fitness moves:

Overhead Squat

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your hands over your head. Squat down until your knees are bent at about 90 degrees, keeping your back straight. Return to the starting position.

Step-Ups

Stand in front of a chair or bench. Step up onto the chair or bench with one leg. Push down with your foot and leg. Bring your opposite foot up and forward, until you’re standing on the chair or bench with both feet. Repeat for the opposite leg.

Hip Thrust

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep your feet on the floor and lift your hips up, making a straight diagonal line from your knees to your shoulder. Return to the starting position.

Lunges

Start in a standing position. Step forward on one leg. Lower the back leg to kneeling position. Your forward leg should be bent at 90 degrees. Return to the standing position and repeat on the opposite leg.

Mountain Climbers

Get in sprinting position. Kneel down and place your palms flat on the ground with your arms extended. Push off with the toes on the right foot. Extend the left leg back. Quickly bring the left leg forward, bending the knee until on your toes; at the same time, extend the right leg back. Return to the starting position; repeat.

Bird Dog

Kneel down, place both hands flat on the floor, palms down, arms extended. Straighten and extend your left arm parallel to the ground. At the same time, lift your right leg up and back until fully extended. Keep your core tight as you do this. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.

Torso Rotation

Start in standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Extend both arms parallel to the floor. Keep your feet planted. Rotate to the right and move your hands to the right as you do. Return to the starting position and rotate to the left.

Plank

Kneel down. Place both forearms on the ground. Push off on your toes and extend both legs back until straight. Keep your core tight and form a straight line from your head to your toes. Hold the position for 30 seconds to a minute.

Warrior III Hold

Start in standing position with your feet together. Lean forward, balance on one foot bending the knee slightly. Lower your torso until parallel to the ground. Extend your arms as you lean forward. At the same time, extend your raised leg up and and back until parallel to the floor. Keep your core tight as you perform this move. Repeat on the opposite side.

Jumping Jacks

Start in standing position, with your arms down at your sides. In one quick motion, kick both legs out about shoulder-width apart, keep both arms straight and raise them above your head. Return to the starting position.

The Workout

Practice each of the moves and then complete the following workout. You can add or subtract sets, based on the amount of time you have for this functional fitness workout. And if you want to make it harder, use a medicine ball or dumbbells while performing overhead squats, step-ups, lunges, and torso rotation. Note: Complete one set as an entire circuit, moving from one exercise to the next. Rest one minute and repeat.


Exercise

Sets

Reps

Overhead Squat

3

10

Step-Ups

3

10 (both legs)

Hip Thrust

3

10

Lunges

3

10 (both legs)

Mountain Climbers

3

10

Bird Dog

3

10 (both sides)

Torso Rotation

3

10 (both sides)

Plank

3

10

Warrior III Hold

3

10 (both sides)

Jumping Jacks

3

10


Want to learn more about functional fitness to stay in shape, learn how to work out when you’re pressed for time, build strength and endurance, and achieve your fitness goals? Check out a UFC Gym in your area for more information.

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