Exercise regimens such as functional fitness and Crossfit are excellent fitness approaches for people observing paleo and keto lifestyles. The reason that people usually choose to adhere to a paleo or keto diet is that they want to be holistically healthier. You may want to lose weight, better manage your blood sugar, and improve your gut health. If you are striving to achieve a healthier body and lifestyle, strength and mobility are also important and can be achieved through functional fitness.
What is Functional Fitness?
Functional fitness doesn’t just help you get in shape so you can look good, it also helps you move better in daily life.
For example, if you do gardening, you need to be able to lift 40lb bags of soil, bend over frequently, maintain a squatting position, and lift a watering can over your head. If you notice that your knees or back hurt after regular activities, functional fitness may help you do more of the things that you love.
That’s why members of the Primal Island team have trained for years with Functional Fitness trainer Adam Fawcett, of Vibrant Fitness, on Whidbey Island.
We got together with Adam recently and asked him to share with us some easy-to-do core fitness routines that can be done at home. He recommended the following for strengthening your core, as well as for reducing or eliminating back pain.
Try this Quick Functional Fitness Workout:
1. Watch the two videos below – Bird Dogs and Dead Bugs – to familiarize yourself with the routines.
2. Warm up with a 5 to 10 minute walk
3. Place your laptop or mobile device where you can see it while you do the exercises.
4. Do 2 sets of each exercise, based on the following reps per set:
• Bird Dogs – 15 to 20 reps
• Dead Bugs, 9 contra-lateral reps per side (contra-lateral is opposite arm-leg extensions)
• Dead Bugs, 9 ipsilateral reps per side (ipsilateral is same arm-leg extensions)
5. As a guideline, do the exercises until you feel significant fatigue or feel the burn in targeted muscles.
Strengthening your core is important because it helps you do regular activities more safely. Any time you stand, sit down or pick something up, you are using the muscles of your abdomen and back. Bird dogs and dead bugs are popular functional core exercises and require zero equipment to do. You don’t have to spend an hour working out to notice the benefits of these exercises!
Additional Advice from Personal Trainer Adam:
Adam suggests starting slow and easy at first, aiming to do these exercises every day for 3 to 4 weeks. Each time you’ve done them 4 days in a row, take a rest day, then resume. After 4 weeks, maintain core stability gains by doing the exercises 3 to 5 times per week.