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Top 10 functional exercises for full-body fitness

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Functional fitness

The focus in fitness these days is functional exercises — exercises that simultaneously use multiple muscles and joints to improve muscular endurance, overall strength, coordination, balance, posture and agility — to get a challenging, effective and fun full-body workout as well as prepare the body for everyday, real-world activities. You'll get a dynamite — and functional — workout with these 10 full-body exercises.

Dynamic prone plank

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Dynamic prone plank

Functionality: This dynamic exercise tones, lengthens and strengthens just about every muscle in your body. Though it is challenging, it's a perfect exercise to end with.

Exercise: Get on your hands and toes, facing the floor, keeping your head, back and legs in a straight line and your arms straight underneath your shoulders. Lift your rear to the ceiling, pulling your belly button into your spine, forming a pike or downward dog yoga position, lengthening your arms and legs. Return to plank position and bend your elbows against your sides, lowering your torso and legs to the floor. Keeping your lower body flat on the floor, use your arms to push your chest and head up towards the ceiling, similar to the cobra pose in yoga, stretching out the front of your body. Lower down and push your body back into plank position. Repeat five to 10 times. As you get stronger, increase the number of repetitions.

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