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.

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suprine bridge with arm extension

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Supine bridge with arm extension

Functionality: This exercise tones and strengthens your arms, shoulders, back, glutes and legs, as well as targets your core muscles. It also opens up your chest and the front of your hips (muscles that get tight with long hours of sitting and using the computer).

Exercise: Sit on the floor with your hands underneath your shoulders, knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keeping your arms straight, use your legs to push your hips up to the ceiling until your torso is flat like a table top. Lift your right arm straight up towards the ceiling, rotating your upper body so that it is supported by your left arm, keeping your hips lifted. Lower your right arm to start position and just slightly lower your hips but don't let them return to the floor. Repeat with your left arm. Repeat 10 to 15 times for each side. As you get stronger, hold your arm and hips up for two seconds before slightly lowering. You can also lay a weighted ankle strap across your hips to increase the weight your legs must lift.

Up next: More functional exercises for full-body fitness >>

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