Functional exercise may be trendy approach to fitness, but it is as simple and clear as most good ideas are. The approach has figured out that strengthening normal human movement patterns is more beneficial (and satisfying) than traditional, single-plane exercises. It just makes more sense to the human body to incorporate groups of muscles into familiar patterns, and add resistance and balance challenges to raise the complexity.
It’s as simple as PPLC!
Push- a sled, a box, a shopping cart, or your own body weight.
Pull- a rope, a cable, a lawn mower cord, or your own body weight
Lift- a weighted bar, a plate, a tire, or your own body weight
Carry- a kettle bell, a dumb bell, a bucket, or your own body weight
Combine a PPLC activity with a balance challenge or a rotational component to make the movement even more relevant to real life. This requires some degree of core strength (proximal stability) to prevent injury and overuse. And managing your own body weight through very basic position changes helps promote core strength.
It starts with literally moving out of your comfort zone. Get. On. The. Floor. The simple act of getting up and down and moving into different positions without the leverage of your feet will engage the core.
Here are some great core exercises that can get you started.