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Fitness tips: functional training


The push-up
Begin by making sure you have a straight line from head all the way to the knees. Brace your core as you control your body downwards, without letting your elbows flare out. Once your chest is on the floor, keep your abs tight. Drive the floor away from you and exhale as you do so. Finish the rep by locking out the elbows.

The squat
Start with feet hip-width apart and arms by your sides. Move your hips backwards, bending the knees as if you are sitting down into a low chair, while swinging your arms forwards and upwards. Your glutes should be lower to the ground than your knees and your arms should be straight ahead, slightly above your shoulders. With heels down, chest up, abs braced, and knees pushing out, drive to the start position with an exhale.

The pull-up
Grip the bar overhand, squeeze your shoulders back and down. Pull your elbows downwards as far as you can with braced abs, and keep lower body still. The rep is complete once the chin rises over the bar. Stay controlled as you return to the start, and keep your neck straight and long. Don’t start the next rep until your arms are straight.

Luke Barnsley is a master trainer at

Source: TheGuardian