While functional fitness may seem intimidating at first, it is an exercise program for everyone no matter his or her current fitness level. However, there are certain workouts that be out of reach for beginners due to lack of technical skill, strength, or endurance. Individuals can scale almost every fitness exercise, but some workouts are better for beginners than others are. The following beginner-friendly fitness workouts will allow newcomers to gauge their current fitness level, improve their endurance, and perfect their form.
Before diving into any fitness workout, you should make sure you warm up and do some dynamic stretching. This primes your muscles for the exercises ahead and improves your mobility. You should also consider working with a coach to ensure you are using proper form. Failure to do so can result in injuries. Lastly, you should be sure to cool down after a workout to allow your muscles to relax and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
The Modified Cindy
Several fitness WODs (workout of the day) have names, and any experienced athlete will know that day’s WOD by hearing it. However, many of these WODs are intense and may scare off inexperienced would-be athletes. For example, take the Cindy workout. This is a twenty-minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) workout consisting of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats.
For those new to fitness, there are several ways to modify this into a beginner-friendly fitness WOD. Let us assume you have the strength to perform all of these exercises, but your endurance is not quite there to repeat them for twenty minutes. If this is the case, you can cut the WOD in half and only go for ten minutes. Each time you perform this modified WOD, you can track how many rounds you complete. As your endurance improves, you will be able to complete more rounds. In time, you will be able to go for the full twenty minutes.
Another common problem facing newcomers is the reverse of the above. These individuals can workout at a high intensity level for a prolonged period, but they may lack the strength to perform all of the exercises. This is where scaling the workout comes in handy. There are several ways to modify the Cindy exercises. If you cannot perform pull-ups, you can utilize a resistance band to help lighten your load. You can also use a chair to help you get up to the bar and then perform negatives by lowering yourself down under your own steam. For push-ups, you can perform them on your knees or against a wall. Given enough time, your strength will increase and you will be able to perform these exercises without modifications.
The Modified Helen
The Helen WOD consists of a 400-meter run, 21 kettlebell swings (using 1.5 pood or a 50/55lb kettlebell), and twelve pull-ups for three rounds. Beginners should take the 400-meter runs at a manageable pace. While 400 meters may not seem very long, it can quickly tire you out and make the remainder of the exercises a bear to complete.
For the kettlebell swings, there are a couple of modifications. The first is to perform a Russian swing versus an American swing. The American version calls for you to lift the kettlebell over your head. If you lack the strength or mobility to perform this correctly, you can perform a Russian kettlebell swing instead. To do so, you swing your arms until they are parallel to the ground. Another modification is to swing a lighter weight kettlebell. Many Functional Fitness WODs prescribe a weight for various exercises, but you can decrease this to match your current fitness level.
As for the pull-ups, you can modify them as discussed above.
The Modified Angie
The Angie WOD is a beast of a workout, but even inexperienced athletes can try it with the proper modifications. The Angie is an AFAP (as fast as possible) workout consisting of 100 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, and 100 squats. The first modification newcomers can try is cutting the workout in half. While 50 reps of any exercise may sound intimidating, there is nothing that says you have to perform all 50 reps in a row. For example, you can divide these reps into ten rounds of five reps of each movement. Once you master the half Angie, you can increase as appropriate until you can perform all 100 reps of each exercise.
One of functional fitness’ best features is its scalability. Whether it is the number of reps, the weight, the total time, or the exercises themselves, there is a way for beginners to modify them. While experienced athletes may seem intimidating, they too had to start somewhere. Focus on improving your form, strength, and endurance and you will see improvements. The coaches at LoCoFit Leesburg can help you achieve all of this and more. To learn more, schedule a No Sweat Introduction today.