Functional Strength Part 2

Last time (read part 1 here) we looked at the push-up and I covered how to breathe in that short article, but I will repeat here – breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, matching the intensity of the exercise with the breathing. What I mean is that if you are performing slow push-ups for example, then your breathing will be slow, matching the motion. As the exercise becomes more intense and difficult, then your breathing will match that intensity. So if you are performing fast Ballistic push-ups, then you breath will match the speed and be coordinated,

The squat is an excellent exercise for many reasons and very functional. You must however, perform it correctly. When many people squat, they bend forward from the waist and what should be a leg exercise, becomes a back one!

To get the correct posture, stand with your back against a wall with your heels, and the back of your head touching the wall. Now notice how straight you are in your posture and this is the posture you will maintain through out the squat. Your legs should be shoulder width apart and your toes facing forward and not flared out.

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To lower yourself into the squat position, just bend your legs, holding that same posture. For many of you this will seem impossible and you will only be able to lower yourself a few inches, but that is fine – posture and alignment are far more important than the number of repetitions at this stage.

Practice this everyday working very slowly and you will notice very quickly that your flexibility will increase and that’s all you want at this stage. When you can lower yourself so that your knees go past parallel, maintaining your form, then you can work on repetitions.

Remember – first work slowly ascending and descending to a count of then and then twenty. Then add repetitions and then finally, work the Ballistic motion as with the push-ups. Finally, form is vital; so don’t sacrifice it for anything!

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