Our head trainer, Rhys, is a huge fan of functional exercise and the benefits that it can have for your body. Functional exercise focuses on using your own body as resistance, instead of standard weights or machines.
By using your body through functional exercise, you are having to activate many more muscles to keep yourself stable. Adding this element of balance requires you to control your body’s movement patterns instead of relying on a machine, and as a result you will find that your body activates a lot more muscles including the smaller muscle groups that are often hard to target. Not only are you having to use the main muscle groups that you are targeting, but you are also having to use smaller stabilisation muscles that surround your primary muscles and also your core.
With only 8 weeks to go until Crave Fiji, Team Crave are getting creative and stepping up the training options – and we think you’ll love this challenging little beauty as much as we do!
The Swiss ball press up
Adding something simple, like a swiss ball, into your workout can have a dramatic effect on your muscle activation and allow you to take your workout to the next level. As the ball is an unstable environment, it ensures that you recruit all those smaller stabilising muscles and boosts the overall effort of your workout. The Swiss ball press up is designed to work your upper body while engaging your core muscles to keep you balanced on the Swiss ball at the same time.
Depending on your fitness level you can work through the levels to advance the exercise, constantly challenging yourself and noticing the improvement in your strength and stability.
Swiss ball under tummy - hands on the floor performing the press up
Swiss ball under knees
Swiss ball under feet
Single leg on Swiss ball
Alternating Swiss ball between feet while you carry out your press up
If you’ve never performed press ups before it’s a good idea to start without the swiss ball so that you become familiar with the movement. Start on your knees, your feet, or even up against a wall – wherever is the most comfortable for your fitness level. Once you can complete a set of press ups, try adding in the Swiss ball for that extra challenge.
Take a note of what level you are starting at. By the time we take off to Crave Fiji we are sure that you'll have moved up a couple of levels if you dedicate some time and effort to challenging yourself with these exercises. Without challenge there is no progression. Work on yourself, for yourself, and reap all the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle.