These 8 Moves Are the Core Essentials of a Solid Functional Strength Training Workout

Each month, a new trainer takes us through four of the best workouts they have in their back pocket. Follow along weekly for new ways to sweat it out with us. See All

"Functional fitness" is one of those pieces of wellness jargon that gets thrown around a lot—and for good reason. The training style strengthens your essential movement patterns so that everyday tasks (like squatting down to pick something up or reaching up to grab something heavy) become a cinch. Unsurprisingly, core workouts are, well, a core component of any solid functional strength training regimen.

Experts In This Article

On this week's episode of Well+Good's Trainer of the Month Club,  Deja Riley, Lululemon ambassador, Mirror trainer, and founder of The Sweaty Smile Squad, is introducing you to eight moves that are bound to make your life (or, okay, at least the way you move) a bit easier.

This short and sweet workout requires zero equipment, and you'll cycle through two rounds of eight moves (along with a nice warm-up and cool down). Riley's program includes exercises that you may consider your old fitness friends like squats, calf raises, lunges with rotation, and side lunges. However, throughout the routine, you'll also hear Riley remind you to focus on your core because, in her own words, it’s the "center of everything we are and everything we do." And, hey, it's true: Strengthening the muscles in your torso helps you stabilize and balance by making sure your pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen are all working in tandem.

So when you're ready to queue up Riley's video for yourself, know that you truly understand the "why" behind your workout. And know that, later on, when you're, say, carrying groceries, this 15 minutes will pay off in spades.

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