When we think of the term ‘home workout’, we tend to imagine people working out in their living rooms or in home gyms. Home implies ‘indoors’ and thus we assume that a home workout will most likely take place in one of the rooms of the house.
But this is not always the case. In fact, the best way to perform home workouts is often going to be to train outdoors and there are a couple of good reasons for this. Read on to discover what those are…
What is Functional Strength?
The idea of functional strength is that you’re trying to build strength that you can actually ‘use’ in a real-life setting. This means that the strength you’ve developed can translate to better lifting when you’re moving house, or better grip in a sparring match. This is sometimes viewed in the context of evolution – what type of strength is our body designed to develop? What kind of strength would be useful when we were in the wild for hunting, foraging and building?
It’s often said that the best way to build functional strength is to perform deadlifts and bench presses. That way, you can train in such a way that you’re using multiple muscle groups in unison and combining that with good form, good grip strength and more. These are compound ‘big’ lifts and they tend to get universal praise.
But actually, you can make the case that these aren’t really functional in the context that we’ve described them. Why? Because there is no point in the wild where you would be tasked with picking up a perfectly straight bar from the ground with perfect technique.
In the wild, you’ve have been picking things up in a hurry, at the wrong angle and with poor grip. When you climb a tree for instance, you might be performing the equivalent of pull ups – but every single branch is going to be a slightly different shape and a slightly different width. No two branches are the same and the angle you’ll grab the branch each time will be different as well.
This is true functional strength.
And this is why you need to start training in your garden! Not only will training in your garden help you to build more muscle by challenging yourself in unique ways every single time – such that you never plateau but it will also expose you to training in different weather conditions and it will ensure you’re getting a good dose of vitamin D. In short, this is far healthier for you and it poses a unique challenge.
So on sunny days, step out of your home gym and try lifting some logs or bricks in the garden, or performing chin ups from that tree! You can skip, jog round the garden or even just try moving a pile of bricks from one side to the other. With more space and less chance of breaking things, you can also get a lot more creative with the way you’re training out here!