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There are many different exercise routines out there and I’m sure you’ve heard them all. However, at the core of it all is something called the “daily functional five” workout. These are basic exercises that New York City-based fitness expert and CEO of inShape Kimberly Watkins calls them. As mentioned they are basic exercises, but as Watkins has told her followers before, these are functional exercises that are essential for us functioning properly throughout the day.
“Even on days when you have other exercise plans, get out of bed and make a bee-line for a spot on the floor where you can spend as little as five minutes distributing blood flow to muscles, lubricate the joints and boosting your metabolism,” she said. So as she says, they’re pretty important.
So what exactly are these exercises and for how long should you do them for? Well there’s five in all so you only need to spend a minute on each one. As for what they are, let’s go into detail.
First exercise Watkins suggests is the Walk-Out Push-Up. This particular move focuses on multiple muscle groups all at once and involves various planes of movement. Because of this, it accelerates your heart rate. To do this move first start standing with your feet roughly hip-width apart. From there you slowly fold forward at the hips, reaching your hands to the floor. As soon as your hands hit the floor you slowly begin to walk them forward until you are in the starting position of a push-up. Perform the position and then walk your hands back towards your feet and slowly roll your spine up. Repeat this for the full minute.
The second exercise is a tried and true one: squats. While a lot of people don’t like leg day because of this exercise, it’s still an important one. For one it’s one of the best exercises to do regardless of what you are striving to do. Furthermore, squats involve your brain to participate. Your brain will need to ensure you are in the right foot placement and that weight is being distributed properly when performing the exercise. Follow this video to ensure you get the form down.
The third exercise is jumping jacks. This is another one that people roll their eyes at however a little bit of plyometrics can do wonders. Overall jumping jacks provide light impact to the bottoms of our feet which can mean a lot considering they are often the parts to get so sleepy due to being covered in a shoe most of the time. You can even mix it a little bit by doing squat jacks or crisscross jacks.
The fourth exercise you want to do is the hip bridge. Much like with squats, this too engages your brain. Foot placement, weight distribution, breathing, and more. Also when it comes to bridges make sure that your feet are flatly placed on the ground. This goes for your toes too as when they stay down your hamstrings and glutes engage and will help elongate your hips as your body shifts in direction.
The final exercise is the plank. This exercise shouldn’t need much introduction, simply lay on the ground in a push-up position, and push up to the top of your arm extension. From there, hold that position. This exercise is helpful because it engages the upper body and core. (you could also start doing this on your elbows) It’s called PPHC – pushing, pulling, holding and carrying. As such many people prioritize stabilization of our rib cage as well as gluteo-hip in order to do daily functions. But a lot of the exercises don’t help in stretching out the arms while planks certainly do.