How to Use Functional Fitness Equipment for a Killer Arm Workout
When you glance around a gym, it's easy to understand the functions of various equipment pieces, like treadmills, free weights, cycles, and elliptical trainers. But what's up with that huge freestanding framework with all the stuff hanging off it? Basically, it's your new best friend for a killer arm workout.
Although the configuration of this frame can vary from gym to gym, they all fall under the definition of "functional fitness equipment," which is designed to train your muscles to work together in specific ways by replicating movements you might do in a sport, or even at home with everyday tasks.
Although you'll be gaining greater core strength and likely getting some cardio into the mix, this equipment is ideal for working all parts of the arms and shoulders, getting you results fast. Here are a few aspects of functional fitness equipment to consider for arm day:
Pioneered by John Brookfield, (a strongman who enjoyed ripping decks of cards in half) battle ropes may look easy, but after using them for just a few seconds, your arms are going to feel it. The weight and thickness of the ropes can vary, but the setup is the same: one long rope, wrapped around an anchor point, and you hold one end in each hand. There are tons of functional benefits to battle ropes, like improving your grip and strengthening the core, with minimal stress on your joints. Get started with power slams.
Power Slams -- Arms, Shoulders, Legs & Glutes
- Grab each rope with a closed grip, and get into a quarter-squat position.
- Raise both arms as high as you can, then slam the ropes down as you squat.
If your equipment rack has a couple straps hanging down and handles on the bottom, you've got TRX, a deceptively simple item that can work numerous muscle groups. For arms, there are many exercise options that will be helpful for targeting specific areas. Start with a TRX upright chest press.
Upright Chest Press -- Shoulders & Triceps
- Start by standing away from the anchor point with your hands holding the handles in front of you, and holding a solid plank.
- Lower your chest toward your hands, focusing on moving your entire body as one unit, and stop when your hands are in line with your chest.
- Press yourself back up with controlled, slow movement.
Some people love kettlebells so much that they rarely use other types of equipment, and there's a reason for that devotion. The portable bells, which look like small cannon balls with a metal handle, come in various weights and are great for strength, cardio, and flexibility training. If you've never used kettlebells before, consider starting with a lower weight and first focusing on your form. Start with a classic move, the floor press.
Floor Press -- Chest & Triceps
- Lie on the ground with your legs straight or bent.
- Grab a kettlebell by your side, with arm bent at a 90-degree angle, and palm facing your torso.
- Slowly press the weight straight up while rotating your wrist so the palm faces your legs.
- Lower back down slowly, with control.
Hooked on functional fitness after playing with the equipment? We understand. As you keep exploring the possibilities, you can also blend some functional fitness classes into the mix, which often incorporate the kind of elements found in the equipment racks.
For arm workouts, classes, and other fitness adventures, request a UFC GYM free pass today.