I'm a big supporter of functional strength because of its importance to everyday life. When you need to carry someone from a burning building or up and down flights of stairs, your upper and lower body must be physically strong enough to complete these tasks.
In this article, I'm going to present you with an incredibly powerful compound exercise that will help enhance the functional strength in your upper and lower body.
When I say "compound exercise", I'm speaking of exercises that designed to train several muscle groups simultaneously as opposed to isolation exercises that train only one muscle group e.g. bicep curls.
This exercise is geared toward folks who are in good physical shape, so please consult with your physician before starting any physical fitness or nutrition program.
The Neutral Grip Pull up and Oblique Raise Exercise
For this exercise, you'll need access to a neutral grip pull up bar; you can do them at a gym or purchase a pull up bar that can be mounted in the doorway of your home.
Now, I'm going to walk you through the exercise step by step.
- Grasp the neutral grip bar with both hands. Your palms must be facing one another to perform this exercise.
- Using your upper body, pull yourself toward to bars.
- After you pull your body , lift your legs until they are parallel to the floor. Imagine that your body has assumed an "L" shape position with your hands forming the top, your back the middle and your legs the lower part of the "L" shape.
- While maintaining the "L" shape, pull yourself all the up until your eyes are above the bar.
- Lower yourself to the starting point while maintaining the "L" shape.
- Perform this for five sets with a minimum of five repetitions per set. You complete a rep every time you return to your starting position (i.e. at the bottom of the pull up).
Neutral grip pull ups call upon the muscle groups in your shoulders, arms, and upper back. When you bring you raise you legs until they're parallel to the floor and then hold them in that position, you're calling upon your oblique abdominal muscles and the muscles in your lower back.
Combining the neutral grip exercise with the oblique leg raise is also an excellent way to prevent "kipping". Many of you may have seen kipping (or even done it yourselves) without realizing it. Kipping is that extra action of swinging and kicking the legs during the execution of pull up and chin up exercises.
Although the kicking and swinging of the legs provides momentum which helps propel the body upward toward the the pull up bar, this extra action undermines the purpose of the pull up (or chin up) exercise.
When you're performing oblique leg raise while simultaneously doing neutral grip pull ups, you won't be able to kick and swing your legs. (In this case I'm referring to a stationary leg raise; there are leg raise exercises that are intended to repeatedly raise your legs until they're parallel to the floor then lower your legs down again, but that's a workout for a different article.)
Another benefit of the oblique raise is that a strong back will be very useful when performing powerlifting exercises such as deadlifts and squats.
The Extra Benefits Of Functional Strength Training
Functional strength training improves cardiovascular health. When your body is working against gravity (as is the case with any weight lifting exercise), the action forces the heart to pump more blood to the muscles that are executing the lift - which is your very body in this particular case.
Strength training is also a great way to burn calories. Muscle tissue requires more energy even at rest, so you'll be burning calories even when you are not exercising.
So when you're looking for a way to build solid, hard, lean muscle in your upper and lower body and develop fantastic functional strength at the same time, add this workout to your exercise routine.
WE can do incredible things if we rely on the power of the living God.
***Like us on Facebook!!!***
I'm living fit, healthy and happy(SM). Are you?
"Functional Strength Workout - Neutral Grip Pullups And Oblique Raise Exercise" copyright © 2016 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.