One of CrossFit’s core beliefs is in the value of functional fitness. Functional fitness is simply a type of exercise that supports your everyday life. Functional fitness makes movements like squatting, pulling, pushing, and lifting easier. Things like carrying groceries in from the car, picking up your child, or carrying a heavy suitcase through the airport are all conventional examples of functional fitness.
But who wants to be conventional? That’s no fun. Read on for three unconventional examples of functional fitness.
Dealing with stubborn animals
I have an eighty-pound German Shepherd mix. Between her size, and her golden eyed stare, she looks terrifying. I’ve seen people back away from her. She is, however, a complete chicken shit.
The cat bosses her around, she has separation anxiety, and she crams her humongous self under my bed every time she hears fireworks.
Oh… And she hates the vet.
On one memorable trip to the vet she hopped out of the car, took one look at where we’d stopped, and bolted the other direction. She nearly yanked my arm out of the socket pulling on the leash.
Not to be deterred, I tried to coax her into the vet’s office. She wasn’t having it. Finally, I squatted down beside her, wrapped my arms around her front and back legs, braced my core, and stood up. I carried her up to the door, and when an angel of an employee opened the door for us, I set her back down in the lobby.
Believe me when I say I couldn’t have done that without CrossFit.
Functional fitness movements used: Front rack squats, Deadlift, Farmer’s Carry, Core Work
Getting out of bed (or getting dressed or stretching or … or … or …)
At 42 I’ve found the most dangerous activity I do isn’t CrossFit – it’s existing. If I had a dime for every time I injured myself doing something entirely mundane, I’d be able to retire early. Things like
- getting out of bed, or
- putting on a sports bra, or
- (the worst one) I recently hurt my neck by, no lie, stretching my arms overhead.
The neck injury was so humbling and humiliating I considered lying and telling people I got into a bar fight. Unfortunately, no one would believe a bar fight would happen before midnight, and I turn into a pumpkin at nine, so my cover story was blown before it even started.
Since the neck injury I’ve been working on mobility and core strength to help with annoying injuries like this.
Mobility is your friend. It makes everything possible.
Functional fitness movements used: Mobility and Core Strength
No bathroom? No problem!
Recently my boyfriend and I went for a run on a beautiful trail. It had a great asphalt surface to run on, long stretches of shade, and multiple distances marked for convenience. Unfortunately, it was missing one thing: bathrooms.
Look, I grew up country. Bathrooms are optional. Where I’m from, if a bathroom isn’t available, you grab a friend (because a lookout is a must), and head for the trees. A quick check for snakes and poison oak, you squat, and … well… go.
I really wanted to run, but two cups of coffee had caught up to me, and I had to pee like mad. I stationed my boyfriend at the edge of the bushes, checked for snakes and itchy plants, and voila! Problem solved!
And you know what? All that work at the gym payed off! I am happy to report I did not fall ass first into the grass.
(Bonus: This also works in non-Bucee’s public restrooms. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. And you’re welcome.)
Functional fitness movements used: Air Squats, Weighted Squats, Core Work
Do you have any unconventional examples of functional fitness? Share them in the comments!
P.S. Want to learn more about functional fitness? Reach out to [email protected]!