Monday Morning Workout: the Functional Fitness Routine


Editor’s Note: Each Monday of the 2015-2016 football season, MEN’S FITNESS will present a workout (scalable for any fitness level) designed to burn off all the beer and pizza you probably devoured on Sunday while watching all that football. (Props if you ate healthy, though!) You can also do the routine before Monday night’s big game as a preemptive measure. Previous workouts: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5

The NFL’s Week 13 Monday Night matchup features an old-school rivalry showdown between two searching teams in a broken-down, yet wide-open NFC East division.  After suffering a hairline fracture that will likely keep him sidelined through the postseason (should Dallas squeeze in) , Tony Romo will sit and watch as Matt Cassell leads the (3-8) Cowboys at Washington (5-6).  Monday night will be pivotal for Redskins’ starting QB Kirk Cousins, who will be under the spotlight as Washington zeroes in on its quarterback of the future.  With the playoffs fast-approaching, the game will be a must-win for both sides.  

It’s always a good idea to forego the six pack and those bowls of salty snacks and greasy appetizers for a healthier alternative, but if that’s too much of a football-night tradition, then make sure you knock out this simple functional fitness workout—courtesy of NASM-certified trainer Ali Holman—beforehand.  

Functional exercises are the foundation of an athlete’s physical ability.  These simple movements can be done without stepping out of your living room, and are a surefire way for beginners to boost strength, agility, speed, and core balance (all things those NFL’ers need, too). You’ll torch your abs and send your heart-rate through the roof if you push to the max and keep the intensity high throughout the workout.

Directions:  Do each exercise for 45 seconds at maximum intensity depending on your starting fitness level, taking a 15-second rest only in between sets. Do as many rounds as you have time for before the game.

In a straight plank with feet on stool, hands on ground and strong core-Jump feet towards hands and then back onto stool.
Works:  Upper body, lower body, core and cardio

With one hand on stool and body in straight plank position, other hand on ground, perform a pushup. Then step feet over and switch hand on stool, performing a pushup on the opposite side.
Works: Core, Upper Body

Hands on stool, rear in air, on toes. Drop knees toward the ground and then press rear back up, then propel heels to rear quickly.  Repeat.
Works: Upper Body, Glutes, Core and Cardio

In reverse straight plank, heels on stool, rear pulled up. Alernate bringing heel to rear, keeping body in a straight position.
Works:  Glutes, Shoulders and Core

In a straight plank, feet on stool, raise rear and touch R hand to L foot, then return to straight plank position.
Works: Upper Body, Core and glutes.

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