Your Functional Fitness Test: See What You’re Really Made of with These 3 Moves
Are you ready to put your shoulder mobility, core strength, and hamstring flexibility to the test? These fun, straightforward exercises will help you to uncover imbalances, hidden muscle tension, and inefficient movement patterns! Strength and flexibility won’t be the only assets required to pass… you’ll also need a body that is capable of moving well.
Get ready to sample what it takes to train like a world-class athlete by combining mobility AND strength. These fun, simple exercises will help you reveal imbalances, hidden muscle tension, and inefficient movement patterns! These exercises are at the heart of GymnasticBodies Training as they efficiently promote improvements in mobility, strength, and, as a result, movement.
Are you ready to test your entire body's ability to move functionally, like a well-oiled machine? Good. Grab some floor space and get ready for a challenge!
Test 1: Sideways Arch to Hollow Roll
This first exercise is going to challenge your entire core, forcing it to work as a single unit. Each roll will start and end in the hollow body position. To find your hollow body shape, lay on your back with arms overhead. Extending your body long, lift your shoulder blades and legs off of the floor. You know you're in the hollow body when your abs start burning!
Even though it’s hard, keep your stomach strongly engaged and keep your lower back pressed firmly into the ground.
Now we’ll test your core control! Your challenge is to use your core strength to initiate a sideways roll onto your stomach and then back to the hollow body (see the cover image for a visual). As you roll onto your stomach, your goal is to keep your body extended long as your arch your spine! Can you keep your thighs and chest off the ground?
Aim for 10 smooth rolls in each direction and feel your abs start to burn!
If you are having trouble initiating the roll or keeping your body hollow, give your abs a boost with the core workouts from our Foundation Series. Can’t arch big?
Test 2: Inchworm
This next exercise is going to challenge your hamstring flexibility and upper body strength. Begin standing with your feet together. The first step is to try and get your hands flat on the floor without bending your knees.
If your hands are flat on the floor then your hamstring flexibility is amazing! If you’re not quite there yet, don’t worry. This exercise is meant to help that! Pause for just a moment in your best stretch before bending your knees just enough to get your hands flat on the ground.
Next, start walking your hands away from your feet. Be sure you keep straight arms and, as soon as you can, straighten your legs as well. How far out can you walk your hands? Do your best to match the video above before stopping. Now creep your feet back to the starting position, get a nice stretch, and repeat.
Can you make it 10 rounds???
This combination of strength, flexibility, and movement is what GSTTM is all about! If you enjoy this exercise or would like more movement practice then have a look at the Tumbling One Course and start your movement training now!
Want to work on your strength and range of motion? Our array of Online Courses will guide you every step of the way. The best part? Just like this fitness test, GST can be done anywhere, including your home! Thousands of GB Students are already making amazing progress through at-home GymnasticBodies workouts, so start yours now!
Test 3: Scapular Shrugs
The third and final test has arrived so keep on cranking! Scapular shrugs are not as intimidating as they sound. In fact, with just a little guidance and some practice, you’ll be strengthening your shoulders and back in a way you never thought possible!
The setup is simple: Start kneeling on a mat or carpet as shown in the image below. Place your hands flat on the ground and position them directly underneath your shoulders. Now, keeping your arms straight, push away from the floor like there is a hot poker coming towards your chest. You should feel your shoulder blades spread apart and as your chest comes up a bit higher. Good work! In the Gymnastic Strength Training™ world, we call this action scapular “protraction”.
Next, we’ll complete the second half of a scapular shrug by doing the opposite movement. The goal is to pinch your shoulder blades together as your chest lowers down a couple of inches. Imagine you are trying to squeeze a pencil between your shoulder blades. This is called scapular “retraction”.
Now that you have those motions down, stay strong as you pinch and spread your shoulder blades for 15 repetitions.
Having trouble getting the hang of this one? Don’t worry. Our Fundamentals Course is full of expert instruction and follow along lessons to cover basic strength exercises just like these!
Too easy? For a bigger challenge, try these in a plank position instead.
GymnasticBodies Training is all about improving your mobility and strength together, keeping your body balanced and allowing you to move functionally for a lifetime!