Functional strength isn’t always a priority when it comes to strength training for a lot of people, despite being one of the smartest and most logical ways to train. It offers you true strength that you can transfer into real world movements that can help you in everyday life, as well as helping you to develop muscles all over your body, cut down your body fat, and generally make you a healthier person, rather than just trying to look bigger and be able to lift more during any given particular exercise, as is with a lot of bodybuilding type exercises.

That’s where these exercises come into play. They are 5 of the best exercises that you could possibly do for your whole body because of the range of muscles involved, and how you can do them realistically at almost any fitness levels once you’re confident in your training and you have to right guidance, preparation and determination.


First on the list must be what can only be described as one of the best exercises there are. For what it offers, there are very few exercises that can come close to its functional prowess. It’s undisputable for lower body strength training. The mechanics behind the movement follow a relatively simple structure that appears far more complex than it is.

With a barbell weighted to your standard squatting weight, get yourself into a deadlift position. Grab the bar with a straight back, drive your hips forward and launch the bar upwards to torso height. Once you’ve provided the sheer power needed, bend your knees rapidly to move your strength under the weight from above it, and finish the movement with a vertical squat thrusted movement. Technique, speed and stability throughout are all essential to work in harmony.

Pull Up

Pull ups are another titan of upper body movement. They are definitively functional from every sense of the word because of how natural the motion range that is involved really is. You are essentially just demonstrating and improving your upper body strength as you would need in a primitive world to be able to support your own weight safely.

The movement again is relatively simplistic, despite being a real feat of strength. You need to use a wide grip to incorporate your upper back to its fullest potential and be at a fully lowered position for a true repetition to be carried out. Contract your pack and lift your whole body upward until your chin is above the bar and return to the start.

TRX Push Up

Functional strength is practically born from the push up. It’s one of the basic exercises needed in any fitness regime and an extremely natural way to develop pectoral strength without the need for any equipment. It’s always been a tried and tested way to boost your strength. Using TRX ropes however, takes the challenge and functional strength required to a whole other level.

The mechanics of course follow those of the standard push up. You are supporting yourself with your arms straight out in front of you, bending them to lower your torso closer to the floor, until you powerfully push from your chest to raise yourself back up. The TRX addition however means that while all of this is going on, you need to be able to balance yourself sufficiently, and that’s what this really offers that few other exercises can do.

Front Squat

Although the clean has already majorly pushed your legs to the limit, the front squat is still something that just can’t be ignored. As far as lower body exercises can take you, the squat is the staple of strength. The front squat is preferred over the back squat for ease of form and reduction of risk, and that’s why it’s made its way onto this list.

To do it, grab a weighted barbell of your choice and be able to properly and safely rest it upon your collar bone essentially. Once you have yourself settled, that’s when it’s time to do the work. Bend your knees to lower yourself as deeply as you can while keeping you heels still on the floor. From there, contract your hamstrings and pretty much every other leg muscle to drive the weight back upwards until in the starting position. Just make sure that you can get back up in one piece!

Push Press

The only muscle group that is yet to benefit from these exercises to their fullest potential is the deltoid muscle group. Functional exercises can only take you so far unless you have every major muscle group covered, after all. The push press is an adaptation of the standard shoulder press, and its plyometric development means that it’s an awesome way to add that extra power to your shoulders.

To be able to do it properly, you need to be at a standard standing shoulder press stance with a reasonable weight. From there, instead of driving the bar straight upward with your shoulders and returning, you’re adding in some leg and core activation. Quickly bend your legs slightly and explosively contract again to launch the bar above you. This extra power will allow you to lift that little bit extra, and the progressive overload will make huge leaps in your upper body strength.

That’s the list, in all of its glory, and every exercise on it has forged it’s place there in fire. They are incredibly difficult and rewarding exercises that work miracles for your functional strength. Very few things can rival any of them, and if you can master all of them with reasonable weight, your body will be in fantastic condition for power, speed, agility and stability, the corner stones of any strength training. All of these power house exercises will require a lot of stability throughout, so it’s always a good call to train your core and your lower back to good levels before you try them so just ensure you’re in the optimum physical condition and your form is truly perfected.