Functional Strength Work

This week’s functional strength workout comes from USAT coach Kyle Herrig, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and owner of Triplex Training in Tempe, Ariz. His one-hour workout, focused on working the whole body in all planes of motion, can be done anywhere without equipment, or you can add weight (even a water bottle or jug) if you want to increase the difficulty.

Warmup 1–2 mile easy jog
5–10 minutes of dynamic stretching

Main set Three-way squat: In a single-leg stance, squat down and reach hands to three vector positions: 45-degree angle left, straight ahead, 45-degree angle right. Stand all the way up between each position. Do 3×12 each side.

Alternate push-ups: Get in a regular shoulder-width push-up position but with staggered hands, offset by about 10 inches. Do 3×20 in each position (can also be done kneeling).

Three-way deadlift: In a single-leg stance, bend at the waist to touch three vector positions: 45-degree angle left, straight ahead, 45-degree angle right. Lift up the back leg and reach unless needed for balance. All movement starts at the hip, which will isolate glutes and hamstrings. Do 3×12 on each side.

Side plank hip raise: Get in a side plank position, either on knees or straight leg position on feet. Drop hip down to the floor and return to start position all while keeping body in a straight line. Do 3×15 on each side.

Mountain climbers: Get in a push-up position, with one leg straight and the opposite leg bent to about 90 degrees. Both feet leave the ground as you switch to the opposite position continuously. Do 4×20 reps.

Forward lunge to overhead: Lunge forward with your right leg, left knee will nearly touch the ground. Reach with left hand out in front of right foot, then return to upright position while you press left hand overhead. Do 3×12 on each side.

One-arm plank rotation: While in a side plank position (on elbow), reach free hand under your torso and through. Then return to straight up position. Allow your body to rotate around the stabilized shoulder that is being leaned on. Do 3×12 on each side.

Speed skaters: Do a lateral jump and reach your opposite hand to the outside of plant foot. Do 3×30 on each side.


Dr. Tom Fletcher is a Chiropractor located in Murray, Utah.  He has been specializing in athletic injuries, as well as auto accident injuries such as back pain and whiplash for over 7 years.  He is trained in providing ART (Active Release Technique) and Graston techniques to impaired muscles, tendons, and ligaments. When not working with patients he loves to train and participate in triathlons and Ironman events around the world.