4-Day Functional Training Workout Routine

4 day functional strength training plan and schedule

A 4-Day Functional Training workout routine, designed to enhance day-to-day activities, trains you four days a week with sessions emphasizing different movement patterns. This prepares you for tasks like lifting heavy grocery bags, carrying a child, moving furniture, or even bending down to tie your shoes without strain. Michael Boyle, a renowned coach, functional training expert, and author of “Advances in Functional TrainingTraining Techniques for CoachesPersonal Trainers and Athletes,” defines this method as “sports-general” rather than “sport-specific,” focusing on common actions like sprinting and jumping prevalent across various sports.

Functional training workout often involves multi-joint movements that mimic real-life activities, such as Turkish get-ups, lateral lunges, squats, deadlifts, push-ups, and kettlebell swings. For example, squats can simulate the motion of sitting down and standing up from a chair, deadlifts can replicate the action of picking up a heavy box from the floor, and kettlebell swings might resemble the movement of swinging a shopping bag onto a countertop.

The goal of functional strength training exercises is to improve body composition while enhancing overall strength, mobility, stability, and coordination, which are essential for performing everyday activities and sports-related movements.

This article presents a 4-Day Functional Training workout routine, which is divided into four different types of workouts listed below.

  1. Functional weight training
  2. Functional core training
  3. Functional movement training
  4. Functional interval training

Day 1: Functional Weight Training

Functional weight training refers to the initial day of a 4-day functional training workout routine. On this day, we dive into the world of functional movements, where we integrate exercises that enhance your overall strength, mimicking daily tasks like lifting a heavy object or standing up from a seated position.

This workout emphasizes compound movements, builds muscle endurance, and develops better body composition. You’re gonna be using weights such as dumbbells and kettlebells to enhance overall strength and stability.

The following is the list of exercises for functional weight training.

  • Kettlebell Swings: Hold the kettlebell with both hands and stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Swing the kettlebell between your legs, then thrust your hips forward, straightening your body and swinging the kettlebell up to shoulder height. Return to starting position.
  • Dumbbell Squats: Holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height, stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Lower into a squat, keeping your back straight, then return to starting position.
  • Barbell Deadlifts: With feet hip-width apart, grip a barbell with both hands. Keeping your back straight, lift the barbell by pushing through your heels, straightening your hips and knees.
  • Single Limb Pushups: Start in a pushup position. Lift one leg off the ground and perform a pushup. Switch legs.
  • Lateral Dumbbell Raises: Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your side. Keeping your arms straight, lift the weights out to the side until they reach shoulder height.

This table shows day one of the 4-day functional training workout.

ExerciseReps/DurationRestAlternative Exercise
Kettlebell Swings20 reps1 minDumbbell High Pull
Dumbbell Squats15 reps1 minGoblet Squats
Barbell Deadlifts12 reps1 minSingle-leg Deadlifts
Single Limb Pushups10 reps (each leg)1 minIncline Pushups
Lateral Dumbbell Raises15 reps1 minShoulder Press

Day 2: Functional Core Training

Day 2 of the 4-day functional training regimen, titled ‘Functional Core Training’, specifically addresses the nuances of core stability, laying the groundwork for exercises that enhance flexibility and power in the midsection.

This training not only promotes a sculpted core but also integrates movements that mirror the twists, bends, and stabilizations we undergo daily.

With exercises like the Medicine Ball Front Twist Throw and the Diagonal Plate Raise, the session mimics motions such as turning to grab something or reaching across the body, fostering a deep connection between training and real-life functionality. The Ball Reverse Crunch and Planks emphasize the importance of a strong core foundation, offering exercises that help in tasks ranging from lifting objects to maintaining an upright posture.

Beyond the evident muscle development, this core-focused day incorporates dynamic moves that reduce the risk of back injuries and strains, ensuring that strength is built in harmony with safety.

While Day 1 introduced you to the world of weighted full-body movements, Day 2 builds upon that foundation, channeling the power of functional exercises to sculpt, strengthen, and stabilize the core, ultimately preparing you for the subsequent days of training.

Below are the exercises included in the functional core training regimen.

  • Medicine Ball Front Twist Throw: Holding a medicine ball with both hands, standing with feet hip-width apart. Twist your torso to one side and then quickly to the opposite side, throwing the ball against a wall.
  • Planks: Lie face down, then lift your body onto your toes and forearms. Maintain a straight line from head to heels.
  • Ball Reverse Crunch: Lie on your back, holding a stability ball between your ankles. Lift the ball towards the ceiling using your core, then return to starting position.
  • Diagonal Plate Raise: Holding a weight plate with both hands, raise it diagonally from your left hip to above your right shoulder, and vice versa.

This table displays the second day of the 4-day functional training regimen.

Medicine Ball Front Twist Throw12 reps30 secsDumbbell Russian Twists
Planks30-60 secs hold30 secsSide Planks
Ball Reverse Crunch15 reps30 secsLeg Raises without the ball
Diagonal Plate Raise12 reps per side30 secsDumbbell Lateral Raise

Day 3: Functional Movement Training

Day 3 of the Functional training plan emphasizes exercises that resonate with the rhythm of your daily life, mimicking actions that test agility, like dashing for a departing bus or navigating a crowded sidewalk.

Every drill incorporates a blend of muscle groups, promoting comprehensive strength and ensuring you’re primed for tasks as simple as climbing stairs or as demanding as lifting a heavy suitcase.

The session not only builds muscle endurance but also reduces the risk of injuries by training your body to move with efficiency and grace. From Bear Crawls that develop core stability to Box Jumps that address explosive strength, each exercise integrates functional patterns, ensuring you’re not just fit – you’re functionally fit.

Here are the activities that make up the functional movement training routine.

  1. Bear Crawls: Start on all fours. Move forward using your hands and feet, keeping your hips at the same height as your shoulders.
  2. Turkish Get-Ups: Lie on your back, holding a kettlebell in one hand above you. Rise to a seated position, then to a lunge, and stand up, keeping the kettlebell overhead.
  3. Agility Ladder Drills: Quickly step in and out of each square of the ladder, maintaining a fast pace.
  4. Box Jumps: Stand in front of a box or platform. Jump onto it with both feet, then jump back down.

This table showcases the activities for day three of the 4-day functional training program.

Bear Crawls3 x 30 seconds30 secQuadrupedal Crawl
Turkish Get-Ups3 x 5 reps30 secDumbbell Get-Up
Agility Ladder Drills3 x 1 minute30 secCone Zig-Zag Runs
Box Jumps3 x 10 reps30 secStep-Ups

Day 4: Functional Interval Training

Day 4 emphasizes high-intensity intervals, mimicking the unpredictable nature of real-world physical challenges, and pushing your cardiovascular boundaries.

Unlike Day 3’s steady rhythm, this session incorporates intense bursts of activity, addresses the need for rapid energy exertion, and promotes efficient recovery during rest periods. The Jump Squats and Burpees integrate full-body movements, build explosive strength, and help replicate tasks like lifting or leaping in daily life.

Exercises like High Knees and Mountain Climbers train the body in agility, develop better coordination, and reduce the risk of injuries by improving movement mechanics. Tuck Jumps, while challenging, emphasize core engagement, promote cardiovascular health, and mimic the athleticism required in many sports or physically demanding activities.

These are the exercises included in the functional movement training regimen.

  1. Jump Squats – Perform a squat, then explosively jump up.
  2. Mountain Climbers – Start in a plank position. Drive knees to chest one at a time.
  3. Burpees – From standing, drop into a squat, kick feet back into a plank, return feet to squat, and jump up.
  4. High Knees – Run in place, driving knees up high.
  5. Tuck Jumps – Jump up, tucking knees to chest.

The table displays the exercises planned for the final day of the 4-day functional training regimen.

Jump Squats1230s45sBodyweight Squats
Mountain Climbers2030s45sPlank Hold
Burpees1030s60sHalf Burpees
High Knees3030s45sMarch in Place
Tuck Jumps1030s45sVertical Jumps

What warm-up is required for a 4-day functional training plan?

For a 4-day functional training plan, a comprehensive warm-up is pivotal for optimal performance and injury prevention. The linear active warm-up is a meticulously designed sequence that emphasizes form running and is vital for straight-ahead sprinting preparation.

By focusing on sprint-related drills, this warm-up promotes movement education and prepares the lower body for the intense speed work that ensues. It adeptly integrates exercises to elevate muscle temperature while actively guiding muscles through their full range of motion, ensuring both warmth and flexibility are achieved.

Especially targeting the hip flexors, hamstrings, and quadriceps, the linear active warm-up ensures these pivotal muscle groups are thoroughly prepared for subsequent linear movements such as sprints, plyometrics, and shuttle runs.

The warm-up drill for the 4-day functional training plan is as follows.

  • High knee walk (20 seconds)
  • High knee skip (20 seconds)
  • High knee run (30 seconds)
  • Heel-ups (30 seconds)
  • Straight-leg skip (10 reps each leg)
  • Straight-leg deadlift (10 reps each leg)
  • Walk Backward (bended knees)

What equipment is required for a 4-day functional training plan?

The equipment required for a 4-day functional training plan includes kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls, an agility ladder, and a box for jumps. This equipment emphasizes movements that integrate day-to-day actions, such as lifting or swinging a weight, which helps improve overall body composition and enhances strength, stability, and coordination.

How does a 4-day functional training plan compare in effectiveness to others?

When comparing a 4-day functional training plan to other workout routines, it distinctively emphasizes full-body movements akin to calisthenics and gymnastics. Merging dynamic sequences reminiscent of Ashtanga yoga with high-intensity intervals seen in circuit training and gym programs like F45 and Orangetheory, it harnesses the essence of sports-oriented exercises for agility, strength, and endurance.

Is the 4-day functional training workout good for weight loss?

Yes, the 4-day functional training workout is effective for weight loss. In a 2021 study by Monika Rausch published in the Military Medical Research Journal, functional strength training for 12 weeks resulted in significant improvements in muscle strength and weight loss, with the training group showing increased maximal isometric strength and muscle volumes compared to the control group.