Unique Functional Strength Exercises

May 13, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

It is true that you really don’t need to use free weights to build strength. REAL strength, also known as functional strength. Strength that you use throughout your every day activities.

  • Pulling
  • Pushing
  • Lifting objects

And over the years I have stumbled upon some great ways that you can build strength to help with all of that. You probably have too.

The first one we all know off is to start performing bodyweight exercises, which I have dedicated a whole book to as you all know (version 2.0 on the way soon folks)

But you can actually build strength in some very unique ways as I have mentioned.

Let me jog your brain already, to some scenarios that I know you ‘ancient’ readers will be very familiar with.

Driving With No Power Steering

As the years go on, technology will naturally improve, and it does. Better cars, better computers and so on. If you want to build some serious functional stength, take a visit to your old mans garage and take his old whip for a spin. The first thing you will notice is how hard it will be to steer the damn thing. It will be hard because new cars have made things easy and luxurious for us to drive in recent years, so hardship and driving has become a thing of the past. Drive that thing for and hour or so every other day and your shoulders, and forearms will get a super workout.

Thats is a bonus no doubt, but the real shocker here is realizing that people had no choice but to drive cars with no power steering way back then. So why did we have fat people 15-20 years ago I wonder? Who knows. All that matters now is that you’ll be jumping into these cars to build some real strength.

Vroom, Vroom!

The Sledgehammer Finger Walk (weights assisted)

I’ve talked about the importance of building grip strength before.
But one unique way of building grip strength, while at home or the gym, is by putting your fire fighter hat on and buying a sledgehammer.

If the person at the counter looks at you in a weird way while you purchase, just tell him/ her that you are using it to break into someone’s house. That will throw them off… because they were probably thinking along those lines anyway 😉

Now that you have your sledgehammer, let me introduce you to,

The Sledgehammer Finger Walk Exercise

This is a simple yet very effective exercise to help you increase your grip strength.


  1. Hold the top of the sledgehammer out in front of you with both hands, using your fingers only
  2. Then crawl your fingers towards the bottom of the sledgehammer

What you are basically doing here is lifting the sledge hammer with your fingers.

You can also do this with one hand.

  1. Place your arm by your side so that your palm is facing backwards
  2. Hold the top of the sledgehammer while you are in that position
  3. Then crawl your hand all the way to the bottom in the same fashion.


It might sound easy, but in true Stay-Fit Bug fashion… let’s take it to the next level!

Add resistance

Nothing innovative or trivial here. It’s the same thing we do with bodyweight exercises such pull ups and chin ups using a dipping belt. All we do is adapt that concept to the sledgehammer finger walk. Just know that this will challenge your grip strength when you do. When you do build supreme strength from this, just make sure you are careful when shaking peoples hands. I don’t want to be the one to blame for turning you into a home made incredible hulk.

Remember, functional strength is all about making the pushing and pulling of everyday objects around easier, and if you want to add some unique variation to your strength building endeavors, then you better get walking… with your fingers that is.

Sit-ups On A Friends Back

I’ve covered this one before, but I’ve recently been re-inspired by this exercise, as I persuaded someone to let me jump on their neck and start doing them.

If you read that article you will know that they can be extremely challenging… which is GREAT! It’s all in the game of training insane. But for me, the highlight comes with the fun factor that this exercise brings. It will test the might of both you and your friend, yes.

But it will also remind you of how fun it is to act like a clown (although safely on this occasion), and for those of you whose backs are still intact, it will assist with retaining your youth. We all know how busy and hectic life gets in adulthood, and it’s so very easy to grow old, stale and bitter as the years pass by. So do your self a favor and act a fool. Who cares if any ones watching. You’re the one building all the strength 🙂

I will soon introduce other effective unique exercises soon, just make sure you stay tuned into the Stay-Fit Bug channel.

See you in the comments.

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