Functional Aging Workout


This workout is designed to address many areas vital to functioning well in late life such as dynamic balance, muscle power, agility, core stability, multi-directional whole body strength and endurance. It follows the key principles of the Functional Aging Training Model™ developed by the Functional Aging Institute and is intended for individuals that are already relatively fit. Please consult with your medical provider before beginning this or any other fitness program!

Functional Aging Workout

Movement Prep Routine (4-5 min)

Workout Routine

For some of the exercises in this workout, you will need resistance tubing with handles (preferably 2 different strengths) and something to anchor the band to. Perform two rounds of each, moving quickly from one exercise to the next with little to no rest. Rest 1-2 minutes in between rounds.

Resisted Power Punch (12 with each arm)

Starting in a shoulder-width stance, hold the tubing handle in your right hand, by the right armpit with your elbow out (like a chicken wing). Keep the tubing anchored taut to your right at chest level. Step to your left while opening your left foot to point in that direction.

Turn your body (chest and hips) to the left and press your right hand out in front like a punch.

Let your right heel come up so your foot swivels to the left, then return to the starting position. Complete all reps on the right side and then all reps on the left.

TIPS: Start slowly until you get the motion down and then start to add speed. Focus on keeping your core tight so that your shoulders and hips turn as one unit.

  • Regression: 1 arm contralateral (opposite arm/leg) chest press in split stance
  • Progression: Punch fast with speed, return to start slowly

Reverse Archer Lunge (12 ea side)

Starting in a shoulder-width stance, hold the tubing handle in your right hand with your right arm extended in front. Keep the tubing anchored taut directly in front at waist-height.

Step back with your right foot and drop your right knee to the ground. Simultaneously, turn your torso to the right and pull the tubing towards your body in a rowing motion.

Squeeze the right shoulder blade towards your spine as you pull then return to your starting position. Complete all reps on the right side and then complete all reps on the left.

  • Regression: 1 arm ipsilateral (same side arm/leg) row in split stance
  • Progression: Squat in between rows and alternate left and right without rest

T Stabilization (12 reps)

FAI T Stabilization Logo

Start in full prone (stomach facing the floor) push-up position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Turn your whole body so that your right hand comes off the ground and points to the ceiling. Your body should now be facing to the right.

Allow yourself to naturally rotate onto the sides of your feet. Return to your starting position and repeat on the left side.  Return to the starting position to complete one full repetition.

TIPS: Keep your body rigid the entire time. Do not allow your hips to sink or raise during the movement. Rotate your shoulders and hips at the same time. Hold each side and front position for 1-2 seconds.

  • Regression: Front plank 10 seconds; Left plank 10 seconds; Right plank 10 seconds (3 sets total)
  • Progression: Raise top leg briefly to a star plank when on each side

Carioche, AKA grapevine (4 reps)

FAI Grapevine LogoThis is a lateral agility exercise.  Stand in an athletic ready position with feet shoulder-width apart. Cross  your right foot in front of the left foot so that your legs are crossed. Move your left foot to the left to a shoulder-width stance. Cross your right foot behind the left foot. Move your left foot to the left to a shoulder-width stance. Repeat the pattern.

Then, reverse the pattern to the right twice (left foot is now crossing in front and then behind right). The complete pattern is four steps to the left and then four steps to the right.

TIPS: Start slowly but the goal is to do this as quickly as possible. Keep your feet light and nimble.

  • Regression: Shuffle instead of carioche
  • Progression: Reach opposite hand to foot of planted foot

One leg deadlift to knee lift (6 on each leg)

Start in a narrow-width stance. Reach your right leg back while leaning forward and reaching your right hand to ground so that entire body is parallel with the ground. Stand back up and raise your right knee to waist level without allowing the right foot to touch the ground.

TIPS: Keep knee of stance leg soft and not locked out.

  • Regression: one leg deadlift, touchdown after each rep
  • Progression: keep arms extended overhead the whole time

Alternating Skater’s Lunge (10 ea side)

FAI Skater Lunge Logo

Start in a narrow-width stance. Hop to the right to land on your right leg. Your left leg should stay off ground. Reach your left hand towards the right foot.

Hop to the left to land on the left leg. Your right leg should stay off the ground. Reach your right hand towards left foot.

TIPS:  The motion should be similar to an ice speed skater. Hop sideways as far as you can in an explosive movement.

  • Regression: Side lunge right 10 times; left 10 times
  • Progression: Hop as far as you can laterally for each lunge and don’t let back leg touch the ground

Tall Kneeling Alternating Overhead Press (12 with each arm)

Get into a kneeling position on both knees, holding the tubing handle in your right hand by your right shoulder, with the tubing anchored taut under your right knee.

Press your right hand towards ceiling and return to the starting position while maintaining an upright torso position.

TIPS:  Put a pad, mat or towel under knees if it is uncomfortable.

  • Regression: Seated Alternating Overhead Press
  • Progression: One arm only

One Leg Bridge (12 on each side)

FAI Bridge LogoLie on your back with your knees bent and feet firmly on ground. Extend your left leg and press the right foot into the ground while lifting your hips towards ceiling.

Your left leg should remain extended and lift off the ground as the hips raise. At the top of movement, the shoulders, hips, knees and left foot should be in a straight line. Perform all reps on your right leg and then repeat on left leg.

TIPS: Pause for a 2 count at top of movement. Do not allow hips to rotate but keep them level. Engage buttocks and core.

  • Regression: Two leg bridge with 3 sec hold
  • Progression: Lift, raise other leg up and back down

Full Pushup (12)

FAI Push-Up Logo

Start in prone position (stomach toward the ground) with your hands on the floor and thumbs just under your armpits. Pull your toes towards your shins and press your body off of the floor so that your arms are extended. Keep your body rigid so it raises as one unit. Slowly lower your body to the floor without relaxing.

FAI Modified Push-Up Logo

  • Regression: Pushup from knees (12 times)
  • Progression: Do 6 on one foot and 6 on the other

Stir the Pot (10 times each side)

Start in a shoulder-width stance with your elbows by your side and arms bent with your hands in front of your body, grasping the tubing handle. Keep the tubing anchored taut to the right at hand level.

Move your hands in a circular motion as if stirring a large pot. Keep your whole body stable and rigid during the movement. Complete 12 circles then turn your body to face the opposite direction (tubing anchored to the left) and complete 12 circles.

  • Regression: Isometric Hold (10 sec on each side)
  • Progression: Shuffle out, stir the pot; shuffle back – Repeat

Metabolic Finisher (optional)

As many rounds as possible in 3 minutes (shoot for 3) with as little rest as possible.

20 jumping jacks

20 mountain climbers (right and left knee forward count as one)

20 bodyweight squats

Post Workout Flexibility (30 sec ea)

Perfect Stretch

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

Pigeon Stretch

Supine One Knee Crossover Stretch


Child Pose Arms Overhead