Functional fitness is a trending topic on social media, and most influencers are talking about it. Every fitness instructor or influencer talks about its benefits and how it helps reshape your life. Despite this, functional training didn’t start yesterday; it has been practiced for a long time. It began in a physical rehabilitation center where therapists used the training to improve their patient’s recovery.
Functional fitness is physical training that empowers your body to tackle daily activities. These exercises can be used in real life in your daily routine. They include lifting, bending, loading, twisting, squatting, pulling, etc. The best thing about functional fitness is that it contains multiple joint movements involving the hips, knees, spine, wrists, and shoulders, which build your body’s strength and balance.
Although all exercises benefit your body, not all are in the functional fitness category. For example, the bench press is not defined as functional fitness because people do not typically do that motion daily. Specific exercises qualify because they are everyday activities and movements.
A great example of a functional fitness exercise is the squat because you will squat when sitting, getting in your car, using the bathroom, or standing up. Furthermore, more functional fitness exercises may vary with the age group. For example, a senior person may have difficulty getting in the car. As a result, a functional training exercise for the elderly may not be the same as that of a 28-year-old.
Also, people with disabilities will require different functional training than those without disabilities. Functional activities change in each stage of life, so does functional exercise.
If you want your functional training to improve and be helpful, you should try to imitate the activity you do. You must focus and use the same contraction, range of motion, and speed. The closer you mimic the actual activity, the better and more effective training. For example, if you are a cyclist, your functional training should revolve around movements that strengthen biking muscles.
Most people gain physical benefits from functional training, while some gain serious rewards from the training methods. Let’s check out the training methods.
In the US military, there is now an emphasis in high-intensity functional training for soldiers. This type of program promotes better physical readiness in different situations through an endurance strength training period. Although such intense exercise may benefit trained soldiers, it could be dangerous if applied to the general population if they aren’t ready for it.
Older people mainly use low-intensity functional training to help them maintain their lifestyles. Older people who do functional exercise have strength and agility. Endurance, balance, and flexibility are more than those of the elderly who don’t exercise.
Before starting any exercise, you should consult your healthcare provider, especially if you’re beginning functional training or have any medical issues that may cause a threat if you exercise. Don’t start training at a stage that can put you at risk of injury.
Instead, increase the training intensity slowly, allowing your body to adapt to the new training program. Anyone can start functional training by working with a professional to ensure safety and effectiveness.
During the day’s activity, several things can throw you off balance. So it would be best if you work towards stability to prepare yourself for the unexpected. You should not only train to look fit, but also to improve your quality of life and how your move. Functional training can help you improve stability and balance while improving your look and physique.
A lunge is an example of an exercise that increases your stability, and being proficient at it will increase your comfort level and safety when reaching higher shelves and being off balance without fear of falling.
The more you exercise your muscles, the better your chance of living a quality life. Stronger muscles will help you move things quickly or lift things without trouble. You can bend and stand without complaining about your back. With functional training, you will gain muscles by doing weight exercises. Your body will be proficient in movement, add resistance and help you gain muscle.
Most exercise machines will help you gain muscle, but if you want to increase strength, engage in a training program.
Functional fitness will decrease your injury risk significantly in your daily activities. Most people will not get injured in a fitness class, but typically get hurt while doing other chores or home-related activities. The activities in your life may cause injuries if you don’t exercise or when you’re physically unfit.
A great exercise to help you reduce the risk of injury is a lateral shuffle bar pickup. This exercise will help you to train for motion and picking things from the floor on any other surface.
It’s not all about how strong you are, but also how you can handle your daily activities. This is where mobility jumps in. Functional training will help make movements easier when running your activities. Incorporate exercises that will help you increase your ability to move with ease.
If you are wondering which exercises are great for increasing mobility, start simple. Mastering a squat should be your first challenge. It helps in building your muscles and improves overall mobility.
Here are the most common functional training exercises:
Functional fitness training is beneficial in everyday life because it helps your body tackle daily activities without stress. You can ask your fitness trainer about the best functional fitness program for you if you are a beginner. But before starting the program, consult your doctor first to avoid the risk of injury.
Remember, when starting your exercise, start slowly; with time, you can intensify it because you can never go wrong with functional fitness; once you start, you will gain strength, mobility, balance, and stability.