Functional training is a form of exercise that imitates everyday movements and is suitable for everyone looking to move easily. However, the human body needs some strength to function correctly, thus the need for functional strength training. So, what is functional strength training?
Functional strength training is a kind of exercise that concentrates on building strength in patterns needed in everyday movements. This exercise involves gymnastic moves, light weights, and aerobic training. From this definition, the word functional shows how this exercise will improve your body functionality. On the other hand, the word strength highlights how this training will help you achieve the strength required in your everyday life.
Functional strength training is fit for everyone since it prepares participants for their everyday lives. Think of walking to the grocery, carrying the groceries home, sitting and getting up from a seat, and going upstairs. These are the daily activities functional strength training aims at helping you do them with ease.
One of the best aspects of functional strength training is that it requires minimal equipment. The idea behind functional strength training is to improve the six-movement patterns, which include:
This movement training can be done in various environments, including a functional fitness gym, school recreational center, or anywhere with some space and free weights. However, how you start functional training will depend on your past training history. You may want to consult a functional strength training expert if you are a beginner.
The difference between strength and functional strength training is their targeted results. Unlike strength training, which aims at increasing overall muscle strength, functional strength training aims at improving the strength of muscles throughout a specific and useful range of motion. In other words, functional strength training helps you achieve the strength needed to execute your day-to-day activities.
Therefore, workouts that focus on particular body parts or the appearance of muscles are not functional training exercises. However, you can incorporate functional strength training into your regular workouts.
As stated earlier, functional strength training revolves around the six movement patterns of human beings (squat, push, pull, bend, lunge, and core). In this case, the outcome of functional strength training depends on personal goals and how often they exercise. However, there are ways to promote your functional strength training and achieve your desired body functioning. Check them out:
1. Combine Multiple Exercises
Functional strength training prepares your body for daily activities, especially when moving or lifting items. This means you must achieve all-around fitness to achieve a fully active life. But while you may have a specific concern with bending, walking, or squatting, combing multiple exercises will help you achieve the strength, stability, and ease needed to execute your day-to-day activities.
2. Identify Areas of Concern
People have different functioning concerns due to the nature of work, age, or health conditions. In this case, identifying your area of concern will help you do the most appropriate exercise to improve it. For example, if you are having difficulties getting up from a seat, squatting exercises can help you achieve ease when sitting and getting up from your chair.
3. Use Appropriate Equipment
While functional strength training does not involve complex training machines, you must lift some weight to achieve a certain level of muscle strength. Think of lifting luggage off the ground, carrying a sleeping child to bed, or moving furniture. It would be best to incorporate deadlifting and other weight-lifting exercises into your functional strength training routine to perform such activities. In addition to training your muscles to lift significant weights, it helps you gain stability when doing these activities.
4. Prioritize Safety
Functional strength training usually is safer than traditional strength training or bodybuilding. However, it still carries the risk of injuries hence the need for functional strength training supervision or instructions. Some exercises, such as farmer’s walk, bear crawl, and walking lunge, may not require professional supervision. However, weight lifting, such as deadlifting, requires guidance to ascertain the most appropriate weight depending on your training level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced).
Functional strength training trains your body to work without strain and difficulties. If you are a beginner at functional strength training, these are some of the benefits you should expect:
Whether you want to improve your mobility, strength, coordination, or balance, functional strength training can help you achieve them all. However, it would be best to consult functional strength training experts to help choose an appropriate program.