Functional Fitness can help train your body for a longer, healthier, and more enjoyable life through movements, stretching, and exercises that improve daily activities!
What Is Functional Fitness?
Functional Fitness is a type of fitness training that readies the body for every-day movements and activities. To clarify, It prepares your muscles to work together and perform common tasks you may do at home, at work, or in your specific sport. It isn’t about lifting a certain amount of weight or spending hours in the gym. Instead, it’s centered around building a body fit for doing real-life activities in naturally occurring positions. For example, you might be able to deadlift 400+ pounds at the gym, but what good is that if you throw your back out when you pick up your kids?
In short, our bodies were created with the goal of having the entirety of our muscles cooperate. Isolating certain muscles to add mass was not what our bodies were built for.
Functional Fitness Basics
Before you can move freely in your daily life without worrying about injury, you need to get back to basics. This incorporates strength, balance, range of motion, coordination, and flexibility. Focusing on these aspects of your Fitness Training will make everyday activities easier. These include walking, jogging, running, jumping, lifting, pushing, pulling, bending, twisting, turning, standing, climbing, lunging, and many more.
Getting Started With Functional Fitness
If this sounds like something you might enjoy, it’s important to consider how you’ll get started. While some may succeed independently, we recommend consulting with a Personal Trainer specializing in Functional Fitness. Furthermore, starting out with exercises that utilize body weight as resistance is key. You can always add more resistance as you get more accustomed to this training style. In addition, joining a group fitness class can be a great place to start. Whatever path you choose, functional fitness optimizes your performance inside and outside of the gym – and in your everyday life.
The History Of Functional Fitness
The term “Functional Fitness” has been thrown around within the fitness industry for a long time. Why? Because of its effectiveness and how much sense it makes.
Before it even had a name, our hunter-gatherer ancestors did it as far back as 2 million yeas ago, according to History.com. These individuals relied entirely upon their bodies and ancient devices to survive. Back then, this type of fitness was the only type of training that existed. For example, if our ancestors weren’t fast or agile enough to catch their food, they couldn’t eat. This is where the term “survival of the fittest” came from. Likewise, it’s how the human species has been able to evolve and thrive over time. Functional Fitness is training your body for what it was designed for.
Modern Functional Fitness
What we know as “Modern Functional Fitness” is rooted in rehabilitation. Similarly, physical therapists, Chiropractors, and specially trained personal trainers often use it to correct abnormal functions and retrain muscles. Inabilities due to injury, surgery, overuse, or repetitive motion weaknesses have all been improved through training. For example, a person has hip replacement surgery that decreases mobility. Individualized exercises that mimic what they do daily can be prescribed to help them return to normal. Functional Fitness Treatments are designed with careful considerations in mind. These include the patient’s condition, his/her goals, and ensuring those goals and timeframes are achievable.
The Many Benefits Of Functional Fitness
Training in this way has more than just a few amazing benefits. In fact, when compared to other forms of training, the benefits of functional fitness quickly rise to the top because it’s specifically designed around everyday movements.
Here are 5 of the main benefits of functional fitness:
1) Improves everyday life
By functionally improving the body through increasing strength, endurance, and stability, Functional Fitness improves your overall quality of life and relieves stress while usually being a lot more fun than other types of training.
2) Muscle memory
Performing these exercises regularly doesn’t just build muscle and improve cardiovascular function, it actually exercises and effectively boosts your brain too.
3) Increased mobility
FFT improves balance, coordination, flexibility, and agility. By improving these components, you’ll have more mobility, making your daily life easier.
4) Improved posture
Since this type of training focuses on training muscles to work together, they can then manage weight and movement properly. This reduces physical stress and improves posture during daily activities like standing and sitting.
5) Reduced risk of injury
Training muscles through everyday life movements encourages strength in areas highly susceptible to injury, reducing stressors that may cause injury.
While these are just a few of the many benefits, it’s easy to see that functional fitness can be highly beneficial.
How is Functional Fitness Different?
When correctly trained, functional fitness prepares your body for real life, not just lifting heavy weights at the gym. This broad training style will help you become a well-rounded athlete, reduce the risk of injury, and make everyday tasks easier.