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, 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.
Before you can move freely in your daily life without worrying about injury, you need to get back to basics. This takes incorporating strength, balance, range of motion, coordination and flexibility. Focusing on these aspects of your Fitness Training will make every-day activities easier. These include walking, jogging, running, jumping, lifting, pushing, pulling, bending, twisting, turning, standing, climbing, lunging, and many more.
If this sounds like something you might enjoy, it’s important to consider how you’ll get started . While some may succeed on their own, we recommend consulting with a Personal Trainer that specializes 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 style of training. In addition, joining a group fitness class can be a great place to start. Whichever path you choose to take, functional fitness not only optimizes your performance inside and outside of the gym – but in your every day life.
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.
Prior to it even having a name, our hunter gatherer ancestors were doing 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.
What we know as “Modern Functional Fitness,” is rooted in rehabilitation. Similarly, it is often used by physical therapists, Chiropractors, and specially trained personal trainers to correct abnormal function 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 every day can be prescribed to help them get back 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.
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 every day movements.
Here’s 5 of the main benefits of functional fitness:
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.
Performing these exercises regularly doesn’t just build muscle and improve cardiovascular function, it actually exercises and effectively boosts your brain too.
FFT improves balance, coordination, flexibility, and agility. By improving these components, you’ll have more mobility making your day-to-day life easier.
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.
Training muscles through everyday life movements encourages strength in specific areas that are highly susceptible to injury, which reduces stressors that may cause injury.
While this is just a few of the many benefits, it’s easy to see that functional fitness can be highly beneficial.
Functional fitness, when correctly trained, prepares your body for real life, not just lifting heavy weights at the gym. This broad style of training will help you become a truly well-rounded athlete, reduce the risk of injury, and make every day tasks easier.