More and more people are signing up for gyms these days, but worryingly many of these people seem to believe that the quality of the gym they join depends more on the definition of the TV screens in the treadmills than any other definition that could see their upper body from proper training. It seems that in the fitness and leisure industry far too much emphasis is placed on leisure rather than fitness…. but fortunately, there is another way for those who really want to improve, and more and more people are realizing this: functional fitness training.
Now there are many internet articles and threads that simply discuss the definition of functional fitness training. that’s not one of them. I understand that any workout can be classified as functional depending on what you’re training for. For example, if you include job description a need to have yes to the largest biceps in the world then 2 hours of bi curls a day could be classified as functional training.
The goal here is not to argue the vagueness of the term, but to emphasize the benefits so that functional fitness training in the sense of this article refers to an exercise or group of exercises that mimic, adapt and enable the improved performance of the daily tasks of life for the majority of people, with a reserve left over for individual goals.
Here the quality of life outside the gym could and should be improved, i.e. an increased ability to relax and play, be it a grandmother who has fun with her grandchildren or a teenager who plays football.
The daily tasks of life include movement in the 6 degrees of freedom back/forward, up/down, left/right, roll, tilt and yaw. Or more precisely, human movement, push/pull, jump/squat, step, twist, and bend. Functional training is, therefore, a training aimed at improving as many of these movements as possible through one or more exercises. So consider functional fitness training defined…. for this article at least!
So if there is a functional fitness workout, does that mean that part of the workout is not functional? The answer is a clear yes…. and unfortunately, it is all around us, and we will soon be writing an article on non-functional training, so hang in there.
The many advantages of functional fitness training
Much of what happens in gyms today is no longer comprehensible outside this environment. Functional fitness training allows you to develop strength in a controlled environment and then apply it to everyday life outside that controlled environment.
Many positive improvements achieved through functional fitness training are due to the number of “fitness bases” covered in a session. In fact, in one movement you could improve strength, coordination, balance, agility, accuracy, flexibility, endurance and endurance. There are very few activities that can improve neurological fitness (balance, coordination, agility, accuracy) and physical abilities (strength, flexibility, endurance, endurance). This is achieved by using a large number of joints and muscles of the body at once and training the body as one unit….. (Your body has been designed to be used in this way!)
Training your muscles to work together in this way means putting more focus on training movements and not on isolating individual muscles. Whenever your body moves instead of staying stationary, you rely on dynamic equilibrium as opposed to static equilibrium, and dynamic equilibrium requires, among other things, a high level of core stability. Functional fitness training only aims to further improve trunk stability and strength, which improves most aspects of exercise life, especially intra-abdominal pressure, posture and injury prevention. Functional fitness training, therefore, offers many physiological benefits, but there is more behind it.
Functional fitness training can be described as any program that includes exercises designed to imitate and/or assist in the safe and effective performance of daily tasks or activities. Examples of such tasks or activities are loading and unloading furniture from a truck or lifting a child and lifting them up on stairs.
Functional exercises are usually multijoint movements that require the simultaneous use of upper and lower body muscle groups with the involvement of the core.
For example, while an exercise such as dumbbells, ONLY works on biceps and is done in most cases for aesthetic purposes, an exercise such as a dumbbell armer’s walk trains the body to properly lift heavy objects from the ground, engaging the core, passing through the heels and then moving these heavy objects from point A to point B. Muscles worked: buttocks, quads, hammer strings, upper traps, forearms, and core. In addition, it is also not a bad high-intensity cardio training. In a real world scenario, an exercise such as this is much more likely to go for a common task such as moving two heavy food bags from a store to a car.