By Nadia Popova
Functional training focuses on movements rather than muscles. Functional training aims to mimic real life movements such as pushing, pulling, bending, carrying, squatting and rotating. Carrying out these types of exercises consequently helps to improve your movement efficiency for daily activities.
Functional training is a type of training that focuses on movements that help you function better in your everyday life. For example, a deadlift can help you train to pick up a heavy Amazon delivery box off of your porch without pulling a muscle in your back.
While this is just one example, our bodies were designed to move in different ways categorized into human movement patterns. We’re made to push and pull with our upper body, hinge at the hips, bend into a squat, lunge or step up, and rotate.
Functional Exercises are:
Designed to optimize movement
Strengthens your core muscles
Restores posture, muscle imbalances and dynamic stability
Alleviates back pain
Improves balance and coordination
Suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels
Effective functional training exercises use free weights instead of machines, incorporate a lot of instability workouts for core stability, and work out your muscles to their maximum limits of motion. Some of the movements in functional training include:
Balancing on one leg
Are functional fitness exercises for everyone?
If you haven’t exercised for some time or have health problems, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Similarly, women who are pregnant should check with their doctors.
It’s also a good idea to start with exercises that use only your own body weight for resistance. As you become more fit and ready for more of a challenge, you can add more resistance in the form of weights or resistance tubing. Performing movements in the water is a low impact way of achieving functional exercise.
Adding functional fitness training to your daily routine can help you perform everyday activities no matter your age. Improving strength, balance, and range of motion with functional fitness workouts can also help those in their later years remain active and less prone to injury. And, as numerous studies show, it’s never too late to start!
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