Personal Trainer & Fitness coach
What is functional fitness training?
Functional fitness exercises train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports. While using various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness exercises also emphasize core stability.
Functional fitness exercises are designed to train and develop your muscles to make it easier and safer to perform everyday activities, such as carrying groceries or playing a game of basketball with your kids
For example, a squat is a functional exercise because it trains the muscles used when you rise up and down from a chair or pick up low objects. By training your muscles to work the way they do in everyday tasks, you prepare your body to perform well in a variety of common situations.
Benefits of functional fitness training?
Functional exercises tend to use multiple joints and numerous muscles. Instead of only moving the elbows, for example, a functional exercise might involve the elbows, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles. This type of training, properly applied, can make everyday activities easier, help reduce your risk of injury and improve your quality of life.
Functional exercise training may be especially beneficial as part of a comprehensive program for older adults to improve balance, agility and muscle strength, and reduce the risk of falls.
Functional training matters because it helps you develop “real world” fitness. As you go through your day, your movements follow patterns. How you reach for an item on a high shelf, the way you squat to pick up a heavy object, how you get out of a chair — if you’re moving, you’re performing a function that involves a pattern of pushing, pulling, lifting, squatting, etc.
Functional training helps you build strength, power, and mobility that translates beyond the gym. Why does that matter? Because when you’re more efficient, you put less strain on your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.