WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL FITNESS?
Functional fitness is a classification of training that prepares the body for real-life movements and activities.
The Mayo Clinic describes it as “It trains your muscles to work together and prepares them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work, or in sports”.
Functional fitness movements, are real life activities such as squatting, reaching, pulling, and lifting. Functional fitness is focused on building a body capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions, such as lifting a suitcase into the back of your car or picking up heavy shopping or a child without injuring yourself. It is about building strength into your body to protect it during daily activities unlike the stylised way lifting weights in the controlled environment of a gym.
If you want to protect yourself against injury, then it may be time to incorporate functional fitness training
COMPONENTS OF FUNCTIONAL FITNESS
Movements such as bending, hinging, lifting, pushing, pulling, twisting, turning, standing, walking, jogging, running, sprinting, jumping, starting, stopping, climbing, and lunging are all made easier while training to improve functional strength.
Functional fitness training includes strength, balance, coordination, power, range of motion, and mobility. All of these components form part of functional training so you can move more freely and easily without the risk of injury.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM FUNCTIONAL FITNESS?
Anyone can benefit from incorporating functional fitness training into their exercise routine, either as the primary exercise or as a cross-training for a specific sport or activity.
We would always recommend beginners start with bodyweight exercises before adding additional resistance.
During our Group sessions or individual PT sessions, the exercises used are personalised to you and your ability and needs. Each exercise can be regressed to strengthen your particular weakness or progressed as you become fitter and adjust to the movements.
As functional fitness is about moving easily and well it can benefit anyone and everyone!
HISTORY OF FUNCTIONAL FITNESS
Functional fitness can be traced back to our ancestors who needed to move well for their very survival ie hunting and gathering. It may have become a popular term more recently, but it is really just training your body the way it used to be!
WHy FUNCTIONAL FITNESS?
As functional fitness supports everyday life, it includes movements such as walking, pushing, pulling, bending, squatting, lunging, and core. These exercises improve functional strength.
The human body is designed to have all its muscles work together and support each other to accomplish certain movements and tasks.
Functional fitness has been used for rehabilitation and therapy to correct and retrain individuals with movement disorders whether through accident, injury, surgery or just an inability to move well. Exercises used mimic the individuals’ normal daily activities to ensure freedom of movement.
THE RISE OF FUNCTIONAL FITNESS
Along with some other Personal Trainers, I have chosen to move away from the standard gym environment in favour of focusing on more functional training. I also prefer to train outdoors whenever possible as this provides the additional benefits of exercising in fresh air.
We use a variety of equipment from resistance bands, kettlebells, medicine balls, battle ropes and exercises to improve balance and coordination.
We also aim to put the FUN into functional fitness by playing games and team challenges, so it doesn’t feel like you are training hard!
FUNCTIONAL FITNESS BENEFITS
Functional fitness can benefit your health, everyday life, and athletic performance:
- Increased muscle strength and endurance
- Muscle and body stability
- Easier movement
- Reduced stress
- Building muscle memory and exercising brain memory
- Building core strength
- Increased mobility
- Improved balance and coordination
- Improves balance and posture
- Encourages muscle and ligament strength
- Reduced risk of injury
It forces you to utilise your entire body to maximize your physical potential.
Our group Functional Fitness sessions are held on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays 6-7pm outside in our own private training field. Alternatively Personal Training solo or small group is also available. Please give me a ring to discuss what would work best for you.
Paul 0780 0780 039