Functional fitness aims to train your body for everyday situations by mimicking a range of common, practical, real-world movements that your body would most likely need to perform. This is in contrast to stereotypical gym workouts which, while being helpful in their place, don’t necessarily prepare you for real-life scenarios. Read on for these Top 5 Reasons You Should Train for Functional Fitness!
1. Improved Everyday Function
As functional fitness revolves around everyday movements, it makes logical sense that it would help make your everyday life easier. For example, if you include the farmer’s walk in your fitness routine it will help in situations where you have to carry relatively heavy weights in each hand. This exercise naturally carries over into situations for example when you’re carrying shopping bags.
2. Stronger Core
Functional fitness integrates a lot of core work, and with good reason. Having a strong core protects your back, prevents injuries and improves your posture. The exercises are multifunctional as well so you will likely be training your core whilst either stretching or challenging other body parts, utilised for example whilst moving furniture or similar items up and down the stairs around the home.
3. Incorporates Flexibility & Coordination
As the range of movements involved in functional fitness operate in a wider variety than those of normal gym workouts, they help to increase your range of motion and coordination. These exercises often require you to start and finish the exercise in a position where your muscles are stretched meaning flexibility work is naturally implemented into your workouts.
4. Improved Balance & Posture
Functional fitness exercises do not usually have any deliberate form of stabilisation (unless you consciously insert them in) so your muscles are responsible for keeping both your balance and posture. This means that your smaller muscles needed for supporting your larger muscles can be developed. These muscles, when strengthened can really improve your posture and balance. Eg, your hamstrings when you bend down to pick something up off the floor without bending your knees.
5. Increased Speed & Explosiveness
Functional fitness is far more holistic in its methodology. Training your body as a whole unit helps increase your speed as it means all your body parts are firing off together becoming better stimulated and trained overall, and not just focussing disconnectedly on your large muscles. Since it also works balance, coordination and agility it helps you to be in greater control of your body throughout your training, which carries the added advantage of improving your confidence as well.
So now you know why you should train for functional fitness. Most people who keep fit, do a certain amount of functional training as it helps to keep the body ready and primed for real-life circumstances and stresses that do inevitably arise. Watch the video above, it will give you a short, simple plan that you can try for yourself. What are some of your go-to’s in FF? Let us know in the comments below join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram. (Check out our previous fitness articles too, and let’s help you get and Keep your Fit ON!)