Functional training is an innovative approach to fitness and general wellness that really focuses on training the body to excel at the everyday tasks that it performs in hopes of ultimately making your daily actions easier. Functional training is a great way to stay active while getting on with your daily life.
What is Functional Training?
On a day-to-day basis, we go through a wide variety of movements. This can include running, jumping, pulling, pushing, lifting, etc… To properly train for improvement requires more than just increasing weight resistances for a muscle or a group of muscles.
The goal behind functional training is to improve the overall working coordination between your nervous and muscular systems. When it comes to functional training, it is just as important to train for specific movements as it is to train specific muscles or muscle groups. Our brains do not think of things as a single muscle but rather as one whole movement. When you isolate muscles or joints, you are only improving those isolated areas and not the overall function.
Examples of Functional Training
The key tenet of functional training is the multifaceted nature of the physical movements involved in the training. Also, most of the actions will mirror or be similar to common actions you perform everyday. Some common examples of this are multidirectional lunges, step-ups with weights, and standing bicep curls.
All of these common exercises use multiple joints and muscles. These exercises mirror a number of common motions we go through on a daily basis, and they are easy to do even when you are on the go and don’t have time to go to a gym.
Why train functionally?
Getting into better shape and feeling better physically and mentally are always great reasons to train your body, but functional training routines can offer more than that. Functional training routines were first used by physical therapists for rehabilitation purposes. Their goal was to get an injured body working properly again.
One of the main benefits of functional training is that it helps you prevent injury today and in the future. The older the body gets, the harder it is to participate in moving heavy boxes or any activity that involves bending the back. No matter what your level of fitness is you could always use the improvement to your daily motions that functional training provides. People who regularly perform functional training routines see an increase in balance, joint stability, and coordination. Benefits of this nature can help everyone from your grandmother to the star quarterback of the local football team.