Functional training is gaining popularity among gym goers. This type of exercise mimics real life movements and helps prevent injuries. When practiced regularly, it can increase your flexibility and balance. As a result, you will be able do to everyday activities safely and efficiently. Athletes and bodybuilders engage in functional training to recover from injuries, diversify their workouts, or hit specific muscles.
What Is Functional Training?
Most fitness enthusiasts have heard about functional training, but only a few know what it really means. This form of physical activity has been around for decades. It was initially used by physical therapists for rehabilitation. Doctors were recommending it to patients with movement disorders. Functional training involves a number of exercises targeted at core muscles of the lower back and abdomen. By working these muscles, you’ll be able to perform activities of daily life more easily.
Functional training has become a staple in many workout plans. Today, most gyms are offering functional workout classes for people of all ages and fitness levels. Free weights, kettlebells, rubber bands and other fitness tools are widely used. Functional training exercises can increase your strength and endurance, burn calories, and recover your muscles after an injury. They also support cardiovascular health and enhance physical performance.
Most exercises can be done at home or at the gym. The best results are achieved when movement is unconstrained. In contrast, some strength exercises work best when movement occurs in only one plane (especially in bodybuilding). Depending on your needs and goals, you can do the farmer’s walk, squats, standing overhead cable pushes, lifts, chops, and deadlifts. If you work out regularly, you’re probably familiar with these exercises.
The Benefits of Functional Training
This kind of training is ideal for beginners and pro athletes alike because it emphasizes multi-planar movements involving power, strength, and stablity. If done right, functional training exercises can help athletes get stronger, improve their balance, and run faster. These movements also strengthen the lower back, shoulder, hip, and deep abdominal muscles.
The benefits of functional training go beyond body conditioning. Athletes can train for speed, strength, power, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, muscle endurance, or fat loss. Theoretically, you can pretty much achieve anything you want through functional workouts. Here are some of its key benefits:
-Improves balance and coordination
-Is designed to optimize movement
-Enhances athletic performance
-Increases strength and endurance
-Helps your muscles recover faster from injuries
-Strengthens your core muscles
-Involves compound exercises that mimic real life movements
-Suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels
-Restores posture, muscle imbalances, and dynamic stability
-Alleviates back pain
This type of training works so well because it recruits the body’s stabilizers to facilitate movement. Most exercises help restore function to the abdominal wall and improve reaction time.
This kind of workout doesn’t necessarily have to involve strength training activities. However, there are specific exercises and training techniques that everyone should do. These movements engage the stabilizers and peripheral muscles, which may increase your range of motion and prevent injuries. A typical functional training routine may include exercises on cable machines, push-ups, lunges, side and front planks, hip thrusts, and Russian twists.