Functional training is a type of exercise that mimics the movements you make in your daily life. Whether you are lifting a heavy object, swinging a baseball bat, or carrying groceries, functional training can help you improve your performance and prevent injuries. In this blog post, we will explore some of the benefits of functional training and how you can incorporate it into your workout routine.
What is Functional Training?
Functional training is based on the principle of specificity, which means that your training should match the demands of your activity. For example, if you want to improve your running speed, you should train with exercises that involve running or similar movements.
Functional training uses compound exercises, which are exercises that work multiple joints and muscles at the same time. These exercises often involve free weights, resistance bands, medicine balls, kettlebells, or your own body weight. Some examples of functional exercises are:
Functional training can be done anywhere, anytime, and with any equipment. You can also adjust the intensity, duration, and frequency of your functional workouts according to your goals and fitness level.
Benefits of Functional Training
Functional training has many benefits for your health and fitness. Here are some of them:
1. Improves Your Strength and Power
Functional training can help you build strength and power in your muscles by challenging them with different loads and directions. Strength is the ability to produce force against resistance, while power is the ability to produce force quickly. Both are important for performing everyday tasks and sports.
2. Enhances Your Balance and Stability
Functional training can also improve your balance and stability by strengthening your core muscles and improving your coordination. Balance is the ability to maintain your center of gravity over your base of support, while stability is the ability to resist external forces that may disturb your balance. Both are essential for preventing falls and injuries.
According to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, functional training improves balance and stability in older adults.
3. Increases Your Mobility and Flexibility
Functional training can help you increase your mobility and flexibility by loosening up your muscles and tendons and increasing your range of motion. Mobility is the ability to move your joints freely through their full range of motion, while flexibility is the ability to stretch your muscles to their maximum length. Both are important for maintaining good posture and preventing stiffness and pain.
According to a study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, functional training improves mobility and flexibility in sedentary office workers.
4. Boosts Your Endurance and Cardiovascular Health
Functional training can also boost your endurance and cardiovascular health by increasing your heart rate and oxygen consumption. Endurance is the ability to sustain physical activity for a long period of time, while cardiovascular health is the condition of your heart and blood vessels. Both are important for reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
According to a study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, functional training improves endurance and cardiovascular health in young adults.
5. Burns Calories and Fat
Functional training can help you burn calories and fat by increasing your metabolic rate and muscle mass. Metabolic rate is the amount of energy your body uses at rest, while muscle mass is the amount of muscle tissue in your body. Both are important for maintaining a healthy weight and body composition.
According to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, functional training burns more calories than traditional strength training during and after exercise.
6. Prevents Muscle Loss and Aging
Functional training can also prevent muscle loss and aging by stimulating muscle protein synthesis and growth hormone secretion. Muscle protein synthesis is the process of building new muscle fibers from amino acids, while growth hormone is a hormone that promotes tissue growth and repair. Both are important for preserving muscle mass and function as you age.
According to a study in Experimental Gerontology, functional training prevents muscle loss and aging in older adults.
7. Improves Your Quality of Life
Finally, functional training can improve your quality of life by enhancing your physical performance, mental health, and well-being. Physical performance is the ability to perform daily activities with ease and efficiency, while mental health is the state of your psychological and emotional well-being. Both are important for enjoying life and coping with stress.
According to a study in BMC Geriatrics, functional training improves quality of life in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.
How to Start Functional Training
If you are interested in trying functional training, here are some tips to get you started:
- Consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any medical conditions or injuries.
- Start with simple exercises that match your current fitness level and progress gradually as you get stronger.
- Warm up before each session with some dynamic stretches or light cardio.
- Perform each exercise with proper form and technique to avoid injury.
- Vary your exercises, intensity, frequency, duration, and rest periods to keep your workouts challenging and fun.
- Cool down after each session with some static stretches or relaxation techniques.
- Eat a balanced diet that supports your energy needs and recovery.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise to stay hydrated.
- Rest adequately between sessions to allow your muscles to repair and grow.
Functional Training at Fit24
Functional training is a great way to improve your fitness, health, and quality of life. It can help you perform better in everyday activities and sports, prevent injuries and diseases, burn calories and fat, preserve muscle mass and function as you age, enhance mental health well-being. At Fit24, we have everything you need to put together a great functional training routine and our expert trainers can help you create the perfect workout. Our selection of battle ropes, turf area, medicine balls, straps, bands, and premium equipment ensure that you will have everything you need.
The next time you are at the gym, give functional training a try!