Functional Fitness is one of the biggest phrases right now in the world of health and wellness. It means training your body for every day activities. The focus of this type of program is to increase your ability to perform real-life tasks better. Tasks such as gardening, running up a flight of stairs, getting out of your car, etc. are all mimicked by the movements of functional training. Many of the exercises are multi-joint movements and focus on muscles, nerves, and joints together.
This type of training challenges balance and coordination while simultaneously improving your strength and range of motion. The key to developing a good functional exercise program is to not go too far in any one direction. Research suggests that in training for your every day tasks you avoid weights altogether, at least initially, until you get to a point where the movement itself is comfortable. In essence, this system is about the balance of every day life and your ability to maintain that balance. With this mindset you are not just working out hard for a special event but working out well to improve every day. It makes sure that you are staying fit year round instead of just when the time is right.
So how do you know if you are functionally strong? The better you can perform every day tasks the more functionally fit you are. Say picking up after your toddler used to cause arm or leg soreness but after training to be functionally strong the cleaning up is easy. This is the point of training to be functionally strong. Judging functional fitness is different than most workout programs because it’s not about how much you can lift or how fast you can run. It is about being able to perform real life tasks in a way that causes you minimal discomfort and keeps you feeling strong.
Functional strength is defined differently by different sets of trainers but the basics are always the same. It is truly exercise for the real world. When you train to be functionally strong you train to be better in every facet of your life.