Exploring The Benefits Of Functional Fitness Training For Real-Life Movement

Any form of fitness benefits health, but each type has unique features. If you want an approach that allows you to bring what you learn from the gym into your daily activities, functional fitness training is the answer.

What Is Functional Fitness Training?

A typical strength or cardio workout ends at the fitness center. Functional training is distinct as it’s a movement category where exercises that improve your strength, endurance, mobility and flexibility are based on the activities you regularly perform. For instance, people who enroll in functional training consider the squats, lifts and lunges necessary to maintain their balance when going up and down the stairs or carrying heavy groceries.

The focus of training mimics real-life movements to elevate performance in doing tasks. There’s a purpose and corresponding application for every set and rep of your workout.

Benefits Of Functional Fitness Training

One unique element of functional fitness is that exercise sessions are individualized based on your goals and the results you want to achieve. A coach considers your overall physical ability to create an effective and well-rounded training plan. The chosen sets of exercises aim to ultimately improve your functional independence.

Here are the advantages of functional training if you’re considering trying it:

1. Boost Autonomy in Doing ADLs

Basic and instrumental activities of daily living or ADLs refer to your day-to-day tasks, such as walking, cleaning and maintaining a home. While it’s completely OK to ask for help from others when a bulky parcel arrives, moving it yourself — only when you can — increases your confidence and independence to do the responsibilities at hand.

A functional training program that includes lifting barbells, dumbbells or kettlebells will build your strength and endurance, eventually allowing you to lift heavy materials easily.

2. Prevent Injury And Supports Rehabilitation

A single serious injury can end an athlete’s career. Functional training can help in two ways — as a preventive measure and as a rehab intervention.

As a preventive measure, it can help you dodge injury when doing activities requiring strength, endurance or speed, such as if you’re a parent who carries your baby for hours. Several daily tasks involve using force. A targeted training program to toughen up the muscles, ligaments and tendons required to draw power can reduce your risk of injury.

3. Enhance Performance In Sports

A study on elite soccer players determined whether functional training can positively affect their physiological and biomotor abilities. The first group did the traditional training for eight weeks, while the second group did the same but with 20 minutes of extra functional routine.

While there’s no significant difference between both groups after adjusting the post-test mean, functional training showed beneficial effects on the player’s physiological and biomotor properties based on their pre- and post-test values.

4. Strengthens Core Strength And Stability

Balance is a crucial component of functional fitness, achievable if you have sufficient core strength and stability to support your overall body weight in a wide range of positions.

A functional fitness workout — like single-leg down-dog, kneeling arm reach and fire hydrant with arm lifted — can help build core strength to pull, push and lift materials from the floor. Such tasks usually put you in awkward and injury-prone positions.

Functional training covers core exercises comprehensively as it’s the body’s center and helps maintain balance when standing, bending or sitting. Fitness experts always recommend engaging core muscles when performing activities.

5. Long-Term Health and Wellbeing

Functional training is a form of overall body fitness, meaning it has the same or even more significant benefits to your mental and physical health as standalone aerobics or strength training.

One study compares the psychological, physiological and psychosocial outcomes of college-age students who did the traditional and functional versions of resistance training. The results revealed anxiety before and after training and enjoyment levels were greater following functional resistance training than the basic workout. There was a considerable decrease in anxiety after doing the functional resistance routine compared to traditional fitness.

Functional Fitness Training Is Highly Beneficial

The merits of fitness training encompass overall health. It’s an alternative workout for people looking to tailor their fitness routine based on the tasks or activities they perform on a daily basis. Functional fitness can enhance your independence and autonomy to do tasks, prevent injury and positively impact your mental and physical health.

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