You have most likely heard someone talking about functional training at the gym, and you probably asked yourself ‘what is functional training and how does it work?’ Functional training is a fun way to work out and you will feel the results of your efforts in your everyday life. It is also a sustainable way of training, you will burn calories and be more comfortable during your activities throughout the day, and you will feel more confident and trusting of your own body.
So what does this type of training look like? Let’s go on to define functional training.
Functional training focuses on functional movements, which are specific movements that are based on real-world situational biomechanics. Therefore, functional training is a tailored training pattern that helps you in your daily primary patterns.
Now that we know the functional training definition, let’s discuss how it works.
There is no standard functional training workout, though there is always a focus on any combination of the following: balance, flexibility, posture, and muscular endurance. The moves feel natural and as if your body is doing what it is fully capable of doing.
You want to incorporate functional training into your lifestyle 2-3 times per week, on a consistent basis. You will become stronger and more confident in your body if you do so.
It is especially helpful to start with functional training before any other type of training. This is because you can focus on your body and which areas and movements are more difficult at the movement. Then you can focus on exercises that help you be comfortable with these movements, and build up from there.
Here are a few examples of functional training exercises and how to do them properly!
The muscles and movement you gain with planks can help you as you work around the house or do anything that engages your abdominal muscles.
Read also: What is HIIT and what are its benefits?
The muscles and movement you gain with pull-ups can help you as you, for example, reach up to a high shelf and grab something or as you go to pick up a toddler.
The muscles and movement you gain with squats can, for example, help you climb stairs and come from sit-stand.
The muscles and movement you gain with lateral lunges can, for example, help you as you bend to pick up something off the floor.
Before you start with any functional training, be sure to first understand what your body can and cannot yet do. The goal is to make your body be more and more comfortable with movement and you don’t want to push it too far at the beginning.
The more you stay consistent and slowly build up your functional training, the more you will be ready to slowly add in additional weight training for targeted areas. You will feel the difference from this type of training quickly, and you’ll be happy you started as soon as you did!
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