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What Is Functional Fitness?

functional fitness

Less than 5 percent of Americans get the recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise. Only 1/3 of Americans get the recommended amount of exercise every week. 

That’s alarming because regular exercise is associated with many mental and physical benefits. It builds muscle and endurance, burns calories for weight control, and can ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

Getting a workout regularly also wards off health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and bone disorders. It’s also an effective means of weight loss.

There are many workout plans out there, and joining a fitness center where you have access to personal training and group classes can help you determine which is best for you.

Functional fitness is a method of exercise that is gaining in popularity. For a good reason too. It’s effective, and it targets both cardio and strength training goals at the same time. 

So what is functional fitness? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know. 

What is Functional Fitness?

Functional fitness is a style of exercise designed to match up with the requirements of your daily tasks. For athletes, it’s a program that mimics the movements necessary for their chosen sport. 

It’s most often a blend of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and lifting weights over your head. However, the program can be tailored to fit your specific needs. 

For example, if you do heavy lifting or walking during the day, your routine will help build the strength, power, and endurance to make those tasks easier. 

Functional movement also helps your body adapt to lifting, pulling, pushing, climbing stairs, reaching, and bending. When your body can perform these movements with ease, it’s easier and reduces the risk of pain or injury.

You can incorporate functional training into your gym routine, but it’s also possible to get a good functional workout at home. The trick is to decide what you want to get out of it. 

Functional Strength Training

Many people wonder if they can lift weights as part of a functional fitness routine. The answer is yes. 

Functional strength training is a great addition to your routine because it can be tailored for your ability level. You can increase your intensity and weight load as you gain strength. 

Strength training can be done with bodyweight exercises, but you can also use free weights, kettlebells, and weight machines to achieve your goals. 

The main three moves are squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. These exercises optimize your body’s movements in most planes and help build strength for tasks that involve pushing, pulling, reaching, twisting, and bending. 

Building Your Core

Core stability is a big part of functional training. That includes both static and dynamic posture. Static posture refers to holding the body in a stationary position, while dynamic posture refers to holding the body during movement. 

An example of static posture is sitting up straight while at your desk. Dynamic posture occurs when you use proper form while doing exercises, such as squats and deadlifts. 

Building your core stability helps you perform everyday tasks but also wards off back pain and other issues. 

Incorporating moves for core stability is easy and won’t lengthen your workout to a huge degree. You may even be including some of them already. 

Good choices include bird dogs, hip bridges, stability ball dead bugs, planks with toe touches, and single leg deadlifts. 

Functional Fitness for Weight Loss

When you hear fitness terms, functional weight loss is likely one that you come across often. Weight loss is best achieved through an appropriate diet and exercise program. 

That’s often easier said than done, however. Learning how to incorporate functional fitness into your weightloss journey can help you reach your goal weight. 

According to research, when your body can function more effectively during everyday tasks, it becomes better at burning calories.

And as you know, the bottom line for weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume. 

By assessing where you have weaknesses, you can build a routine that turns them into strengths. With time, you will begin to move with more ease and see that consistent workouts become easier. 

That provides more effective results, including burning more calories, even at rest. 

Other Benefits of Functional Training

Gaining strength, mobility, endurance, and power are some of the best benefits of functional training. Weight loss is another reason many people seek it out. But the benefits don’t stop there. 

In addition to improving your daily movements, it also helps you improve your fitness abilities. Unlike isolated exercises that only target one muscle group, functional fitness incorporates a variety of compound movements. 

These exercises work more than one group of muscles at the same time. This is more time-efficient but also helps you create a healthy muscle balance throughout your body. 

Many people find that the goal-oriented nature of functional training keeps them motivated. With small measurable goals, you will feel successful at points along the way toward your overall goal. 

Research finds that functional fitness sessions of just 15 minutes, three times per week, boosted motivation levels to a much more significant degree than other forms of exercise. 

What Does a Functional Fitness Routine Look Like?

It’s important to keep in mind that no two routines will be the same. What works for you is different than what works for someone else. Once you’ve identified your weaknesses and your goals, you can build a routine from there. 

In general, you can expect to do each exercise in reps of 10 to 15. You’ll perform two to three sets of each exercise to complete the routine. Adding weight and reps as you get stronger will keep your progress on track. 

Taking the First Step

Committing to a functional fitness routine is a great choice. If you’re unsure where to start, a personal trainer is a great resource for creating the ideal routine for your body’s needs. 

As you see the benefits, you’ll be motivated to stick with them. You may even decide to add other kinds of fitness to your routine. Staying active and fit keeps your body healthy and aids in weight loss. 

Don’t wait to get started. Let us help you on your path today with training and fitness classes to suit your needs.  


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