In the past few years, the world of fitness has been transforming right before our eyes. The practice of going to the gym just to get on the treadmill for an hour and go home, all in the name of reducing the number on the scale, is losing favor in the public eye. Instead, women are starting to care more about working out as a way to serve their overall health, addressing all aspects of wellness.
And one of the new fitness trends that has emerged from this changing fitness landscape has been functional fitness training, an approach to working out that is certainly in contrast to what many of us are used to. So, in this article, we’ll explore what functional fitness training is and help you figure out if it’s something that might be a good fit for your health routine.
What is Functional Fitness Training?
Also called functional training or functional movement, functional fitness training is a type of training that focuses on getting your body ready for doing real-life movements and activities. As such, it focuses much more on strengthening and preparing the muscles than it does on something like low-intensity cardio such as running.
The types of daily activities that functional fitness training aims to prepare you for include things like picking up children, carrying groceries, putting a heavy suitcase in the back of your car, and putting a box up on a high shelf. The bulk of these actions tend to involve movements such as twisting, bending, pushing, pulling, lifting, loading, squatting, and hauling, so all these movement patterns are fairly common in functional fitness training.
The idea here is that you should focus your training on the types of things you’ll actually use in your daily life instead of just lifting weights in an ideal, stabilized posture that you can only find when using a gym machine. This is the kind of training that makes sense if you might be able to do certain gym machines with no problem but might throw your back out getting in and out of bed.
Why is Functional Fitness Training Important?
Many of us have a view of working out as something that we do to look our best, which is a legitimate motivation that we can’t deny exists. But when all of our focus at the gym goes to burning calories and trying to have a flat stomach, we end up losing out on many of the most important benefits of exercise, such as strengthening your bones and muscles so you can live a long, healthy, and active life.
The beautiful part of functional fitness training is that it puts the focus on living a complete, full life. By adding a sense of purpose and practical application to what you do in the gym, you end up having more motivation to work out, plus reap all the benefits of improving at the daily activities that functional fitness training aims to help you with.
Is Functional Fitness Training for You?
There are so many reasons why different people gravitate toward functional fitness training.
Maybe you’re an athlete and you want to improve at your sport.
Maybe you’re getting a bit older and want to focus on things like balance and agility to help keep your body working at its best for as long as possible.
Maybe you’ve been getting bored with your gym routine with the same old machines all the time that leave you feeling a bit blasé and lacking a sense of direction or purpose.
Maybe you’ve dealt with injuries in the past and want to strengthen your muscles, joints, and bones and improve your range of motion so that you don’t have to deal with them again in the future.
Maybe you like to live an active lifestyle and want to be prepared to do things like go on hikes and play sports whenever the opportunities come up. Maybe you’re a parent who wants to keep up with her kids.
At the end of the day, functional fitness training can really be for anybody and everybody who wants to improve their quality of life. And who doesn’t want that?
Incorporating Functional Fitness Training
If you’re interested and thinking about getting into functional fitness training, there’s a wide range of ways you can get into it. Going to a functional workout class at the gym or working with a personal trainer are great ways to dive right into it. Or, if you want to start a bit slower, you might just start incorporating functional movements such as squats, lunges, and deadlifts into your routine.
And if you want something even simpler that can also serve as a stylish accessory, you can use fitness wearables such as Cali Weights, a weighted bangle that help you work out your arms throughout the day as you go about the activities of your daily life.
There are plenty of options. Which one are you going to try?