Why is functional training a great training method? Let’s find out!
The rise of functional fitness seems to be unstoppable. For years now, the trend has been growing and is continuing.
What is functional training?
The exercises of functional training mimic daily motions, like walking or squatting to pick up something heavy.
These functional training movements strengthen the musculoskeletal system and prevent injuries.
For most people, the practical application of functional training is to make daily activities easier. Yes, we are not talking about super performance but of simple improvements to the state of our health, in relation to everyday life.
Origin of functional training.
This training method originated as a form of rehabilitation technique and its approach was used by physiotherapists to heal or help their patients with movement disorders caused by accidents or illness.
The exercises were chosen precisely to mimic the same patterns of movement that patients were used to in their daily lives. Supporting them in returning to their daily activities after an injury or surgery.
What are functional training exercises?
A functional training session usually consists of a compound of exercises.
Its purpose is to work multiple muscle groups and two or more joints simultaneously. These exercises mimic the patterns of daily movement.
Most functional fitness movements are multi-joint. This means moving back and forth from side to side and incorporating rotating movements.
Functional training challenges strength, balance, agility, range of motion and the use of core muscles.
“Pure” functional training does not usually use isotonic machines but only body weight and free weights.
Why is it effective?
Training multiple muscle groups simultaneously will allow you to create concrete protection against injuries.
When you train with this method you are helping your body to function better as an extraordinarily synchronized machine.
Both your mind and your muscles will learn how to recruit more muscle groups to complete an endurance task. Therefore, you will avoid stress injuries that usually occur using singular groups.
Many injuries to the lower back occur when trying to lift something very heavy by recruiting only one muscle group.
If it is done incorrectly, bending instead of squatting could end up hurting you.
But by using your glutes and legs and keeping your back straight and your chest forward you will be able to lift anything without incurring in injuries.
Moving your body to use multiple muscle groups simultaneously requires a certain level of coordination, concentration and core strength.
Building the strength and stability of the core is another vital part of compound movements. Functional training also gives excellent kinesthetic awareness while teaching you how to move safely.
All these skills are quite important in the gym but have their maximum expression in everyday life.
Because they are allowing us to move with determination and security.
And, especially, these skills are helping us to stay strong and safe from daily injuries.
Functional training equipment
Basically, functional training uses free weights or equipment with which to perform exercises, in addition to body weight.
Here is a list of functional training equipment:
- Barbells with bumpers
- Bars for tractions
- Medicine balls
- Slam balls
Buy here your functional fitness equipment
If you want to know the types of exercises and training routines from levels beginner to expert, we invite you to visit our section of the blog dedicated to training where you will find many tips and functional training guides.