Achieve Outstanding, Full Body Results With Functional Fitness Training

Functional fitness training helps you become more functional in the "real world". It's about building a more natural body that can not only cope, but excel at real life activities.

The exercises used to train your body are designed to mimic the movements you make in everyday life. They get you moving around in all 3 dimensions, jumping, swinging, balancing and lifting - just like in real life.

When you first start doing functional fitness training, you'll notice a couple of things.

Firstly, the exercises are hard. The added element of balance usually makes things more difficult for you.

Secondly, you'll get gains in your full-body-strength very quickly. The exercises make you strong through-and-through!

 

Want to try it for yourself?

If functional fitness training sounds like something you'd be interested in we've included some exercises at the bottom of this page for you to try.

 

 

Differences Between Gym Training And Functional Fitness Training

When you compare functional fitness training to traditional gym training you'll see there's several differences.

Machines at the gym...

  1. Usually focus on a single muscle.
  2. Support the rest of your body, meaning your stabilising muscles don't get a workout.
  3. Force your body to move in a set way, usually in a single plane.

You can see that these three factors combine to give whichever muscle you're working, one heck of a workout. And that's exactly what gym machines are good for. Targeting and strengthening individual muscles.

Functional fitness training on the other hand...

  1. Uses many muscle groups for each exercise.
  2. Doesn't provide artificial support. Your body has to provide support for itself, forcing it to strengthen over time.
  3. Makes you move in all 3 dimensions, challenging your balance.

You strengthen more of your body in one session and gain better body awareness.

 

How To Do Functional Fitness Training

Functional fitness training is much like training for a skill in sport. For example...

When Shaye was training for the Olympic springboard diving squad she trained hard to improve her strength/skill at spinning in mid air.

Back sommersaults on the floor and pike-ups on the ab bench were staples of her training routine. These promoted extreme explosive power in her legs and her abdominal region. The movements simulated the movements she would make when completing a real dive. When it came time for the dive, her muscles were already conditioned for the exact movement that was about to come.

This is essentially functional training, although it's not called that because it's sport related. To be true functional fitness training, it must benefit you in real life situations.

So, what would benefit you in real life situations?

  • Are there any movements you find difficult?
  • Are there any movements you'd like to be better at?
  • Are you stiff in the mornings in certain area's?
  • Do all your joints have full range of motion?

Write it all down and decide on the things that would benefit you the most.

Then select exercises which mimic those most critical movements.

Lets say:

  • You have a stiff lower back
  • You find it difficult to get up from a kneeling position
  • You'd like to be stronger all over

The exercises below will help remedy that...

 

Functional Fitness Training Exercises

 

Medicine Ball Throws

This exercise uses many muscles in your body and simulates real world motions... lifting and throwing things.

Medicine balls are incredibly useful for functional fitness training because they are heavy and easy to handle. You can click here to purchase medicine balls.

In the squat position there are 2 things you need to do for safety's sake. Keep your lower back flat and make sure your knees don't go past your toes.

 

  1. Get into a squat position with a medicine ball in your hands.
  2. Launch up out of this position and fling the medicine ball into the air.
  3. Catch the medicine ball and drop directly back down to the squat.
  4. Repeat x15.

 

 

Swiss Ball Balance

Balancing exercises strengthen all the stabilising muscles in your body. You use these every day, when you're walking, running, dancing or even just plain old standing.

Be careful with this exercise. You don't want to bail off the swiss ball! You're responsible for your own safety on this one.

 

  1. Get onto the medicine ball with your knees.
  2. Balance.
  3. If you're really keen, try to move around the top of the ball 360 degrees.
  4. Keep balancing for as long as you can.

 

 

King Squat

This exercise challenges you to keep yourself stable. It promotes strength in the legs and buttocks and flexibility in the glutes.

Try to stop your knee from going past your toe. You can do this by moving your hands forward more instead of out to the side.

The slower you do this movement the better. Try for 5 seconds down, 5 seconds up.

 

  1. Stand on one leg flamingo-style
  2. Bend the standing leg and lower your body.
  3. Keep your lower leg parallel to the ground.
  4. Keep going as low as you can or until your leg is just above the ground.
  5. Push back up to the start position SLOWLY.
  6. Repeat x5 and then switch legs.

 

 

Medicine Ball Knee n Twist

This exercise will promote flexibility and strength in your core.

It also strengthens your arms, shoulders, upper back and hip-flexors.

 

  1. Hold the medicine ball in two hands in front of you.
  2. Raise your left knee up to touch the ball.
  3. Twist to the left as far as you can go. (Note: Do this gently until you've warmed up.)
  4. Move back to the center.
  5. Raise your right knee up to touch the ball.
  6. Twist to the right as far as you can go. (Note: Do this gently until you've warmed up.)
  7. Move back to the center.
  8. Repeat x20.

 

 

Oblique Raise And Stretch

This exercise will build strength and flexibility in your obliques. It stretches one side while simultaneously working the other. Good for that stiff back.

 

  1. Lie on the ground as shown in position 1.
  2. Breathe in deeply, lift your hips up as high as you can go and stretch your arm overhead.
  3. Lower back down to the start postion.
  4. Repeat x10 and then swap sides.

 

 

Medicine Ball Juggling

This exercise is good for your entire body, particularly your shoulders, arms and legs.

 

  1. Get into a squat position with a medicine ball in one hand.
  2. Stand up and toss the medicine ball to your other hand.
  3. Catch the ball in your other hand and go down to the squat position.
  4. Keep throwing from hand to hand.
  5. Repeat x20.

 

 

See how these functional exercises help with the problems we listed above? You can apply the same logic to your workouts and see improvements in your "problem areas". Keep experimenting with exercises and see which ones you like best.

 

 

 

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