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?
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...
- Usually focus on a single muscle.
- Support the rest of your body, meaning your stabilising muscles don't get a workout.
- 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...
- Uses many muscle groups for each exercise.
- Doesn't provide artificial support. Your body has to provide support for itself, forcing it to strengthen over time.
- 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.
- 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
- Swiss ball balance
- King squat
- Medicine ball knee n twist
- Oblique raise n stretch
- Medicine ball juggling
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Medicine Ball Juggling
This exercise is good for your entire body, particularly your shoulders, arms and legs.
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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