You’ve likely heard of functional training before, and it’s probably pretty close to what you’re imagining. Functional training is when you perform exercises that mimic ordinary actions as a way to build strength, mobility and power. In other words, it’s fitness for the real world. The focus isn’t on building huge muscles, but on improved movement, which makes it ideal for older people who want to stay able and healthy.
Functional Training History
Functional training began as a form of soldier rehabilitation after World War I. Soldiers returning from the war had injuries that affected every day activities like walking, standing, sitting and bending. To address issues of mobility and core strength, functional exercises were developed. Today, functional training in fitness is a return to compound movements. While bodybuilding and power lifting focus on isolation exercises to build muscular physiques, functional training has another goal.
No matter your age or ability, here are six reasons to give functional training a shot.
Functional Training Benefits
- Movement – Our bodies are designed for movement, and yet we lead more sedentary lives than ever. Functional training exercises put your body through full movement pattern, rather than isolating specific muscle groups. Again, less individual muscle growth, more overall function.
- Better posture – Practicing proper technique and performing single-limb, also known as unilateral, exercises can actually help correct poor posture and imbalances in the muscle.
- Increased muscle tone – Just because you aren’t focusing on building muscles individually doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy more strength as a whole. Think of a gymnast – they routinely train movement patterns and lift their own body weight, and they have amazing physiques.
- More fat loss – Full-body exercises effectively boost the metabolism in addition to improving strength, endurance and mobility.
- Improved stability – Functional training puts the focus on things like balance, core stability, flexibility, mobility, and overall strength. It’s a full body challenge in every workout.
- Improved core strength – Another essential element of functional training is core activation. The stronger your core, the more stable you are.
Ready to Try?
If you’d like to learn more about functional training, the certified personal trainers at Framework Personal Training here in Reno can help. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us help you improve your strength, mobility, flexibility and health.