What Is Functional Fitness?

What Is Functional Fitness?

What Is Functional Fitness Training and How Does It Work?

Many people are joining gyms these days, which is encouraging, but a worrying number of those people appear to believe that the overall quality of the gym they join is determined more by how sharply the TV screens on the treadmills are displayed rather than by the definition their bodies may have gained through proper training. Although it appears that far too much emphasis is being placed on leisure rather than fitness in the fitness and leisure sector, there is another alternative for those who genuinely want to improve, and more and more people are becoming aware of this: Functional Fitness Training (FFT).

There are several articles and discussion threads on the Internet that merely argue the concept of functional fitness training; however, this is not one of them. I realize that any type of training may be classified as functional depending on the goal for which you are preparing. For example, if your job description stipulates that you must have the biggest biceps on the planet, then sure, 2 hours of bicep curls per day might be considered useful training for that individual.

There is no point in debating the meaning of the term, but rather to emphasize its advantages. For the purposes of this article functional fitness training will be defined as an exercise or group of exercises that mimic, adapt, and allow for improved performance of life’s daily tasks for the vast majority of people, with a reserve set aside for individuals with specific fitness aspirations or goals.

When it comes to outside-of-the-gym goals, the most common is to enhance quality of life; that is, to have a greater capacity for recreation and play, whether it be for a grandma having fun with her grandkids or a teenager playing football.

Movement in the six degrees of freedom, namely back and forth, up and down, left and right, roll, pitch, and yaw, are required for most daily actions. Or, to be more precise, to human movement, such as push/pull, jump/squat, stride, twist, and bend (among other things). In other words, functional training is training that aims to enhance as many of these motions as feasible through the use of a single or a series of exercises. So consider functional fitness training defined… at least for the sake of this essay!

So, if there is functional fitness training available, does this imply that certain training is not functionally relevant? The answer to this question is unequivocally yes… and sadly, it can be found all around us. We’ll be producing an article on the subject of un-functional training in the near future, so stay tuned.

There are several advantages to functional fitness training.

It is nearly hard to replicate much of what takes place in modern gyms outside of their confines. It is possible to acquire strength in a controlled setting and then utilize that strength in everyday situations outside of that controlled environment through functional fitness training.

Many of the beneficial effects of functional fitness training can be attributed to the number of ‘fitness bases’ that are addressed in a single training session. You can actually improve your strength, coordination, balance, agility, accuracy, flexibility and endurance in a single action, if you do it frequently enough. The enhancement of neurological fitness (balance, coordination, agility, and accuracy) and physical abilities are two very different things. There are very few exercises that can generate improvements in both (strength, flexibility, endurance, stamina). This is accomplished by the simultaneous use of a large number of the body’s joints and muscles, as well as training your body as a single unit… (You were born to have your body exploited in this manner!)

As a result of teaching your muscles to cooperate in this manner, you will be able to devote more time to training motions rather than isolating specific muscles. When your body is in motion rather than being fixed, you rely on dynamic balance rather than static balance, and dynamic balance necessitates a high level of core stability, among other things, to maintain equilibrium. A functional fitness training program will only seek to further improve core stability and strength, which will have the knock-on effect of improving virtually every aspect of your moving life. Improved intra-abdominal pressure, posture, and injury prevention are among the benefits of functional fitness training. In conclusion, functional fitness training has various physiological advantages, but it is also beneficial in other ways as well…

One of the most significant elements of functional fitness training is that it can be scaled to accommodate the abilities of people of all ages and backgrounds. Everyone and everyone may get the most out of their training by varying the intensity, length, and resistance of the exercises they perform. All of the activities they perform can be customized to match their particular fitness levels. Furthermore, functional fitness training is continually changed and is very frequently different from session to session, which is a characteristic that should be required in any fitness plan or program. A luxury that very few individuals who exercise in conventional gyms enjoy is the capacity to remain interested in their workouts at all times.

Finally, and probably most significantly, functional fitness training provides a return on your exercise investment that is comparable to other forms of exercise. It is important to note that your exercise investment includes both the money you spend (on your gym membership, equipment, diet, and travel), as well as the time and effort you put into your training. As previously stated, the value of conventional gyms is primarily derived from the luxuries they provide rather than the fitness aspects they provide; however, when it comes to functional fitness training, the return you receive is an increase in your ability to enjoy your recreations and play after you have achieved your goals. In a nutshell, it increases your work capacity across all fitness domains, allowing you to do more in a given period of time, regardless of what you choose to perform. In essence, functional fitness training is the same as regular fitness training!

 

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