Have you tried one of our new functional training classes yet? Not sure what it is? Or maybe it looks too intense or scary?
Functional training is one of the most efficient ways to train your entire body. While it may look intense and intimidating at first, after you read this article, you’ll be signing up for our next class.
What is Functional Training?
Leading fitness guru, Michael Boyle, defines “function” in his book, New Functional Training for Sports, as purpose. In other words, you should train with purpose.
Functional training began in the rehabilitation and physical therapy worlds to help retrain patients with movement disorders. Exercises would mimic movements that the patient would do at home or work, like open the refrigerator or close a door.
Functional training is often used to train athletes. For example, a swimmer may focus on doing shoulder and arm exercises that mimic their swim stroke. Or a runner would do exercises that focus on building more leg and hip strength.
Why is Functional Training Important?
Functional training focuses on mobility and stability, which leads to more efficient motor patterns. Functional training not only improves the overall function of your body, but it boosts muscle strength and endurance. And it builds muscle stability that allows you to complete everyday life tasks easier.
Functional training is generally done with bodyweight or light weights, and exercise equipment. Exercises focus on increasing your flexibility, coordination, balance, and posture. Most functional exercises require you to use your core strength to stabilise yourself, which requires your body to recruit the smaller muscles in your body that you would otherwise not use.
Functional training can also help reduce the risk of injury. Runners especially are prone to overuse injuries from doing the same movement over and over again. By mimicking everyday movements in your life, your body is more likely to cope with stress from sport.
Functional training can also strengthen the muscles in your body that you don’t normally use, like many of the smaller hip muscles that stabilise the hips during running, which are often weak in regular runners.
What Are Examples of Functional Exercises?
Functional exercises, or functional movements as they are commonly called, are movements based on real-world biomechanics. The squat, for instance, is one of the best functional movements that you can do. Think about it: how many times a day do you get up and down from a chair?
If you’re not sure what types of exercises you’ll see in our functional training classes, take a peek at our video to the right of this post.
If you’re looking to change up your exercise routine, and build more strength and stability in your body while improving your flexibility and posture, try one of our classes today!