Functional Fitness…..What Is It And Why Is It Important?

What's the point on doing a workout, if it's not going to apply to your day to day function of life, right?  When selecting workouts, we can't overlook the importance of functional fitness. 

When most people hit the gym to do their workout routine, they’re performing boring exercises like leg extensions, bicep curls, and tricep kickbacks.  They have specific ‘trouble zones’ that they want to work and actually believe that these exercises are going to firm up the region and get them the results that they’re looking for.

Um, hello, can we SPOT REDUCE?  Nope, sorry!

Only, while holding this belief, they’re missing out on one critical element that makes for a good workout program – function.

What do we mean by functional fitness?  Let’s give you the quick n' dirty facts that you need to know.

What Functional Fitness Is 

Functional fitness is essentially fitness exercises that will transfer to ‘real life’ movement patterns (picking up your child, moving furniture, climbing stairs, etc).  Since the primary goal with most workout programs is to increase your strength, so that you can go about your daily living better, thus being more capable to perform various tasks, all the more reason why making sure that your workout program is functional in nature, so you can do just that.

Functional fitness exercises will help you gain strength using similar movement patterns that you would do every day, therefore the transfer over benefits will be rather direct.

Other less functional exercises (think stationary moves like bicep curls, leg extensions, etc) may still help you gain muscular strength, but only in the limited movement pattern of that particular exercise.  The end result is fewer actual benefits in ‘real life’.

 

Why Functional Fitness Is Important 

So why is this important?  A big ol' reason is you’ll maintain a higher quality of living and prevent injuries down the road, because you are training particular muscle groups that you use day in and day out.

Many people do get injured doing the most random of tasks and often this is due to muscular imbalances or weaknesses.

Functional fitness will help to solve these so that you are stronger in many of the movements that you’re performing.

How To Include Functional Fitness In Your Workout Regimen 

So how can you go about including functional fitness into your workout regime? Think about performing life-like movement patterns.

Squats for example are a great functional fitness exercise because in everyday life you are often squatting down, whether it’s to sit on a chair or pick up somoeone or something.

Step ups are also a great functional movement as gaining strength with these will mimic climbing stairs.

For the upper body, push-ups tend to be a good exercise to choose as they’ll help mimic pushing doors open or other objects away from you and likewise, upright rows and the shoulder press are excellent as they’ll closely resemble the movement pattern of 

picking up a heavy object off a table and placing it overhead.

Some great workout programs that include functional fitness:

  • P90X & P90X 2
  • Insanity (Sports conditioning)
  • CrossFit
  • TRX
  • Insanity Asylum

The more often you can select exercises in your workout program or find one that dishes out functional fitness, the more effective your program will be and the better the results you will gain from it.

Your partner in health & fitness,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speak Your Mind

*