What Is Functional Fitness? Functional fitness may be the buzz word for 2012. According to many fitness experts it is the burgeoning trend in fitness.
But what exactly is functional fitness and is it right for you?
Functional Fitness Defined Functional fitness is about training your muscles to work together to perform every day functions. For example, a standard push up works a muscle group but it isolates the muscles. Shoveling snow on the other hand uses all of your upper body muscles. In the real world you’re more likely to shovel snow than to need the muscles required for a push up.
Functional fitness is about teaching your muscles to work together optimally rather than to function independently. Functional fitness can be done in the gym with a personal trainer. It can also be done at home with basic dumbbells or kettle bells. There are even books and DVDs that walk you through the exercises.
What Does a Typical Training Session Look Like?
A functional fitness class or training session is performed primarily while standing upright. This is because that’s how we perform most of the day’s functions. You don’t shovel snow sitting or laying down! Initially, most experts recommend using your body weight for the exercises. For example, can you do a one legged squat without falling over using only your body weight? Most people cannot. In addition to working without weights, at least initially, you’ll first focus on control and balance. Once you’ve mastered control over your body you’ll then begin to add weights.
Who is Functional Fitness For? (Benefits)
Functional fitness is exceptional because it helps achieve several goals at once. It does offer the weight loss and fitness benefits of a traditional strength and flexibility program. It also helps strengthen your body so you have proper form when you perform everyday activities. This prevents injury. How to Find a Functional Fitness Program Most gyms today now offer functional fitness trainers and programs. If you’re interested, you should easily be able to find a qualified trainer.
You can also find top quality books and functional fitness DVDs available online and at fitness stores. Because there really isn’t any special equipment required, at least not in the beginning, you can start a program at home and transition to the gym when you’re ready to advance. So stand up straight. Bend one leg so you’re standing fully on the other. Now bend your leg as if you were sitting down and do a one legged squat. That’s a functional fitness exercise.