Functional training is the buzzword in the fitness industry today. It is a form of exercise that involves movements that mimic real-life activities. The focus is on developing strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination to improve the ability to perform daily tasks and sports-related activities. The concept of functional training is not new, but its popularity has surged in recent years. It is bringing a revolution in the fitness industry by challenging traditional training methods and offering a new approach to achieving fitness goals.
Functional training is all about training the body to move the way it was designed to move. Traditional weight training typically isolates muscles and focuses on building strength in specific muscle groups. Functional training, on the other hand, trains multiple muscle groups simultaneously, working on the body's natural movement patterns. This approach not only enhances muscular strength but also improves mobility, stability, and flexibility.
Benefits of functional training
Functional training exercises involve complex movements that engage the whole body, such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, push-ups, and planks. These exercises target the core muscles that support the spine and help improve posture and balance. Focusing on the core muscles helps prevent injury and improves overall physical performance.
Functional training is also effective in improving cardiovascular fitness. Traditional cardio exercises such as running, cycling, or swimming focus on endurance training by elevating the heart rate for an extended period. In contrast, functional training involves short, intense bursts of activity that target multiple muscle groups, making it a more efficient form of cardio exercise.
The benefits of functional training are not just limited to physical fitness. It also has mental health benefits. Studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Functional training, in particular, has been found to be an effective stress buster. The complex movements involved in functional training require intense focus and concentration, which helps the mind to stay focused and clear.
Functional training has also become a popular choice for athletes looking to improve their performance. Sports require explosive movements, quick reaction times, and good balance and coordination. Functional training helps improve all these aspects by focusing on movements that simulate real-life sporting activities.
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Another benefit of functional training is that it can be more engaging and enjoyable than traditional workouts. By using exercises that mimic real-life activities, individuals can feel a sense of accomplishment and progress as they improve their ability to perform these movements. This can help individuals stay motivated and engaged in their fitness routine.
Functional training can also be used to target specific muscle groups or areas of the body. For example, exercises that focus on the core muscles can help improve posture and reduce back pain. Exercises that target the legs and hips can help improve balance and stability, while exercises that target the upper body can help improve overall strength and mobility.
Functional traininggetting popular among athletes too
Functional training has also been embraced by personal trainers and coaches, who recognise its benefits for improving overall fitness and performance. Many athletes, including professional football players and basketball players, incorporate functional training into their off-season training programs to help improve their agility, speed, and overall performance on the field or court.
Functional training is also becoming increasingly popular among older adults. As people age, maintaining strength, balance, and mobility becomes increasingly important for maintaining independence and quality of life. Functional training can help older adults maintain their overall fitness and reduce the risk of falls and other injuries.
In conclusion, functional training is bringing a revolution in the fitness industry. It is a versatile and effective form of exercise that can be tailored to suit the needs of individuals of all fitness levels and ages. By focusing on movements that mimic real-life activities, functional training can help individuals improve their overall fitness and quality of life in a more practical way than traditional gym workouts. With the rise of functional training studios and the growing recognition of its benefits by coaches and trainers, it is clear that functional training is here to stay.
The article is contributed by Deepti Sharma, Director, Multifit & Certified Finctional Fitness Coach.