Just as it sounds, functional fitness is meant to be functional. Functional training is a form of strength training that targets various muscle groups, forces them to work together, and prepares them for the movements of your day-to-day.
Squats, lunges, and bicep curls are all great examples of functional exercises. In the gym, there are countless variations of each of these exercises, each of which prepares your muscles for movement outside of the gym. The strength required to squat down and pick up a box, to move furniture, to pick up a child, and to bend down to tie your shoe can all be built up through a functional training regimen.
WHAT DOES FUNCTIONAL TRAINING LOOK LIKE IN ACTION?
Functional training can look like many things. From bodyweight to dumbbells and resistance bands, the options are truly endless when it comes to functional strength training. In action, these movements can be modified to suit all fitness levels.
The RockBox Fitness workout is the only one of its kind: a unique combination of kickboxing and functional fitness, where you spend half of your class throwing punches on a bag and the other half engaging in functional exercises. The functional component of the class is completed in a circuit format, meaning you go from one exercise to the next when the timer is up or once you finish a certain amount of reps.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
There are countless benefits to functional training, especially as you get older. Many functional exercises are compound, meaning they engage multiple muscles throughout the entire movement. For example, a bicep curl into a shoulder press will engage the biceps, triceps, shoulder, and spine, effectively preparing you to lift something off of a counter-height surface and above your head.
Additionally, functional training does more than increase muscle strength. This type of training improves agility, balance, and coordination. These benefits become increasingly essential as you get older and can help reduce the risk of falling and other injuries.