Functional training is a good way to keep your body balanced and coordinated. It’s a good way to maintain the improvements from a corrective program, or a good addition to sports and gym programs. Like all exercise though, it needs to be done with correct technique and good movement control.
What is functional training?
There’s no hard and fast definition, but in general it’s a form of fitness training which uses movement patterns that work several muscle groups at one time and develop coordination, balance and core strength. Usually, functional training exercises are more close to the movements we carry out in every day life than exercises which focus on particular body parts. Although you can do functional training without equipment, it’s much more effective with equipment.
The advantages of a functional training program
- It’s efficient. You can work several muscle groups at once as well as using your core muscles to maintain your balance and control. So you spend less time working out.
- There’s more carry over into everyday life. Training with weight machines or doing mat work does of course improve muscle strength and tone. But the training is for very specific, usually simple movements. In everyday life we tend to use complex combinations of movements. For example, you might be able to hold a 5 minute plank, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to hold your abs flat while you’re walking around.
- You can get aerobic training benefits as well as muscle toning. In function training, movements are big and lots of muscle groups are worked at once. This means that you can get a cardio training effect too, especially if you use lower weights and higher reps.
- It’s better for coordination. Because you are carrying out complex movements with functional training, you develop better coordination and movement control.
- It keeps joints and muscles flexible. In functional training, the joints are taken through a wider range of movements, maintaining joint mobility and muscle flexibility.
Who is functional training for?
Most people can benefit from it. As already mentioned above, it makes a good progression from a corrective exercise program for maintenance. It is also useful as part of a sport or fitness training program because of its training effects on core strength, balance and coordination. Or, with the right choices of exercise and equipment you can make it a challenging all-round workout.
Find out more
In general, this would be a progression from a corrective exercise program. However, if you already have good body alignment and are interested in a functional training program, please use the contact details below to find out more or book a free 20 minute assessment/consultation.