In this article, we will be discussing what Functional Training is, the benefits, and if it is right for you. We will also be including a sample functional training workout that you can complete at the gym or at home with minimal equipment.
What is functional training?
You may have heard the word functional training or functional fitness. It has been a buzz word that has emerged over the last few years but in actuality the concept has been around for a long time. Years ago before gyms were common, people didn’t have a need for stationary gym equipment because they were busy using their bodies to complete daily tasks. Most, if not all, individuals were using their bodies to tend land and farms, care for livestock, hunt…If their bodies were not capable of performing the tasks necessary, they and potentially the people around them, would suffer. Naturally, their bodies would maintain a certain level of fitness to complete their daily tasks. If we fast-forward to our current time, we know that the majority of Americans live a sedentary lifestyle. This is where functional training comes into play. Functional training is a classification of training that equips your body for real life movements and activities. According to Laskowski (2016), “Functional fitness exercises train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports… functional fitness exercises also emphasize core stability.” Functional fitness is a key component in keeping up with daily tasks and aging gracefully.
According to Bryant (2011) from the American Council on Exercise, “Functional strength training involves performing work against resistance in such a manner that the improvements in strength directly enhance the performance of movements so that an individual's activities of daily living are easier to perform.” Not only does functional training make daily activities easier, it can also help prevent injury as well. Functional training enhances the working relationship between the nervous and muscular systems.