Exercise and training can make it easier to do everyday tasks that start to become more difficult as we age, like carrying a heavy bag of groceries up a flight of stairs or moving furniture around in your house.
That’s why a type of workout known as functional training is growing in popularity.
Functional training builds strength, but it does so by imitating the movements you do every day, so these movements become easier.
How Does Functional Strength Training Work?
Functional strength training and Functional Training Specialists focuses on compound movements that work out more than one muscle group at the same time. When you strengthen your biceps using an exercise like biceps curls, you’re only focusing on a single muscle. This may build strength or endurance, depending upon the weight you use and the number of reps, but it’s an isolated exercise.
It doesn’t increase the ability of your muscles to work together as a unit to do tasks such as bending over to lift a heavy box or shoveling a pile of snow. On the other hand, if you do biceps curls while doing squats or lunges at the same time, you’re building functional strength that is applicable to your everyday life.
Benefits of Functional Strength Training
Functional strength training often works upper and lower body muscles at the same time. Working out multiple muscle groups and recruiting lower body muscles burns more calories, especially if you minimize the rest between sets. Functional strength workouts are also more time expedient since you’re working for multiple muscle groups simultaneously. It’s a more “natural” way to exercise.
When you work out more than one muscle group simultaneously, it also adds an element of balance. Developing balance helps to reduce the risk of injury if you play sports, and it makes you more resistant to falls and injuries in everyday life. Static strength training using machines does little to improve your sense of balance.
You don’t need weight machines to do functional strength exercises. You can do them at home using hand weights or resistance bands. No gym required. It’s a way to get a total body workout that imitates movements you do every day while burning calories and increasing coordination, flexibility and balance.
Functional strength training adds variety to your workout. It is not great for isolating particular muscle groups or for building bulk. but it does build practical and useful strength that translates into everyday, real-life benefits.
Who Benefits From Functional Workout Routines
Functional training programs are meant to be customized per the individual’s lifestyle and goals.
On top of being short and highly efficient in burning fat, most functional exercises can also be done at home, the only equipment required being your own body.
So even if you have very little time, you can easily sneak in a quick workout routine from wherever you are. If you are a beginner, getting started with workouts, choose easier exercises and fewer repetitions. As you progress, you can vary different parameters such as the number of repetitions, intensity, and duration of each workout.
How to Get Started
Functional strength training is growing in popularity for a reason. It adds a new dimension to strength training – but these moves can be challenging if you’ve never done them before. Usually, it’s people who have focused their workout exclusively around weight machines that find them the most challenging. The good news is you’ll develop greater functional strength over time, which will make it easier to do the tasks you do every day.
Now it’s your turn to take action. Learn more about becoming a Functional Training Specialist and gain the focus that helps you build unstoppable confidence.
If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out what it takes to start a career in personal fitness training. This is your most affordable and fastest way to become a highly qualified personal trainer.
NESTA coaching programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.