⬇️ Table of Contents
- What is Functional Training and Why It's Important
- Benefits of Functional Fitness Exercise
- Is It the Same Thing as CrossFit?
- Functional Fitness Training| Build Effective Workout Programs
- Beginner Routine
- How To Maximize Your Training
- How Often Should You Do Functional Training?
- How is this different from ‘nonfunctional' training?
- Neuromuscular Adaptations to Functional Training
What is Functional Training and Why It's Important
Functional fitness training strengthens muscles throughout the ENTIRE body. This type of exercise is referred to as functional fitness exercise. It builds strength, balance, coordination, and endurance.
Daily life tasks such as walking or lifting can be enhanced with functional training. It helps prevent injury and protects against falls. It improves athletic performance and helps you lose weight.
Functional fitness training is easier to incorporate into a busy schedule than concentrating on one muscle group. It requires less equipment and space.
Functional training focuses on the whole person - it doesn't just target isolated areas of the body.
The benefits of functional training are endless. You'll see improvements in every aspect of everyday activities.
Benefits of Functional Fitness Exercise
Functional training teaches your body to work as one unit rather than focusing on individual muscles. This type of exercise strengthens the entire body rather than just targeting certain areas. There are several reasons why functional training is good for your health.
When you train your body to perform common tasks, you strengthen every part of it. When you lift weights, for instance, you build strength in your legs, arms, core, shoulders, chest, and even your brain. If you want to improve your overall fitness level, you need to do things like run, jump, climb stairs, squat, and sit properly. But lifting weights helps you develop those skills too.
Get In Better Shape
Functional training is a great workout program if you want to lose some pounds or tone up. It works every single muscle group and builds strength and endurance while making you feel good about yourself afterward. You've likely heard about HIFT (high-intensity functional training), this type of exercise promotes overall improved daily life. You don't even have to do it alone. We've got a few tips for getting started.
Athletes are always looking for ways to improve performance. One way to do this is to focus on improving core strength. Core stability is one of the most important factors in maintaining good overall health and it can help athletes perform better in sports like gymnastics, dance, and weightlifting.
Decreased Risk of Injury
Functional fitness workouts are an effective way of preventing injury. Many think of this type of training as weightlifting, but it’s much broader. You don’t necessarily need weights to do functional fitness training. Many people use bodyweight exercises like pushups, pullups, squats, lunges, planks, etc.
Real World Strength
A recent study published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine found that functional strength training improves athletic performance more effectively than traditional weightlifting programs.
The researchers compared the effects of six weeks of either functional strength training or traditional weightlifting on 10 male athletes. They performed three sets of eight repetitions each of four exercises: squat, bench press, deadlift, and pull-up. In addition, the subjects did one set of 12 repetitions of pushups, sit-ups and lunges twice per week.
The results showed that both groups increased their muscular endurance and power during the course of the study, but the functional fitness strength group had greater increases in upper body strength, while the traditional weightlifting group improved lower body strength.
Functional Training will help you build muscle, enhance mobility, increase joint range of motion, and improve balance and coordination. This is going to translate into improved athleticism. And because functional training improves neuromuscular control, it will also improve your ability to withstand injury.
Is It the Same Thing as CrossFit?
CrossFit is a popular workout program that includes various exercises, including lifting weights, running, rowing, gymnastics, etc. On the other hand, functional training focuses on building strength and improving athletic performance without weightlifting. Many confuse the two terms because both use similar movements like squats, pushups, pullups, and sit-ups. However, there are key differences between the two programs.
The biggest difference is that CrossFit is a sport while functional training is not. CrossFit uses specific rules, competitions, timing standards, and scoring systems to determine winners. Functional training does not require competitors to meet certain criteria. Instead, individuals work out how they want to improve their health and fitness.
Another major distinction between the two is that CrossFit classes often incorporate functional movement into each session. This means that you might perform squats during a squat clean and press exercise. You could even perform lunges during a deadlift. While that type of movement is common in CrossFit, it is unnecessary.
Functional Fitness Training| Build Effective Workout Programs
The functional training workouts are designed to help you achieve your fitness goals while improving overall health and well-being. These workouts focus on building muscle strength, endurance, balance, flexibility, coordination, and stability. They incorporate techniques such as plyometrics, kettlebell swings, medicine ball throws, pushups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, planks, burpees, rope jumping, and many others.
You must do functional training workouts if you want to build lean muscle mass, increase stamina, improve cardiovascular health, burn fat, boost energy levels, and increase bone density. By combining HIIT high-intensity interval training with traditional resistance training, you'll develop muscular endurance and strength without spending hours in the gym. This program will allow you to work out anywhere, anytime, because it doesn't require equipment. You don't even need weights; just use your bodyweight as resistance.
This workout plan consists of four weekly sessions. Each session lasts about 30 minutes. If you follow the guidelines, you will see great improvements in your fitness level within 2 months.
If you've been away from working out for a while, it might feel daunting to jump into something new training activities again. You don't want to spend hours finding the perfect program to fit your needs. Instead, we suggest starting slow and building up your training activities slowly. This beginner routine will gradually build strength and fitness over time.
You won't need any equipment, just your body weight. Each workout focuses on one major muscle group, helping to strengthen your core and improve balance. By following along, you'll be able to see how far you've come.
Start with 3 days a week of light lifting, and work towards adding another day every few weeks. When you hit 4 full workouts per week, you'll be ready to move on to more challenging routines.
A Complete Guide To Getting Fit And Feeling Great!"
The squat is one of the most effective exercises you can do to build strength and muscle mass. This video covers everything you need to know about performing a proper squat. You'll learn how to warm up properly, what types of equipment you'll need, and how to use it safely. Then we'll look at different variations of the squat.
Steps to Apply for Proper Form:
Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
2) Bend your hips back until they are parallel to the floor.
3) Keep your core tight and engage your glutes.
4) Squeeze your butt cheeks together and lower yourself down as far as you comfortably can.
5) Push yourself back up to starting position.
6) Perform 3 sets of 8 reps.
The front squat works your entire body, including your core, shoulders, arms, legs, and heart. This exercise challenges you to use your whole body while keeping your spine neutral and your knees over your toes.
Pushups strengthen your upper back, shoulders, chest, triceps, biceps, and forearms. They also improve your balance and coordination.
Squats work your quadricep, hamstring, calf, and hip flexors. Your quads are responsible for moving your leg forward and backward, helping you jump high and run fast.
A goblet squat works the quads and glutes while minimizing stress on the lumbar spine. This exercise targets the quadratus femoris muscle group without adding additional pressure on the spine. A goblet squat strengthens the hip flexors and improves posture.
Intermediate: Dumbbell Squat
The same squat, different way to do it. Instead of holding weights overhead, you'll use dumbbells on either side of your body. This makes the movement easier because there are fewer places where the resistance can shift. This exercise should be part of your routine if you're looking to build strength and muscle mass while losing fat.
The squat is one of the most effective exercises around. Not only does it work every major muscle group in your body, but it also builds bone density and improves balance. Plus, it's easy to add variety to your workout routine, making it perfect for beginners.
Advanced: Front Squat to Overhead Press
The front squat to overhead press exercise is one of my favorites because it works multiple parts of your body at once. This move targets your chest, triceps, and deltoids while working your legs and core. You can do this exercise without holding weight, but I prefer using dumbbells because they make it easier to isolate each muscle group.
Start standing tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold the dumbbells next to your sides, palms facing forward. Bend over at your hips and lower yourself into a deep squat position. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor throughout the entire motion. Pause briefly at the bottom of the squat, then push off the ground and explosively jump upward, pushing both arms above your head. As soon as you reach the peak of the lift, return to the starting position by bending your elbows and lowering your torso back to the floor.
Repeat the movement 12 times in total. Rest 30 seconds between sets.
The deadlift is one of the best exercises you can do to build muscle mass and improve your overall health. It works your entire body, including your core, glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, arms, and even your heart. It’s been proven to reduce blood pressure, strengthen bones, increase metabolism, help prevent injuries, improve sleep quality, and and overall quality of life, much more.
Burpee to broad jump
The burpee is a classic exercise that helps you develop core strength while building explosive power. But did you know it could also make you better at jumping too? A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise found that athletes who performed a combination of a burpee and a broad jump had greater leg muscle power than those who just used a burpee alone. So next time you do a burpee, try adding extra height to it and see how much stronger you become.
1. Start with your hands about shoulder-width apart and feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Your knees are bent 90 degrees.
2. Lower yourself down into a squat position, keeping your chest up and core engaged. Extend your arms out straight behind you.
3. Pressing your hands against the floor, raise your body off the ground. You should feel the tension in your shoulders, abs, and glutes. If you don't feel the burn, try lowering your body lower.
4. Once you reach the bottom, slowly press yourself back up. Repeat for 30 seconds.
5. Rest for 10 seconds, then repeat three times.
6. Do one set of 15 reps.
7. Try it with different hand positions:
A plank works the whole body. But it puts most of its focus on the abs, glutes, and lower back. This is why it’s often called the king of exercises. Planks are great for toning up your entire core—including your upper arms, shoulders, and chest—and they’re also good for building strong legs and improving balance. To perform a plank, lie face down on the floor, keeping your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Your forearms should rest directly under your shoulders and your elbows should be slightly bent. Extend your arms straight above you, making sure to keep your shoulder blades pulled together. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then slowly return to lying face down. You should feel like you’ve built a bridge between your head and your hands. If you want to make it harder, try holding each side for 10 seconds, alternating sides every two minutes.
The lateral lunge works muscles that are often neglected during traditional squat variations. If you're looking to build strength and muscle mass while improving mobility, the lateral lunge is a great way to do just that.
Start by standing up straight with feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward into a deep lunge with your left foot, keeping both knees bent 90 degrees and toes pointed outward. Your body should form a straight line from head to toe. Next, reach out with your right arm and place it outside your right thigh. Using momentum, step backward with your right leg, bringing your right knee toward your chest. As you land, push off with your right foot and return to starting position. Repeat 10 times on each side for three sets total.
How To Maximize Your Training
The best way to maximize your training is to train smarter. It’s not about how much you can lift but what kind of lifts you do and when you perform them. The key to maximizing your training is to make sure that the exercises you are doing are effective for your goals. If you want to get stronger, then you need to focus on compound movements like squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, pull-ups, chin-ups, dips, and overhead pressing. These types of exercises will help you develop more muscle mass and increase your overall size.
If you want to lose weight, then you need to use isolation exercises such as single-leg squats, lunges, and hip raises. These exercises target specific areas of the body and allow you to isolate certain muscles without having to worry about other muscles getting in the way. For example, if you want to strengthen your quads, then you would only perform single-leg squats.
If you want to improve your flexibility, then you need to incorporate stretching exercises into your routine. Stretching helps prevent injuries and increases blood flow throughout the body. When performing stretches, make sure to hold each stretch for at least 20 seconds.
How Often Should You Do Functional Training?
Because this type of training is usually full-body functional workouts, they require a lot of energy. As such, giving yourself adequate recovery time in between workouts is important. This includes taking a day off from working out every few weeks.
If you want to build muscle mass while still maintaining your current level of activity, you'll likely need to do functional fitness training workouts 2 times per week. However, if you want to lose fat and add lean muscle mass, you might want to increase your frequency to 3 times per week.
In either case, try to keep it to no more than 4 days per week. If you train too much, you could end up overtraining and jeopardizing your long-term progress.
How is this different from ‘nonfunctional' training?
The term "bodybuilding" usually conjures images of ripped men pumping iron in the gym. But you can do plenty of exercises outside the weight room that work your entire body and help you achieve specific goals. And while it might seem like a lot of effort to incorporate multiple exercises into each workout, it's quite easy once you learn how to set up your routine.
Bodybuilders typically focus on working on one muscle group at a time, such as the chest, shoulders, triceps, quads, hamstrings, calves, abs, etc. This type of training provides a great deal of isolation and helps build size and definition. However, it does little to improve core stability, flexibility, coordination, agility, power, speed, and endurance. All those things fall under the umbrella of functional fitness, and they're what you'll see people doing at gyms around the world.
Functional fitness tends to involve a variety of exercises targeting several muscle groups simultaneously, such as performing squats, lunges, pushups, pullups, planks, burpees, kettlebell swings, and jumping jacks. These workouts target the four components of health: cardiovascular, muscular, bone/connective tissue, and mental. They're designed to strengthen your heart and lungs, increase your metabolism, enhance your mobility, and boost your self-esteem.
When choosing exercises, keep in mind what your goal is. If you want to lose fat, you won't be able to isolate certain areas of your body. Instead, you'll need to hit them all. So, don't choose a leg day if you want to tone your thighs; choose a full-body workout that includes legs, arms, back, abdominals, glutes, and even cardio.
Neuromuscular Adaptations to Functional Training
The purpose of this study was to compare three different types of strength training—functional training (FT), high-intensity functional training (HIFT), and free weight full body resistance training (FF)—based on neuromuscular adaptation. The hypothesis was that there are differences among the three groups in terms of the magnitude of neural activation and muscle recruitment patterns during exercise. A total of 20 healthy men participated in this study. They performed a single session of one type of strength training per week over 8 weeks. Each subject completed four sessions per week. During each session, subjects performed either FT, HIFT, or FF exercises.
After each set of exercises, electromyography (EMG) signals were recorded from nine muscles. EMG data were analyzed using root mean square values and normalized to maximal voluntary contraction (%MVC). In addition, a maximum voluntary isometric contraction test was conducted. Statistical analysis revealed significant increases in %MVC for both FT and HIFT compared to baseline values.
However, no significant difference was found between the two groups. There was a significant increase in MVC torque in the FT group compared to the HIFT group. This suggests that FT induces greater neural activation than HIFT. Furthermore, the results showed that FT induced greater motor unit firing rates than HIFT. These findings suggest that FT elicits greater neuromuscular adaptations than HIFT.