What is Functional Fitness?
Being able to squat or benchpress hundreds of pounds will always be impressive, but it's not the most useful skill in everyday life. This is why people need to consider functional fitness. But what is functional fitness really?
Keep reading to find out what the benefits of functional fitness are and whether you should incorporate it into your weekly workout routine.
Only 23.2% of adults aged 18 and over meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity, whereas 53.3% meet the guideline for aerobic physical activity. Creating or finding a workout routine that you enjoy and can stick to can take some trial and error. You not only need to find out what styles of exercise you enjoy but also what works best to help you live life to its fullest.
What Is Functional Fitness Really?
Functional fitness is simply a classification of training that is geared to prepare your body for real-life movements and activities. Functional training replicates common movements you might do throughout the day and prepares your muscles to work together to complete these movements. The goal of functional fitness is to help you keep living a healthier lifestyle.
Functional fitness prepares your body to execute real-life movements and activities, not just lifting a big weight while staying in a specific position. Without functional fitness, you'll find that you can lift weights at the gym with no problem, but when you try to lift a bag onto a counter, you might feel pain in your back.
Functional fitness trains you to go through life with minimal injury. The goal isn't to be extremely strong; the goal is to give your body the tools to go through life without injuring yourself unnecessarily.
Most gym movements, such as squatting, pulling, or lifting, can even feel easier if you integrate functional movements into your exercise program, as you'll have strengthened your body to bear the weight properly. You also don't need access to a gym to train your functional fitness. With the rise of virtual fitness, you can complete these exercises from the comfort of your home.
The Components of Functional Fitness
There are a few basic components when it comes to functional fitness. These include (but aren't limited to!):
- Range of motion
By focusing on these components, you'll find that your training will start to translate to your everyday life.
The Benefits of Functional Fitness
While the main benefit of functional fitness is to help you be a more well-rounded person that can complete day-to-day activities, there are a number of benefits when it comes to functional fitness. The major benefits are:
Improves Everyday Life
Improving the function of your body by increasing your strength, endurance, and stability will help you complete your daily duties with ease. Functional fitness also improves your quality of life due to stress relief. By being confident that your body can complete the tasks you set out because you train for everyday life, you'll quickly see improvement in your everyday life.
Greater Muscle Memory
One of the goals of exercising is to increase your muscle memory. By regularly training your functional fitness, you won't just show your body how these movements must be done; you'll also show your brain how these movements need to be handled. Once your muscles and brain recognize the movement, they will help you perform them outside the gym.
Functional fitness focuses on improving your balance, coordination, flexibility, and agility. By training your body in these components, you'll have more mobility in your everyday life.
Balance and Posture
Most people have complained about a sore neck or back due to sitting wrong. Well, since functional exercises focus on building muscle memory, you'll find that your balance and posture also improve. You'll learn how to properly distribute your weight to reduce stress on your body.
Functional Fitness Exercises to Try
While any type of exercise can be functional fitness if you pay attention to your form and muscle engagement, the most common functional fitness movements focus on mid-back stability and hip hinging.
It is important to start by warming up before you jump into the exercises to make sure your muscles are warm and alert. While you usually won't warm up before doing these movements in your daily life, since you'll be training for a while, instead of just doing one movement, you need to take the time to warm up.
Once you're warmed up, some exercises you can do to increase your functional fitness include:
- Plank variations
- Leg extensions
- Glute bridges
- Bicep curls
If you can keep your heart rate up during these exercises, they'll even contribute to your fitness goals and not just your functional fitness.
These exercises may seem simple, but if you do them consistently while keeping an eye on your form and muscle engagement, you'll be able to see an improvement in your quality of life.
Add Functional Fitness To Your Routine
Now you no longer need to ask, "what is functional fitness?". This form of exercise prepares your body for real-life movements and activities to help you live life to the fullest. If you realize you're struggling to complete everyday movements, you should consider adding functional fitness exercises to your weekly workout routine as soon as possible.
If you're looking for supplements to help you on your functional fitness journey, please contact SupplementRelief.com today! We promote a healthy lifestyle with an emphasis on whole-food nutrition, stress management, exercise, and the use of high-quality supplements.
Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.
Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.
We encourage you to take advantage of these FREE Wellness Resources on our website.
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The information, knowledge, and experience shared on this website is the opinion of SupplementRelief.com. This site and its content is intended to enhance your knowledge base as YOU MAKE YOUR OWN HEALTHCARE DECISIONS in partnership with your qualified health professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products referred to are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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