Most of our workout practices and routines are focused on the big goals: lose weight, tone your body, gain muscle mass, etc. But there’s more to being fit than achieving these overarching goals. One of the best things you can do with your workout time is focus on functional fitness. Essentially, it’s a routine that aims to train and tone your body for all the daily activities that you do in a day including lifting, sitting, or even just standing.
Even if it’s just training to stand in a better posture, functional fitness can lay the foundation for lifelong health. So, what exactly is it, and why is it important?
TABIIB explains the growth and benefits of it below:
What Is Functional Fitness?
As the name suggests, the term functional fitness describes any set of workout routines or exercises that serve a function, a purpose. It trains your muscles to work better and prepares them for navigating the world by stimulating common movements that we make throughout the day.
Functional fitness got its start in the physical rehabilitation field and was created by physical therapists to help people recover from injury. Specific muscle building routines and exercises were developed that would help them get back to living their daily life without discomfort. What makes functional fitness different is that it focuses on improving the coordination of your muscles. Other regular workouts often focus on one single body part or muscle group (also called as isolating exercises) that can often lead to stiffness and rigidity in muscles. Functional training ensures that all the muscle groups in your body are given the same amount of work.
Benefits Of Functional Fitness
While the term has been making its way around many training centres and gyms, it’s more than just a buzzword. Functional fitness offers many benefits, especially in the long term. TABIIB lists a few of those below:
1) Increases Ease Of Movement In Daily Life
By improving the overall function of your body and boosting muscle endurance, everyday activities can be completed with more ease. This specific approach helps improve your fitness and health in a way that’s practical and easy.
2) Low Impact Exercises Reduces Risk
Since functional training includes exercises that are low impact, it reduces the risk of injury and muscle damage. For beginners to the fitness lifestyle, this is a good place to start. Functional training will help improve all your abilities without causing stress to your body or joints.
3) Greater Muscle Memory
The whole point of functional fitness is to do the movements that you would in a day in a way that builds up your muscle tolerance and stamina. By mimicking the same actions, you’re essentially training your brain to remember it as well, thus boosting memory.
4) Increases Muscle Coordination
The range of motion included in the exercises are quite diverse. While functional fitness does work your muscles, its goal isn’t to bulk you up. Implementing the routines and exercises can work in boosting your body’s coordination and flexibility. As your range of motion improves, you’ll find the day-to-day activities becoming easier.
5) Improves Balance And Posture
Functional fitness promotes the use of your own body weight to perform the exercises. Out there in the world, you won’t have the support of external machines or weights to help you which is why you need to rely on your balance and posture. Great posture is the foundation of all exercises which functional fitness helps you achieve.
6) Can Help With Joint Pain
Functional fitness began with physical therapy and it is the cross between conventional training and therapeutic training. Since it was designed to help people with their post-injury recovery, functional training can help those with chronic back pain, muscle aches, and joint pains. It’s an ideal workout for anybody who wants to stay fit but can’t commit to the exertion of conventional fitness.
7) Increases Core Strength
Every functional exercise is aimed at strengthening the core, teaching the core to stabilize the spine against external forces. By mimicking the movements done in everyday life, your body is likely to be able to withstand physical stressors without any injury.
While all the benefits of functional fitness are undeniable, you should also keep your physical health and limitations in mind before starting any workout routine. Consult with a doctor on TABIIB before joining any workout programs.