As part of Functional Rehabilitation, Functional Training provides you with the strength, stability, endurance, mobility and flexibility that you need to thrive as you carry out your daily activities.
Functional fitness exercises train your muscles to work cohesively together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating the basic common movements you do at home, work or during sports.
Multi-Joint, Multi-Muscle Exercises
Multi-joint movements are regarded as more beneficial to the body as they engage various muscles within the body, working simultaneously to yield several benefits. This synchronized activity in the various muscle groups create a harmonious pattern that promotes safety as you work out, thereby decreasing the risk of injuries.
Functional exercises are especially beneficial as part of a comprehensive programme to improve balance, agility and muscle strength for older people.
Finding Balance in Your Body
The first step in functional fitness is teaching your body to control and balance its own weight. It is not uncommon to find gym junkies who can leg-press 100kg but don’t have the muscular control for a one-legged squat.
Simple exercises like one-legged squats or step-ups force you to control your body weight as you go down and back up, promoting balance and muscle integration on either side of your body.
Importance of Form
There are many exercises and equipment that are marketed as functional training. Keep in mind that functional exercise is neurologically demanding than machine exercises as they require concentration to carry out quality reps. Seek advice from a fitness trainer on finding your fitness level, the correct exercises and the correct way to execute them.
Instead of training until muscle fatigue, your set ends when you can no longer perform the exercise with perfect form.
5 Key Movements in Functional Fitness
In the gym we call it squatting but in everyday life it’s as simple as getting in and out of a chair or squatting down to pick up a bag of groceries from the floor. Bend and lift movements require strength in the glutes, quads, and hamstrings, but also plenty of stability in the core, and flexibility in the knees and ankles.
In real life, single-leg movements are needed when you walk, climb or descend stairs. It’s also applicable when you bend and reach forward on one leg to get something from the floor. Like bend-and-lift, single-leg movements require combined strength, stability and flexibility with an added element of balance over a changing center of gravity.
Pushing movements typically involve your upper body pushing forward (opening a store door), pushing overhead (placing an object on a high shelf) or pushing to the side (lifting your torso from a side-lying position). Our functional trainer will teach you pushing movements through guided pushups, overhead presses or side planks.
Pulling movements in your daily life might include pulling the car door shut, pulling the sheets down from the top shelf of the linen closet, or pulling your suitcase off the floor. If you’re facing discomfort when performing these, our instructor will help you develop core stability, strength in your back and shoulders, stability in your shoulder blades and flexibility in your shoulders.
Your thoracic spine rotates with every step you take and any time you swing a golf club or tennis racket. Any time you reach across your body or twist through the spine, you’re engaging in a rotational movement. This complex movement pattern requires a great deal of core stability and strength to support the spine during the rotational motion.