Since the introduction of the Rig to Total Fitness Aintree, the concept of functional training is quickly becoming the more popular and more spoken about method of training around the gym.
Firstly what is functional training?
Simply put it can be defined as movement or exercise that allows us to perform tasks with better performance or efficiency. Functional training is nothing new. Athletes and fitness fanatics have been lifting, twisting, bending and moving in all planes of movement for thousands of years. Our body is designed to push, pull, squat, lunge, bend and rotate and if you incorporate these into your workout/training programme in the correct method and technique, you will be training more functionally and will see the benefits.
What can we use functional training to achieve?
· Improved posture and balance across the whole body
· Improved aerobic and anaerobic energy systems through the intensity of the workout
· Reduced injuries, pain and degenerative injuries
· Improvements in sports specific fitness
· Achieve a metabolic training effect that will help strip body fat and get lean
Functional fitness compared to traditional weight training
For generations, weight training has always been the norm throughout the fitness industry. Trainers and fitness instructors would use weights and resistance machines to improve muscle strength by targeting specific body parts eg, Pectorals for chest workouts.
Functional training differs as it focuses on the body in its entirety and operates on the understanding that muscle strength in the grand scheme of personal fitness, is only one small piece of the puzzle. Other factors such as core stability, flexibility and range of motion, power, speed, endurance levels and cardio vascular fitness are also considered essential whether you’re just starting out in the gym or have been training for years. Functional training incorporates this by using full body compound exercises to improve in all these areas.
Key points to follow:
· The movements you perform should be integrated – you are using several muscle groups or your whole body and not isolating one specific muscle group.
· Complex movements should also be performed that make you think about the movement you are making – challenge your brain as well as your body.
· Movements should work across all planes of movement.
· When performing functional training avoid fixed machines and stick to free weights and equipment such as medicine balls, weight plates, ropes, GI bags, olympic bars and kettlebells, these can all be found around the gym and around the rig.
If you are interested in taking part in a functional fitness training session, please contact one of the Evolution Fitness Professionals personal trainers to get booked in for a functional fitness session.
EFP Personal Trainer