The Importance of Functional Fitness Training
Recently, functional fitness training has experienced a resurgence in popular culture. The trendiness of fitness activities emphasizing functionality, like CrossFit, yoga, and circuit training, have refocused the public’s attention on the importance of functional fitness. After all, being able to bench 350 lbs doesn’t mean much if you can’t bend over and touch your toes or you’re totally gassed after jogging for only a quarter mile. Many people want to work out for aesthetic reasons. It’s okay if you’re working out because you want to look good, but, for the sake of your body’s health, it’s crucial that your fitness training also emphasize functionality.
What Exactly is Functional Fitness Training?
Functional fitness training contains exercises that recruit multiple muscle groups to work together. These exercises typically simulate common movements you might do at home, at work, or in sports. By using various muscle groups from both the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness exercises help develop and strengthen core stability.
For example, a squat is a functional fitness exercise because it strengthens the muscles used when you stand from and sit on a chair. Deadlifts train the muscles used when you pick a stationary object up from the floor. Dips are part of functional fitness as well; they train the muscles used when you push yourself off of something. All of these examples also work to stabilize your core muscles, which are key in preventing injury and providing better posture. People with weak cores will often fall victim to back problems, neck and shoulder pain, and even tension headaches, to name a few.
Why is Functional Fitness Training Beneficial?
By training and strengthening the muscles you use for daily tasks, you can help your body perform at its most optimal for a longer period of time. By focusing on the functionality of a muscle, you can help increase your range of motion, strength, and endurance, while also making everyday tasks easier and improving quality of life.
Endurance athletes that focus only on aerobic exercises like running or biking typically are not very strong. This can cause them to suffer from issues that could be avoided with a stronger frame. Conversely, those who focus on lifting weights for aesthetic purposes can suffer from significant issues to joints, let alone having insufficient cardiovascular endurance. Rather than strengthening the knee or the elbow, many are focusing only on the quad or bicep. Strong muscles don’t mean much if the joints supporting them aren’t functional.
Functional fitness training is beneficial for:
- Movement – By emphasizing patterns of movement rather than isolating individual muscles, you increase your body’s capacity for motion. This helps keep you mobile and agile. Additionally, if you’re sedentary for most of the day, having a relatively stationary workout is counterintuitive to your progress.
- Posture and Stability – Functional fitness training strengthens the core muscles (those in the abdomen and lower back) responsible for stability. A stronger core means better posture, which is especially important for desk workers. Better core stability means a lower risk of injury for common accidents like a slip-and-fall.
- Fat Burning – Functional fitness training is excellent for fat burning because it uses full body or multiple muscle group exercises that improve strength, increase endurance, and boost metabolism all at the same time.
- Muscle Tone – While you’re shredding body fat, you’re also increasing muscle tone and definition. Functional fitness training often incorporates bodyweight exercises that help your muscles grow and strengthen. Think about it: how much does curling 100 lbs really matter if you can’t lift your own bodyweight?
Where Can You Do Functional Fitness Training?
One of the best parts about functional fitness training is that you can do it anywhere! Many of these workouts were designed with ease of use in mind. They’re meant to be done quickly and without loads of equipment. There are many pieces of fitness equipment out there that are designed with functionality in mind, allowing you to do multiple exercises all at the same station. This allows you to get the biggest bang for your buck, without having to blow a ton of money on an expensive gym membership or buying a gym’s worth of equipment yourself.
If you’re looking for your money’s worth in one piece of equipment, check out the VDip Power Station. The VDip was designed with functional fitness training in mind. It’s sleek, space-saving design allows it to fit anywhere – in the basement, in the living room, even in the corner of your office! The unique, v-shaped handles provide a variation on the standard grip of most dip machines, allowing it to target your whole upper body at an entirely new angle. What’s more, you can use the VDip for more than just dips! Don’t wait – pre-order your VDip now!