Workouts for real life help your body prepare for those activities you do everyday. If you’ve ever bent down and picked up something relatively light, only to have a sharp, stabbing pain in your back that continued for days, you know what I mean. Functional fitness helps all the muscles of the body work together and gets you ready for tasks you would do daily, whether at home, work or play. It emphasizes core stability too.
Squats simulate getting up and out of a chair.
I remember a routine done by a comedian long ago talking about his father’s noise. It was that low growl older men made when getting up and out of a chair. While you may not be ready to make the noise, as you lose muscle fitness, eventually it will become more of a task. Just as picking up items off the floor can be challenging and even cause injury from the simple movement. Performing squats can keep your body fit for these types of tasks.
Kettlebells, fitness balls and weights are part of functional fitness training, but you can do functional fitness exercises without any equipment.
A reverse lunge with dumbbells incorporates movement, muscles working together while changing position and balance. It challenges core stability too. Opening up the hips and thorax area with certain exercises helps prevent back problems by loosening tight hips. Kettlebells workouts give a total body workout and helps coordinate the muscles to get them working together. Kettlebells also build core muscles, which is important in functional fitness. Fitness ball workouts also work on core stability.
Functional fitness workout help people of all ages.
You can modify the workouts to match the level of fitness of each person. Older individuals, particularly if they haven’t exercised in a long time may be best off starting with body weight or even water based functional fitness workouts. Of course, as with any program of exercise, checking with your health care professional is of utmost importance before beginning.
- Consider all the daily moves you make, from reaching for something overhead, running up stairs, getting out of the car or even just vacuuming the floor. Preparing the body for these types of tasks is the goal of functional training.
- Functional exercises focus on more than one joint and muscle group. It’s all about getting the muscles to work together as one. It’s utilizing the whole body with each exercise, even if part of it is just for support.
- Functional fitness works on all types of fitness. It employs exercises to improve range of motion—flexibility, improves power—strength, balance and endurance.
- You may already be doing many of the functional fitness exercises. It may be just a matter of working with a personal trainer to create a program that combines them safely.