Why Functional Fitness Needs to be in Your Workout Routine
You may have heard the buzzy term “functional fitness” float around fit-ternet, or see it used to describe exercise methods, or classes, but are you aware of what functional fitness actually is?
It’s actually pretty simple when you define it simply as: a method of physical training that uses exercises that work multiple muscle groups, including your brain, all at the same time. You might have heard the term compound exercises, which is basically the same thing - working multiple muscle groups during one physical exercise. Compound exercise can also be two moves put together to work multiple muscle groups like a forward lunge with a torso twist. Functional fitness and compound movements differ from traditional exercises that target a single, or very small grouping of muscles like a bicep curl, or a leg extension. By working several muscle groups at once, it improves our efficiency, prevents injury and helps us improve the way we perform every day activities like carrying groceries, climbing up stairs, or picking up a heavy laundry basket.
So it’s pretty obvious why functional fitness is great for us, but there’s even more to it. Functional training also improves balance, coordination and overall body awareness which is critical to not only increase our physical performance, but also to prevent injuries. How many times have you heard of someone throwing their back out? Or spraining their ankle? Functional training works to prevent those all-to-common injuries by strengthening all of the muscle groups involved in our everyday activities. Something as simple as picking up a full laundry basket uses our glute, hamstring, quadricep, back and arm muscles. The weakest muscle groups in the given scenario are the most vulnerable to injury and the strongest muscle groups are most prone to overuse. By practicing those compounds movements at the gym or in a controlled exercising setting, we can drastically reduce the chance of injury.
Convinced you should be adding some functional fitness into your routine? I agree!
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