​What is Functional Training & Why Does It Matter?

​What is Functional Training & Why Does It Matter?

Published by Bronwen Scholtz on 9th Oct 2018

Functional training helps improve the way you move through the world... It helps you build strength, power, and mobility that goes way beyond the gym. It is fitness for everyday task and functions.

Functional training provides you with the mobility, flexibility, strength, balance and stability that you need to excel in life and sport. Basic movement patterns like pushing, pulling, squatting, rotating, carrying and walking are all basic movements we use every day.

Most regular gym routines train individual muscle groups (biceps, pecs, quads, hamstrings, etc.) instead of movement patterns (e.g., pushing, pulling, lifting, stepping, walking, crawling, jumping, squatting). They also typically occur in a single plane of motion: the sagittal, which involves forward and backward movements and encompasses most classic exercises like the squat, biceps curl, and even running. Here’s the problem: Human movement very rarely recruits one muscle group at a time, and it certainly isn’t limited to one plane of motion. Movement usually occurs in three planes of motion: the previously mentioned sagittal, the frontal (side-to-side), and the transverse (rotational). An effective functional training program also favours free weights (sandbags, rope, suspension trainers) over machines, focuses on working muscles through full ranges of motion (that means no “half rep” curls or presses), and incorporates plenty of instability work.

Regardless of your fitness goals, abilities, or limitations, functional training should be a part of your exercise routine. You plan to live a long, healthy life, so start preparing your body for the journey now.

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