A good level of overall fitness generally makes your life easier. Exercise improves your mood, your health and your appearance. Functional fitness is more specific and trains your body to carry out the tasks you do regularly, in the most efficient way possible. The general principle is that you will create useful muscle memory that will ensure you move in the best way possible. This will also reduce your risk of injury. There are different ways in which you can use functional fitness goals to influence your workouts.
Who Benefits Most From Functional Training?
Generally speaking, functional fitness is most appealing to those who are at the start of their fitness journey or who only work out certain muscle groups regularly.
Those that have an overall training regime in place will most likely incorporate most of the activities you would want to do to reach your goals. However, you might find that you want to put a focus on certain activities after giving some functional goals some thought.
Reducing the Strain of Hobbies
Hobbies can be a great way of staying active even when you aren’t consciously exercising. Gardening, for example, requires set movements as you make your way through your plants. In this case, you may benefit from doing squats, lunges and calf stretches to strengthen the leg muscles you use as you are lower down on the ground planting and weeding.
The easiest way to identify the exercises you’ll need for your hobby is to remember which areas ache the day after you’ve been doing it. Then plan your exercises around that muscle group.
One of the most common things that people who need to work on their upper body strength struggle with is carrying their shopping. Doing basic weights exercises will quickly make this a simple task. Bicep curls with light weights, press ups and tricep dips will all make your arms far stronger. In addition, reaching your arms out and making small circles with the length of your favourite song can also improve your arm strength and stamina.
You may regularly work out but actually, find your arms aching when carrying bags for a while. This would simply be down to your usual arm workout targeting different muscle groups. It may seem like a simple goal, but every time you feel your arms ache when you’re carrying something you’ll be motivated to work on your upper body. And when that task becomes simple, you can improve on it.
If you want to improve at a sport you are interested in, you could include functional exercises to up your game. For example, if you are into surfing, you might find doing press ups and squats helps you rise from the board and maintain a good stance as you ride a wave.
A key functional skill is having good balance. This is especially important as we get older. The core is the main area to focus on when we are thinking about balance. Russian twists, sit ups, and lifting light weights above your head will all improve your core and help to keep you upright.