Functional fitness: training for daily movement

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You don’t have to be an athlete or a training warrior to reap the benefits of a little exercise. In fact, everyday tasks – climbing stairs, reaching high shelves, or picking up keys you’ve dropped on the floor – can be made easier and safer through better mobility, strength, and balance. This is where functional fitness comes in. It is a type of exercise designed to help you carry out your daily activities and keep you active for years to come.

What is functional fitness?

Functional fitness, or functional training, helps your muscles work together by simulating movements you might do while playing with a toddler or working out in the kitchen or backyard at home.

These low impact moves are great for people of all skill levels and can be performed at home with little or no training equipment. The aim is to improve agility, balance and coordination, which should help you avoid injury when dealing with what life throws at you.

Essential elements

The key to success is movement – in particular, keeping your body ready to move in a number of ways at different levels of intensity. Exercise helps keep all of your muscles engaged and helps prevent the unexpected tightness and tightness when you find yourself taking on an unexpected task. The key elements of this training include:

Agility

Agility is your body’s ability to move quickly and easily. It allows you to start and stop and react to sudden changes, like chasing your adventurous little one in the yard or catching a drink falling off the counter. It helps you avoid muscle strain and other injuries when you react quickly.

Balance

This is important for the stability of your body. The exercises aim to strengthen the core muscles to improve balance and posture. Like many things, balance gradually decreases with age, increasing the risk of falls and injuries.

Strength

Strength is important for many of our daily activities. He helps us open doors, get up from chairs, do our shopping and climb stairs. After 30 years, our body lose 3 to 5 percent of muscle mass every decade. Functional training can help reverse this decline, helping you build and tone muscles, increase metabolism, and improve bone density.

5 functional training exercises

There are many functional fitness movements that you can add to your workout routine. Most of them can be done at home or at the gym. Examples include:

  • Boost box. Activities such as climbing stairs can be made easier with boxed steps. Work your legs, glutes, and muscle stability as you climb up a staircase, alternating legs as you complete the repetitions.

  • Slits. Working multiple muscles and joints at once, lunges improve balance, coordination and stability. Gardening, getting out of the car and walking the dog can all be made easier by adding them to your routine. To perform a lunge, step forward or backward with one leg, being careful not to extend the knee of your front foot too far past the ankle.

  • Rotational medicine ball throw. Medicine ball exercises can improve upper and lower body strength to make everyday activities like putting something on a shelf or opening heavy doors easier. Sitting on the floor with your knees bent, twist your core and throw the ball to your partner. Ask them to send it back. Then switch sides.

  • Squats. Squats improve core strength, increase joint mobility, and reduce the risk of injury when lifting objects or rising from a seated position. Place your hands on your hips, place your feet forward and send your hips back by bending the knee. Next, engage your leg and glute muscles to return to a standing position.

  • Shoes. This classic exercise makes it easier to put your suitcase in the upper compartment of an airplane or to pick up a toddler. You can modify push-ups by performing them on your knees or against a wall.

You can vary the intensity of these exercises depending on your current fitness level and ability. Everyone, regardless of age or ability, can benefit from functional training. As with any exercise program, it’s important to be consistent with your workout. Try to incorporate these exercises into your routine three to four times a week. Most people will notice improvements within a month.

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