How To Incorporate Functional Fitness Training Into Your Life

In simple terms functional fitness training is fitness training for everyday life. During work and almost any recreational activities you are engaged in you use your muscles, joints etc. in a specific manner.

Athletes in different sports perform different actions during their sport and therefore must train their muscles in a different way. This is where functional training comes into play.

Another good example is a construction worker. They are lifting different shaped objects of varying weights all day long.

And they often have to lift these items with their legs, back, arms, etc. at the same time.

If they are exercising in the gym and just concentrating on flat bench press their gains won't necessarily transfer over to their everyday life.

This is where functional fitness training comes in – using the types of fitness training that will benefit them the most.

The benefits of functional fitness training are endless. Unfortunately most people don't use it properly. An even bigger problem is most gyms and the trainers who work in them don't have a clue about these types of fitness training.

Obviously if you aren't into competitive sports, have an office job, etc. and are involved in fitness training programs just for general heath or improving your physical appearance then functional fitness training may not be for you.

You can then use the types of fitness training that you enjoy doing and can help you reach your goals.

"Functional Fitness Training For Everyday Life"

Functional fitness training keeps your body in shape for your daily activities such as sports, walking, bending, lifting, or whatever your job and life entails. Functional training like most types of fitness training includes aspects of balance, stability, posture, flexibility in addition to muscular strength.

For you to receive the true benefits functional fitness training it's advised to use exercises that will incorporate numerous muscle groups at the same time.

This would mean avoiding the use of a lot of weight machines as most of them only require one muscle group to do the exercise. This doesn't mean that weight machines are useless, some of them should be incorporated now and then but to receive the greatest functional fitness training benefits they should be used very sparingly.

Weight machines can help your muscles to get stronger and more defined when used in certain types of fitness training but there's no guarantee these gains will transfer over to your sport or everyday activities.

On the other hand, functional types of fitness training using free weights, performing plyometrics etc. will force your body and multiple muscle groups to work as one thereby improving your speed, agility, quickness and muscle strength.

"How To Develop Programs For
These Types Of Fitness Training"

There are literally hundreds of different exercises you can do in functional types of fitness training and many different ways of performing each of them. The key is to determine which ones will give you the best results in the shortest time.

With so many options you can easily mix things up to not only avoid boredom but to force your muscles to keep adapting.

Types of fitness training like this will incorporate many more muscles and muscle fibers for each exercise than traditional types of fitness training will.

One effective method of is to use a stability ball during certain exercises. You have to use many different muscles, including smaller assistor and stabilizer muscles, at the same time to perform the exercise and to keep the ball steady.

This will also help to burn more calories because you are involving more muscle fibers.

To maximize your sports performance you have to know what factors play a role in your performance in the first place.

Some examples are: strength, speed, agility, flexibility, cardiovascular conditioning, neuromuscular coordination, and your genetics.

You will also improve your metabolism through functional fitness. Denser muscle tissue will burn more calories, even at rest.

Your muscle strength will improve just as quickly with this type of fitness training as it will with other types of fitness training.

You just need to remain focused and be consistent with your fitness training programs.

Functional types of fitness training programs should also focus on stabilizing and strengthening your joints and bones. There is evidence of exercise being able to halt or even reverse bone loss.

Functional types of fitness training programs can duplicate the type of stress placed on your joints and bones during sports events and daily activities.

"What Equipment Is Best For
Functional Fitness Training Programs"

Traditional strength and fitness training uses some of the same equipment as functional training does. However there are some differences. As mentioned earlier fitness machines aren't recommended for functional fitness training and there is some other fitness equipment that should be included.

Here are the best equipment options for this type of fitness training:

  • Barbells And Weight Plates – Barbells can be used to work any part of your body very effectively. Barbells for exercises such as front squats and many other exercises will dramatically improve your strength and size.
  • Dumbbells – There are a couple brands of adjustable dumbbells that work great as you progress.
  • Your Own Body Weight – For a lot of functional types of fitness training exercises you will only have to use your own body weight. This is especially true with plyometrics.
  • Exercise Balls - Exercise balls are good for helping to improve stability and balance when you use them in combination with other exercises or dumbbells.
  • Medicine Balls – You can get medicine balls in many different weights. They are an excellent addition to any functional fitness training programs and many other types of fitness training as well.
  • Kettlebells – Kettlebells have been around for a very long time and have made a comeback over the last couple decades. It is a piece of weight lifting equipment that looks somewhat like an iron ball with a flat bottom and a handle on the top.  

Depending on your sport, lifestyle, physical abilities, health, etc. you may not need to or want to use functional training too often. There's nothing wrong with combining functional fitness with other types of fitness training, it just depends on what your goals are.

Depending on your sport, lifestyle, physical abilities, health, etc. you may not need to or want to use functional training too often. There's nothing wrong with combining functional fitness with other types of fitness training, it just depends on what your goals are.

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