Shari Duncan

Put some FUN into your workout with “FUN”CTIONAL Training!
Shari

by on Nov.17, 2010, under Fitness, Motivation, Strength and Agility Training

Train your body to handle real-life situations.

Functional fitness focuses on building a body capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions, not just lifting a certain amount of weight in a restrictive posture created by a gym machine. The key to functional exercise is integration. The primary goal of functional training is to transfer the improvements in strength achieved in one movement to enhancing the performance of another movement by affecting the entire neuromuscular system.  It’s about teaching all the muscles to work together rather than isolating them to work independently as conventional weight training does..  Functional strength training is not just done to improve your appearance, but to help improve performance in everyday activities. Exercises that

Train your whole body to improve performance in everyday life

Train your whole body to improve performance in everyday life

isolate joints and muscles are training muscles, not movements; which results in less functional improvement. For example, squats will have a greater transfer effect on improving an

individual’s ability to rise from a sofa than knee extension.

Train movements instead of muscles.  If you’re training the movement, the muscle will follow.!

Functional strength training (FST) is becoming more popular because it is so practical and is an ideal way to help maximize sports performance. The goal of FST is to develop athleticism. Athletic movements like running, jumping, throwing and lifting are enhanced. Sound technique and optimum speed with movements that are within the context of your sport are further developed. Functional movements offer an effective method in improving balance, coordination, and stability as well as agility, speed, power and strength.  FST should supplement traditional weight lifting and is not intended to replace it.  It provides variety and additional benefits that directly transfer to common sport movements. And because movements are neuromuscular in that they require the power of both your brain and your brawn, the best exercises to increase functional strength simply involve practicing the movement or motion you want to get better at.  Basically, exercises should mimic the movements of the sport while working against resistance. Weight training for strength may not enhance the endurance or strength required for a golfer. A golfer needs to work on core strength, and training involving swinging.  A runner, on the other hand, should enhance local muscular endurance.

Standard resistance training machines are of limited use for functional training – their fixed patterns rarely mimic natural movements, and they focus the effort on a single muscle group, rather than engaging the stabilizers and peripheral muscles.

Functional Equipment:

Tools of the Trade

"Tools of the Trade"

  • Dumbbells
  • Kettlebells
  • Body Weight
  • Resistance Bands and Loops
  • Sandbags
  • Cable Machines (Pulleys)
  • Exercise Balls
  • Medicine Balls

Strength training isn’t just about improving your physique. Incorporating Functional Strength Training can enhance overall well-being and help you achieve your potential, no matter the overall fitness goal.

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