Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Functional Training

One of the latest crazes to hit the fitness industry is functional training. It’s not a new idea, but it’s been quickly gaining popularity. Functional training refers to exercises that train specific movements, rather than isolated muscles. They’re moves that are designed to help one become better at performing the regular activities of daily life. So, what does that mean?

Think of the activities that you perform on an average day. Whether it’s lifting your child, carrying a bag of groceries, or even swinging a golf club, functional training is based on the idea that if you train more at these movements, you will get stronger and have greater ease doing them. It’s as if practicing the movements helps one rehearse for their daily lives. Training programs that use items like fitness balls, kettle bells, resistance bands, and balance equipment are designed to help mimic the movements. They can be performed at home, out on a field, or even at the gym.

There are many benefits to this type of training. Overall, one experiences improvements in strength, flexibility, balance, stability, and coordination. More calories are being burned because there’s greater muscle involvement. Less weight is needed to see results so there is less wear and tear on the body. Not only is it a safe way to train, it’s the best choice for those rehabilitating from injuries. It can also be easier to stick with because many consider it to be more fun. And it’s something everyone can do. Whether you’re a senior citizen, or a top athlete, the training can be customized to fit your fitness level and needs. On top of all that, if one is better trained to handle daily activities, it’s sure to improve their quality of life.

With all the benefits, it’s easy to see why functional training has become such a craze. However, some people argue that the only real way to gain strength is through traditional weight training. Like most things, it’s probably best to incorporate both methods into your fitness routine.

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