If you’re anything like me- when people have talked about functional training you will have smiled sagely and tried to look intelligent whilst secretly wondering what the hell they were talking about.
Functional training is directly linked to functional movement : It’s really very straight forward and very sensible. Functional training has its roots in rehabilitation. It was designed to enable people to return to their everyday tasks and lives, so this would vary from person to person. You would not train a bricklayer the same way you would train a mother of three small children. Each has functional movements that are specific to their day to day lives and their strength and conditioning must be tailored accordingly.
Functional training in the gym environment is designed to give people the capacity to walk distances without puffing, run for a bus, lift their shopping and develop balance skills
Many injuries and instabilities come from an unbalanced body and poor balance skills. In other words, you get clumsy and trip over. I can personally attest to this one- I fell over in a pair of high heels last year and broke my foot, (admittedly, I was admiring my reflection at the time). As it’s turned out one of my calf muscles is weaker than the other and this is what caused me to lose my balance. If I’d been doing some functional training this would have been apparent before I did the break and I could have addressed the issue.
Most importantly, functional fitness workouts are FUN. Essentially you increase strength, aerobic conditioning, flexibility and develop balance skills all in a way that is fun, individually challenging and motivating. In short- you get to play when you do functional fitness workouts.
Author: Felicity Neale