Why are Functional Fitness Exercises so important? Working out is excellent for the health from various points of view. It increases your strength, your flexibility, your cardiovascular resistance: it prevents certain illnesses, and so on.
However, despite of the fact that working out is great for the health, many of the exercises we perform at the gym are useless in our life. For example bench pressing is not very useful when it comes to carrying a heavy suitcase. You have strength, but in many cases it is useless for certain actions.
Functional fitness exercises mimic daily movements
Because of this, Functional Fitness was born. Functional fitness focuses on increasing strength which is useful for real-life activities, such as lifting a toddler, carrying a suitcase, and so on. Regular strength training isolates the muscle groups, and as a result, they do not work together. This is the main problem, according to various experts. Functional Fitness Exercises teach the muscles to work together.
One of these fitness exercises would be bending over a bench with your arm stretched while you are holding a weight in that arm. You then pull the weight up.
As you can see, this is a very common scenario, when we need to pick something up. This movement engages the arms, the shoulders, and the back. It is similar to a bent over row which is a very common exercise in gyms.
However, these functional exercisesare different than the ones from the gyms, because the muscles have to work more. All of the functional fitness exercises are performed standing, and that means that the core stabilizer muscles are engaged in the process.
That does not happen in gyms, where you perform many of the exercises standing, or using certain machines which facilitate the movement.
According to the experts and trainers of functional fitness, it is really difficult to perform these exercises with weights at first.
Combine regular training with Functional Fitness exercises
Some people have difficulties using their own body weight at first. For example, someone who presses 300 pounds on a press machine might have difficulties performing one-legged squats, or pistol squats as they are also called. Everything depends on the fitness exercises you perform. The more you repeat an exercise, the better you will be at that particular exercise.
For example, doing barbell bench presses will not lead to an impressive progress in dumbbell bench presses. This does not mean that you should rely on functional fitness exercises only.
The experts recommend combining the two types of training, as the body benefits from both of the versions. When it comes to daily activities, balance is very important.
For this reason, the experts recommend testing functional fitness exercises without weights in the beginning, in order to perfect the balance.
Stability balls or balance boards are excellent for developing balance.
You should know that functional exercises are much harder to perform than the regular exercises.
The level of intensity when performing functional fitness exercises is lower than the one of regular exercises.
Also, training until muscle fatigue is not advised. Bottom line, you should try some functional fitness exercises as these are more practical, need less equipment and can be performed anywhere!