Functional training is a training methodology that focuses on natural movement patterns and the use of compound movements. It is used by athletes, bodybuilders, and martial artists to improve performance by increasing strength, power, and endurance. Functional training uses everyday movements as opposed to isolation exercises which focus on one muscle group at a time.
Functional training is training that mimics real life. If you're doing a squat and then jumping off a box, this would be considered functional because it's similar to the movements required in day-to-day living.
This is the most important principle of training - and it's one that many people overlook. When you perform an exercise in a very similar plane of motion, your body adapts to that specific pattern, and it becomes much more difficult to progress with your strength-building goals.
Multi-planar training: To ensure you're challenging yourself in multiple planes of motion, try exercises like squats, Bulgarian split squats, or lunges with a barbell or dumbbells as well as the lateral band walks/lateral walks.
Variety in patterns of motion: It's also important to vary the way you move through space. Even though a pushup is classified as a horizontal pushing exercise, just about every muscle in your upper body has to work hard during the movement because your body is constantly changing angles throughout the rep range (eccentric phase -> concentric phase -> eccentric phase).
Your training routine should mimic real life as much as possible
Functional training is training that mimics real life as much as possible. This means you'll do things like squat and sit, lunge and push, pull and twist, or rotate in all planes of motion (forward, backward, side-to-side). It also means that your routine should include movements that involve multiple patterns of motion. For example, You might go from a standing position to a kneeling position on one side, move from the floor to an elevated surface like a plyo box or bench, or move from one end of a barbell—like front squats—to another—like back squats.
The more functional your routine is (and the more tools you use), the better off you'll be when it comes time for everyday activities outside the gym.
Functional training is all about preparing your body for the real world and keeping it active throughout life. You don't have to be young and fit to benefit from this type of training—whether you're an athlete looking to improve your performance on the field or just someone who wants to feel better in their everyday life, functional fitness training can help! By incorporating full-body movements into each session and focusing on quality over quantity when it comes time for reps, you'll be able to make positive changes to your body.
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The benefits you get from functional exercises are far-reaching especially considering you can perform them as a part of your home exercise routine. You don’t need special equipment or a lot of space to perform these exercises.
You may need a qualified trainer specialising in functional movement exercises to help you perform the compound movements properly.