You might have seen a lot of exercise routines that promise to build muscle or improve strength. However, only a few of these routines can improve your strength and efficiency in everyday movements. That is where functional fitness exercises come into play. Unlike traditional workouts and weight training, functional exercises build strength in a way that can be applied to real-world movements.
Since functional exercises focus on compound movements instead of isolated muscle training, they enhance the body’s functional strength over time.
On top of that, there is actual science to back up the benefits of functional training. Studies have found that adding compound movement exercises into your workout routine can build strength, balance, agility and overall speed.
If you have just heard about functional exercises and want to incorporate them into your fitness routine, then you are probably wondering what benefits you can expect. The benefits of compound movement training are much more far-reaching than just improving functional strength. We suggest you keep reading to learn more about the benefits of a functional workout.
What exactly is functional fitness exercise?
Before we get to the benefits of functional fitness, it is essential to understand its concept.
Contrary to common belief, muscles are not just essential to perform high-intensity activities. A study showed that a person might experience up to 12,600±4,000 muscle activity bursts during the everyday routine. So training your muscles by incorporating movements such as pushing, pulling, squats, and lunges will improve the speed and efficiency of your routine movements.
On the other hand non, functional exercises such as heavy curling weights, shoulder presses, and calf raises involve movements that aren’t used in your daily routine. So if your goal is to improve your performance in everyday tasks, then functional exercises are the way to go. These exercises offer similar benefits to traditional weight training, as explained in the next section.
Benefits of functional fitness exercises
Now that you know what they are and how they differ from traditional exercises, you can properly understand the benefits of this exercise concept. With that said, here are some benefits you can expect from functional exercises:
Strengthening multiple muscle groups at once:The best part about compound movement workouts is that they engage multiple exercises simultaneously. Take, for example, a regular push-up. You engage your pectorals, shoulders, core and tricep muscles when you perform a single push-up repetition. So, in short, you train your body to utilise multiple muscles in a combination similar to what you would experience in everyday life.
Working muscles together can help develop coordination between various parts of your body. If you have a limited amount of time to work out every day, then functional fitness exercises allow you to stimulate multiple muscles quickly.
Functional exercises are easy to incorporate:Unlike other forms of exercises that require you to have a certain level of fitness to perform, functional exercises can be done by anyone. Since functional exercises involve movements your body is naturally programmed to do, they put less pressure on your joints and ligaments. You don’t need Special Functional Fitness Equipment to start doing compound exercises; you only need an exercise mat and some space to start being active.
In addition to the ease of adoption, this exercise method is also scaleable. Which means you can increase the intensity and difficulty of the workouts over time. You can incorporate more complicated functional movements into your workout routine as your body becomes used to your current routine.
Increases mobility and flexibility:
One of the essential benefits of compound exercises is that they increase mobility and flexibility by loosening up various joints of your body. When you perform functional movements, you get to use the complete range of motion of your joints and muscles.
Once you have developed sufficient flexibility through functional workouts, you will be at a lower risk of injury. By building mobility and flexibility, you can do routine activities such as lifting a baby, bending forward to pick an object, or changing a flat tyre without the risk of injury.
Help with weight loss:Research reveals that performing Functional fitness exercises can help you lose weight without putting too much pressure on your body. You usually need to lift heavy weights or perform complex movements to lose weight using other fitness routines. However, with functional fitness exercises, you can burn calories like traditional workouts while performing compound movements.
Since your body engages multiple muscles with functional movements, you can burn more calories, thus accelerating weight loss. You can lose weight quickly and easily if you maintain a healthy diet and compound workouts.
Improved concertation:While every exercise requires a certain level of concentration, functional exercises require more focus since you need to control your body to do the workout correctly. For example, when executing a plank, you must maintain the correct posture, stay still, and try to fight the initial pain to remain in the plank position for an optimal amount of time.
Like a plank, all compound movements require you to focus entirely on the exercise you are performing. Regular functional exercises can build your concentration and make you more aware of your body’s capabilities and limitations.
Helps improve your posture:If your job involves sitting still in the office for hours, you might develop a bad posture. Incorrect posture can ultimately lead to back pain and other mobility issues. Since most functional movements require you to engage your core, they help build up muscles that support your spine.
So by engaging your core, back and leg muscles through functional movements, you can ultimately improve your overall posture.
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