Over time, functional training from professional training programs for athletes grew in a popular fitness area.
The benefit of functional training for an ordinary person is following: it allows you to work out the movements that we make in everyday life, strengthen the musculoskeletal system and the cardiovascular system.
We squat when we lift something off the floor or get up from a low stool. We push the porch door with our hands when we go out for a walk. We balance on the curb, trying to safely get around the puddle. We raise children and heavy purchases. Performing these movements, we engage several muscle groups at once, reaching even the deepest ones – stabilizing muscles, which are difficult to purposefully pump on cardio, strength and other training. Functional – means associated with daily activities.
Functional training benefits: why is it good for everyone?
Functional training develops coordination
During training, large, visible muscles are worked out, as well as small stabilizer muscles, which are responsible for the stability, balance and beauty of our movements.
Exercises are performed with your own weight or free weights. This allows the muscles to move along a free path, in the most physiological way for them – as in life, and not as in the gym.
To enhance the effect of the workout, use equipment such as a BOSU-platform in the form of a springy hemisphere, Core-platform or TRX-loops.
Functional training develops strength
Regular workouts of a functional nature develop muscle, making muscles bigger and stronger. This is due to strength exercises and a gradual increase in the load in working with free weights. Muscles develop, grow – their strength increases.
Functional training develops speed
Exercises during functional exercises are performed at an average and high pace, this makes the training intense, gives the movements a speedy, explosive character and contributes to the growth of strength indicators.
Functional training develops stamina
Due to the high pace and aerobic load during functional training, the heart rate regularly increases, the heart pumps blood more and more efficiently. This positively affects the work of the heart and blood vessels, as well as the cardiovascular system as a whole, and increases its endurance.
Functional training develops flexibility
In functional training, multi-joint exercises are used. This involves all muscle groups, including the deepest ones, and develops flexibility of joints and muscles.
Functional Weight Loss Programs: should I lift everyday?
The effectiveness of regular sports training is that they help to spend calories, and with prolonged aerobic exercise they use stored fat as an energy source, that is, they contribute to fat burning.
The bonus of functional training is that by burning fat stores, you simultaneously increase muscle mass. This changes the body shape, makes it more toned and attractive, and most importantly – makes it possible to spend more calories at rest. This is due to the acceleration of metabolism already in post-training time.
What is the difference between strength training and functional training?
Understanding such areas as power lifting and bodybuilding by strength training, we emphasize that the goals of functional training and strength training are different.
- With the help of strength training, athletes purposefully “build the body”, pumping certain muscle groups or specific muscles.
- In functional training, the priority is the harmonious development of muscles and the coordinated work of all muscle groups, increasing strength and endurance, flexibility of the body.
Accordingly, the “tools” for achieving these goals are also different.
- Functional fitness is a mix of cardio load and strength exercises, it involves all muscle groups in a complex work, including the most inaccessible ones.
- In strength training, strictly defined muscle groups or even some muscles work in isolation.
Almost all workouts are adapted for beginners with different levels of physical fitness. But a feature of functional training is its wide accessibility for people of different ages, gender and preparedness.
- Functional training is physiological. Multi-joint exercises make the load sparing in relation to the ligaments and joints, the load on the spine is low, the development of stabilizer muscles reduces injuries.
- Strength training is characterized by work “at the limit”, in a state of tension. The technique of the exercises should be refined, and the assessment of the workload – adequate. Otherwise, there is a risk of injury.
Functional strength training: what equipment will be needed?
Exercises in functional training are very diverse, and the situation with the equipment used is similar.
It is worth noting that a lot of functional exercises are performed with the weight of your own body or with simple dumbbells. Therefore, they are equally convenient to perform in the equipped room, and in a simple rocking chair, and at home, and on the sports ground. But you can also diversify functional training with additional equipment.
In functional training, the following inventory is used:
- Different types of weights: barbells, dumbbells, weights, medballs.
- Traditional gymnastic apparatus: horizontal bars, rings, bars.
- Different types of cardio machines: rowing, exercise bikes, treadmills, ellipsoids.
- A variety of sports fitness items that can be used both at home and in the gym: TRX loops, BOSU hemisphere, heavy ropes, fitballs, rubber loops, gliding disks .
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR BEGINNERS TO DO FUNCTIONAL TRAINING?
Functional training is available for beginners in sports with any level of physical fitness. The main thing is to choose the appropriate training program for beginners and start with adequate physical activity, gradually increasing the volume, intensity and complexity of training sessions.
The only requirement for beginners is to meet the minimum health criteria (see the list of contraindications above).
Tips for beginners:
- Before starting workouts, clearly state for yourself the goals that you plan to achieve: burning fat, achieving an external effect – a “sports figure”, improving overall physical fitness, etc. Based on this, you need to build your first training program.
- Soberly assess your physical abilities by the time you start training and start training with adequate physical activity.
- Learn self-control: keep a training diary, regularly weigh yourself and make anthropometric measurements.
- In addition to training, do not forget about nutrition: more protein and less “fast” carbohydrates in the diet. Use sports nutrition (primarily protein), creatine, vitamin and mineral complexes.
- Improve your own results – this is the main criterion for progress. It is better to focus on advanced trainees only as a role model, but it makes no sense to enter into direct competition with them. In general, competitive spirit is not about functional training; doing this system, you do not find yourself in the ring and on the weightlifting platform.
During a functional strength training, the most common exercises are performed:
– Push ups,
– Torso twists.
Simple exercises give an amazing effect. They perfectly prepare the body for. Many instructors recommend combining them with the use of various weights: fitness tapes, fitness balls, weights, barbells and dumbbells.
With apparent simplicity, it is desirable to perform functional strength training in a fitness club. The training process should be supervised by an experienced instructor. He will help and indicate mistakes that can lead to unpleasant consequences. Based on your physical condition, he will select a program and compile it from the necessary proposals. Functional strength training is primarily aimed at flexibility and endurance. And too much stress can have an adverse effect on an unprepared body. That is why it is important to carry out functional strength training under the guidance of an experienced trainer, as well as consult a doctor before their choice.