Updated: Aug 13, 2018
Functional training has become a popular phrase used to describe many different types of exercise styles. It has most widely been used to describe cross-fit style workouts, but not all functional training is cross-fit. In fact, for many individuals cross-fit style workouts might not even be functional for them to perform.
Our definition of functional training here at La Misión Fitness & Yoga is training that prepares an individual for their normal daily activities, is multi-planer, scale-able to meet an individuals skill level, and fun!
Functional Training Improves Daily Life:
You may not be an elite athlete, or have an extreme occupation like forest fire fighting, but chances are your regular day demands some type of physical performance from your body. These demands may be as varied as moving boxes in the work storage closet, playing on the ground with your grandchildren, or carrying all of your Costco groceries inside from the car in one trip! Believe it or not these daily tasks actually result in more injuries than exercise (I've actually trained someone who tore their pectoral by slamming a car door while carrying groceries!). The good news though is that regular physical exercise of any type significantly reduces your chance of an occupational injury. Therefore, all exercises can be functional training! That is, if it results in improved daily function, but some exercise yield greater improvements than others. Functional training incorporates those that are on the higher end of the spectrum.
Functional Training is in Every Direction
Functional training focuses on three planes of movement instead of just one, and incorporates stability, coordination, balance, and agility into each exercise, much like the demands of daily activity. Functional exercises add challenge by changing body angles, vision direction, cervical rotation, and adjusting body weight. We work to coordinate the nervous and muscular systems by training with resistance such that improvements in strength directly enhance the performance of movements.
Functional Training is for Everybody, and Every Skill Level
No matter your age or fitness level, functional training exercises can increase your strength, your endurance and burn calories while supporting cardiovascular health and enhancing physical performance and enabling you to perform activities of daily life more easily. Most movements are easily modified to fit any individuals level of fitness or abilities, and many people see themselves progressing to more advanced movements quickly. By working with a personal trainer, or in a small class that includes functional training in the workout , you will:
Improve balance, posture and coordination
Increase the ease of everyday life
Reduce your risk of injury
Strengthen your core muscles
Increase strength and endurance
Alleviate joint and back pain
You Have FUN!
Most importantly, functional training is fun. It incorporates, balls, bungees, kettlebells, suspension straps and a whole host of other types of equipment. Many functional training sessions resemble play ground activities, and incorporate a timed or competitive element to keep the energy level high. Our classes that incorporate functional training are among our most popular because of this element. Clients look forward to coming, and therefore we see some of the best results in our clients lives.
-Corey Evans, CSCS, CISSN