It’s here to stay! We all need this kind of training in our lives. The awesome thing about this type of exercise is that it’s great for the Matures, the Baby Boomers, the Millennials, and everyone in between.
What Is Functional Movement Training and Why Do You Need It?
With functional training, you recruit and train muscles to work with each other, which helps better prepare the body to perform normal daily tasks. The focus is on making common daily movements easier, whereas typical training often revolves around either weight loss or the aesthetic appearance of the body.
Functional movements also engage multiple joints and many muscles at the same time. This differs from mainstream resistance training since it tends to focus on one small muscle group at a time. By simulating your body’s everyday movements when performing actions like sitting down and getting up out of a chair, twisting and rotating, or bending over and lifting things, you can become better balanced, stronger, and able to function more safely on your own. Strengthening your core and increasing your stability are also huge benefits of functional movement training.
What You Can Expect to Improve With Functional Movement Training
By following a functional training plan, you’ll improve your:
Core Strength & Stability
Functional Movement Training Exercises To Try: No gym required for this list of functional movement exercises – just your own body weight.
Body Squat – With your feet about hip-width apart, “sit” back until your thighs are parallel to the floor (do not go down past parallel). Pause briefly and then squeeze your legs and glute muscles to return to a standing position.
Lunge – Begin by standing with your hands on your hips and your feet hip-width apart. Lift your right leg and take a large step forward, landing on your heel, not your toes. Bend both legs until your front thigh is parallel with the ground. Pause briefly and then push through the heel of your front leg to bring your body back into a standing position. Do not allow your front knee to bend further than 90 degrees during the movement or to push past the toes.
Pushups – You can do these on your knees if you’re not able to perform a conventional pushup. Begin in a plank position with your arms positioned straight below you and about shoulder-width apart. Lower your body by bending your elbows while keeping your back and glutes in a straight line.
Plank – Start with your forearms and knees on the ground and your hands shoulder-width apart, palms down. Keep your elbows directly beneath your shoulders. Extend your legs straight behind you, resting on your toes. Start with 15 second rounds and increase an additional 15 seconds at a time, when you’re ready.
Plank with a Twist – Start in the plank position described above. With your torso and legs in a straight line, slowly lift your right hand off the ground, straighten your arm and twist your body until your fingers point up toward the sky. Your feet should naturally twist a bit to the side so you’re resting more on the sides of your feet. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then release, coming back to rest on your knees. Repeat on the opposite side.
For Flexibility – Yoga should be your go-to routine for flexibility and added balance. Not only is it refreshing and a great stress-reducing exercise, but learning to connect with your body will help you get even more benefits from your functional training.
As we age, functional training movements are going to allow us to stay strong and self-sufficient in the long term.
*Fitness Pro Tip: programming a functional workout routine with the TRX is hands down my favorite way to incorporate all of the above exercises.
Catch me instructing Functional TRX at the Boathouse at Watercolor in Watercolor, FL on Tues/Thurs/Sun.
CLICK HERE for my Spring Schedule.