What is Functional Fitness and The Goal of Functional Fitness?
The phrase “functional fitness” has gained popularity in a large number of gyms, online fitness communities, and personal training circles. This form of exercise appears to be popular right now amid the ever-evolving fitness craze.
Unfortunately, like so many other truly beneficial techniques and routines, the term “functional fitness” has become so ubiquitous that the inexperienced person looking to change up their exercise program can easily become confused by the plethora of definitions.
For the sake of simplicity, we will define functional fitness as the practice of utilizing real-life movement patterns and activities to perform at a higher level throughout daily life.
A common issue found in many training methods today is that the primary focus of the methodology does not actually carry over into life outside of the gym. Take the classic bodybuilder approach found in countless magazines and online workout strategies.
We have all seen the poster boy (or girl) of this form of exercise, the massive individual with incredibly defined musculature, lacking an ounce of excess body fat. While this archetype commonly appeals to a large number of people looking to pack on muscle mass, the overall benefits pretty much end after looking away from the mirror.
On the other end of the spectrum lie the extreme distance runners. The shining example of this form of training is usually a gaunt-faced, rail-thin individual capable of being taken away by a moderately strong wind.
When pledging allegiance to any particular exercise program like the ones listed above, it is often easy to ignore the question of whether or not achieving this status will help one become more effective throughout normal life.
Consider this scenario: if you can bench press 400 pounds, but struggle to tie your shoes without becoming winded and/or pulling several muscles in the process, are you in shape? The ability to deadlift the entire gym is certainly impressive, but lacking the flexibility to fasten your child’s car seat negates the entire feat.
Shifting the focus to the other end of the spectrum, breezing your way through a marathon in record time is undoubtedly commendable, sacrificing overall strength in the process to the point that unloading a car full of groceries requires 10 trips to the car and back is not.
The point is, fitness should not be crammed into any specific “box,” so to speak. If you are currently involved in any sort of exercise program, kudos to you. While we have thrown at differing training methodologies and their shortsightedness, ANY form of exercise is better than none at all.
The fact that you have dedicated your time to exercise, no matter how potentially over-specific it may be, still places you in a better position than an alarming number of individuals that neglect excess physical activity entirely!
In this discussion, we will attempt to break down how implementing functional fitness into your training program will better equip you for daily life. Furthermore, we will dive into some specific approaches that provide a tangible way to improve your functional fitness level.
The Many Benefits of Functional Fitness.
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