The Importance of Functional Fitness

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Functional Fitness does exactly that, it helps you function in your day-to-day life with power and strength.  In essence, it is a form of physical training often paired with interval training and lifting weights.  Emily Kennedy, Women’s Wellness and Fitness Specialist explains that for her the purpose of functional fitness is to make everyday life comfortable and easy.

Now you may be asking yourself how do you know if you are doing the right workouts? Kennedy shares “One of my favorite functional movements to use in programming is any type of “kneel to stand” movement. This can come in many forms (ex: surrender, assisted lunge to stand) depending on ability, age, body type, etc. Think about how often we need to get on the ground and get back up. Many people struggle with this movement, especially if it’s loaded - say getting off the ground with a child in your arms.”

Here are 5 popular functional fitness moves:

  • Squats: Functional purpose: Pick up low objects or get up and out of a chair.
  • Bench Dips: Functional purpose: Stimulates muscle growth to help support other muscles.
  • Pull-Ups: Functional purpose: Challenges grip strength and muscles from a different angle.
  • Deadlift: Functional purpose: This total body exercise mimics actions like lifting a heavy box and is considered an ultimate functional exercise.
  • Burpees: Functional purpose: Full body strengthening exercise recruiting all parts of your body to help build power and strength.

The more we practice strong functional movement patterns in fitness, the easier it’s going to be, Emily reveals.  “Functional movement is a part of every workout I do. Yes, doing a single leg box jump while simultaneously slamming a battle rope might look cool for social media but how does that really translate into day-to-day life?” Kennedy urges when selecting a workout routine to keep in mind exercises that can help you move with longevity and comfort daily.  

Now that you have the workouts here are a few reminders of why you should be practicing functional fitness.

  1. Helps with agility.
  2. Improves balance.
  3. Reduces the risk of falling.
  4. Increases muscle strength.

These benefits are essential now and as you age. Not sure where to begin, try this simple functional fitness workout guide. 

 

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