The Benefits of Functional Training
Nowadays, everybody is talking about Functional Training.
But what exactly is it? What are the benefits of this kind οf exercise?
Functional Training is a fitness program designed for a specific activity that should aim both at improving performance and minimizing injuries. (Everett Harman).
This revolutionary method was initially used by physiotherapists and later adopted by coaches and personal trainers around the world. Physiotherapists used this method to educate and rehabilitate patients with mobility problems.
More specifically, functional training, initially, included exercises that helped patients in rehabilitation after an injury or a surgery. Personal trainers adapt the training program according to their trainees’ needs and daily routine. A functional fitness program might aim at improving the performance of a healthy athlete or even rehabilitate mobility problems after a serious injury or even a stroke.
Which is the aim of functional training?
Functional training also aims to develop the 10 physical skills. These are:
- Cardiopulmonary endurance
What’s the difference between functional training and training in exercise machines?
Functional training draws inspiration from our everyday life and integrates into a fitness program that includes weight training as well as coordination, balance and proprioception exercises. In addition, unlike exercise machines, during functional training we can work more than one muscle group.
Functional training is a fitness program based on widely accepted training principles and is aimed at all population groups as well as athletes. During a workout, high intensity and combination exercises are performed, using several training equipment such as:
- training straps
- climbing rope
- resistance bands
- medicine balls
- Bosu training equipment
- kettle bells
- core bags
Are you an athlete?
Cross Functional Training will improve your balance and the movement of your joints. This improvement leads to the reduction of possible injuries. Studies have shown that trainees using functional training have 58% increased strength compared to those doing static workout in exercise machines. Also, the balance is improved by 196% and there is a 30% reduction in joint pain.
What makes my training “functional”?
A workout in order to be characterized as functional must include one or more of the following:
- Activation of our reflexes
- Maintaining the center of gravity of the body above the support base
- Combination of open and closed chain movement exercises
- Activation of the stabilizing muscles
- Using of an active range of motion
- Using the elastic elements of the muscles
- Increase of the reaction speed
- Offer vertical and non-vertical resistance
- Allow movement in all directions
What are the benefits of functional training?
The majority of health and fitness goals can be achieved, such as: improving agility and reflexes, stabilization, speed and reaction force.
There is also a significant improvement in movement range, muscle strength and improvement in cardiovascular function. It also offers:
- Metabolic change in the body, which helps to lose fat.
- Strong cardiovascular workout, which helps improve aerobic and anaerobic energy systems.
- Prevention of injuries and their rehabilitation.
- Improving the attitude of the body.
- Improving the operation and the ability to perform daily tasks.
- Improves the performance of the beginner, the young, the elderly or the advanced trainee.
Functional training offers physical and mental health. If after reading all the above, you are still not convinced, a trial workout will definitely persuade you.