Are functional fitness exercises for everyone?

Here are 10 of our favorite functional exercises to get you started:

The Functional Training Bible

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  • In a society where an increasing number of us spend the majority of our day seated (even driving, sitting down to eat, or lounge on the couch count) our flexibility is definitely compromised. When our muscles shorten and weaken from inactivity, the risk of injury or strain is significantly increased. Functional fitness exercises incorporate dynamic stretches, such as a lunge or even a yoga sun salutation as opposing muscle groups are simultaneously contracted and lengthened (e.g. the bicep extends when then tricep is extended in upward facing dog).

    The idea is to train the body for functional movements. “Functional means you’re not sitting down at a machine and doing one thing,” she said, adding a functional exercise may involve carrying a sandbag to mimic picking up your youngster.

  • is the basis of most all exercise, as the core of the body encases your heart and lungs, other vital organs and the spine. Without cores strength, it’s very difficult to properly perform exercises, especially when increased resistance is utilized, or more effort is required. Strengthening and stabilizing the core has numerous physical benefits, especially in regard to decreasing back pain or weakness. Most functional fitness exercises (e.g. plank and related exercises) work the core to some degree, and many of them strengthen the deeper core muscles as opposed to ordinary ab exercises that just tone the superficial abdominal muscles.

    Above all else, functional exercise programming is up to individual professional interpretation dependent upon the needs and capabilities of the client. Actual exercises utilized in the training program will vary in repetitions, sets, recovery, time under tension, tempo and selection based upon the level of training and client capabilities. Although this program is designed to meet basic needs, many individuals who feel they are intermediate to advanced level exercisers will be challenged in the attempt to perform these exercises with efficient form and technique.
    Over 70 warm-up and functional exercises and progressions are discussed for purposes of improving function for sport, reducing injuries, and improving general fitness.

  • Pulling movements oppose and balance pushing movements, and are just as important in functional training exercise. A great way to train pulling is through the well-known pull up exercise. Pull ups target the back muscles, arms, and core. You can do pull ups in the gym, at home with a pull up bar that fits in a doorway, or out and about in the world on monkey bars, etc.

Functional fitness exercises - SheKnows

For example, a squat is a functional exercise because it trains the muscles used when you rise up and down from a chair or pick up low objects. By training your muscles to work the way they do in everyday tasks, you prepare your body to perform well in a variety of common situations.