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What are the Benefits of Functional Training?

WOW! “That was painful” I hear you say as you get up from your chair with your body creaking after sitting watching the TV, or at your desk, or chatting on Zoom for the last three hours. “I know what I'll do, spend one hour on the fixed-weight machines in the gym tonight (If the government allows me to!), that’ll solve the problem!” – Or will it?

Whilst there are advantages (especially for the gym ‘newbie’ or at various points of a training program) of using a fixed-weight machine, they generally only allow movement in a predetermined plane or movement path, whereas free weights or functional training equipment challenges the body and involves the activation of other muscles rather than just the use of the ‘prime-movers'. Yes, it can be difficult for people to master the correct technique (injuries can be higher from the use of free-weights than fixed-weight machines if an incorrect technique is applied), but in my opinion and experience, the end result is much better, especially if you are using the expertise of a fully qualified health & fitness coach.

For instance, functional training exercises, especially ones that activate the ‘core’ muscles (and I don’t just mean the visible ‘six-pack’ that you can see on magazine models) create a solid base for your body. It’s OK to have the visible six-pack (after all you’ve worked hard for the beach-ready body look!) but what about the ‘deep’ muscles which stabilise your spine and improve and control your posture? Can a fixed-weight machine hit the inner core muscles? Not as effective as functional training exercises can.

​Functional exercises educate your muscles to work together and prepare them for normal Active Daily Living (ADL) ‘duties’ by simulating everyday movements you might do at home, work, or in sports and generally uses various upper and lower body muscles at the same time. After all, how often do you sit at home and imitate the same movement as a fixed-weight chest press machine when watching TV?

​By training your muscles to work the way they do in everyday tasks, you train your body to function well in a variety of normal, ADL situations. Functional training, when correctly applied, can make everyday activities easier, improve balance (especially important as we get older), agility, and coordination, and muscle strength, reduce your risk of injury and enhance your quality of life. I’m not saying that as you get older this will make you look younger, but it could greatly assist in delaying the inability of being able to get up from a chair (or the floor after the Saturday night alcohol-infused ‘memory loss’) and feeling like you are getting older with your body creaking like floorboards. Especially as the human race is generally becoming more and more sedentary - and certainly much more now during the last 12-months of governmental imposed COVID-19 restrictions.

​And…… our experience at train4performance, is that Functional Training is also an excellent way to burn fat through the use of concentrated, full-body workouts - which in simple terms, is an excellent return on your exercise investment! So why not change your mindset from purely gym-based, fixed-weight equipment to outdoor, functional-based exercise? You have nothing to lose except that excess weight you've been trying to lose for years! Contact us today to discover how we can help you.


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