Functional fitness is all around us. Not sure what it is? Well, think about the tasks you do every day and how you feel doing them. Functional fitness incorporates stimulating routines that mimic your everyday tasks. Do you want to be in the best shape of your life? Focus on functional fitness.
What Is Functional Fitness
Not everyone exercises to have a perfect body. Most do it to feel great and move easier. If that isn’t something you thought of before, you might want to change your mindset. The most important thing you should focus on is maintaining your health and a comfortable body. Workouts should resemble the activities you do daily and how to become stronger in them.
Functional Fitness For Your Lifestyle
Do not get caught up in the crazy workouts you see others performing at the gym or those who have concrete training goals. Functional fitness helps you to become stronger in daily tasks to help fight age-related decline. Increasing fitness is a boost for yourself and shouldn’t be a burden. The workouts should be easy and able to be performed anywhere by anyone.
Here are examples of fitness activities functional fitness helps:
- Carrying Groceries
- Lifting Children
- Walking up the stairs
- Doing Yard Work
Functional Exercises to Incorporate
Functional exercises recruit multiple joints and muscles vs. traditional bodybuilding exercises that focus on one muscle group. These multiple joint workouts help stabilize and strengthen the whole body to make you stronger for everyday life. They can encompass power moves, strength moves, range of motion moves, and balance moves.
Here are 5 common exercises for a functional fitness routine.
Squats recruit big muscle groups and involve moving through a seated position. Squats mimic several activities of daily living like getting up from a chair, climbing in and out of bed, and getting out of a car. The good thing about squats is they can be done differently to help strengthen the legs and the glutes.
Planks strengthen the core, which is essential for stability in your body. Sometimes we take for granted our ability to sit or stand up straight without pain, and a strong core is essential to maintain that balance. In addition, planks recruit so many other muscles, making them great for overall strength.
Lunges that move through different planes like in the front or the side mimic movements like tying a shoe or vacuuming. It is important to keep your legs bent at a 90-degree angle and make sure your knees do not go over your toes.
Think of moving furniture or picking something off of the ground. Deadlifts prepare you for all of those activities with ease. As with anything, they have many variations, so get creative with how you perform them.
Tired of making more than one trip to the car after grocery shopping? This exercise is perfect for you to improve these types of activities. Farmer carries involve picking up weight, holding them at each side, and walking a considerable distance. As it gets easier, add weight to improve your strength.
With these 5 exercises, you can now create a full-body functional workout. Here is an example:
- Farmer Carries Up and Back 5x
- Squats 3 Sets of 20
- Plank 4 sets of 30 seconds
- Deadlift 3 sets of 10
- Forward and Backward Lunge 3 sets of 10
Make sure you warm-up for 5 minutes and stretch after.
Functional fitness is essential for lifelong well-being. As we age, we learn that we may not be able to do all of the things we did when we were younger. Regular functional practice can slow that decline for optimal range of motion. There is no perfect way to workout, and everyone has different needs. Listen to what your body is telling you, and pick the exercises to meet your goals.
If you need more resources on how to put together your own functional workouts, my ultimate fit foodie guide has a complete exercise list. Click here to learn more.