The goal of functional training workouts is to improve your ability to perform everyday activities in addition to becoming fitter. You accomplish this goal by doing exercises that engage multiple muscles while mimicking the moves you make when doing daily activities.
For example, when you stretch to reach something on a high shelf above your head or bend over to lift something heavy off the ground, your body is using several muscles to perform those respective actions.
Unfortunately, if your body isn’t used to using those muscles, you can hurt yourself performing tasks that involve lots of stretching and bending over. Luckily, functional training workouts can keep you from injuring yourself while making you stronger.
Here are some simple functional exercises that you can perform as part of your strength training.
A squat is a functional training exercise that will help you improve the strength of your knees and thighs. Many people lift weights while doing squats – which enhances the workout.
The goal is to keep your knees stronger as you grow older. However, even though squats can strengthen your knees, they can also be very hard on them. That’s because most of the compression takes place around the knees.
Therefore, you should begin by just doing a few squats each day to see how your knees handle them. If your knees can handle more, then you can start adding more squats to your workout regiment.
Many muscle injuries occur when people stretch to do a task that their muscles aren’t flexible enough to perform. For example, let’s say that you want to get something that’s on a shelf high above your head.
You stretch your arm out as high as you can reach – and then you feel a pain in your back. You’ve just pulled a back muscle because it wasn’t “loose” and flexible enough for you to try reaching that high.
Therefore, stretching is another functional training exercise that you can do to make your muscles more relaxed and flexible. Then, you will be less likely to injure your muscles while doing common daily tasks. You can learn more about stretching exercises by searching the Internet and watching fitness training videos on YouTube.
When it comes to a good workout regiment, you don’t want to forget about your body’s core muscles. Your “core” refers to the muscles inside your body that you often don’t think about when it comes to strength training.
Sit-ups are a good functional training exercise that will help strengthen your core, as well as increase the power and flexibility of your muscles. Sit-ups will also improve your stamina when it comes to doing physical activities in your daily life.
4. Lifting Dumbbells
When you lift dumbbells, you use the muscles in your core and back. Oftentimes, back muscles get neglected because they aren’t used as much.
Lifting dumbbells can also help improve the stability of your hips – and your posture – which is really important as you grow older. You can find easy dumbbell exercises for your functional training workouts on the Internet.
Lastly, the most challenging functional training exercise for most people is push-ups. That’s because push-ups can really test your upper body strength. However, push-ups are the one exercise that uses nearly every major muscle to support your body – especially the muscles in your biceps and back.
In addition to strength building, push-ups are an effective way to make your muscles more flexible to prevent potential injuries.
In short, each of these functional training exercises target different muscles to make them stronger and less susceptible to injuries while you are doing everyday tasks.
For example, squats will make your knees and thighs stronger – and stretching will make your muscles more flexible. Doing sit-ups will strengthen your core. Lifting dumbbells will also strengthen your core, as well as the muscles in your back. If you want to give nearly every major muscle in your body a good workout, try push-ups.