Functional fitness has gained popularity in recent years, and for good reason. It is a type of fitness training that focuses on improving the ability to perform everyday activities and movements with ease. This includes activities such as lifting, bending, pushing, and pulling. In this article, we will explore functional fitness in detail, including its benefits, exercises, and how to incorporate it into your workout routine.
What is Functional Fitness?
Functional fitness is a type of exercise that aims to improve the ability to perform everyday movements. It involves exercises that mimic real-life movements and activities, such as squatting, lifting, pushing, and pulling. The goal of functional fitness is to improve strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance, so that everyday activities can be performed with ease and without the risk of injury.
Unlike traditional gym workouts, functional fitness exercises involve multiple muscle groups and joints. This type of training focuses on movements that are multi-planar, meaning they involve movement in multiple directions. For example, a squat involves movement in the sagittal plane (front to back), the frontal plane (side to side), and the transverse plane (rotational).
It also includes exercises that challenge balance and coordination. These exercises not only improve physical abilities but also help to prevent falls and injuries.
Benefits of Functional Fitness
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should be adding functional fitness exercises to your workout regime.
- Improves Everyday Functionality: The main benefit of functional fitness is that it improves the ability to perform everyday activities with ease. This includes everything from lifting groceries to carrying a child.
- Reduces the Risk of Injury: By improving strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance, functional fitness reduces the risk of injury in everyday life. This is especially important for older adults who are more susceptible to falls and injuries.
- Increases Metabolism: Functional fitness exercises involve multiple muscle groups and joints, which leads to a higher caloric burn. This increased metabolism can lead to weight loss and improved body composition.
- Improves Athletic Performance: Functional fitness exercises mimic real-life movements and activities, which translates to improved athletic performance in sports and other physical activities.
- Increases Core Strength: Many functional fitness exercises focus on the core muscles, which are essential for good posture and stability.
Functional Fitness Exercises
Now that you know the benefits, let’s take a look at some of the more common exercises involved with functional fitness as well as the muscle groups they work.
- Squats: Squats are a fundamental functional fitness exercise that mimics the movement of sitting down and standing up. They work the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles.
- Lunges: Lunges involve stepping forward or backward and bending the front knee while keeping the back leg straight. They work the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles.
- Deadlifts: Deadlifts involve lifting a weight from the ground and standing up straight. They work the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and core muscles.
- Push-ups: Push-ups involve lowering the body to the ground and pushing back up. They work the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles.
- Pull-ups: Pull-ups involve pulling the body up to a bar and lowering back down. They work the back, shoulders, biceps, and core muscles.
- Planks: Planks involve holding a push-up position with the body straight and rigid. They work the core muscles.
- Medicine Ball Throws: Medicine ball throws involve throwing a weighted ball against a wall or to a partner. They work the upper body and core muscles.
- Box Jumps: Box jumps involve jumping up onto a raised platform. They work the legs and glutes.
- Burpees: Burpees involve jumping down to a push-up position, performing a push-up, jumping back up, and jumping in the air. They work the entire body and improve endurance.
How to Incorporate Functional Fitness into Your Workout Routine
Incorporating functional fitness into your workout routine can be done in a few simple steps:
- Assess your current fitness level: Before starting any new exercise routine, it’s important to assess your current fitness level. This can be done by consulting with a fitness professional or using a fitness app or tool.
- Set goals: Once you have assessed your fitness level, it’s important to set goals for yourself. This will help you stay motivated and focused on your fitness journey. Goals can include improving balance, increasing strength, or improving overall fitness.
- Choose exercises: Choose exercises that mimic real-life movements and activities. This can include squats, lunges, deadlifts, push-ups, pull-ups, planks, medicine ball throws, box jumps, and burpees as mentioned above. Choose exercises that challenge your body and target multiple muscle groups.
- Create a workout plan: Create a workout plan that incorporates functional fitness exercises. This can be done by alternating between strength training and cardio exercises, or by incorporating functional fitness exercises into a circuit-style workout.
- Gradually increase intensity: Start with lower intensity exercises and gradually increase the intensity as your fitness level improves. This will help prevent injury and ensure that you are progressing at a safe and effective pace.
- Incorporate balance and coordination exercises: Functional fitness also includes exercises that challenge balance and coordination, such as single-leg balance exercises or standing on an unstable surface. Incorporating these types of exercises will help improve overall functional fitness and prevent falls and injuries.
- Rest and recover: Rest and recovery are essential for any workout routine, including functional fitness. Make sure to incorporate rest days into your workout plan and allow your body to recover and repair.
Pairing Peptides with Functional Fitness
If your main priority, or goal, is to lose weight and gain muscle weight. But you know that you may need assistance, then peptides such as liraglutide may be exactly what you need. In most cases, liraglutide is used with patients suffering from type 2 diabetes or obesity. However, it is able to assist many individuals even outside of these instances.
It works by mimicking the effects of GLP-1. This particular hormone helps regulate blood sugar levels and appetite. Liraglutide is injected once a day and has been shown to be effective in helping patients achieve weight loss and improve glycemic control. Therefore, pairing liraglutide with functional fitness exercises may be the answer to your fitness journey.
By incorporating functional fitness into your workout routine, you can improve your overall fitness, reduce the risk of injury, and improve your ability to perform everyday activities. Follow the steps outlined above in addition to incorporating liraglutide into your workout routine and enjoy the benefits of improved functional fitness and weight control.