Tag Archive for: Functional Fitness

Yesterday you had a great workout at the gym. You did your time on the efx, You were bench-pressing more weight than ever before, and curling enough weight on the bar to scare small children.

Today, you suddenly hoist a 20 kg  suitcase to carry it downstairs — and throw your back out. What happened? In all likelihood, you’re not paying enough attention to your functional fitness. You might have large muscles, but are you ready to sprint all out, jump over an obstacle or play a game of football? 
Functional fitness focuses on building a body capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions, not just lifting a certain amount of weight following movement pathways created by a “one size fits all” gym machine.
Conventional weight training  isolates muscle groups, but it doesn’t teach the muscle groups you’re isolating to work with others. The key to functional exercise is integration. It’s about teaching all the muscles to work together rather than isolating them to work independently and because of its nature it will really work your whole body. With functional exercises you will find a carryover in things you do in normal life.

 When you use machines and hydraulic assistance you may be strengthening certain muscles, but your body’s not learning anything, because you don’t have to activate your core stabilizer muscles or the stabilizers of your arms and shoulders. The machine’s doing it for you. In functional fitness, most of the time, you should be standing on your own two feet and supporting your own weight when you lift anything.

In fact, to get started with functional fitness, you might want to forget about the weights entirely at first. Most people can’t even control their own body weight or do a one-legged squat without falling over. Try it now. Can you?

 I have met people who could lie down on a leg-press machine and press 150 kgs, but they don’t have the muscular control for a one-legged squat because they don’t have the stability or the muscles working together. Your first step, should be to teach your body to control and balance its own weight. Start with simple movements, like the deep squat, and other exercises to promote balance and muscle integration evenly across your body.

Jumping into functional exercise may startle some people used to working on machines alone. It’s a lot harder! Functional exercise is much more neurologically demanding than machine exercises, it not only strengthens the body, but also strengthens the mind. If you arent willing to focus and push you arent even going to scratch the surface.

It is essential you find a trainer who knows exactly what he is doing as you are working with complex body movements engaging multiple muscle groups. Don’t try to go too fast. The longer you’ve been away from exercise, the more time it takes to build your body back up. As with any exercise programme , rest and diet are extremely important for good results.

Last but not least, a fit body is also very aesthetically pleasing, well balanced and athletic. Your body will shape itself and it will show in the way you look and feel to the way you walk. See you guys at class soon.