There are many fitness trends which come and go… similar to that one friend of yours who swore that he or she would remain your gym partner only to disappear when the going got tough. This is why it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff in terms of what works and what is better to avoid. One recent movement involves an approach known as “functional fitness training”. What does this strategy entail? Are there any benefits that you can expect to enjoy? If you are looking for a break from the norm or should you desire a bit of variety, keep reading.
Functional Fitness Training: The Basics
Perhaps the best way to define functional fitness training revolves around the types of movements themselves. Unlike traditional weight training, these routines consist of compound exercises which involve multiple muscle groups. The ultimate goal is to simulate movements that you would perform on a daily basis (such as lifting a heavy object, climbing a flight of stairs or lifting a weight above your shoulders). This is notably different when compared to isolation exercises such as bench presses, triceps extensions and preacher curls.
The main intention of functional fitness training is to achieve functional independence. In other words, your muscles will work with greater efficiency and the chances of sustaining an injury can be dramatically reduced. This is why functional fitness training is often employed by those who suffer from mobility issues or who may be recovering from an injury. Now that we have a basic grasp of FFT, let’s take a closer look at some impressive real-life benefits.
Improving the Mind-Muscle Connection
As the motions performed when adopting this type of training will involve more than one set of muscles, your mind will be forced to adapt in a novel manner. This is why many experts tout FFT as a means to augment the connections between the nerves within your mind (neurons) and the muscles themselves. Similar to learning a new skill such as playing the piano or juggling, your body will soon learn to adjust to unique demands.
A More Balanced Physique
We once again need to stress the compound movements associated with functional fitness training. The use of multiple muscle groups during any given exercise can help you to achieve a more well-rounded physique. If you find that your body is not proportional, FFT could indeed represent a welcome addition to your current training regimen.
Mitigating the Chances of Injury
Simultaneously working multiple related muscle groups places less strain upon a single area of the body. Thus, you are less likely to become injured during a typical training session. As mentioned previously, this is one of the main reasons why functional fitness training is an excellent rehabilitative technique to consider.
Better Coordination and Balance
This next advantage is particularly important; especially when we consider that many individuals rely heavily upon machines with a limited range of motion. FFT will teach your body to move in different ways; helping to improve overall coordination and balance with time. As the majority of FFT movements can be performed without the use of weights, it becomes clear why this approach can be used at any age and by those who might not have the ability to undergo traditional weight training regimens.
Melting the Fat Away
Functional fitness training has been proven to burn more calories when compared to traditional strength training sessions. This actually makes a great deal of sense, as the activation of multiple different muscles will cause your body to consume a greater amount of energy. Anyone who has reached a plateau with other methods could therefore benefit from FFT.
A Useful Alternative to Consider
So, what is the final verdict? The answer to this question will depend upon what you are looking to achieve. While functional fitness training is not likely to pack on the lean mass that you would expect from a meat-and-potatoes weight training session, the ancillary benefits should not be taken lightly. Not only can FFT help to develop coordination and balance, but the fact that you will be able to burn a significant number of calories should never be overlooked. Whether you are recovering from a recent injury or you simply hope to add a bit of spice to your current training programme, FFT can provide a host of benefits.
Like every other exercise programme, you can proactively monitor your progress when starting FFT with the help of the Trion fitness app. This is the best way to keep one step ahead of the game and as always, you will be able to make the appropriate changes when the time is right. Feel free to contact us for more details or if you have additional questions.