What is functional fitness?
Functional fitness refers to exercises or workouts that improve daily activity.
Imagine a rugby player’s workout routine consists of Yoga, Pilates and walking the dog in a week, without any muscle-building exercises or weight training as part of the workout. While walking may make the rugby player’s legs a slightly stronger and perhaps slightly more durable, will he be able to kick a rugby ball further? It’s highly unlikely.
That’s where functional training kicks in.
Functional fitness: What is it
Functional fitness involves any exercise that focuses entirely on a specific function or, more specifically, improving that function.
Functional exercises will work the core muscles and movements, in the rugby player’s case, his legs which when focussed on, will become not only stronger but more flexible. A functional exercise will take his legs through the range of motion required to build power and flexibility so any rugby ball he directs his boot at lands in the nearest car park. Or ideally, one metre from the opposition’s line.
That’s just one example. Functional fitness isn’t just about a rugby kick or golf swing, it’s about improving the way bodies function in our daily and professional lives.
Functional Fitness Workouts
Functional Fitness workouts are all about building strength, stamina and maximum movement in the muscles we use the most to compete and cope in anything we do.
To put it as simply, functional fitness training is training to perform what we do in daily life as well as we can. Whether we’re an athlete or an anaesthetist, we rely on a range of movements to perform our jobs.
Functional fitness seeks to enhance the effectiveness of those movements by building strength and stamina in the muscles we need and use the most.
Of course, functional fitness isn’t for everyone. In fact, most of us can get by on a cookie cutter fitness program designed for our body type and fitness goals. But if you have specialised skills involving specific movements, you might be able to kick them along with some functional fitness.
Sports people seeking functional fitness improvements can take a functional fitness test to gauge their current level and monitor progress.
Functional fitness assessment
Basically, this is a test relevant to your chosen sport, and yes, functional fitness tests do tend to be more related to sports than someone who wants to type faster.
For example, a rugby player wants to gauge his or her current explosive speed over 30 metres. A trainer will do the time trial and then build a program of functional fitness exercises to build strength and flexibility in the core muscles to lower that time.
Interested in offering the right fitness advice to clients as a qualified Personal Trainer or a Group Exercise Instructor? Check out some of our other nationally accredited fitness courses. Enquire now or call 0738669512 to speak with one of our career advisors for more information.
^The Complete Personal Trainer consists of the SIS40215 Certificate IV in Fitness + entry requirement units. Please contact us for further details on the course structure.