Functional training is increasingly becoming all the rage in fitness training. This form of exercise leverages the fitness and health benefits of normal day-to-day activities. It has previously been used by physiotherapists for rehabilitative purposes. It comes as no surprise that this type of physical training has become an integral part of high-performance sport in America.
The German national football team adopted functional training in 2006. The much-publicized development inspired many other sports persons and trainers to integrate the approach into their training programs.
The wide range of exercises that can be done as part of functional strength training include rising and sitting back down on a chair. Doing so translates to performing squats. The approach engages various muscle groups in a safe and efficient manner.
In contrast, traditional strength training follows a structured routine that usually involves the use of weights and machines in a gym environment. On the other hand, functional training can be performed anywhere without specialized equipment. Household items like kettlesbells and sandbags are well-suited for the exercises.
Experts recommend engaging in functional exercises for periods ranging between 15 and 45 minutes per day to achieve the desired effect. A significant number of the exercises are geared towards both endurance and strengthening the body. The activities can contribute to an increase in calorie burning. Some of the common exercises that can be carried out as parts of daily routines include farmer’s walk, deadlifts and squats.
Key benefits of functional fitness training
Functional training is a viable solution for anyone suffering from muscle imbalance and bad posture. These problems are common for busy working professionals. This training method has the capacity to burn fat. Individuals can engage wide-ranging fat burning exercises that stimulate the entire body to boost metabolism and bolster endurance. Additionally, the exercises can elevate strength and stamina.
This form of fitness training is great for people who play sport. It enhances the relationship between muscles and the trainer’s mind. As a result, one becomes sharper and quicker. Overall, it improves core stability, mobility, flexibility and balance. These key factors provide significant strength and health benefits.
The method is also highly recommended for the elderly because it decreases the risk of tripping and falls. Also, agility and muscle strength are increased considerably. Weight-less lunges are beneficial to various parts of the body, including the hips. They are known to stimulate bone forming cells and boost calcium deposits, which is vital for preventing or reversing the effects of osteoporosis.
Lunges will make it easier to perform daily activities like vacuuming and gardening. Functional training engages and strengthens the core muscles. The lower back is directly linked to the muscles. A compromised or weak core contributes to the compression of spinal nerves. This can have dire consequences on the lower back as one gets older.
Core strengthening exercises not only minimize chances of developing back pain, but also relieve pressure on the spine. On the other hand, the method also helps improve reflexes.
Traditional strength training
Traditional strength training, on the other hand, is designed to target specific muscles. This form of training is ideal for anyone aiming to develop an exceptional physique characterized by well-defined lean muscle mass and volume. The training sessions can take one hour or more. The trainer needs to use various types of equipment per session to engage different muscles.
Gaining muscle through resistance training comes with a myriad fitness benefits. From muscle toning and weight loss to maintaining healthy bone mass and preventing muscle loss due to aging, the approach is undoubtedly key to better health. Intense training is known to yield many beneficial changes on many levels, including hormonal, molecular, enzymatic and chemical levels.
In turn, the activity contributes to slowing down the development of chronic diseases triggered by a sedentary lifestyle. For this reason, resistance training provides a sure-fire way to prevent diseases, such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.
Research studies have revealed that engaging in high intensity leg presses allows the vascular system to open up, which improves blood flow. In addition, traditional training methods have been linked to the normalization of blood glucose. This helps reduce the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease.
Strength training provides a viable way to control glucose levels. The exercises achieve the purpose by draining glucose. It has been revealed that two sets of 10 have the capacity to consume up to five grams of glucose.
Regular resistance training over long periods yields long-term rewards. Although having an active lifestyle is beneficial, it does not offer the same benefits as strength training. Scientists revealed that this form of training provides meaningful benefits on an individual’s gene expression. Intense exercising can actually restore gene expression to youthful levels.
Additional benefits of strength training
Although diet plays a major role in a healthy lifestyle, exercise complements good nutrition to ensure a longer, healthier life. Traditional strength training acts like a force multiplier to provide even greater rewards. It has been shown to fight osteoporosis by strengthening the bones. This method is far more effective when compared to aerobic exercise.
Loss of muscle strength is a natural phenomenon associated with aging. Humans tend to lose about 25 percent of muscle strength and tone between the ages 35 and 75. The losses worsen with time to the extent that the average individual will surrender up to 50 percent by the age 90.
Moderate exercising (callesthenics) involving light treadmill workouts and walking cannot compensate for the marked decline. The losses also extend to balance, posture, muscle tone and bone health. This leads to reduced body functionality. This form of training can help restore bone mass. A wide variety of resistance training exercises provide a practical way for the body to produce additional calcium deposits in addition to stimulating bone forming cells.
Weight-bearing exercises are highly effective when fighting osteoporosis. Performing walking lunges is a practical way to build bone density in the hips. Taking drugs for the same purpose has been proven to cause more harm than good.