Functional Fitness: Key Element in Every Exercise Program

Posted by Annie Hendricks on November 29, 2017

In the four years that I have been a Personal Trainer, I have had all types of different clients, and every client I work with requires their own unique exercise program. No matter who the client is, however, everyone needs functional fitness.

Functional fitness has been defined by the Mayo Clinic as “exercises [that] train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports.” Common sense, right? Well, not always. Don’t get me wrong, any type of exercise is good exercise. At the end of the day, get moving in any way you can! But maybe add some functional exercises to your routine.

For example… Do you have a job where you have to pick up boxes off the ground all day? You should probably start adding a few extra core and hamstring exercises as well as hip flexor and hamstring stretches. I’ve never met a firefighter that didn’t need to strengthen their glutes, rotator cuffs, and core. If you sit all day at a computer, try adding band pull aparts and chest and shoulder stretches to your routine to strengthen your upper back and prevent your shoulders from rounding forward.

If this sounds like a lot to you, don’t worry! Try adding a few functional movements to your routine and if you need to, take away a few that aren’t so functional. Walking lunges and squats are a lot more functional in everyday life then a hamstring curl and leg extension. Try trading out a chest press machine for a push up or modified push up. Try using a kettlebell, medicine ball, or sandbag for a shoulder press instead of a shoulder press machine or seated dumbbell shoulder press.

In closing, think about what you do everyday and train for that. I guarantee you will see a big difference.

For more information about Personal Training at the JCC and how to incorporate functional movements into your workout, please fill out the form below and we’ll get right back to you.

 

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