I’m going to talk today about Functional Fitness. Functional Fitness is based on the concept that what you do in the gym should carry-over into the real world.
Biceps curls on the nautilus machine have little to do with how we actually move and use our bodies outside the gym.
In technical terms; we want to do large muscle group, compound actions, utilizing multi-planar movement, with high carry-over capacity to real-life situations.
In layman’s terms…do stuff better*. If you train for real-life scenarios, you’ll be more able to do those things.
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Fitness incorporates many variables and a functional fitness program should embody those variables. They are:
- Cardiovascular and respiratory endurance
The following video clips demonstrate a few basic functional movements common to all humans. Being proficient at these movements will allow you to maintain your independence longer, keeping you out of the old-folks home.
In most of these movements, it’s you against gravity. When you sit down can you get up? When you fall down, can you get back up on your own? Can you lift on object up off the floor? Can you place an object over your head and into a cupboard? These are activities of daily living that wane with age.
The first concept to understand is the neutral spine. Are you able to maintain the normal curves of your spine when moving through space to complete a task? The inability to keep the natural curves of your spine in a leading cause of injury.