Functional fitness aims to improve one’s ability to perform everyday tasks and activities by focusing on movements that mimic those tasks. The main goals are to increase strength, flexibility, and balance, which can help reduce the risk of injury and improve the overall quality of life. Workouts typically involve exercises that use multiple muscle groups and joints: squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks. These exercises require the body to work in a coordinated way, which can further improve overall physical function.
Functional fitness workouts can be modified to suit individual needs and abilities, making it beneficial for all ages and fitness levels. Additionally, functional fitness can be used for rehabilitation, injury prevention, and to improve athletic performance.
Here are some examples of functional fitness exercises:
- Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees to lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the ground. This exercise can help improve leg strength and overall stability. Modifications or progressions include varying depth, load, volume, rest, single vs. double leg squat
- Lunges: Lunges involve stepping forward with one leg and bending your knees until your thigh is parallel to the ground, then returning to the start position and repeating with the other leg. This exercise can help improve leg strength, stability, and balance.
- Push-ups: Push-ups involve lowering your body to the ground and then pushing back up to a plank position while using your arms and chest muscles. This exercise can help improve upper body strength and core stability.
- Planks: Planks involve holding a push-up position with your arms extended and your body straight for a set duration. This exercise can help improve core strength and stability.
- Rows: Rows involve pulling something towards you in various positions. This can improve back, core, and arm strength. It translates well to everyday life, whether opening a door, pulling yourself up, or ….
- Deadlifts: Deadlifts involve lifting a weight from the ground using your legs and back muscles, then lowering the weight back down to the ground. This exercise can help improve overall core stability and strength, particularly in the back and legs. These are just a few examples of functional fitness exercises.
Many other movements can be incorporated into a functional fitness routine, depending on your fitness level, goals, and preferences.