Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Women's Health

Getting fit for daily life

Functional training is a popular concept in the world of health and fitness. This popularity has led to the development of many unreliable notions of what exactly functional training is. Before you jump into functional training, you need to know exactly what it is, and what it’s not. Local Gold’s Gym trainer and functional training expert Matt Dubbe, weighs in on just what function training is, what the benefits are, and how you can add it into your fitness routine.

What exactly is functional training? Functional training incorporates the use of balls, free weights, bands, and plyometric exercises, to create an unstable environment in which the body can be conditioned. According to Matt, it’s important to distinguish functional training from cosmetic fitness, a.k.a. getting a better six pack, etc. Instead, the primary focus of functional training is on increasing stability, flexibility, and balance.

What are the benefits of functional training? More than any other type of training, functional training exercises help improve your ability to perform your day-to-day activities such as twisting movements, getting up, sitting down, and so on. These exercises increase strength, stability, and flexibility while helping to prevent injuries that can occur from everyday activities in everyday life. Every increase in your age results in a decrease in balance, so functional training is more than useful—it’s essential.

When should you begin functional training? You can start performing functional training routines at any time, no matter what your fitness level is. Matt reveals that among the plethora of “functional” exercises that exist, all of them can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing resistance in order to adjust to one’s fitness level.

Are there any risks involved? When it comes to functional training, Matt stresses that the goal is injury prevention. He reveals that when performed correctly, functional training exercises prevent injuries, but when too much weight is added and the mindset shifts from injury prevention to cosmetic fitness, such as jump squats with too much weight put on the shoulders, the risk of injury dramatically increases. He advises that you stay within a safe limit, or else, the very purpose of functional training will be entirely defeated.

Where should I start? Matt has provided the following exercises that you can begin with that are excellent ways to incorporate functional training into your regular workouts.

  • Push up with bosu ball: start by placing one hand on the flat side of the bosu ball and the other hand on the ground and perform push ups. Switch arms and repeat. This offset push up adds instability to the overall movement, and will help you achieve a better sense of balance and increase your strength.
  • Wood chop with cable: using a cable that is higher than your shoulders reach up (like you’re holding an ax about to swing) and twist your torso as you pull the cable down across your body (into the chopping the tree trunk motion). Repeat for desired number of reps and then switch sides.
  • One-legged dead lift: holding a weight in one hand (or none at all), stand with your left leg bent behind you, and your right leg straight. Bend down so that your torso and left leg are parallel with the ground and your right leg is slightly bent. Return to beginning position and repeat, alternating legs.

For more information about functional training sessions, or to schedule an appointment of your own with Matt Dubbe, click here or call 214-306-9000.
 

Comments

Advertisement