Functional Training in East Amherst, NY
Everybody has a different reason for adding an exercise routine to their list of things to do – whether it’s to lose weight, tone their muscles, or improve their mental health. But sometimes, we also just need a way to feel better throughout the day and make sure that we’re able to function more easily and safely.
That’s where functional training comes in.
It seems that this type of training has increased in popularity recently, but the truth is that it has been around for a long time. Developed by physical therapists, functional training was originally intended to be used by people after they had suffered an accident or injury. However, the physical fitness field has adapted the exercises to be a more universal program that just about anyone can use.
What is functional training?
Since fitness professionals have taken over this type of program, functional training has started to include more weight-bearing exercises that focus on strengthening your core and back muscles.
Many of the exercises work to simulate movements that you make in your everyday life, such as pushing and pulling, squatting, rotating, and carrying. The exercises are made to improve your strength, stability, and mobility.
When completing functional exercises, you want to make sure that you’re mimicking the activity you’re trying to improve as much as possible. The exercise and activity should be similar in muscle contraction, speed, motion, etc. For instance, if you’re trying to improve your ability to climb stairs, you’re going to want to complete exercises that mimic the muscles you use and the movements you make to climb the stairs.
Functional training programs may include exercises such as dumbbell rows, pull-ups, planks, overhead presses, burpees, and much more.
What are the benefits of functional training?
Improves your everyday life
Compared to other forms of physical training programs, functional training is most likely to improve the quality of your everyday life, because it’s specifically made to improve the movements we make every day.
Increases muscle memory
Because functional training often focuses on mimicking one or a couple of activities that you’re trying to complete, your body will automatically become quicker and more effective at completing the motions necessary for that activity.
Includes low impact exercises
Many functional exercises are low impact, meaning they are great for beginners to try. You won’t have to worry about injuring yourself or causing joint pain.
Increases flexibility and coordination
Functional training helps you to improve your flexibility and coordination by offering exercises that enhance your range of motion for specific activities.
Improves balance and posture
Functional training focuses on strengthening multiple muscles at once, including your core and back muscles, which will eventually help improve your posture and balance.
Decreases joint pain
Functional exercises mix personal training and physical therapy and are designed to restore the body (including the back, knees, neck, and other joints) to its basics in order to make everyday tasks easier to accomplish.
Lowers risk of injury
By completing functional exercises, you’re strengthening your body to complete daily tasks in a safer manner – not just strengthening the muscle but also the ligaments in the surrounding areas. This reduces your risk of injuring yourself on a daily basis.
Who is functional training for?
Anyone can participate in a functional training program. Just make sure that you’re starting at an intensity that works for you.
Also make sure that the functional exercises you’re completing are tailored to your needs. A teenager would be able to complete more weight-bearing, intense exercises than a 60 year old who needs help improving their ability to sit or stand.
Functional training may be recommended to pregnant women or people recovering from an injury as a good replacement for their regular exercise routines.
Creating a functional training program at Synergy Fitness in East Amherst
The best way to strengthen yourself for a specific activity is to do the activity. However, if you need to work your way up to it or it’s just not feasible to keep repeating the activity, here are some tips for choosing the best functional exercises for your workout:
- Make sure to start at an intensity level that is safe for you.
- Include exercises that will help improve flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance.
- Progress to higher intensities slowly over time.
- Start slow with equipment, such as free weights and resistance bands, and work your way up to exercise machines.
If you’re not sure where to start or need help planning out your functional training routine, stop into Synergy Fitness in East Amherst to learn more.