It’s in our name and it’s at the core of what we do for clients all over Mount Pleasant and Charleston…but WHAT EXACTLY IS FUNCTIONAL FITNESS? And WHY IS FUNCTIONAL FITNESS IMPORTANT!?!?
Read on to hear what our favorite experts have to say on the subject!
WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL FITNESS?
According to Mayo Clinic, “Functional fitness exercises 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. While using various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness exercises also emphasize core stability.”
So basically, functional fitness training at the gym gets you in shape for living a healthy life. The American Academy of Exercise explains, “Properly applied, functional strength training may provide exercise variety and additional training benefits that more directly transfer improvements to real-life activities.”
WHY IS FUNCTIONAL FITNESS IMPORTANT?
But why do we need this? Aren’t my six-pack abs enough? The New York Times is not subtle when spelling it out why LOOKING fit isn’t always the same as BEING fit: “What good is having the sexiest biceps in town if you can’t scramble up subway steps with ease, run for a bus without knee pain or lift a toddler without wrenching your back? Functional fitness means that the goal of working out is preparing your body so it can perform daily activities — walking, bending, lifting, climbing stairs — without pain, injury or discomfort.”
When push comes to shove, well-defined muscles are nice, but living your healthiest life is WAY more important.
WHAT EXERCISES ARE INCLUDED IN A FUNCTIONAL FITNESS WORKOUT?
Whether you’re doing a group fitness class or working one-on-one with a personal trainer, if you’re working out at DUFF, you’re doing Functional Fitness movements!
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, squats are a mainstay in most of DUFF’s workouts. Why? Pace Kinetics explains: “It may surprise you to hear, but squats may be the most functional exercise that you can perform. Why? Well, because without even realizing it, you are constantly squatting throughout the day. Whether you are simply sitting down in a chair or performing routine tasks like picking up your shopping, if you are doing it correctly, you are using your muscles to squat. Squats are not only useful in everyday life, but they are also one of the best exercises to develop strength and muscle growth in your legs and core.”
When your trainer has you do those killer exercises with sliders, you are rocking it in the functional fitness department. Men’s Journal quotes Holly Perkins, CSCS, author of Lift To Get Lean, to explain why: “One of the most important aspects to strength and function (from Muscle and Fitness) centers around complex and compound movements, like squats and lunges…sliders are incredible because they provide instability to these movements, forcing your lesser-used stabilizer muscles to work alongside your prime movers.”
Fitness Republic explains why kettlebells are an important component to your workout: “A functional kettlebell workout can develop muscular strength and dynamic stability from head to toe…adding kettlebells creates an asymmetrical load that further strengthens your core stabilizers and primary movers.”