What is Functional Training?


What is functional training?

The goal of functional training is to give you the stability, strength, and flexibility to flourish in your everyday life. Think for a moment about all the things you do daily that require you to squat, push, pull, and rotate. Functional training can improve your proficiency in these movements to make moving through the world a bit easier.

Functional training was first used by physical therapists to help clients recover from injury or learn how to live with a disability. These therapists developed exercises to help their clients regain or learn everyday function. Today, many functional training exercises focus on weight-bearing and core work and can benefit every person. These exercises can serve anyone who wants a replacement for standard endurance or strength training as well as all who desire to live a long and healthy life.

Functional training is also recommended for pregnant women, seniors, and even athletes.

Why is functional training important?

Functional training is an important part of overall physical fitness. It provides the foundation for lifelong health. While other exercises target a specific muscle, functional training considers all systems that must engage to make a movement happen—musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, nervous, and respiratory. Unlike other forms of strength and fitness training that isolate muscles, functional fitness coordinates multiple muscles. Functional fitness also helps to improve your balance and trains your body to respond and move with ease.

As you age or encounter injury or illness, some of the very activities you do now and take for granted will likely become more challenging. As you lose functional fitness, it can alter the activities you are able to enjoy and can impact your happiness in life. So, functional fitness is an important way to maintain and improve the overall quality of your life.

Functional training exercises mimic common movements that you might encounter at work, home, and in sports or other activities that you enjoy. The appropriate functional exercise for you depends on your age, abilities, injuries, and the actual activity that you aim to improve. Here are a few examples of functional training exercises that you can do at home:

Squats: This exercise helps train the muscles you need when you sit in a chair or pick up things placed low.

Multi-Directional Lunges: Whether you step out to the front, back, or side, lunges can help prepare your body to handle all kinds of everyday activities.

At Taylor Pilates and Fitness, we use a variety of equipment to facilitate functional training. We use the CoreAlign to train lower body alignment, increase core stability, and improve posture. We use the MOTR to activate multiple muscles groups at the same time and encourage proper alignment. We use the OOV to help our clients exercise in multiple planes of motion (side bending, rotation, flexion, and extension).

At Taylor Pilates and Fitness, we want you to move well, feel well, and live well so that you can participate in the activities you enjoy most at a moment’s notice.

If you want to improve your overall fitness, functional training might be just what you are looking for. Please call or text Taylor Pilates and Fitness at 303-472-6743 to schedule your introductory session.