Functional Fitness Versus Traditional Fitness: Which Is Better?

By  |  0 Comments

If your workouts relate to creating a body capable of doing everyday activities in real-life positions, and not just lifting a specific amount of resistance in a gym with or without a gym machine, you’re using functional fitness.

Functional Fitness: Making Muscles Work Together

In traditional weight training muscle groups are isolated. In functional exercise different muscle groups are interactive. All the muscles work together rather than being isolated to work independently in functional fitness.

In functional fitness, in most cases, you should be in a standing position and supporting your own weight when you workout. Initially, you should teach your body to regulate and balance its own weight. Start with simple movements, like the one-legged stand, and other balance exercises.

Then try standing on one leg on a low step or stool, and then lower the heel of your other foot to the ground, while controlling your body weight as you go down and back up. Switch sides .to promote balance and muscle integration on both sides of your body. This is a functional fitness exercise.

Once you can control and balance your own body weight, then you can start working with weights. 

Compare the posture characterizing functional fitness with you sitting in a chair with your chest pressed against pads, and you pulling two levers back. You may be strengthening certain muscles, but your core muscles are not being activated. 

Described below are some examples of  functional exercises.

Stepup To Overhead Press

.functional fitness Stepup to Overhead Press

Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level. Place your right foot onto a step or stool. Step up onto the surface. Press the dumbbells overhead. Repeat on the opposite leg.

Hip Extension With Reverse Fly

functional fitness hip extension reverse fly

Stand straight, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Step back with your right leg back, and place your toe on the floor, keeping your right leg straight. Lean forward slightly. Lift your right leg behind you as you bring your chest toward the floor and lift your arms straight out, and keeping your head in line with your neck. Return to the start position. Repeat.

Alternating Lunge To Dumbbell Press

.functional fitness Alternating Lunge to Dumbbell Press

Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level. Step forward into a lunge with one leg and then return to the starting position. Press the weights overhead. Repeat on the opposite leg.

Diagonal Reach With Medicine Ball

functional fitness diagonal reach miedicine ball

Stand straight, holding a medicine ball or dumbbell at your chest with both hands. Lift the medicine ball or dumbbell diagonally overhead to the right, straightening your arms while extending your left leg to the side. Lower to the start position. Repeat.

Torso Rotation With Medicine Ball

.functional fitness Torso rotation with medicine ball

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, holding a medicine ball at your chest with both hands. Lean your torso away from your thighs, increasing the angle at your hips and pulling your belly button in toward your spine. Rotate your torso to the right, moving your right elbow toward the floor behind you. Return to center, and rotate to the left. Repeat. 

Squat To Dumbbell Press

.functional fitness Squat To Dumbbell Press

Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, holding the weights at chest level. Squat as low as you can. Come up and press the weights overhead.

Kettlebell Or Dumbbell Swing

.functional fitness Kettlebell Or Dumbbell Swing

Grasp the end of a kettlebell or dumbbell and let it hang vertically between your legs. Lower your body into an athletic position. Now explosively straighten your hips and knees as if you were jumping, and swing the weight to eye level. Repeat.

Knee Lift With Lateral Raise

functional fitness knee lift with lateral raise

Stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand, arms to your sides. raise your right knee until it reaches waist level while lifting your arms straight out to the side to form a T at your shoulders. Hold for a couple of seconds, and then lower to the start position. Repeat.

Cross Body Clean And Press

.functional fitness Cross Body Clean and Press

Hold a dumbbell in your right hand so it’s across your body at your left hip. Bend forward at the hips and get into an athletic position. Explosively extend your hips and knees and lift the dumbbell up to your right shoulder. Press it overhead. Perform five to ten reps on each side.

Burpee To Squat Jump

.functional fitness Burpee to Squat Jump

From a squat position, place your hands on the floor in front of you. Thrust your feet back and land in a pushup position with arms extended and then bring your feet back to the squat position. Jump up as high as you can. Repeat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *