What do you want to gain from your exercise program? Is it a banging body? Weight loss? Toning? Strength and endurance or building muscle? Whichever the goal that compels you to take up exercise; you should aim to not only build a great body with top notch physical, mental and cardio fitness but also one that performs day-to-day activities in a great way. The latter is what functional fitness targets. A body that can execute daily activities that use up different muscles without strain and in the right manner is one that is functionally fit. Functional fitness involves full body workouts, bodyweight and conditioning exercises, cardio supersets and other types of exercises targeted at making sure your foundation is fit enough to take on challenging physical workouts that would otherwise prove a bit much for a sedentary person and strain one who focuses on only one type of exercise and hence, fails to engage all the muscles in their body.

 “… achieve your general fitness goals but also enhance your ability and performance in sports, athletics and everyday living.”

The great thing about functional exercise is that it offers the flexibility of training anywhere and the joy of achieving your fitness goals fast enough. This means you not only achieve your general fitness goals but also enhance your ability and performance in sports, athletics and everyday living. This level of functional fitness achieved is due to different workouts targeted at engaging different body muscles instead of specific muscles in your body. The workouts tend to simulate the various movements used in performance of day to day tasks and hence, strengthen and condition the muscles involved in these activities making it easier to perform them without the risk of injury.

Who Should Take Up Functional Training

Functional exercises are targeted at anyone who wants to gain both physical fitness and efficiency in tackling physical activities in their day-to-day lives. Anyone looking forward to ditch the sedentary life, burn fat and gain strength without use of fitness equipment involved or the need to sign up for a gym membership. After all, who wants to hear their joints creak and muscles protest every time they perform daily activities? Even with little time on your hands, you can easily perform these workouts and elevate your physical fitness one workout at a time. However, a beginner should ensure that they start with workouts that are easier and then slowly take on the more challenging exercises as they get used to the functional exercise routine.

Choose Functional Exercises

Creating a fitness routine or program does not mean that you have to have a gym membership or personal trainer. You can choose exercises that are suitable to your goals and follow that routine at home, work, outdoors or anywhere at any time you feel suits your schedule. In fact, choosing the exercises to perform is the best way to ensure you start on your goal to achieve functional fitness. These exercises should involve exercises that target the full body, core, upper body or lower body. These can include burpees, squats, push-ups, squat jumps, lunges, crunches and jogs among others.

Examples of Great Functional Exercises

Squats

These target your lower body especially your legs. They strengthen your legs and hence make it easy for you to perform activities that make use of your legs such as running and jumping over obstacles. They are a great exercise to start off with especially if you have been doing a lot of sitting down.

Plank

Can you hold a plank for 3 minutes? Planks are a great way to not only test how fit you are on overall but also, increase your core strength and strengthen your arm, leg and posterior muscles while also offering relief from back pain.

Push Ups

Push ups are a great way to build strong pectoral, triceps and leg muscles when done correctly and hence improve your agility and ability to get from the ground or horizontal resting position to an upright posture. They also alleviate stiffness in the said muscles.

Lunges

Do you want shapely and toned glutes? Lunges work on your lower body and increase your pace and ease when running in your various daily activities.

Star Jumps

These exercises raise your heart rate and make you lift your body stretching it to its full height which is a great way to have fun and improve your posture.

Pull Ups

How long can you hold your bodyweight in a pull up position? Pull-ups are a great way to strengthen your arms, torso and core and can help your activities that require the use of these muscles.

Choose a Suitable Routine

Once you have chosen the exercises you would like to include in your functional training routine, the key is to choose a workout routine that will enable you to engage in the exercises. These routines can include a high intensity interval training (HIIT) routine and interval repetitions among others.

So, are you ready to give it a try?

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