Functional Training: Beginner's Guide

No matter how strange and unfamiliar functional training may sound at first, it’s quite easy to understand. It consists of a series of simple body movements that mimic your everyday gestures and turn your familiar actions into a strength workout. If someone told you that you could lose lots of weight and build muscles just by walking, jumping, crouching, stretching and doing everything you’re already doing day after day, you might not believe them. But, that’s the innovation of functional training and its biggest benefit – it turns a simple motion into a complex action and grants great results. If you’re thinking about trying functional training, here are a few things you might want to know.

How Strong Can You Get?

Once they decide to get strong, ripped and buffed, most people instantly join the gym. Being surrounded with dumbbells and weights motivates them to push their limits and try their best every single time, which ultimately brings visible results – a leaner body, toned muscles, less weight and a happier life. However, spending time in the gym isn’t the only way to get stronger, nor the most effective one.

While working out with weights makes you focused on isolated muscle groups, functional training will make you exercise using your entire body. It involves more complex and intricate motions and turns this entire process into something natural and enjoyable. You’ll learn how to move and work out with every part of your body, thus targeting several muscle groups simultaneously and managing to lose a substantial amount of weight in the process.

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Theory and Practice

In addition to getting stronger and leaner, functional training also includes another useful benefit not many people see at first – it helps you outside the gym too. And the reason behind this is quite simple. While strength workout pumps your muscles, it doesn’t make you move elegantly, gracefully and naturally, but quite the opposite. Gyms around the world are full of ripped people who walk like robots because their huge muscles prevent them from moving around with ease.

With functional training, however, you’ll build strength that can be helpful in everyday activities and used daily while walking, running, standing and working. Similarly to yoga, which does amazing things for your entire body, functional training makes you tackle life more adequately and get better results.

Help Your Own Body

What else can functional training do for your body? First, this type of training is great for everyone, from bodybuilders to humble gym enthusiasts, and even people with no previous gym experience. Even professional athletes are starting to get into this idea and just love its numerous benefits. However, all of them still need to equally pay attention to glucosamine and joint care while exercising, but the good thing is that functional training does wonders for your joints.

Moreover, getting acquainted with this type of workout might also help you with some serious health issues, too. Namely, functional training has been proven quite effective for stroke patients who need rehabilitating. By focusing on muscles, joints and extremities, it helps them build stamina and endurance. That way their recovery becomes more effective and functional, so these patients can work on their eye-hand coordination better than before and ultimately regain control of their body once again.

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Other Considerations

Besides making your workouts more purposeful and helping you lose more weight, functional training is also useful for elevating work capacity. By doing simple things repeatedly, your muscle memory increases and you can exercise more and more. Additionally, this training is ideal for achieving gradual progress, as it doesn’t promise instant success overnight, but shapes your body one session at a time. Nonetheless, in just a few weeks, you’ll start noticing changes and seeing that you can endure more, run faster, push harder and stretch further than ever before. Most importantly, you’ll feel much better and more satisfied, noticing that functional training brings a new kind of happiness into your life.

Peter is a health and fitness at My Empowered World and The Beard Mag magazine, living between Europe and Australia. Beside writing he is a total yoga devotee. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.