Traditional strength training typically incorporates machines and exercises that isolate specific body parts, with a focus of increasing muscle size.
Functional training goes beyond muscle size, and really focuses on the whole body & improving quality of life, through exercise...
Which is why Functional Training is a focus of mine! :)
What is functional training?
Functional training incorporates exercises that are designed everyday activities easier and safer to perform. Such activities include: getting up and down (chairs, floor, bed, steps), carrying groceries or kids, playing pick-up basketball or soccer games, etc.
Functional training is beneficial for EVERY BODY, regardless of age, activity level, body type, etc. Functional training can include multiple techniques and a variety of equipment, including, but not limited to: free weights, resistance bands, medicine balls, and suspension trainers.
Functional exercises allows multiple parts of the body to work simultaneously. As a result, movements become more fluid and efficient, and the body becomes less prone to injury.
Functional training challenges your ability to coordinate and balance, while doing exercises, which allows you to perform complex actions. Such actions require more concentration, than isolated movements, and ultimately challenge you more, mentally, as well as physically.
Core strength is a key component of functional training, and involves more than the abdominal muscles... the spine, hip, and pelvic muscles are also part of the core, which many people don't realize. These muscles are often overlooked, but are vital for stability, and developing a strong foundation for movement.
To learn more about functional training, click out this article, from the Mayo Clinic.
Key take away:
Functional training can make everyday activities easier, reduce risk of injury and improve your quality of life!