As most of you are aware functional training or functional fitness has become a popular buzz word in the fitness industry. But what is it? Are you currently doing it? And how are you benefiting?
So, what is functional fitness? If we look at the basic meaning of functional fitness or functional training, it is any kind of fitness training that helps prepare you for the activities in your daily life. This could be running for the bus, lifting a heavy box, or doing some work in the garden. It could be climbing the stairs at work or lifting your dog into the back of the car.
How we achieve this is by practising fitness regimes that include compound movements like the squat, deadlift and press, combined with things like running, cycling, jumping, and bodyweight movements such as the push-up and pull up. Lastly we also use explosive and skill-based movements like the clean and jerk or snatch and maybe from time to time get upside down and get used to handstands. Sound familiar? It should, as this is exactly what we do at DISTRICT. Of course, many people will say that every movement performed in the gym has a ‘function’. The lateral raise has the function of improving the strength and size of muscles in the shoulder, the tricep extension increased the mass in the upper arm. The main difference between these kinds of movements and the ones we focus more upon in CrossFit and at DISTRICT is that they are much more specifically focused on the functionality of a single muscle or body part and less upon overall fitness and lifestyle improvement. These movements still have value but will be used to accessorise and to add to a program, that in essence, gets you fit for life.
So who could benefit from functional fitness? This is an easy one to answer. Everyone. This may sound like a sweeping statement but let’s look at the above and see who could benefit. Do you have to commute? Walk to and from a station? Climb stairs in an office or at home? Do you have children to chase around the garden? A baby to lift in and out of a pram? A dog to take walking daily? Do you need to get up every day and use your body in any physical activity? The answer is yes. We all have to use our bodies so could all benefit from functional fitness and its ability to make all the tasks above easier. But, wait a minute, that’s just the day to day, what about athletes and sportspeople, they don’t need functional fitness do they? The answer again, yes. Which footballer doesn’t want to be able to jump higher and run faster? Which golfer doesn’t want to be able to strike the ball with more power, and even be able to walk the course with less fatigue? Which rower doesn’t want a more powerful leg drive? They all do, and the box jumps, deadlifts, squats, KB swings, as well as the running, rowing, cycling of functional fitness will help each and every one of them.
Functional training is everything we know and love at DISTRICT. It’s running, it’s jumping, it’s climbing, it’s lifting, it’s getting that heart rate up, building cardiovascular resilience, building strength, doing everything our bodies were made to do! It’s preparing yourself for life, it’s having a ton of fun doing it, and it’s being able to chase your grandchild around the garden when the so-called youngsters are all worn out. It’s gaining a level of fitness so that if an accident or illness comes your way you have the strength to fight it. Functional fitness is a way of enhancing every day with regard to any physical pursuit we want to undertake.
I’ll see you out on the surf or at the running track when I’m 70 and I will feel incredibly lucky I am part of the functional fitness brigade. I’ll be ready to tackle what life throws my way and I hope you will join me for the ride!
Book yourself in for a functional session today!