Functional Fitness 101: What is It and Why is It So Good for You?

Every so often, a catchphrase catches fire within the fitness industry and becomes the
new way to get fit. We saw this happen with cross fit and programs like P90X, but the
most recent classification of exercise that is taking the fitness world by storm is
functional fitness.
Have you heard of it?
Maybe you’ve seen it listed as a new offering at your gym and wondered what’s that
about? We now offer a functional fitness class right here in the studio…but not because
it’s the new “it” form of exercise.
We offer it because functional fitness is good for you…like, really, really good.

Functional Fitness Explained

Functional fitness is a form of exercise that focuses on training the body to perform
those boring, everyday activities like pushing, pulling, bending, squatting, reaching, and
lifting among others. It may not sound as exciting as a box jump, but functional exercise
strengthens the muscles you use most and helps you avoid injury.

Isn’t functional fitness designed for senior citizens?

The short answer is no…though the assumption is certainly understandable. We live in
a world where people are living longer than ever before, and the key to enjoying our
golden years lies in keeping our bodies strong and limber. So, it isn’t surprising to see
functional fitness classes that are marketed to seniors who need to strengthen specific
muscles so they can get up off the floor and out of bed, carry heavy loads, and place
items on high shelves without losing their balance.
But the truth is everyone benefits from targeted exercise that improves our quality of life
by keeping our body strong.

Still not convinced? Here are 3 benefits that come from functional fitness:

  1. Reduced Risk of Injury
    How many times have you lifted something around the house using improper form and
    felt the consequences in your back, neck, or shoulders?
    Functional fitness trains specific muscles you use for specific tasks and teaches the
    proper form to use in each instance, ensuring you’ll be able to lift the next box without
    that dreaded twinge in your spine.
  2. Improved Range of Motion
    When we think of getting fit, we often think of the health of our muscle tissue. While this
    is important, so is the health of other tissue like ligaments and tendons as well as our
    bones and joints.

Functional fitness exercises can strengthen ligaments and tendons to improve your
range of motion which, in turn, improves joint performance and limb functionality.

  1. Better Balance & Flexibility
    We rarely think about the importance of balance when performing tasks like climbing
    stairs or standing on tiptoes to reach something on a high shelf. And flexibility is also
    important as we stretch to get those few extra inches on our reach.
    Functional exercise strengthens the core and improves posture, resulting in better
    balance, while stretching muscles and increasing flexibility.
    If you’d like to see what functional fitness can do for you, hop over to the studio
    schedule and sign up for a session. You’ll be amazed at what functional fitness can do
    for you!


World Health Organization
Well + Good
Ultra Human