What Is Functional Fitness?
Functional fitness can be considered working out for “real-life” situations. You prepare your body to allow you to do the normal things that you do, day in and day out. This is the reason that most people want to be fit in the first place.
Not everyone wants to exercise so they can run marathons and compete in weightlifting tournaments. Most people just want to be strong and healthy enough to live their life and go about their daily routine.
So is functional fitness right for you?
Is Functional Fitness Right for You?
Why do you want to be stronger and healthier? Think about your answers to that question. If you live to exercise, functional fitness is probably not for you. However, if you just want to become fit so you can effortlessly play with your kids or grandchildren, unload your groceries or enjoy a walk with a friend without getting tired and worn down, functional fitness is ideally suited to your goals.
What Is Functional Fitness?
The Mayo Clinic, a globally recognized health authority, defines functional fitness as:
“Exercises that train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by stimulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports. While using various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness exercises also emphasize core stability.”
You will see that the Mayo Clinic mentions core stability. Your core group of muscles include several muscle groups. Their number one job is to protect your spine. They are also vital for proper balance and mobility. Functional fitness exercises often target your core, since a healthy core is so important for performing everyday tasks.
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Why Bother With Functional Fitness?
The truth is that just because you can lift heavy at the gym and do 20 minutes of HIIT every other day, does not mean that the next time you lift your 65 pound suitcase on your way to the airport that you won’t throw your back out.
Functional exercises teach isolated muscles to work together and thus when you pick up that suitcase, or your child, or reach for something on a high shelf you won’t tweak a weak muscle that is not properly trained.
Workouts that include, bending, pushing, pulling, lifting, sitting, reaching, balance and twisting, and those that mimic day to day life engage the core muscles while at the same time targeting other muscles of the body providing an overall “functional” state of fitness.
Basic Functional Fitness Exercises
A simple squat is an example of a functional exercise that works multiple muscle groups. It also mimics daily movements that you make, such as getting out of a chair or squatting down to pick something up off of the floor. Lunges, standing bicep curls and simple step-ups with weights are a few other types of functional exercises. Kettle bells and dumbbells can be used to accentuate your functional exercise routine, but are not required.
Body weight exercises which require no weights are excellent examples of functional exercises. There’s lots of free video training about exactly how to perform these body strengthening, health enhancing maneuvers. There are also books and DVDs available at online retail outlets like which deliver the everyday benefits of functional exercise.
Free DVD To Get Started With Functional Fitness
You don’t have to punish your body with hours of exercise, give up all the food you love and make yourself miserable to get the benefits of functional fitness. To help you get in shape and lose weight, get your copy of these free, short follow-along workout DVDs. Best of all, you don’t need any exercise equipment. You’ll use fun and unique bodyweight exercises to increase your fat-burning metabolism for over 36 hours, allowing you to get fit and lose weight while you’re at the office, in your car, at home relaxing, and even while you’re sleeping.