We may not all be athletes, but life is an endurance sport of its own kind, and everyone needs to bring their A-Game!
Getting out of bed, stopping to tie your shoe, or carrying your groceries from the car in one trip involve different parts of your body working seamlessly. functional fitness routines can help you feel, and function, great!
Physical therapists, athletic trainers and even your favorite fitness influencers are all on the functional fitness bandwagon for good reason. The functional fitness approach makes strength training, often assumed to be the realm of picking up and putting down heavy things a multi-faceted, accessible and versatile option for different types of people.
“Simply put, a body a rest stays at rest, and a body in motion stays in motion. The exercises we do will help combat (or hopefully eradicate) the aches and pains often associated with long days sitting at a desk or traveling for work,” shares Jennifer Raby of JenRabyFitness.
What Does Functional Fitness Mean?
Peachtree Corners Gym Source equipment expert, Jillian Wells, explains, “as a former personal trainer, my goal was to make sure my strength-training adverse clients were able to manipulate weights of various sizes while moving their limbs and core through various planes of space. The ability to complete a wood-chop during our workouts, for example involved the ability to squat, twist the torso, and extend the arms overhead, which would be what my client would need to do to pick up a fallen object from a shelf without a spasm.”
Jeff Schmelz, a physiologist and personal trainer based in Midtown Atlanta, simplifies it further: “The whole concept of ‘functional’ is training something you’re actually using. Pushing big weights was the main focus when I was a high school athlete. I was lucky when one coach in college first mentioned the concept of making your weight training relevant.”
Functional fitness is about developing patterns that support your best life possible. You want an exercise program crafted to create a strong body that enables you to do anything you want in life, from getting off the floor pain free to beating personal records, shares Gym Source VIP trainer Jim Gallagher, Co-owner of Strength for Life.
Traditional Strength Training vs Functional Strength Training
There is no overall better choice when it comes to fitness. There is just the better choice for you, and your fitness goal.
Ultimately, the goal of strength training is to train your body and muscle groups you use every day. Sean Michael, Gym Source VIP personal trainer and Certified Trainer with Transformed by Sean shares:
“It’s important to have a fitness routine that will allow you to incorporate your total body life movements. Functional fitness is an industry buzzword, but for good reason. Mimicking every day motions such as squatting to pick up a case of water and putting it in your grocery cart or using a bar attachment to mirror raking the yard through a pulling motion allows our bodies to prep for the rigor of everyday tasks something everyone could use.”
So, how do you choose between traditional strength equipment and functional strength trainers? Our equipment experts share their top tips on unpacking the difference between traditional and functional strength trainers.
Best Equipment for Functional Fitness Training
Whether your focus is on weight loss, increased energy, or overall fitness, Gym Source has the best fitness equipment and tools to help you reach your goals.
– Check out hybrid strength pieces like the TuffStuff SXT-550 that fuse traditional press arms with multiple cable pulleys to work a wide variety of muscles in the body.
– The Cybex Bravo Functional Trainer can be used for resistance training, endurance exercises, or rehabilitation.
– Free weights offer a full range of motion that machines typically do not. Another benefit to incorporating free weights into your workouts is that you can grow your collection as your endurance and fitness levels increase.
“Free weights require the most muscle recruitment and can be added to any number of exercises for an additional challenge,” informs Raby.
Most importantly, it is imperative you know fitness equipment requires much more consideration and personalization than you may think. There is no one size fits all solution. Your perfect workout, and fitness solutions, must match your specific needs.
Ready to get started? Visit your local Gym Source fitness equipment showroom today for personalized help to find the right fitness solutions for your goals.