What is functional training?
Functional training is a physical discipline that uses multi-joint exercises for the whole body, close to the movements of everyday life. Examples of functional training exercises are jumps, pull-ups and push-ups - in contrast to isolating exercises for a specific muscle group (lifting the biceps, lifting the dumbbells to the sides, and so on)
Functional training includes training with kettlebell , calisthenics and crossfit , as well as other disciplines that involve training with body weight and / or free weights. The main advantage of functional training is the ability to perform exercises on the street or in almost any environment - no simulators or other bulky equipment are required.
Initially, functional training was used by professional athletes to improve performance in the main sport and to develop certain physical skills. For example, discus and spear throwers developed explosive power, while skaters and skaters developed a sense of balance. Currently, functional training is increasingly used for regular fitness activities.
Key Functional Movements
The six main functional movements are squats, inclinations, bench presses, traction, turns and movements in space. It is believed that each of the physical exercises (just like the movements of everyday life) is a combination of these characteristics, or the characteristic itself. Functional training aims to engage all six.
Note that basic exercises with the barbell can also be considered functional - they include squats, bench presses and traction. That is why it is difficult to separate functional training from ordinary strength training - most often they use similar exercises. The key difference is variability and emphasis on the development of general physical parameters, and not just on muscle growth.
If you play football, then the functional exercises for you will be squats, leg presses, various lunges and swings (including swings with an elastic band - shown in the photo). If swimming - then pull-ups, push-ups on the bars, turns to the sides. In other words, functional training is always aimed at developing certain physical qualities necessary for an athlete.
At the same time, functional exercises are rarely suitable for losing weight and burning fat in problem areas - regular cardio for these purposes is much more effective. Such exercises are intended for people with a good level of physical fitness, playing sports primarily for their own pleasure, and only then thinking about how to lose weight and bring the body back to normal.
Benefits of Functional Exercise
In addition to developing the physical qualities necessary for practicing a particular sport, any functional training improves strength, endurance, and also improves a sense of balance. In addition, functional training positively affects the neuromuscular connection of muscles with the brain - in simple words, a person learns to use his muscles more fully.
Despite this, as we mentioned above, functional exercises are not very suitable for gaining muscle mass - they make the muscles drier, but gaining a significant amount with their help is quite difficult. This requires training for hypertrophy , implying the use of heavy additional weights and exercise at the border of 5-8 repetitions.
Functional training program
Below you will find a plan of functional functional training that can be performed on the horizontal bar - a similar program is called “street workout” or simply “workout”. As a warm-up, you can use the burpy exercise - it not only increases the heart rate, but also involves most of the large muscle groups of the body.
Pull-ups on the horizontal bar
One of the key functional exercises for the development of the upper body. Pullups strengthen not only the broadest muscles of the back, but also the muscles of the arms.
Hanging knees to chest
Functional exercise for developing abdominal abs abdominal muscles. Hanging on the horizontal bar, slowly pull the knees to the chest, keeping the abdominal muscles in a conscious tension.
Hanging straight legs
Mid-level press exercise. Develops the lower part of the abdominal muscles, strengthens the lower back and muscles of the back of the thighs. When performing, try not to swing back and forth.
Hanging legs to chest
Advanced Press Exercise. Develops both lower and upper press. On inhalation, stretch straight legs forward; on exhalation, pull them towards the chest. Keep your press energized.
Riser on uneven bars
Functional exercise for the development of the pectoral muscles, muscles of the shoulder girdle and spine. Take a horizontal position first, then lift your legs up. Optionally may include push ups.
Functional chest press
An example of how functional training can use different weights to copy strength exercises performed in the gym.
One of the most difficult functional exercises on the horizontal bar. It requires a serious level of physical fitness and involves the involvement of almost all the muscles of the body at the same time.
Functional training is any physical exercise program aimed at developing certain sports qualities needed by a particular athlete. Examples of functional training are horizontal bar training, kettlebell training, calisthenics and crossfit. Many functional exercises are also used in strength training - for example, basic exercises with a barbell.