The Benefits of Functional Training

By Griffin Lockyer

October 6, 2015


Posted In: Fitness, Langley, Surrey, White Rock

Functional training is getting more and more popular these days in the fitness industry. More and more people are catching on and realizing that there is more to fitness than just looking great; It’s about moving great too!
Functional: “having a special activity, purpose, or task; relating to the way in which something works or operates”
The above definition is from the Oxford Dictionary and I think it’s a great way to help define functional fitness. When we aim for functional training we want our training to relate to how our body operates. With this in mind you don’t have to do CrossFit or be an Olympic Weightlifter to use proper body mechanics in your training, you just have to mimic your daily movements. So let’s think about what movements we do most throughout the day and we can break these down into 7 categories: Squatting, Bending/Hip Hinging, Lunging, Pulling, Pushing/Pressing, Rotations and Gait. These are all basic human movement patterns that most of us perform on a daily or weekly basis outside of the gym.
So this brings me to my first benefit of functional training:
Benefit #1: Improving Quality of Life
Training and progressing within these 7 movement categories will enforce your ability to do almost anything that life throws at you. We all want to be able to go anywhere and do anything we want like that long, hard hike that requires you to climb up and over things or for the parents out there than just want to be able to play with their kids. Being able to perform well in these movements won’t only improve your fitness and your movement but your mental state as well. Its nice to know that you can move with ease through any movement, its a feeling of confidence. Being confident in your abilities is a huge step to improving your quality of life!
Benefit #2: Reducing Injuries
I can’t even begin to stress how important this benefit is. How many people do you know that have hurt their backs or pulled a muscle in their leg or their neck trying to pick something up off the ground or lifting something over their head? The truth is you probably can’t answer that question because it’s so many people. Maybe this has happened to you. I know it sure has happened to me! So when you can move like you were designed to with grace and efficiency the chances of you injuring yourself in your daily activities dramatically decreases.
Benefit #3: Doing the Things you Love to do Longer
This is a great benefit of functional training. You get to keep doing the activities you love to do as you get older. It seems that it is inevitable that we have to stop doing certain activities as we age because of joint problems or movement dysfunctions. I always say that this is not because of age it is lack of movement (proper movement) and exercise. So why not put in the time and effort into training for life. I know I want to be able to play sports, lift heavy, train hard, and go fast on my mountain bike when I’m 70! Don’t you?