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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:

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.

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.

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

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