What Are the Benefits of Functional Training?

What Are the Benefits of Functional Training?

What makes functional fitness so beneficial?

Regardless of one’s level of fitness, age, level of exercise experience, or amount of training time available, functional fitness programs can benefit everyone. 

These workout regimens can help with definition, calorie burning, improving aerobic capacity, and stimulating muscular growth.

Moving in several directions at various speeds, and using multiple exercise equipment to activate every muscle in your body, is the primary component of a functional training session. 

What Are the Benefits of Functional Training?

The benefits of functional training are improved posture, increased weight loss, better mood, increased range of motion, more balanced body, reduced chance of injury, faster recovery after injury, development of strong stabilizer muscles, stronger core, and increased speed and power.

10 Functional Training Benefits

10 functional training benefits are listed below.

  1. Improves Posture
  2. Helps With Weight Loss
  3. Boosts Your Mood
  4. Increases Your Range of Motion
  5. Builds a More Balanced Body
  6. Reduces the Chance of Getting Injured
  7. Helps Recover Faster After Getting Injured
  8. Builds Strong Stabilizer Muscles
  9. Strengthens Your Core
  10. Increases Speed and Power

1. Improves Posture

Including functional training in your routine can help your posture. Back pain and discomfort are common in today’s society. People are less active than ever before. Functional exercise focuses on developing the core to improve stability and support for the back muscles and spinal cord . 

Every portion of your body can assist other body parts if your exercise uses every muscle. Better posture is encouraged by building hip, core, and back strength and stability. Back discomfort is decreased with better posture. Many functional training exercises are performed only with you body weight, but are initially based on movement patterns such as push, pull, hinge, bend, and similar.

These patterns never isolate one muscle group because they consist of compound movements, and that’s why they are useful for improving the posture during physical therapy.

2. Helps With Weight Loss

Functional training exercises can help you if you want to lose weight. Functional training focuses on making your body more comfortable rather than subjecting it to the demands and strains of weightlifting and cardio. Research has shown that having a body that can move more freely helps you lose weight and burns calories more effectively [1].

Finding any motion-related weaknesses is the best place to start when performing functional exercises. 

Doing this may strengthen these areas and make your body move much easier. Getting a personal trainer for a session could be a fantastic idea if you’re unclear about assessing how your body moves. The trainer will identify your areas of weakness and work with you to strengthen those areas through functional training, which will help you lose weight. 

If you are an overweight person looking for a treadmill with high weight capacity, check out our article about the best treadmills for individuals weighing 300 lbs.

3. Boosts Your Mood

Functional training can boost your mood. Committing to a goal, establishing rituals, and adopting habits may elevate your mood.

Endorphins, hormones that make you feel happy, are released when you exercise. Exercise naturally releases endorphins, which reduces your risk of depression and increases your likelihood of feeling euphoric afterward. Deciding to exercise outside can also make you happier [2].

4. Increases Your Range of Motion

Functional exercises increase your range of motion. Functional training focuses on various actions, and each one requires you to begin and end in a position that allows your muscles to contract and relax naturally. Mobility is created through resistance and flexibility. Your body’s total flexibility, coordination, and functional strength will improve as you improve your training.

As you exercise, your range of motion will increase, making daily tasks much more simple.

Functional training utilizes a large number of muscles, so you often use several smaller muscle groups called stabilizers to support the larger ones.

You can improve your strength and natural balance by working multiple muscles at once. 

Read our article about 14 best functional leg exercises to build strength and mobility at the same time.

5. Builds More Balanced Body

Functional training’s fundamental tenet is to build a more balanced body. Imitating real-world motions to develop overall body strength. Doing this improves your fitness both within and in real-world situations outside of the gym. Want to carry a heavy piece of furniture without risking injuring your back? 

Maybe you want to help your kids stand up or perhaps fight against an attacker. The strength needed in these circumstances is increased through functional movements, while squatting a heavy weight will strengthen your leg muscles but may not improve your ability to move.

6. Reduces the Chance of Getting Injured

Functional strength training has several advantages and, in the end, lowers the risk of injury. Thinking of functional strengthening as activities rather than workouts makes understanding easier. The functional training exercises are “functional” since they are designed to imitate motions we make every day. A good example is the squat, which works various muscular groups, including the smaller ones necessary for stability.

The tiny, stabilizing muscular groups that functional strength exercises target are used to preserve proper form. Endurance in certain areas increases as you become more functionally strong. Larger muscle groups can function correctly because smaller, stabilizing muscles have more endurance. The final result of incorporating functional training is enhanced form and an improved capacity to maintain appropriate form for longer due to increased endurance instability brought on by more functional strengthening.

To achieve stability and thus power, and to prevent injury, we must look at proprioception and control.” – Adam Sinicki, AKA The Bioneer, author of the Functional Fitness and Beyond

7. Helps Recover Faster After Getting Injured

It is well established that exercise is excellent for recovering after injury. Exercise also boosts bone and muscular density, making the body better able to withstand stress in the event of an injury. 

Your cardiovascular system experiences metabolic changes when you are physically active. In essence, it starts the healing process. It has been established that even light functional training exercise benefits heart health.

Functional training helps in the body’s self-regeneration.

Regular exercise can also help to reduce inflammation. Numerous chronic conditions and injuries have inflammation as their underlying cause, yet regular exercise helps to reduce the protein that causes inflammation.

Exercise helps to fight off injuries and many serious illnesses, such as depression and heart disease. However, if you continue to suffer any of them, exercising can speed up your recovery.

8. Builds Strong Stabilizer Muscles

Functional training builds strong stabilizer muscles of the ankle, knee, hip, lower back, abdominal wall, and shoulders.

Every exercise requires a distinct form, but stabilizing your body is essential to performing exercises correctly. For instance, even a basic biceps curl involves stabilization from your core and shoulders as you move the weight toward your shoulders.

In other exercises, like squats, your calves, lower back, abs, hamstrings, and obliques all work to keep everything moving in the right direction. Squats, depending on your style, primarily train your glutes and quadriceps.

It would help to strengthen your balance to increase your stability and stabilize different muscle group strength.

9. Strengthens Your Core

Functional training strengthens your core.

In fitness, the term “core” is used in many different contexts. Some individuals mistakenly think the core is a tight six-pack, although your core muscles are far more significant than your abdominals. Although core exercises go beyond crunches, they help tone the abdominal muscles.

The goals of functional core training include strength, power, and stability. Your body’s foundation is solidified by your core muscles, which enable you to maintain balance and stand firmly on two feet.

You can control and enhance your posture by stabilizing your spine with correct functional training core exercises. Your ability to perform actions that produce the best motion for daily work will improve with functional core training [3]. Strengthening your core helps you move more functionally, improves your balance, and gives you that muscular look many people crave.

10. Increases Speed and Power

Functional training increases speed and power. It also increases muscular strength, balance, and agility, and there is evidence that it may also increase muscular endurance and flexibility. This is according to a systematic evaluation of nine research [4]. 

There was no evidence of changes in body composition. However, this could be partially attributed to the function that calorie deficits play in the recomposition of the body.

Why Is Functional Training Important?

You can work out in accordance with your regular activities thanks to functional training. It gives you excellent results and lowers the chance of injury by working on the major muscle groups with everyday movements you already perform daily. 

You can work on compound exercises that improve flexibility and mobility while modifying the intensity of your functional fitness workouts based on your goals. You can get fitter and maintain it off for the remainder of your everyday life if you do just a few simple exercises like squats, lunges, etc.

Let us know what you think about functional training.

References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26684437/
  2. https://www.apa.org/topics/exercise-fitness/stress
  3. https://sportsmedicine-open.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40798-018-0150-3
  4. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2021.738878/full
Vanja Vukas

Vanja Vukas

Student at the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education and a hardcore functional training enthusiast. Heavily inspired by Michael Boyle, a strength & conditioning specialist, and by Adam Sinicki, the founder of Bioneer. Vanja believes that transitioning to a movement-based exercise program can drastically improve your fitness, balance out your muscles, and support your current lifestyle.

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