Fit Tips with @nickjpetrella
Try these tips to add some functionality into your training!
Are you stuck in a rut doing the same routine over and over and over again? Are you looking for something new to add some variety into your workouts? Have your gains leveled off? Are you bored of your workouts?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then you are in desperate need of some added functionality into your workout! Adding variables of functionality into your workouts can enhance gains, overcome plateaus, stimulate new gains, increase the challenge of your workouts and add some fun into your training! Too often we forget that by simply changing the tempo of the movement, adding some variable of instability or adding some dimension of movement into our workouts we can overcome plateaus and increase the intensity of the workout!
What is Functionality?
Functional can be defined as something with purpose or of purpose. In reference to strength and conditioning we can define functional as exercise that involves preparation for performance of daily activities. Essentially, functional has a different meaning to everyone as every person has a unique perspective of what is purposeful in his or her day-to-day life. Functional training is movement-based training or training that is designed to enhance the body’s ability to communicate. Functional training is designed to improve the connection between the mind and the body and therefore increase the body’s efficiency of movement. That being said, every strength and conditioning enthusiast can benefit from purposeful training.
Who can benefit from Functional Training?
Mistakenly, functional training is thought to be solely for the athletic population however, the non-athletic population has just as much to gain if not more than an athlete. Similar to athletes, every-day people require efficiency and the ability to move laterally or diagonally and rotate through their hips! These are not just athletic based skills! Try to think about everything you do throughout the course of your day and how many times you need to take a lateral step and reach for something (reaching to stop your child from getting around you) just like a tennis player might reach to return a volley. Try to think about the number of times you have to reach down to the ground and pick up an object that might be slightly outside of your stance (for example, picking up a bag of groceries) similar to what a rugby player might have to do outside of a scrum. All of these tasks require efficient communication between the brain and the muscles in order to make these movements smooth and fluid. Elderly, children, weekend warriors and athletes can all benefit from movement-based training!
How do you implement Functional Training?
Functional training can be very simple to implement into your training plan and even the smallest variable of functional training is enough to add new dimensions of gain to your programs! Essentially, any variable or variation to your training that requires your brain to communicate on a different level with your muscle is a method of functional training. For example, altering your program so that the exercises you do seated are now done while standing, exercises that are done while seated on a bench are now completed while sitting on a stability ball, exercises that are done while standing are now done while standing on a BOSU ball, exercises that are typically done bilaterally (two legs or two arms) are now done unilaterally (single leg or single arm), exercises that are done while working in one plane of motion are now completed in multiple planes of motion. There are many ways to add functionality into your program aside from those mentioned above! Tools like ViPR, Sandbells, BOSU Balls, Stability Balls, Reebok Core Boards, Weighted Vests, Medicine Balls, Lifting Chains, Landmines, Deadballs, Battling Ropes, Ballast Balls, Resistance Bands, Balance Boards, Cable Systems, TRX, and Kettelbells are all awesome pieces of equipment that can add functionality into your workouts!
Why should YOU add functional training into your workout?
Functional training can
* Reduce the risk of injury
* Stimulate new muscle fiber growth
* Increase muscular power
* Increase movement efficiency
* Improve performance of daily activities
* Improve the strength of the core musculature which will in turn reduce the risk of the incidence of low back pain
* Increase muscular endurance
* Increase muscular strength
* Improve performance of recreational activities
* Improve your quality of life!
If you have any questions about how to add functionality into your workout do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @nickjpetrella or Facebook, Nick Petrella.
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