Function and functional exercise has without a doubt become the most over used words in fitness circles up to now. Doing something weird in the gym? It’s functional. Had a crazy new conditioning workout? It’s functional. Using the overwhelming amount of information available on the internet, trainees can be forgiven for falling prey to nonsense exercise prescription promising much but delivering little.
The Functional Fitness Myth
Kettlebells are visiting a rebirth in popularity. Bands, rings and ropes are suddenly hanging of all the spare roof space. And when Crossfit was an invading alien race we’d be done for.Because of reality tv shows as well as other idiotic celebrities. Personal trainers have written everywhere a ticket to teach anyone whatever exercises they are able to think of. Doing it by sheltering safely under the umbrella of functional fitness.
Standing on top of a Bosu Ball on a single leg while holding a dumbbell in a single hand along with a Kettlebell in the other is not uncommon. Holding group sessions based on random exercises picked from the pack of cards has become mainstay. The gym landscape as we knew it’s changed and never for that better.
Function can be explained as the purpose for which something was created or exists. When referring to fitness it’s action with purpose. Despite exactly what the general population may think, functional doesn’t need to mean strange. A great strength coach can justify his or her choice in exercise prescription by highlighting its function. Based on relation to the trainees performance goals, sport or desires. Generally speaking, none of those exercises should involve looking like a idiot. Although not necessarily known for as being a functional exercises, squat, the bench press and deadlifts are all very functional. It simply depends upon where they are being applied.
A fighter, a quarterback and a senior citizen all walk into a bar… I am talking about gym. All three have a similar goal- to obtain stronger. As a result, all three start squatting, using varied loads, sets and reps to suit their training experience and abilities. Squats are now Functional! (I know, like they ever weren’t).
The point I’m making is despite the fact that the 3 were from different backgrounds, all of them benefitted in the same exercise without any from the nonsense. Exactly the same justification can be applied in every corner of the gym. For example, a bodybuilder feels they need to make more gains of his/hers quads for body composition purposes. Consequently, they decide on leg extensions for isolation. In this instance, that is deemed functional. Another example, a powerlifter chooses hand strikes jump prior squatting to improve their speed out of the hole. That is deemed functional too. Thus, supplying the exercise has an underlying purpose – it may be functional. Purpose justifies the exercise.
Moving Forward With Function
Although taking part in crazy stuff in the club can be fun, the long run effect on your wellbeing and lack of progress won’t be. Functional Fitness (aka fitness) should incorporate mobility, stability, speed, strength and conditioning utilizing progressive methods to achieve these outcomes safely. Exercises can and should be justified, stupid coaching can’t be.