Is Functional Fitness Complicated?
Should you be doing this?
Which would you describe as more functional? Or better, which one looks cooler? The dude balancing on the kettlebells looks so much cooler! But is he more functional?
Professionals have an interest in making the simple look difficult, and when it comes to functional fitness, professionals have a field day. The possible functional movements are essentially infinite as different movements and holds are combined to work on strength, coordination, balance, mobility, and endurance. With all the possible combinations a fitness professional could spend years mastering the patterns. This knowledge base is helpful in pinpointing specific needs that each person has, but no one person needs to implement the whole range of functional movements. The weirder the movements get, the more specialized they become, but most people at the gym are not specialists.
The weirder the movements get, the more specialized they become, but most members at the gym are not specialists.
Functional movement is goal oriented, and the good news is that most people’s goals are very general so that our functional movements are very general. The two most common goals are these, lose weight, build muscle, or both. If that’s what you are looking for than don’t worry about the unusual and endless lists online of “functional” movements, all you need are the basics done well. Those would be squats, presses, and pulls. If all you had was a barbell and a pull up bar, you could get in shape, great shape.
How to be “functional”: accessories, odd objects, and funny poses.
So at our gym, we all do these movements very consistently. We also add in more movements that serve the purposes of our clients, weight loss and muscle building, but these three are the core. Now we supplement with that long list of specialized movements in one of two cases special cases, performance and injury. If your goals go beyond the two mentioned before and you are training to perform in a specific domain, we will implement more specific movements to get you ready for the field, mat, platform, court, water, or wherever your athletic goals take you. Most sports athletes require more sprint training and power work. Swimmers need shoulder strengthening and mobility. Weightlifters need maximal power and explosion.
The other specific goals are with those dealing with injury. If your lower back chronically pains you we will use some obscure functional movements to strengthen and mobilize. If either of these apply to you then seek out personal training with one of our awesome coaches, they will give you the movements you need to perform better and feel better. But our group classes tend to cater to those with more holistic goals.
If either of these apply to you then seek out personal training with one of our awesome coaches
As a general rule, no one needs to implement the whole list of functional movements found on the internet, and if your goals are generic health and wellness, I would recommend not skipping barbell squats and presses in lieu of banded single leg lunge jumps or whatever other obscure movements you may find. Functional fitness is simple and if you are a part of our group classes you are already doing it well. Keep up the hard work.
Check out this list of “functional” movement https://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/summer-music-festival-workout