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Get Uncomfortable with Functional Fitness
You’re hitting the weights every day. Newbies look at you like you’re lit. Later, you throw your back out as you help carry your cousin’s couch down a flight of stairs. What’s the deal?
If you’re savage on the weights, but failing at the day to day, it’s time you learned about functional fitness.
What Is Functional Fitness?
You may have heard this new term buzzing around. If you want to know where fitness is headed in 2016, functional fitness is where it’s at.
The key to functional fitness is integration, not isolation. And that my friend, means you have to quit viewing your body in terms of separate parts. Start seeing your body as a unified whole.
You have back day, and leg day, and chest day…
While that’s key to your training, what about climb-a-mountain-day? Or ruck-50-miles-day?
Your muscles are designed to work together in harmony. When one muscle group is stronger than the rest, you set yourself up for muscle injuries. Functional fitness is about teaching your muscles how to respond in union to anything and everything.
While different people may define functional fitness in multiple ways, it’s really all about training yourself to do the things you don’t do in the gym.
Because of this, you should train your body for real life situations.
You talk about upping your game, and wanting to achieve even more. That’s excellent! But if you really want to push your limits, then it’s time to teach your muscles how to be a team!
*Extra tip: Train your muscles to be a team with exercises like the one-legged squat. Take it up a notch once you’ve gained body control by adding weights to it.
You’re Not a Machine
You’re already doing some of this. You’ve got your deadlifts, your chin-ups, and other freestanding exercises. But, when you hit the machines, you are not creating functional strength.
You may be making lean muscle, but muscle isn’t just about the mirror, it’s about life strength.
Core stability and strength cannot happen when you’re lifting 500 lbs. braced against a machine.
Ditch The Gym?
Definitely don’t skip the gym. Functional fitness isn’t about throwing out the bench-press. What you are doing in the gym is important, but so is functional fitness.
Functional exercises will find the weak links and teach muscles to work together. That means your lean muscle gains will become more defined and rounded.
*Extra Tip: Don’t know where to start? Find a trainer who understands functional fitness to get you going.
Even if you do exercises in the gym that test your core and push your strength, can that translate into the real world?
Get out of your comfort zone, get over your plateau, push beyond what you know you are capable of, and take functional fitness into a world you don’t have any control over. It’s time to stop repeating yourself.