What is Functional Fitness?
From my perspective Functional Fitness is the collaboration of various forms of training and techniques used in sports, rehabilitation etc. The goal in mind with functional fitness, is first and foremost to achieve a strong and durable physique that rather than being aesthetically pleasing (although this is one of the benefits), is usable in daily life or for a specific sport. Functional Fitness workouts may also reduce the risk of muscle imbalance and injury.
An example of functional fitness would be: if someone requires explosive power and an advanced cardiovascular system, there is no point in training in a Bodybuilding sense where Hypertrophy is the aim. This person would benefit more from doing explosive compound lifts such as the Snatch or bodyweight movements along the lines of Muscle Ups and Clap Press Ups. Or in a general sense, the average person would benefit more from core & stability training along with cardiovascular exercise and performing compound lifts that both mimic situations they find themselves in, in daily life. If one needs to lift heavy objects, using machines such as the Machine Row and isolation movements like Dumbbell Curls isn’t going to get he/she far, they would excel much further by learning the Dead Lift, Bent Row, Military Press etc.
The overall idea of functional fitness is to train in every facet of fitness or “working out” so to speak. Train your body in different ways so you don’t just get the aesthetic benefits, but also the strength benefits, the health benefits, the stability, cardiovascular fitness, joint, ligament and tendon health. The list goes on.
The type of equipment that can be used in functional fitness workouts is vast. To name a few examples:
Kettle bells, Barbells, Pull-up Bars, Parallel Bars, Gymnastic Rings, Resistance Banding, Suspension Systems, Medicine Balls, Bodyweight, Weighted Vests, Wobble Boards, Sandbags, Dumbbells and so on.