Functional fitness involves performing certain exercises that mimic the movements we do in our daily life. The goal is increased efficiency in our day-to-day activities, while preventing injuries (such as pulling your back out). The purpose of going to the gym is to improve your quality of life everywhere else.
Functional fitness addresses commonplace tasks like getting on and off the toilet, or carrying in all of your groceries at once, or getting up off the floor after playing with your grandbaby. We want these activities to be not only possible, but easier. This is why we focus so much on functional training at BarBelles.
Does this sound like you? You struggle to pick up your child or your grandchild. You grip the railing to haul yourself up the stairs. It takes you three tries to stand up from the couch. It’s a battle just to take out a full trashcan, and you’re short of breath while vacuuming. You have trouble keeping your balance through a million everyday activities.
You may have been laboring like this for years. You may have gotten used to asking someone else for help while making excuses like, “I’ve never been very strong.” But it doesn’t have to be this hard.
This is what functional fitness is for.
For example, there are so many different muscles and movements involved in bending over and picking up a toddler. Just doing biceps curls won’t help. You have to be strong enough through your back, glutes and legs to lower yourself down and to stand back upright with that additional weight. And you need to use the proper form so you’re taking advantage of the right muscles and not straining the wrong ones. And you have to be balanced and coordinated through all of those muscles, both big and little, to maintain your equilibrium throughout.
Unfortunately, without an expert, improving your functional fitness is both difficult and risky—especially when you’re just getting started. For one thing, your core is literally at the center of almost any type of activity, but it’s also one of the most neglected parts of your body, and it gets especially weak if you sit at a desk all day.
But if you try to strengthen your core without knowing what you’re doing, you might injure yourself. And then you’ll have even more pain and difficulty with those everyday tasks, and your overall fitness will suffer that much more.
Functional fitness exercises work your core and make sure it’s playing the right role in every motion.
Proper supervision and instruction is a vital part of functional fitness. Not only do we know what combinations of exercises you’ll need to improve your life, but we can monitor and adjust your positioning throughout those exercises, maximizing their effectiveness while minimizing the risk of injury.
We can also help you improve incrementally, setting smaller goals en route to the bigger ones.
Don’t let yourself be limited in what chores, tasks, and joys you can accomplish in your daily life. Let us help you improve your functional fitness, so you can be confident in doing what you need—and want—to do.