Functional Fitness – Biggest 2018 Trend Or Something More?

If 2018 has taught anything so far, it’s that Functional Fitness is alive and burning, more now than ever before. Why is that? Is it just a passing trend or does it perhaps stand for something more important?

The truth is that functional fitness has become seated in the training regimen of so many athletes and regular people around the world for a few good reasons. So let’s take a brief look into those reasons and who knows…they may be more than enough to convince you to start training functionally and get your mind right!

Reason #1 – Functional Strength Is True Strength

Who cares if you can deadlift 600lbs if you can’t even perform a set of 8 pull-ups? Who cares if you can bench press 315lbs if you cannot run for 5 minutes straight without coughing and almost fainting?

Fitness is all about being fit and functional fitness stresses exactly that. The movements you perform and the training you undertake will be directly carried over to your everyday life, helping you be stronger, feel more powerful and avoid injuries for the most part.

More than that, functional fitness is also perfect for athletes such as football or basketball players. Why? Simply because training this way will directly carry over to your sport, plus, it will again help you avoid injuries by building up your true strength, coordination and balance. And most importantly, since most functional exercises do not require tremendous weights, they do not stress your Central Nervous System or your joints all that much.

Reason #2 – Build True Balance & Coordination

No, we are not talking about squatting on Bosu Balls or anything crazy like that. In reality, you never quite move or stand on unstable surfaces like a Bosu Ball. . Bending down to pick up an object, standing on your toes to reach for something overhead, running up a flight of stairs, getting out of your car, and even gardening, all rely on stability — and they take place on solid ground. Functional training mainly challenges your balance on a stable environment with exercises like single leg squats, lunges, jumping lunges, step-ups, lateral movements, posterior movements, agility drills, and plyometrics.

Reason #3 – Blend Strength, Power & Endurance

While a traditional bodybuilding or weightlifting program will only concentrate on size or strength, functional fitness manages to blend strength, size, power and endurance gains into one.

Sure, you can train for power utilizing any strength compound movement, but there are certain functional movements that are built to be explosive by nature such as such as the Clean & Jerk, Plyo Push-Ups, Ball Slams and Throws, Jumping Squats and even Landmine Twists that will fire up that core at the same time.

Lastly, by training your body as a whole and blending strength and power into one workout, you will also be increasing your endurance and cardiovascular conditioning because your heart has to shuttle blood between the upper and lower body.

Reason #4 – Boost Your Athletic Performance

Over the years, Rob Gronkowski has witnessed his training slowly evolve from heavy compound lifts to bodyweight movements to alternative forms of training such as Water Rowers and Strength Bands. Why?

It’s simply because he realized that conventional training put way too much strain on his body and his recovery. On the other hand, training hard with bands, bodyweight movements and functional equipment has allowed him to take his performance to the next level by properly training his body without affecting his recovery or performance on the field.

Taking it one step further, Rob’s training alternates between quick bursts of power and short breaks in order to simulate game conditions and directly carry over to his performance.

The way I work out has changed so much over the past five years. Now, I combine circuits of heavy band training and lower impact exercises for great results that are easier on my body. - Rob Gronkowski

Should YOU Abandon Your Current Training Style For Functional Fitness?

Not necessarily. If what you’re doing is currently working for you, there’s no valid reason to quit. However, consider the possibility that you could get even greater results with smarter programming and a different training style.

Most importantly, consider the fact that not all training styles work equally for everyone. Just because someone trains the way they do, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option for you.

So, really think about your training goals, consider the effects of your training style on your body and as always…get your mind right.

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