Functional Fitness

Workouts, Functional Coordination and Daily Life

Are you exercising regularly and you are not getting tangible results? You might be feeling that your body is deteriorating physically and mentally. If your fitness regimen includes only “weights”, “cardio” and stretching mixed with “some” speed and power skills it does not address the body’s needs.

We often exercise muscles the way we want them to move versus how they are designed to function. For example, conventional resistance training targets isolated joints and muscles to build strength. In real-life activities, multiple joints and muscles must work in weight-bearing positions simalteniously. Such coordination cannot be achieved by training isolated joints and muscles with dumbbells and exercise machines. Functional training incorporates body movements that require the muscle and joint groups work together without the support of weight equipment.

Have you ever used gym exercises anywhere outside the health club? Probably never! As a result, you are never connected to fitness and you don’t develop inner desire and vitality to exercise. Training movements not muscles will help you to understand how the body is supposed to function and it will improve your body awareness.

Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Training

FitnessYou should learn and make a priority to build gradually your aerobic system and to exercise aerobically at least two or three times a week at constant and vigorous intensity. However, without proper functional coordination skills you would not be able to sustain a high pace aerobic exercise for an extended period of time. As a result, your exercise turns from aerobic to anaerobic it will not improve your cardiovascular system.

Most of the activities in a typical fitness club are performed anaerobically if your “cardio” includes only variable intensity, in the long term, it will be harmful to your body and you will be setting yourself for future health problems.

Elliptical machines will not build a strong aerobic system because the body does not work against gravity. Also, the pedals are positioned too wide apart to engage proper muscles. In the long term, it will affect your walking gait and ability to move on land.

Treadmill walking and running at a slow speed and low heart rate will not provide an overload to build a sufficient aerobic capacity. When you are unable to sustain a vigorous intensity and you walk or run at a variable intensity your exercise becomes anaerobic. If you continue to exercise anaerobically it will create muscle imbalances, physical and mental burnout.

Functional Coordination Skills

If you wish to improve your fitness and prevent the body’s breakdown as you age you should develop functional coordination skills. Also, these skills are the foundation for improving speed, agility and power. If you attempt to gain more speed and power without proper functional coordination it will put excessive wear and tear on your body, and can potentially lead to injuries.

One of the key attributes of functional fitness is the ability to recruit proper muscles and joints in proper sequence. For example, any bodyweight exercise requires multiple muscle groups to work in a coordinated manner. If it is not easy to get up from sitting position on the floor it means that all necessary muscle groups are not activated and engaged to support the movement.

The old school thinking assumes that loss of balance and coordination is related to aging and irreversible. However, functional coordination is directly linked to the ability to shift the center of body weight in static and dynamic positions. Contrary to general belief, these skills can be reactivated including people in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s as the site testimonials indicate such results.