Functional Fitness vs. traditional Strength Training

Functional fitness has become the current trend in fitness training. Its origin goes back to a training method used by physiotherapists for, especially, rehabilitative purposes. This special training method has long been an integral part of high-performance sport in the USA. In the year 2006, functional training gained public recognition in Germany when the German national football team integrated it into its training program. Since then, more and more trainers have included the so-called “functional training” in their training methods.

But what makes functional fitness so special and how is it different from the traditional approach?

In contrast to traditional strength training, usually performed in a fitness studio on weight and cardio training equipment, functional training can be performed anytime, anywhere. The exercises involved use personal body weight and simple equipment like kettlebells, sand bags or slingtrainers and are directed to mutually training multiple muscle chains. Already short stress periods of between 15 and at the most 45 minutes per day will have the desired training effect. Many of these exercises train both for strength and endurance. The hard-working muscles put the cardiovascular system under greater strain and, together with the higher pulse rate, cause an increase of the calorie consumption.

Funktionelle Fitness in Action

Functional fitness translates very well to everyday life. Many of the exercises like squats, dead lifts and the farmer’s walk can be applied in daily routines like lifting and carrying cases of mineral-water bottles. The suitability of this training method for everyday applications is enormous. The trainee quickly notices greater strength and endurance when taking on everyday tasks. The athlete will experience a quicker strength, higher flexibility and lower proneness to injuries.

Traditional training, on the other hand, settles for isolated training of individual muscles. Persons wanting to develop a large muscle mass and volume and, same time, defined muscle contours are bound to this classic procedure. The large number of muscles that must be trained at the various equipment leads to times of an hour or more to be spent daily at the fitness studio. However, since in normal life it is rarely required that individual muscles must function by themselves, the traditional approach of muscle building is not well suited to the requirements of everyday situations.

It can be concluded that functional fitness is the right choice for all who want to master their daily life more efficiently or who strive to sustainably reduce their body weight. The person whose work load prohibits taking time out for visiting a fitness studio will profit enormously from this training method. Even the athlete supplementing his or her sport-specific training by a functional training will see an improvement in overall fitness and personal athletic performance. Only those sports where the muscles and their special shaping is the prime objective (bodybuilding, figure fitness) will not be able to profit from functional training.

When choosing the training method proper for you it is, therefore, important to clearly define your personal goals. Keep in mind that the current development in the physical fitness sector puts more and more emphasis on increasing your functional fitness.

aerobis is specialized in providing functional-training equipment that is highly optimized for this sector – ideal for indoor or outdoor training! Find out more about our products in our shop for functional fitness equipment.

Author: Alexandra Biernat

Alexandra Biernat has a diploma in sports science (German Sports University Cologne) and doctoral candidate of her university. She works as personal trainer, sports therapist und Instructor for in the most beautiful city at the Rhine. Click here to visit Alex site here to follow her on Facebook.

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