You may have heard the term functional fitness but are unsure what it is and how it differs from bodybuilding and cardio. This guide provides concrete benefits, exercises, and tips so you can start performing functional fitness in your home gym.
Beyond this article, you can deep dive into the “Top 11 Best Functional Fitness Equipment for Your Home Gym”.
What is Functional Fitness?
Functional fitness refers to the ability of your muscles to move your own weight efficiently without injury. It focuses almost purely on core-strengthening exercises. The core, consisting of the abs, obliques, and back muscles, keeps everything else in place. Learning to be functionally fit makes it easy for your body to perform the motions you can expect to perform in everyday life, like pushing, pulling, lifting, and others.
Unlike regular fitness routines or bodybuilding, functioning fitness attempts to integrate the body into a unit, in which each muscle works as part of a whole. Other fitness programs build individual muscle groups. While this approach is integral to a complete fitness regimen, if you exclusively focus on it, you can overdevelop some muscles at the expense of others.
Further Reading: What is High Intensity Functional Training
Bodybuilding, in particular, is guilty of promoting excessive growth or hypertrophy. The muscles and physique of a bodybuilder are almost purely for looks rather than function. They have larger muscles, but not the smaller ones that help to keep the body upright and in good posture.
Being functionally fit was a must for survival in hunter-gatherer days. Without the speed, strength, and endurance to catch prey, you didn’t eat. A good workout for function fitness relies on core stability rather than having a machine act as your means of support.
Versus Cardio Workouts
If you took fitness tests in school, you likely remember some of the categories and broad metrics that were criteria for being physically fit: strength and range of motion. Note that cardiovascular endurance is not an everyday fitness workout focus. While cardiovascular health is important, pushing yourself to the limits of endurance isn’t something you’re likely to do every day. Stretching and body-weight resistance exercises are the way to go. In fact, many functional fitness exercises combine cardiovascular and resistance training into one workout.
Even something as simple as walking can help increase your overall fitness. If it’s an activity, you do daily, practicing the proper form will have numerous health benefits.