What Is Functional Training?
Functional training (FT) is a term used to define any type of exercise program that emphasizes strength, power, flexibility and balance over endurance. These are all key components of athletic performance. There are many types of FT programs; however most involve some combination of these three qualities. A few examples include:
Strength training with high reps (e.g., 5 sets x 8-12 repetitions) or low weight (e.g.
3 sets x 6-8 repetitions)
Power training with moderate weights (e.g., 4 sets x 10-15 repetitions) or high reps (e.g., 2 sets x 15-20 repetitions)
Flexibility training using light weights and short rest periods (e.g., 30 seconds between each set), but no less than 60 seconds between exercises
Balance training utilizing heavy weights and long rest periods (i.e.
1 minute between exercises)
The primary goal of FT programs is to improve fitness through a variety of methods. Some individuals may use them to lose fat while others may use them to gain muscle mass.
Regardless, they’re all aimed at improving fitness levels in the body.
Benefits Of Functional Training Exercises
There are several benefits associated with functional training exercises such as increased strength, improved coordination, decreased injury risk and reduced stress on joints and muscles. The primary benefit is the improved coordination and balance, which are both very important for functional training exercises.
For example, soldiers who are placed in a lot of functional training exercises during boot camp have been found to be able to perform better during combat by being better able to avoid injuries. All army personnel are required to perform a certain amount of functional training exercises each week and this is because it’s vital they’re able to run, jump, crouch, climb and crawl under any condition.
Sources & references used in this article:
Functional training improves club head speed and functional fitness in older golfers by CJ Thompson, KM Cobb, J Blackwell – The Journal of Strength & …, 2007 – academia.edu
Functional training by JC Santana – 2015 – books.google.com
Functional training revisited by MC Siff – Strength & Conditioning Journal, 2002 – journals.lww.com
Functional training for the torso by G Cook, K Fields – Strength & Conditioning Journal, 1997 – journals.lww.com
Functional training: fad or here to stay? by SG Beckham, M Harper – ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, 2010 – journals.lww.com
Functional training program bridges rehabilitation and return to duty. by DL Goss, GE Christopher, RT Faulk… – Journal of special …, 2009 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Functional training: muscle structure, function, and performance in older women by ME Cress, KE Conley, SL Balding… – Journal of Orthopaedic & …, 1996 – jospt.org
High-intensity functional training (HIFT): definition and research implications for improved fitness by Y Feito, KM Heinrich, SJ Butcher, WSC Poston – Sports, 2018 – mdpi.com
New functional training for sports by M Boyle – 2016 – books.google.com