For those of us that enjoy exercising and working out, it can often times be a challenge to know what to do when we get to the gym. Working with a trainer to get some tips and help is the best way to go. But, what happens if your trainer just runs you through some boring old routine, where’s the fun in that? Lately there’s a lot of talk about functional training, movement training, and dynamic training. And training with a purpose. Not necessarily a goal, but a purpose.
Ask your trainer ‘what’s the purpose of that exercise?’ or ‘what good will this do me 5 years from now?’. Hopefully the answer you get is better than ‘you’ll get big muscles’ or ‘you’ll look really good’. The way I see it, the whole reason to exercise is to be able to get through life with ease and health. The bonuses are all the other things we get from exercise–strong bones, a healthy heart, joint flexibility, strong muscles, less stress and more energy. So, why wouldn’t you train all aspects of your body? Not just to look good, but to actually BE good.
That’s where functional training comes into play. You can get the looks and all the rest without getting too repetitive or bored in the weight room. These days there are lots of tools and equipment that aide, assist or add resistance to movement based training. Tools like BOSU balls that add the element of instability to help with joint stabilization and balance control.
Or Equalizer bars, that can be used for just about anything from stretching to strength exercises like pushups, triceps dips, shoulder presses, lunges, core and abs exercises. The versatility of these tools add a dimension to training unlike traditional weights.
Elements of unpredictable loads (Sandbags) or instability (TRX, BOSU) make us have to react in order to control the movements.
Along with other tools like the TRX suspension trainer, ViPR, and Ultimate Sandbags there is really no limit to the variety of exercises that can be done to achieve maximum results in all areas of fitness.
And though there are all these fun tools to play with while working out, the best tool overall is the most basic, your own body. Body weight training is really the best way to achieve function. Taking the time to work with your trainer to build the foundations like core strength, joint stability, control, balance, and coordination is key to being able to add on loads using these tools. Training dynamically by adding in running, jumping, agility drills and deceleration will also get you there and will help to increase your stamina and endurance.
When we add functional and movement based exercises into our workouts, we’re teaching our bodies to act, react and respond correctly to all the things we encounter in our lives. A strong, well functioning body means an easier time picking up your kids or those bags of groceries. It means less knee or back pain from walking or sitting at your desk. So, train with a purpose and let that purpose be a long, healthy, active, youthful life!
Movement. Mindset. Mastery