There are various reasons why someone may start lifting weights. Some people start to improve their physique, others to become bodybuilders, and still others who just want to burn fat. Lifting weights always reminds me of bodybuilders first because that is how they spend a majority of their time working out. Training is about building bigger muscles and looking good in a competition. For the most part, it isn’t about becoming a better athlete in terms of strength, speed, or endurance.
Functional training helps a person become better at doing their daily activities. You become stronger so that lifting heavy loads isn’t such a burden. You train so that you can lift your groceries or your children with ease. This type of training focuses a lot on your core muscles because those are the muscles used most in our daily routine.
Get Off the Weight Machines
If you want to start performing functional training, it’s best to stay off of the weight machines. Weight machines limit your range of motion. Free weights are a better choice. The movements mimic ones that you would actually do during your day. Dumbbells are a great choice for weights. Use them in combination with compound exercises like squats, lunges, shoulder presses, etc.
Develop that Core
Core muscles are often neglected in working out but they are essential for everything we do. They are stabilizer muscles which help keep you upright (improved posture) and improve balance. They allow you to use your other muscles more effectively in your arms and legs. The core consists of your back and abdominal muscles and there are others that are deeper such as the tranverse abdominis.
Do you use functional strength training in your routines?