When people first hear “functional fitness” they might be questioning what they were doing before. Has the training I’ve always been doing not serving a function? What have I been doing wrong? Yes, what you were doing before does serve a function, and there is nothing wrong with what you were doing before. However, functional fitness is more than lifting weights and doing cardio on the treadmill. It focuses on helping you build strength, power, and mobility so that you can perform better in the real world. When you join Fit Central for a group fitness class that focuses on functional fitness, you will work on core strength and multi-joint movements that involve various muscle groups, instead of simply focusing just on arms, legs, or abs.
Focus on Movement, Not Muscles
When you head to the gym, you may have arm day, which includes biceps, or leg day, which includes hamstrings or quads. Or, you’re performing in two-dimensional movements, either side to side, or forward and backward movements. With functional fitness, however, you’ll work on overall movements that include pushing, pulling, stepping, walking, squatting, etc. Along with a range of movements that include various muscle groups, you’ll also incorporate free weights that focus on working through a full range of motion. Some functional exercises that you can expect to complete in our group fitness classes are bulgarian split squats, single-leg straight-leg deadlift, single-arm bent over row, and alternating shoulder presses.
Real World Squatting
A squat is when you start in a standing position, bending your knees, and then returning to a standing position. In the real world, if you’re picking up bags of groceries from the floor, getting into a car, or sitting down or getting up from a chair. These are all real world squats. These basic movements involve core strength, strong glutes, and quads.
Real World Lifting Overhead
Have you ever had a hard time placing a heavy box on top of a shelf? Or struggled to put a suitcase in the overhead compartment on a plane? Again, these movements involve your abs, glutes, and quads. If you want to avoid these struggles, work on dumbbell squats, overhead presses, and medicine ball slams.
Real World Reaching and Rotating
When you reach for your gym back in the back seat of your car, or you’re cooking in the kitchen and need to carry a pot of water from the sink to the stove, you are rotating your upper body. These movements use your obliques, hip flexors, and quads. Strengthen these muscles by performing dumbbell chops and medicine ball cross body chops.
Is functional fitness starting to make more sense? If you’ve ever felt like you weren’t really gaining anything from lifting weights at the gym, give our functional group fitness classes a chance where we’ll focus on incorporating a range of muscle groups and movements so that you can perform better in the real world.
At Fit Central, our group fitness class instructors want you to feel your best both inside and outside of the gym. We want you to feel confident when lifting a case of water at the grocery store, or at the daycare when you’re picking up your toddler. Join us today for a group fitness class in Columbia and experience the benefits of functional fitness.