Functional Movements and what are they ??
Functional training is a phrase that is used regularly here at PWR Fit but there is a reason for that. Functional exercises help you perform activities in everyday life more easily. Muscles are always working in tandem in real life and functional training prepares and strengthens you for real world movement. These exercises typically use the whole body or multiple muscles. There is the squat, the deadlift, the push-up and then pull up that we believe are extremely beneficial.
The squat -
The deep squat movement is a part of many functional movements as it can help prevent injuries, strengthen your core and improve your balance and posture. As you perform a squat, you hinge at your hips and bend your knees and ankles. Whist moving you also activate your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes and core when lowering yourself for stability.
The deadlift -
Deadlifts are highly effective at increasing functional strength due to the activation of your largest lower body muscles. This exercise fires your lower body upwards, your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes as well as your lower back, lats and traps. The transverse abdominals get an effective workout as the immense contraction is required to prevent the upper body from caving in. The biceps even are fired on to help stabilize and prevent the bar or weight from hyperextending. In our everyday lives, we perform a deadlift without realising when picking up heavy boxes or items from below our knees. The deadlift can help generate more power, strength, increase muscle mass and mobility.
The pushup -
The push-up is arguably the simplest exercise to develop the upper body muscles and core and it doesn’t require any additional weights. Push-ups are used for building upper body strength such as triceps, pectoral muscles and shoulders. With good form, it will also fire up your lower back and core with the engagement of the abdominal muscles. In our everyday lives, we are needing our upper body strength in correlation with our core frequently from doing things such as lifting things above our head, opening a tight door, carrying children and pulling things closer to our body like a chair. Push-ups are a very easy way to start to build upper body strength without needing any additional weights or machines as well as being highly effective.
The pull-up -
Although it may be surprising that a pull up in a functional movement is extremely beneficial and highly effective for increasing strength (as well as looking cool). Pull-ups are very efficient because each and every single pull up works your biceps, triceps, forearms, wrists, grip strength, lats, shoulders and core. If you are wanting to work out as many muscles as possible at once, the pull up is definitely one of the best options. Along with the other of these functional exercises, pull-ups are ideal for increasing lean muscle mass and increasing strength.
By basing your workouts on functional movements you are ensuring you are working more the one muscle, building muscle to improve your everyday life and feeling more strong and healthy without having to throw yourself around the gym.
Lohne-Seiler, H., Torstveit, M. K., & Anderssen, S. A. (2013). Traditional versus functional strength training: effects on muscle strength and power in the elderly. Journal of aging and physical activity, 21(1), 51-70.
Guler, O., Tuncel, O., & Bianco, A. (2021). Effects of Functional Strength Training on Functional Movement and Balance in Middle-Aged Adults. Sustainability, 13(3), 1074.