What is Functional Fitness? - FIT Human Performance

What is Functional Fitness?

What is Functional Fitness?

(Watch our Functional Fitness video) Functional fitness is about training your body to move in real-life situations. Suppose that yesterday you had a great workout at the gym. You were bench-pressing more weight than ever before, and pulling enough weight on the seated rowing machine to try out for the Olympics and then today, you lift a case of water to carry it into the house — and you throw your back out. How is that possible? Most likely, you are not focusing enough attention on your functional fitness. You might be toned, tight, and set for the beach, but are you ready to lift your toddler out of the car seat or hoist your 50 lb. carry-on suitcase into the overhead bin on your next flight?

Functional fitness and functional exercise focus on building a body capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions, not just lifting a certain amount of weight in an idealized posture created by a gym machine. “Conventional weight training isolates muscle groups, but it doesn’t teach the muscle groups you’re isolating to work with others,” says Greg Roskopf, MS. “The key to functional exercise is integration. It’s about teaching all the muscles to work together rather than isolating them to work independently.” If you don’t address integration, strong muscles get stronger and the weak ones stay weak, and you create a pattern of dis-function.

Jumping into functional exercise may startle some people used to working on machines alone: It’s a lot harder! You may be surprised to find you can’t do functional exercise with the same levels of intensity and short rest periods as with machine exercise. Functional exercise is much more neurologically demanding than machine exercises. But don’t let that scare you, at F.I.T. we  have years of experience and training to help you reach and maintain functional fitness.