Functional Training. It’s all the buzz right now. In fact these two words are thrown around pretty loosely, often in the wrong context. So what is it?
Basically, this kind of training encompasses the movements that can be applied to real life situations.
No matter what your goal; be it cut fat or build strength, variety and practical application are the standout contenders amongst the available fitness tools. So if while working through an exhilarating workout if you’ve ever wondered why you’re putting yourself through that torture, that’s your answer. There’s more to working out than aesthetics. CrossFit is defined as "constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains.” So long story short, all the movements you perform within the confines on the box will not only help you reach your body goals but also help you in real world situations.
They can help you move, perform and feel better. What’s more? If you’re a lifter, these movements will help with your progressions and final lifts. Moving out of the gyms, lets analyze their applications in the real world. Most of the movements, we perform in our daily lives, involve the activation of more than one muscle group at a time. Take dragging a heavy object for example, you’re using your shoulders, core and back muscles. So it makes sense to accustom your body to recruiting multiple muscle groups at once, so that it can perform in a controlled and balanced manner when needed. It teaches you how to use your own bodyweight as a tool.
Maybe you don’t want guns of steel, maybe you don’t want rock solid quads. However, the very fact that you’re here reading this article means you’ve taken the first step towards becoming a fitter version of yourself. Our metropolitan lives largely involve us sitting before a television or computer screen, involving little room to be out an active. We’ve started suffering from diseases and bodily pains much younger as compared to our ancestors. Bad posture is another problem many face. Wonder how that works? Well your core supports your mid section and keeps you upright. A lack of core strength, hence bad posture will eventually result in back pain. You may think you can do a hundred crunches with ease, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a strengthened core. CrossFit incorporates various functional movements. By focusing on all the areas of fitness ranging from strength to endurance, it has managed to unify the real world and the one within the confines of the box. Still not convinced? Read on…
1. Sitting down on a chair and standing up: Ever found yourself holding a handle and groaning while struggling to get out of a chair? You’ve got a bad air squat right there. The seemingly harmless movement is universal and a part of human evolution. Contrary to popular belief, it does actually promote healthy joints.
2.Picking Up Objects: Exactly the basic movement that a deadlift mimics. It could be a bag of groceries; it could be your child.
3. Running and/or jumping: Explosive movements like the Power Clean and Snatch involve you engaging and extending your hips, knees and ankles. So all in all with these movements by your side you will be able to run faster and even jump higher.
4. Bad Posture: As stated before, it’s often a direct outcome of poor core strength. Most CrossFit movements involve engaging the core muscles. Take your overhead presses, squat variations, deadlifts and push ups for example. They all work towards building a rock solid core, without you knowing it.
5. Carrying heavy bags: Be it the walk from the supermarket to the car or the lengthy ones through the airport hallways, you’re working multiple muscles. You’ve thought more than once that those carry ons have been heavy. Let’s face it you’re not always going to have a trolley or a porter. You’ve got to take matters into your own hands. Take the farmers walk for example, you’re holding weights and walking for a specified distance. Continue this and in a few months, the bags that seemed heavy will appear featherweight to you.
6. Climbing stairs: Ah the elevators under maintenance, or yet even worse there isn’t one! You’re going to have to climb stairs. You may be panting after a few flights but that’s not just meagerly because you lack stamina. This movement involves the glutes and hamstrings. Target them with exercises like the step up and squats and you’ll be running up the stairs in no time.
7. Lifting an object overhead: Maybe in the past you’ve struggled to pick an item up above your head and move it. However with movements like the overhead press, push press, clean and jerk and the likes, you’re really targeting and developing those shoulder muscles. What seemed impossible at one time, will seem like nothing in a few months.
8. Dragging an object: Okay, so you don’t want to carry the item, you want to drag it. Go for it. Now that you’re going to be doing so many pull ups and bent over rows you have the strengthened lats to do so.
9. Falling: And picking yourself right back up. You’re recruiting your core, chest, triceps, shoulders and quadriceps. That’s virtually a burpee, my friend.
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