A Guide To Functional Fitness

Dr. Grace Walker, nutritionist, physical and occupational therapist, says that functional fitness is the way to go.

If you are trying to lose weight or just tone up; and especially if you want to avoid injury while playing sports or during your simple daily routine, functional training provides a whole body workout.

Some of the training exercises involve squatting, lunging, bending, twisting, pushing or pulling.

Training this way helps condition your body to move more efficiently through your daily living or real-life activities which helps prevent injury.

All areas of our body are connected and movement occurs across three planes:

  • The right and left sides of the body
  • The front and back of the body
  • The transverse plane which divides the body into top and bottom and is where most rotational movement occurs.

A functional deficit in one area can negatively affect movement patterns in another. This is why it is beneficial to look at the whole body to improve health and achieve optimal performance.

Angie Ferguson from news-press.com says:

The key to proper and effective functional training is assessment… Assessments should include a thorough health history, lifestyle factors, postural assessment and training analysis. Extra attention should be paid to any postural and muscular imbalances and movement restrictions. Once these have been determined, flexibility and core strength can be addressed.

Angie Ferguson is an exercise physiologist from Fort Myers. She is a USA Triathlon Advanced Level 2 coach, USA Cycling coach and has a Specialty in Sports Nutrition certification. 

Angie tells us some benefits of functional training:

  • Ultimate time management. Multi-joint exercises (like a squat) work a multitude of muscles at the same time, making your workout more efficient. Ideal for a busy lifestyle.

  • Challenge. These types of workouts challenge you because a lot of the movements are multi-planer or move through multiple motions, as we do in life.
  • Massive core-strengthening benefits. It engages the body’s core stabilizing and balancing muscles. These types of exercises put less stress on your muscles and joints, and help improve coordination, balance, and stability.

  • Can be very sport specific and therefore enhance your skills in any sport. The bottom line is functional fitness training is all about getting stronger.

Contact Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an assessment with one of our expert physical therapists!

714-997-5518

1111 W. Town and Country Rd. Ste.1

Orange, Ca 92868