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Conventionally, the word “gym” brings to mind a room full of equipment, weights and machines, but this idea is quickly morphing into something a lot more exciting. Something that involves swinging across monkey bars, flipping tractor tires and rope climbing. This dynamic revolution is becoming a popular global trend and it is clear that fitness is no longer about the machines; it’s about functional training.

So, what exactly is functional training?

Functional training is a form of exercise that replicates common, everyday movements in order to train and strengthen your muscles. By combining various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness exercises also emphasize core stability which is essential to improving overall fitness.

What are the benefits of functional training?

  1. The movements are dynamic. Because our bodies are designed to move; functional training focuses on training movement patterns rather than isolating individual muscles like you would do sitting at a chest press.
  2. Each session includes flexibility, mobility, core stability, balance and strength training principles to keep your body strong, healthy and vibrant. These principles not only improve overall fitness but they also work effectively to prevent injuries.
  3. The exercises implemented by functional training use both small and large muscle groups to enhance strength and balance which improves overall posture.
  4. By using full body exercises, functional training provides heart-pumping, fat-burning, metabolism-boosting workouts that leave your whole body feeling energised and revitalised.

“Functional training can add a lot more excitement and variation to your training regime. If you are able to find a good quality functional gym, your sessions will be analysed by a certified coach and no workout will be identical. Instead of a boring chest and biceps workout, you could be doing a combination of Burpee Pull up’s, box jumps, 50m sprints and kettle bell swings. Firstly, you are working all major muscle groups and secondly, the high intensity nature of it will result in large amounts of fat loss and muscle growth” says Paul Lagerwey, owner and trainer at FITstrong Gym.

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