You have probably heard about functional exercises at home, but do you know what that means? Due to a busy routine, many people have been looking for alternative ways to continue exercising so they can fight a sedentary lifestyle. With very little available time available or even a lack of willingness to pay for gyms and sports plans that cost a fortune, one of the most common ways that people have found to do that is by practicing exercises at home.
However how would this be possible in an effective, safe and practical way? Well, we are here to tell you that there is a possibility that you can achieve great results through functional training.
What is functional training?
For you to understand what functional training is, it is important to understand that much of its meaning comes from its initial goal. At first, it was created to help patients in a state of rehabilitation in many different areas, such as post-surgical treatments, post-injury, accident victims and even rehabilitation after a long period of physical inactivity and physical limitations.
Functional training’s goal is to strengthen the musculature so that the person builds a greater physical resistance and more mobility.
At this point, it is essential that you understand that, although it may, at first, look like a light exercise, functional training demands a lot from the body and it’s capable of burning large percentages of calories. That’s right!
This happens because, when strengthening your muscles, you need more energy to stay active, so you start to burn the fat in your body. That way, you are able to burn large amounts of body fat even when you are standing still.
How does functional training happen?
Functional training does not have a strict rule, but you must understand that it is a combination of several physical modalities. This makes functional training something very versatile, making it possible to create different training modalities, so that you can always adapt yourself to new workouts, without getting sick or bored of them.
The versatility even makes it possible for you to strengthen specific parts of the body and train muscle groups determined by yourself, the ones you aim to strengthen and build a resistance.
The movements performed are very similar to those in the gym, which you induce through the use of muscle machines. That way, you can already understand the functional training has an incredible ability to define the body, give you resistance and shape your body.
Within the functional training there are several levels of difficulty, so, if you are still a beginner, it is recommended that you look for a training designed for beginners.
Since there are several stages, this training can reach very complex levels, as you progress. Therefore, it is important that you do not look for advanced training if you don’t already have a good physical conditioning or the habit of doing functional training.
Start with one step at a time and you won’t regret it. If you are a beginner, treat yourself as such, and be patient to progress over time. This will avoid the chance of stretching your muscles, muscle pain and even end up injuring some muscle.
Exercising during quarantine
The extended quarantine we’ve been experiencing in the past year has forced people to stay at home for a longer period of time. For those who want to exercise, the situation makes it even harder, since most gyms and exercise centers are closed.
As a result, there is a growing need to set a routine to fight a sedentary lifestyle, although training during the pandemic period caused by the Covid-19 are limited due to restrictions that were imposed. This way, through functional training, you will find out that you don’t need to eliminate the possibility of keeping up with your regular exercise practices from your life.
On the contrary, you can adapt yourself and do your exercises in the coziness of your home. You do not need to be very experienced, you just need to pay attention to some necessary points. Making functional training a habit during the pandemics can also help with anxiety symptoms, weight loss and the release of feel-good hormones.
Can older people do functional training?
As we know, older people are some of the biggest victims of long-term inactivity and always need to find ways to exercise.
Functional training is capable of offering a low-impact exercise so that older people are able to perform healthy exercises without harming their body structure in any way, which is no longer as strong as the one of a younger person.
Therefore, it is extremely important that these people are supervised by a professional, so that they don’t choose exercises that may end up damaging their joints, such as their knees, or even their cartilage.
In this case, isometry is indicated by health professionals, as it is able to gradually strengthen the physical resistance of older people. In their physical condition, the elderly need to gradually strengthen their muscles and body structure without damaging their health, since the tendency is that they already have bone and muscle deficiencies due to their age.
Therefore, it is very clear that exercises such as skipping rope or standing on their upper and lower limbs in the long run may not be so beneficial for older people. The ideal is that in this case the functional training should be a light training, assisted by some professional and done in a responsible way, always respecting the sense of resistance of the elderly.
Can obese people do functional training?
In the case of people who have some level of obesity, it is very important to take into account that high-impact exercises such as skipping rope can cause muscle strains and even lead to joint problems.
For this reason, if you have some degree of obesity and want to use functional training to lose weight and strengthen your muscular system, it is best to look for classes for beginners and always check your limits to respect up to where your body can go.
The benefits for those who have obesity are many and, therefore, functional training is always indicated for those who want to lose weight and get out of a sedentary lifestyle. You certainly won’t regret getting started!
With functional training you will be able to lose calories, lose weight, strengthen your muscles and keep moving. One of the main symptoms of obesity is the reduced capacity of one’s lungs, joint pain, muscle stiffness and greater difficulty to burn calories, since the muscles are weak and reduced.
With functional training, it is possible to strengthen the muscular system and make it work in order to burn fat in the body.
But the advantages don’t stop there! Functional training can also be great to improve your flexibility and your resistance; it is only important to be very careful regarding your resistance, because obesity itself already makes the individual’s body heavy.
In other words, your structure is already dealing with a high concentration of weight, so it’s not good to push it to a limit that is not comfortable for training.
If you find that the functional training exercises you are doing are creating pains that go beyond common ones after doing physical exercises that work on the muscles, stop immediately and rethink about the intensity applied in the sessions.
Who can do functional training?
Functional training does not have severe recommendations regarding people who can’t do it, since it is a kind of exercise that can be practiced by anyone. As long as you respect your own limits, of course.
The only point that demands special attention concerns people who have some kind of bone diseases, sciatica, pressure diseases or even cardiac problems.
Therefore, it is important to check with your doctor if it’s possible for you to practice functional training, even in the lightest stages, depending on the health problems you have.
You can also practice a specific functional training aimed at some kind of health problem, such as functional training to relieve pain and tension in your vertebrae.
However, make sure you do not push your limits and don’t force your physical endurance beyond what you can handle. Respect for your own body is something very important and should be your priority when practicing functional training.
Important tips for those that are just starting out
If you are a person who is training at home to improve your health, relieve symptoms of sedentary lifestyle and shape your body, it is very important that you follow these tips below.
What are the functional trainings?
- Skipping rope
- Jumping on a trampoline
- Rope waves
- One-sided swing
- TRX (whole body endurance exercise)