Functional training

It is not easy to define functional training. Namely, we are constantly in functional movement, whether we get out of bed or from the table, raise a glass, hold a child, climb or descend stairs, work on the land, work as a waiter…

The goal of any good functional training is to activate all large muscle groups and joints. Therefore, by the term functional training, we refer to the concept of training that affects the simultaneous development of as many motor and functional abilities and traits as possible, as well as the composition of the body.

Here are the exercises that should be included in any good fitness or functional training:

  • power and strength drills
  • body-weight exercises (core)
  • outdoor training
  • using gadgets and devices, but in a functional way
  • kettlebell
  • conditioning and endurance exercises
  • carrying, pulling, pushing exercises
  • explosiveness exercises
  • flexibility exercises
  • stability, activation and correction exercises
  • motor (mobility) exercises
Vježba s utezima

In other words, functional training includes all forms of exercise. Although the fitness industry is constantly developing and looking for new forms of exercise, a man’s need for functional movement and healthy movement has always remained the same. We know that functional training affects the development of motor skills (strength, strength, coordination, balance, muscular endurance, speed, flexibility), then the development of energy systems (phosphate, glycolytic and aerobic) and the reduction of fat tissue (subcutaneous and visceral) and increase muscle mass.

Functional training differs from other forms of training such as powerlifting, weightlifting, bodybuilding, not when it comes to their non-functionality, but regarding the choice of props, exercises and the definition of training operators in meaningful training.

Thus, functional training prepares the muscles for joint action in everyday life activities and considering that it simultaneously engages different muscles from several muscle groups, functional training emphasizes the core muscles and the stability they provide to the whole body. The goal of such fitness training is for a person to be simply fit, to feel good and stable in their body.

As a form of functional training, fitness training is a very useful type of physical activity because it simultaneously activates several muscles, several muscle groups and several joints. This makes it easier to perform daily activities, it reduces the risk of injury and, consequently, significantly improves the quality of life of a person who has decided to dedicate himself to his body. For athletes, functional training improves performance in the sport they practise, and its individualization and adaptation to individual needs and characteristics guarantee efficiency and an increase in overall functionality.

In order for its effectiveness to be the best possible, functional training must contain a number of different features and components adapted to the individual’s abilities, needs and goals. We will single out some of them:

  • based on functional tasks that are aimed at performing everyday activities
  • individualization guarantees that the training will be suitable for each person in particular, in accordance with their goals, characteristics and abilities, as well as their established state of health
  • completeness means that training must integrate different forms of exercise that support flexibility, a strong core, balance and strength and focus on more complex movements and exercises
  • progress is a component that emphasizes that training must include the progress of each person in its plan, i.e., the progression of the exerciser is monitored by gradually increasing task difficulty
  • the cycles into which the training sessions are divided should have their own goals, means and methods, and they are connected in a common plan and thus enable the achievement of the ultimate goal.
Bench vježba

Real functional training is the most complete way of training. Namely, the exerciser works on all essential features: on his or her strength, fitness, explosiveness, speed and endurance. In order to develop quality fitness training, over the years and decades of its development, it seems that the most effective ones were taken from many types of sports and connected, arranged and complexed into one very diverse concept. At the same time, it was necessary to keep in mind all the features and components that such functional training should include.

Namely, in order to achieve the desired muscle strength, strength of joints and connective tissue, balance and flexibility in all components of movement, it is necessary to perform functional movements during exercise. Therefore, fitness training will always have to include multi-joint and complex exercises that require the activation of stabilizers so that the movement can be properly performed to the end. All this again requires an optimal response of the central nervous system (CNS) and proper muscle reaction when necessary.

If a coach wants to design acceptable and high-quality functional training, first it is necessary to set realistic goals for the exercisers and find out what their weaknesses are, what daily activities they engage in, and be aware of existing limitations. It is also necessary to recognize existing postural irregularities in time so that corrective exercises can be included in the fitness training. All this, therefore, requires a good knowledge of anatomy, and knowledge of how the muscular system functions, i.e., which motor patterns are present.