Functional fitness equipment, exercise and fitness, two essential aspects of healthy living we shouldn’t but often do avoid. If you are fortunate enough to have a good level of investment in your fitness, you might have a gym membership or a personal trainer.
Heck, you might even have some experience under your belt and be quite adept at working out. You, reading this might even be a trainer or an athlete for that matter. But don’t worry, this one’s for everyone. Fitness is for everyone, especially the functional sort.
But what exactly is functional fitness?
It’s a term that seems to get thrown around more and more loosely these days. The thing is, it has a very solid definition, but nowadays, any term or phrase of value quickly gets morphed and abused as a marketing buzzword. So let’s look at what functional fitness really is.
What is Functional Fitness
Functional fitness is a method of training and adaptation aimed at enhancing performance related to everyday biomechanical functions. That’s basically it, but to really understand functional fitness equipment, you need to look at what its aims are.
Those aims are:
– Improve strength
– Improve mobility
– Improve body awareness
– Correct imbalance and deviation
– Increase injury resistance
All this under the premise of everyday activities. So anything to do with an intricate skill or extraordinary movement such as doing a backflip or dribbling a soccer ball doesn’t really count as functional.
Another characteristic of functional training is that it always involves compound movements. That means you will engage multiple muscle groups and often, your whole body. So that rules out any isolation exercises.
Functional training doesn’t necessarily mimic everyday activity, but it stimulates and activates the movement patterns common to such activities in a way designed to make them easier.
For example, a squat makes it easier to get up off a chair, a push-up makes it easier to open doors, a chin-up might activate your furniture moving skills. These simple mundane tasks may be easy to take for granted, but people are becoming increasingly more sedentary and less capable of basic movement tasks.
And of course the fitness industry has recognized this reality, which is why you hear the term functional fitness echoed everywhere. Every personal trainer and their puppy is a functional fitness pro.
But out of this free market scramble have come some really nifty innovations. A lot of gyms now sportfully dedicated functional zones. These adult playgrounds aim to reintroduce movement patterns that help engage functional tasks.
Today we’re going to look at some of the really useful functional equipment you can start playing with at any modern gym today. Before that happens, please check out the Life Renu store. Here we have a range of functional supplements to go with your new-found training obsession.
So with that said, let’s get functional!
Top 5 Pieces of Functional fitness Equipment
1. Battle Ropes
Battle ropes are making waves, literally. These thick long ropes come in a set of two. One end is held in each hand, then the games begin. By waving and whipping the ropes as hard as you can, you’re giving yourself a super intense workout.
The goal is to get the ropes to create waveforms, and for this, you need to go all out. All this happens while activating essential movement patterns of the upper body.
2. The Big Rig
The functional rig is often the centerpiece of any functional training setup.
This rigid frame of overhanging bars, poles, and platforms offers a diverse array of training options from calisthenics to pilates, to obstacle training. They are often modular and have adjustable components for a scalable training experience.
3. Soft Plyo Box
The soft plyo box is a revolution in functional training. Plyo boxes, short for plyometric boxes, are nothing new to the world of fitness.
Typically made of wood or steel frames, these are used to perform various platform-based exercises such as box jumps. Soft plyo boxes offer the same functionality, but with the convenience of safe, cushioned edges, while still maintaining the required rigid firmness.
4. The Suspension Trainer
These rugged, adjustable nylon bands offer a variety of body weight training options. You adjust the length and hold onto the handles for a variety of training options.
They can also easily be hooked up to the functional rig.
5. Bosu Ball
Think of a swiss ball, that giant smooth beach ball you always want to play with but never use for exercise.
Now cut it in half and seal off the open end with a firm, flat, plastic surface. That’s a Bosu ball, these nifty little half-spheres are the perfect balance trainers you can get at a gym today!
Functional training is the in-thing, being able to train your body for what it needs to be able to do is honestly the most important form of exercise. After all, even if you’re going for looks, just remember that form follows function. If you want to know more about this or any other fitness-related topics, just drop us a line and we’ll get back to you.
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