You’ve just joined a new fitness community, and you’re looking forward to getting in shape.
Regardless of your goals – whether you’re deconditioned, returning from an injury, or working toward a fitness goal like running a marathon or completing a once-in-a-lifetime hike – increasing your fitness is an exciting prospect.
The question, though, is where to start?
With so many different types of workouts in vogue today, many people feel overwhelmed by options and unsure of what’s right for them.
Here at Alloy, we love to use Functional Fitness as the baseline for everything we do. In this article, we’ll share a bit about what Functional Fitness is, why it’s essential, and how you can harness beginner-friendly Functional Fitness workouts to help you reach your goals.
Functional Fitness 101
As the name suggests, Functional Fitness is a school of training that prepares the body for everyday activities and movements.
When people hear this, some think it seems redundant: we’re already completing all the activities of daily living – why do we need workouts that prepare us for everyday tasks?
The answer is simple: Functional Fitness takes a holistic view of fitness and strengthens and conditions the body for real-life scenarios, not just lifting a certain amount of weight on a gym machine.
What “typical” workouts tend to miss is that they don’t always improve overall fitness.
For example, someone competing in weightlifting competitions may be able to bench an impressive amount, but they would not be able to complete a mountainous hike or run a 5k.
Functional Fitness seeks to do things differently. By combining movements like lifting, pulling, and reaching, Functional Fitness trains the muscle groups to work together, decreases the risk of injury, improves overall fitness, improves your balance, improves your range of motion, builds strength, and provides a fantastic base of fitness for you to build on.
7 Beginner Friendly Workouts To Try Today
Are you looking for some beginner friendly workouts to help with your functional fitness activities? Try to add the following workouts to your workout routine?
Here are a few we recommend:
Not all weightlifting moves support the functional movement, but some do.
The deadlift is a great example.
If you’ve ever thrown out your back playing with the grandkids or lifting a heavy suitcase, you know how painful it can be. Fortunately, deadlifts help protect and strengthen those key muscle groups – including your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.
If you’ve never lifted weights before, don’t try it alone. Instead, work with a skilled professional trainer who can help you learn proper technique and position, so you don’t get hurt.
Squats are the holy grail of functional fitness. They strengthen your lower body and core and promote mobility that can help you stay fitter longer. Plus, you don’t need to perform them with weight resistance to get the full benefit. Just using your own bodyweight for squats is a perfect addition to any workout routine.
What do you do in your everyday life that resembles a lunge?
The answer, in a word, is everything. Walking, for example, requires us to balance the load of our bodies on our legs, which can become complicated and painful after an injury or if we’ve gained weight.
Fortunately, lunges stretch and condition the muscles in the lower body and legs, making injury less likely.
Push-ups have been around forever because they’re effective. In addition to helping you develop tricep and core strength, they’re ideal for promoting mobility well into the golden years. Like squats, push-ups don’t need to be weighted to be effective. Just incorporate them into your existing workout routine to reap their benefits.
Most people can’t pull up their body weight. If you’re in that group, you’re certainly not alone. Pulling body weight up is challenging, but it’s a critical part of a functional training routine.
After all, think about how much we perform the same movement in daily life: when we sit up from lying down or use something to pull ourselves up from a sitting or squatting position.
Working pull-ups into your basic routine is a great way to boost strength and mobility. Don’t worry if you have to start with assisted banded or supported pull-ups – you’ll get there!
6. Bent-Over Rows
Bent-over rows are a great functional back exercise that can help you complete many daily lifting movements, like starting your stubborn lawn mower or carrying heavy grocery bags into the house.
Building back strength is critical to your everyday life, as it will help you maintain good posture, avoid back pain, and increase your core strength.
To start, you can complete bent-over rows with lightweight dumbbells and work up to heavier weights as you build strength.
7. Bicep Curls
We carry many things in our daily lives. Fortunately, bicep curls help prepare us to do so.
Curls are a critical part of functional workout routines because strong arms and upper bodies are essential for any other lifting we intend to do, be it pull-ups or toting the grandkids to the local park.
Additionally, the bicep is the muscle that works hardest when we lift items, as we utilize a natural curling movement when we need to lift something heavy. Adding bicep curls to your basic functional fitness program is a great way to enjoy more strength.
Alloy Can Help You With Beginner Friendly Workouts To Boost Your Functional Fitness
Now that we’ve gone over a few basic functional exercises, you’re probably wondering how to link them all together into a beginner friendly workout that works for you. That’s where a skilled personal trainer comes in.
Here at Alloy, we work with clients to build customized fitness routines that help them meet their fitness goals. Whether you want to run a marathon or just feel more comfortable lifting your suitcase into the overhead bin, we’re here for you.
Ready to get started on your Functional Fitness journey? Find an Alloy location near you now!