The purpose of this blog is to look at functional fitness for people in their every day lives. Functional Fitness is a continuum from being able to perform comfortably all of the tasks we all face in our everyday lives on to performing extraordinary well at more grueling tasks.
It is not sport specific. The idea is to take principals from all sports and activities, look at where these principles overlap and apply these basic principles to many different movements and functions in your life.
As far as specifics we will be looking at both strength training and aerobic conditioning.
That being said a limited number of machines do have their place, especially, for people so deconditioned that they can't stably support reasonable amounts of resistance themselves.
Strength Training/Resistance Exercise
Machines are best used as 'finisher' once the full body motions have been done. The full body motions will be so taxing to the core musculature that, at some point you will not be able to complete closed chain exercises at the intensity necessary for the extremities to adapt, because of core depletion. At this point moving to machines, which placed much lower demand on the core, makes perfect sense. Use them as an accessory to your main lifts, not as the basis for your entire program.
The focus of our aerobic training discussion will be on moderate distance endurance and High Intensity Interval Training. We will be discussion many different forms of functional aerobic conditioning including swimming, biking, rowing, running and many more.
The idea is to look at similarities in movement quality and general principles in order to help you move in the way your body was designed to move pain and injury free.
Form Follows FunctionWhat you do determines how you look. This is not a type of Fitness geared toward Bodybuilding, however, having a gorgeous well proportioned body is a natural outcome of functional fitness.
Just as in a building, your body's ability to function will be revealed and expressed naturally in the way you look, move and carry yourself.
In the picture to the right, these abs were not formed from countless hours of crunches or the latest ab gadget. Of course some core training is involved (planks, GHD sits ups, various leg raises) but also from squatting, and particularly from stabilizing weight overhead.