One of the most popular trends in the fitness world right now is functional fitness training. Functional training emphasizes exercises that mimic normal body movements rather than the isolated muscle movements seen in traditional resistance training. Proponents claim that functional training could decrease injuries and improve quality of life.

The difference between traditional and functional training

Traditional strength training involves machines and weights that isolate a single muscle or muscle group. They hold the body in a controlled position and work that single muscle.

Functional training involves working against resistance using both the muscles and nervous systems in a coordinated manner. Often functional training begins with only body weight. Once you develop proper control through the movements, you can add resistance bands, fitness balls, kettle bells and weights.

Work with a trainer when start a functional fitness program.

As with any new program, it is critical to work with a fitness trainer experienced in functional training to design a program appropriate for you and teach you to do each exercise with proper form.

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Woman climbing rope as part of functional fitness training

Decide if functional fitness training is right for you.

Proponents of functional training claim that if done regularly, functional training could decrease pain or chance of serious injury with your activities of daily living. Maybe it could improve your quality of life.