Strength training has come a long way in the last decade and thankfully has gotten much more popular! However, with that increase has come divisions of strength training. This is because what once was basic has now evolved for different goals and purposes.
You may have heard the word “functional strength training” and wondered what it is and how to do it. Read below and find out!
What Is Strength Training
Strength training as a whole is used to describe exercises and workouts that use resistance to stimulate muscles.
This can be done with all sorts of equipment (dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells etc) and even your own bodyweight so long as the muscles are being exercised against an opposing force (gravity can be an opposing force when used correctly)
This kind of training helps build muscle mass (and prevents the loss of it as we age).
What Is Functional Strength Training
As a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist for the last decade, I've seen quite the evolution of fitness goals, now there are multiple forms of strength training.
Whereas before everyone would train from an everyday life perspective, nowadays people train for different reasons (think of bodybuilders).
Functional training is a type of resistance training that uses exercises that mimic the movements we do every day so that we can get stronger.
It's the premise I use when designing the SMASH At Home Workout Program.
These exercises will still be done with some sort of resistance in order to stimulate your muscles. Most of the time, functional exercises use multiple muscle groups (instead of isolation exercises like bicep curls).
The idea behind functional training is that if you train the stuff you do every day, naturally you get stronger at those movements.
Reduced injury risk: the stronger you are at basic movements, the less chance you’ll injure yourself when performing them.
Higher metabolism: building muscle mass means that you naturally burn more calories and your metabolism is higher.. fuel your gains!
Weight loss: people who use functional training tend to lose weight and have a better physique because of the increase in muscle.
Better mobility: most functional exercises require a good range of motion to perform them. And the more you perform them the better this gets. Better mobility means less injury.
Stress relief: this goes for any kind of workout but strength training helps elevate your mood and decrease your stress.
These benefits are just the tip of the ice burg. Learn more about the benefits of resistance training.
Functional Strength Training Exercises
As mentioned, most functional strength exercises mimic movements you do each and every day. Thus, some of the common exercises I use in my home workout programs are:
Know that these are the basics and each exercise has multiple variations.
You could also argue that most core exercises like deadbugs, bird dogs, etc are also functional exercises as they teach the body to work as one and do not target just one individual muscle.
Stop FALLING OFF The Fitness Wagon
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Imagine the compliments you’ll get from family and friends when you finally lose those few extra pounds and skyrocket your confidence.
Discover the ultimate solution for busy moms seeking a quick and effective workout routine at home. As an exhausted mom of three, I designed these 25-minute sessions to fit seamlessly into your busy schedule to help you increase strength, stamina, and confidence.
Other programs have you doing cardio HIIT workouts complete with burpees and jump squats on the daily. But let’s be honest, just showing up for that is draining as a mom.
With SMASH Fit For Life you can say goodbye to that frustrated thought that you’re failing because you can’t seem to stick with it. Instead, these workouts focus on getting STRONGER with just one set of dumbbells and a mini band so that showing up for your workouts isn’t the worst part of your day.
Plus, you have direct access to a Certified Strength Coach anytime you have questions (or need some motivation!).
No more feeling guilty about missed gym sessions or overwhelmed about WHAT to do. The SMASH program was made for busy moms. Choose from a variety of packages and start prioritizing yourself today so that you can better help your family tomorrow.
Frequently Asked Questions About Functional Fitness Training
Traditional strength training tends to focus more on building strength regardless of how the muscles work together or mimic movements. Functional training prioritizes exercises that use multiple muscle groups at once and mimic daily life movements.
Not quite, though Crossfit uses a lot of functional training exercises, there is no one style of workout that defines a functional training workout. In fact, functional training can be used with HIIT workouts, Crossfit, calisthenics or basic strength workouts.
At the very core, the description of functional exercise refers to the movement, not the load. This means that exercises can be done with body weight, bands, dumbbells, barbells or any other apparatus. It's the movement that's referred to, not the load.
Workouts To Increase Strength
Below are a few at home workouts to increase strength and make daily tasks easier! Before you get started, learn everything you need to know about home workouts.
Then, master these crucial exercises.
- Full body workout with resistance bands
- Dumbbell total-body strength workout
- Resistance band workouts you can do at home
- Full body kettlebell workout
- 15 minute resistance band workout
You can also hit up my YouTube channel to grab the best follow-along, at-home workouts to get strong.