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.
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 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.
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.
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This strength training will program take you through basic full-body workouts and slowly builds upon the routines over a sixteen-week period to progressively boost strength.
- can be done at home (you’ll begin using just your bodyweight and then progress to resistance band training)
- are broken up into four workouts each week
- are completed in 20-30 minutes (most under twenty)
- come with full video demonstrations and a step by step breakdown of how to perform them, exactly like being in the studio with me!
The difference between these workouts and other at-home workout routines is that these full-body workouts are progressive.
Meaning, they build on one another. Every four weeks the workouts change, and the exercises are slightly more advanced than they were before. This is crucial to developing strength.
The best way to see results is to have a plan. And this one is easily set out for you – no thinking required!
Because being strong isn’t optional when you’re a mom. Grab your copy of the How To Get Strong AF.