What is Functional Fitness?

By Vivian Griggs
Personal Training Coordinator

Functional Fitness has been a buzzy term for several years now.  But what does it really mean?  At its core, functional fitness is exercises or activities that make you stronger, fitter and more flexible in your day-to-day life.  Putting luggage in the overhead compartment?  Functional fitness can help with that.  Playing sports with the kids or grandkids in the backyard?  Functional fitness can help with that.  Getting up and down the stairs or in and out of the car?  Functional fitness can help with that!

Woman lifting child into air

Functional exercises are those that multiple joints through multiple planes of movement.  For example, doing a bicep curl while doing a squat.  Your body has to stabilize itself using your core muscles, your leg muscles have to work to lift not only your body weight but the weight of the dumbbells and your arm work to lift the dumbbells in the bicep curl.  Just about every joint you have gets involved in this move, and your core has to stabilize you.  Talk about getting more bang for your buck! 

Man squatting and lifting weights in gymSome great functional exercises are squats with a bicep curl, squats with an overhead press, a plank, a pushup, or a lunge.  The list is almost endless and can be customized to what your specific needs are.  Curious how you can optimize your time in the gym and really make that workout work for you?  Book a session with a trainer and they can show you a full routine of functional exercises that will specifically help you!