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Is Functional Training More Effective?

28-01-2013

As Functional Training experts promote this new method as the most natural form of physical exercise that can be carried out in the gym, let’s consider the benefits of this system compared to traditional gym training – is Functional Training more effective?

Functional Training

Functional Training 101

If you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of Functional Training, here it is in a nutshell:

  • Functional Training uses movements similar to those that we use in daily life, as opposed to the rigid and sometimes unnatural positions demanded of us by gym equipment
  • Functional Training can be adapted to the needs of each individual client. If a client uses his or her upper body a lot in the course of working for example, upper body exercises which mimic the movements involved in working can be used to strengthen the muscles involved.
  • Functional Training avoids the use of traditional gym equipment, opting for equipment like Swiss balls, medicine balls, cable machine, kettle-bells and other apparatus which is meant to be more natural to handle and less strenuous on the hands and joints than traditional gym equipment.

Functional Training vs. Traditional Training

  • Functional Training experts believe that their method is better than traditional strength training because it emphasises movements which are used in daily life, strengthening the muscles we are likely to use in our day-to-day activities and preventing injuries while toning the body.
  • They also believe that traditional gym equipment may be harmful to the body in the long-term because of the use of heavy weights combined with the unnatural positions some machines force the body into.
  • Traditional gym trainers, particularly weightlifters, have come to the defense of their methods, with the pages of many fitness magazines filled with back-and-forward arguments between the two camps.
  • Traditional trainers believe that their methods help to build strength, stamina, endurance, and muscle tone which will assist every gym-goer in his or her daily activities. They also believe that the constant resistance offered by gym equipment is better and safer than using Swiss balls and other equipment favored by Functional Training experts.

Is Functional Training More Effective?

Whatever your thoughts on Functional Training, it has to be admitted that training the body in a natural way provides several benefits, including flexibility and less chance of injury. A balanced approach would involve blending traditional training and Functional Training in a weekly workout, to benefit from the advantages of both systems.

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