Most of the short, sexy workouts we are exposed to on Instagram, Tik Tok and Youtube reels SUCK. They are oftentimes performed purely for views and some are even dangerous. They serve little to no purpose for the every day, predominantly sedentary person other than “looking cool”.
Don’t be like this guy……
So, what should you do instead?
Welcome to Functional Fitness
This notion of training functional movement patterns was first developed by physical therapists to help their patients in rehabilitating from injury. Functional fitness can make your daily activities far easier, whether it is carrying groceries up a flight of stairs to performing household chores like sweeping the floors at home.
The five major compound movements include pulling, pushing, bending, squatting, and lunging, each of which we mimic in our own daily lives. With functional fitness training, weight or resistance is added to make these movements harder to perform. When the muscles are worked in a certain way, we develop “muscle memory”—this makes compound movements more fluid.
As our bodies adapt to this new stimuli, everyday movements become easier for us to carry out. This stress and adaptation helps us become more efficient at burning body fat, increasing our reaction time and joint stability, and can bring about a myriad of benefits as discussed below.
When done several times a week for an ongoing basis, you can expect numerous improvements in physical health and appearance:
Lifting weights and performing bodyweight training helps us preserve lean muscle tissue and strengthen bone density, both of which begin to deteriorate as we age. In addition, exercising with weights can build muscle mass, which is associated with an increased life expectancy and less risk of falling ill.
Raises metabolic rate
Several studies have examined the effect weight training has on our metabolism, showing an increased rate of calories burned in normal daily activity following a workout. This means our metabolism is elevated in the hours after we leave the gym due to the biological processes we undergo to repair and rebuild muscle tissues that have been broken down in the workout. This is important in both weight loss and weight management.
Improves daily movement
Each day we have to engage in some form of pulling, pushing, bending, squatting, and even lunging. These are the five compound movements that form the foundation of resistance training. When these exercises are practiced using our bodies or adding extra weight, our risk of injury decreases as the movements become easier to perform with proper posture. Additionally, our balance and flexibility can improve, which decreases the risk of an unexpected fall or accident as we age.
A big stereotype in the fitness industry is that the people who lift weights are “meatheads”. This is far from the truth as research points to an increase in focus, concentration, and memory-related tasks that result from lifting weights. This has major implications for promoting brain health and preventing cognitive degeneration associated with old age.
For help with your own health & fitness send me a message!