A personal trainer relies on many fitness training modalities to meet their client’s needs. Functional Training is one of the most versatile and valuable of these techniques. This type of training can be used with a wide range of clients including athletes, rehabilitation patients, and the everyday client who seeks to move safely through their daily activities.
Whereas machines focus on a specific movement patterns, functional training incorporates all degrees of movement: up/down, left/right and rotation. For example, training a mother who lifts children will involve exercises that mimic the movement with a focus on proper form. Military exercises often include aspects of functional training with a focus on building core strength and muscle endurance.
Functional Training movements can be accomplished using the client’s own body weight, dumb bells, cable machines, medicine balls, sandbags and various other tools. The key is to allow for a free range of motion that simulates an everyday movement.
Developing safe and effective functional workout plans requires knowledge in the following areas-
- Functional anatomy, assessments and motor learning principles
- Comprehensive postural assessments
- Techniques for spotting and cueing throughout the entire range of motion
- Fundamentals of core training
- Flexibility training
Functional training helps clients move more efficiently, build strength, improve their balance, increase flexibility, and prevent injury. All of these benefits result in an improved overall quality of life.