This short feature emphasizes the importance of functional fitness for improving overall health and reducing the risk of injury, and highlights the growing popularity of this type of exercise among people of all ages and fitness levels.
What is functional fitness and why is it important?
Functional fitness refers to a type of exercise or training that aims to improve an individual's ability to perform everyday activities or movements with ease, efficiency, and safety. These exercises typically mimic movements that are commonly performed in daily life, such as squatting, bending, lifting, pushing, pulling, twisting, and walking.
The goal of functional fitness is to improve overall strength, endurance, flexibility, and coordination, which can lead to better balance, posture, and mobility. Functional fitness exercises may involve the use of equipment such as resistance from elastic bands, weights, springs, pulley system, or one may simply use bodyweight movements.
Functional fitness can benefit individuals of all ages and fitness levels, but it is especially useful for older adults and those with mobility issues, as it can help to prevent falls, maintain independence, and improve quality of life. It is also a popular form of training for athletes, as it can improve sports performance by enhancing functional movements specific to their sport.
How can we include functional fitness exercises into our fitness routine?
The most common functional fitness exercises that involve resistance from elastic band, weights and bodyweight movements would be;
Squats help to improve lower body strength, balance, and mobility.
Lunges are another form of lower body exercise that improves lower body strength, balance, and mobility.
Push-ups are a classic exercise that work the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles.
Planks are a core-strengthening exercise that also improve balance and posture.
Deadlifts work the entire body, but primarily target the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings.
However, not everyone is a fan of these classic stuff. One of the more exciting ways to achieve great functional fitness is by practising the Gyrotonic® Method. Gyrotonic is a form of exercise that focuses on functional movement patterns to improve overall fitness and well-being. It incorporates movements that are similar to those used in everyday activities and focuses on developing functional strength, flexibility, and coordination.
The Gyrotonic exercises use a specially designed machine called the Gyrotonic Expansion System, which consists of a series of pulleys, weights, and rotational discs. The machine allows for a wide range of movement and encourages fluid flowing movements that work the entire body, especially the spine, shoulders, hips, and core. It involves circular movements that target multiple muscle groups and promotes joint strength, mobility, and flexibility. This can help to improve balance, coordination, and proprioception (awareness of body position and movement), which are all important for functional fitness.
In summary, Gyrotonic can be adapted to suit a wide range of fitness levels and abilities, making it a great option for seniors, individuals undergoing rehabilitation or post-surgery, pregnant or postpartum women, athletes, or anyone looking to improve their functional fitness. The exercises can help to improve joint mobility, flexibility, balance, coordination, core strength, overall body strength and endurance, making it a well-rounded and effective form of functional fitness training. Additionally, the low-impact nature of the exercises makes it a safe option for many individuals who may have limitations or injuries.