Everyone loves to talk about functional training; however a lot of people don’t know what that really means. Functional training means that you train for a purpose and the exercises you perform will make you better in all aspects of physical life. Functional training does not mean an over emphasis on stability or over complication of simple exercises. Instead its main focus is to make the individual stronger through weighted motions that resemble real life movements and situations when you may be forced to exert yourself. A simple example is carrying or moving heavy objects.
Here are some great functional exercises that you can try.
Trap bar dead lifts: Hip dominant movement that will make you stronger and safer when lifting things off the ground. The trap bar allows you to lift through your center of mass, which makes it easier to make form adjustments, and safer to lift heavier loads.
Push-ups: Pushing your body weight while engaging your core is extremely useful in everyday life. Push-ups allow your arm and shoulder to move freely as opposed to being pressed into a bench when lying down for a bench press. Not all of us have physical jobs, but chances are you have had to move something heavy at some point. Try them in many varieties, and don’t be afraid to load your push ups with weights, bands, or chains.
Crawls: Front (bear) crawls, and back (crab) crawls work your entire body at once while improving coordination and stamina. They use more muscle mass which means they burn a ton of calories. You will be surprised how hard they work your core, shoulders, and legs.
Farmers Walk: Simply walking while carrying a heavy load will improve your ability to control and move heavy objects. Farmers walks will really work your core, posture muscles of the upper back, and grip strength. We all carrying things might as well be strong at it.
Functional training has a great potential for progression, and the strength you gain will make you better at everything to do with real world performance.