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Functional Fitness – Being in Tune with Your Body

 

What is your typical fitness routine?

Are you a cardio lover?

Are you a weight lifter or body builder?

None of these are wrong, especially if you are enjoying your workouts and they make your body feel great. Although, if you’re not incorporating functional movements with your workouts, you may want to start. With any workout, be sure to do a proper 10-20 min warm-up and cool-down with a mix of consistent motion, resistance movements, and stretching.

 

Are You Prepared? 

Warm-ups and cool-downs are an essential part of any workout routine. Using consistent motion to begin either of these practices is highly recommended due to the fact that it’s what gets your body equipped and relaxed by increasing your heart rate, circulation, oxygen to the muscles, and overall wakes and loosens up your body. Loosening up your muscles will ensure you’re able to hit proper range of motion comfortably and will help protect you from injury. Utilize an elliptical, recumbent elliptical, or rower that will get your lower and upper body involved such as the ones Octane provides.

 

The Low-Down on Functional Fitness Training

Functional movements were designed to help improve quality of life through major muscle groups which we use in daily activities and put an emphasis on core strength and stability. For example, a squat mimics the motion of sitting down or picking objects up at lower levels. A press mimics the motion of you pushing objects up above your head such as putting boxes on a higher shelf. Functional movements recruit larger groups of muscles and help build the infrastructure for the rest of your fitness journey. 

 

Functional Movements

  • Squat
  • Lunge
  • Hinge
  • Push
  • Pull
  • Rotation
  • Gait

No matter how you’re training, be sure to add some varieties of these movements into your routine with different forms and modalities to see a change in how your body performs overall. They don’t only have to be performed with large barbell weights either, you can also perform these movements with just bodyweight and/or use any piece of free-weight equipment you have on hand. Functional movements build overall strength and can improve isolated focused movements even more because you already have control over the rest of your body.

 

Be One with Your Body

Having control of your muscles to increase strength and coordination is what we like to call mind-muscle connection. The great thing about getting a well done warm-up in is that you’re preparing your muscles to receive information so they can adapt and overcome. This is where you become in-tune with your body. After warming up, your body is prepped, and with every rep in your workout you’re able to connect to each muscle to understand what you’re working and how you’re working it. Having control over your mind-muscle connection will help you continue to see better results with time and practice in your functional movements to help secure a strong foundation for years to come.

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