Functional Fitness vs Gym Fitness - Are You Body Fit or Gym Fit?
Functional fitness is when you work out using your own body as the “equipment” so to speak. This allows you to be able to support your own body weight, work on your balance and exercise your body in a way that prepares it to work in the way that you use it on a daily basis, such as getting your toddler out of their car seat, reaching for something on the very top shelf, or doing any job that requires a lot of heavy lifting or squatting.
Benefits of Functional FitnessHave you ever went to the gym and had a really good workout, lifting your goal weight and felt super strong and proud of yourself, but you went home, you picked up something heavy and were left wondering why you couldn’t lift something simple around the house?
It happens to all of us. Why? Because we rely too much on gym fitness. It happens because when you’re lifting the weights at the gym, your body is supported and the weights are balanced already. It doesn’t resemble the circumstances of what you’re doing at home in a real-life situation. Sure, you’re building muscle and you look amazing in that bikini you’ve been trying so hard to fit, but your muscles aren’t able to balance your own weight.
That’s right, your body can’t support itself. Try doing a one-legged squat, did you lose your balance? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say yes. That’s from lack of balance because you haven’t been working out with functional fitness.
Functional fitness makes all of your muscles work together, betters your balance and controls your body and your body will follow suit with what you’re doing and it will be better prepared to deal with real-life situations. That’s what functional fitness is all about, training for real-life situations.
And what springs to mind when you say functional fitness – CrossFit! CrossFit is an excellent example of what we are talking about when it comes to functional fitness.
Another great example of functional fitness and using your own body is the use of a foam roller. A relatively new piece of fitness equipment, foam rollers are not only great for muscle aches, pain, and muscle tenderness, but they are also great to strengthen the core, do butt exercises and ab exercises with.
What About The Gym?
You’re probably wondering, “If functional fitness is the way to go, then what about my usual gym routine? Should I quit it?” No, not necessarily. You don’t want any specific area to be weak, so working out those particular areas the way you usually do is still an excellent option. But you should also make sure to fit in some functional fitness workouts.
Go ahead and change your routine. Gym twice a week and functional fitness 3 times a week would be a great change. Work your body for what it needs to be able to do, but also get in the gym workouts. Running on the treadmill is a great exercise, but so is going for a run in your neighborhood where there are natural hills and turns, it will help you build your endurance but also prepare your body for inclines.
The gym is great for making a plan for targeting specific areas and working towards your weight loss and “toning” goal. No need to give it up, but the gym isn’t the only fitness you should be getting.
Another great thing about the gym is that it’s a controlled environment. Air conditioning, personal trainers, cold water available, classes for any number of things are some of the wonderful benefits of going to a gym, and let’s face it, you know you’ve been happily checking out the cutie on the treadmill next to yours, definite encouragement there! The gym isn’t bad, but it isn’t the only way to work your body.
So What We Are Saying Is?
Overall, it’s important to remember that the gym isn’t a horrible place, and by no means should it be counted out; but it’s also not the only way to get in shape.
Functional fitness along with the targeted fitness of the machines at the gym will have your body looking and feeling great, every day. You will prepare your body for the everyday challenges it faces, as well as work out your target areas and can even emphasize the progress of your personal problem areas when you add functional fitness to your current gym routine.