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In one of our previous articles, we have spoken about strength training, their benefits, we also spoke about functional training, highlighting it focus on performing exercises that mimic how we move in our everyday life activities. At Tanktoppers we mix functional and strength training so with this article we want to introduce some benefits of functional training. Let’s go for it!


Functional training involves moving your body in the same ways that do for your everyday life activities. As a result, you will feel more mobile when you include functional exercises in your routine [1]. One reason for this is that it helps you develop muscle stability so that when completing everyday activities you will feel more efficient. Another reason is specificity, because you are replicating moves that you do in your everyday life, and feel more agile and efficient as a result [4]. For example, as you start doing squats, you start strengthening your glutes, hamstrings and quads, thus, when you stand up from the sofa, you will feel more efficient.


Several studies report benefits in muscle strength as an outcome of functional training, and more than half of those studies also included strength training in their program [4]. As you are working your muscles in coordination, you are much more likely to improve your performance in recreational activities such as cycling, hiking, football or basketball. Whilst gym machines help you to support your body when performing an exercise, working out with your body and free weights help you to develop an extra degree of muscle coordination. Some people say that working on our body with our body is a very efficient way to improve your “real life” muscle strength [3].


There are studies that support including functional training in our fitness program to improve our balance ability. And they add that to ripe this benefit, we must include functional exercises with a balance training component [4]. So we come again to the specificity component that we spoke about earlier, “the adaptation of our body is specific to the type of training”[5].


Functional training will keep you engaged, it is diverse as there are many different options to choose from to create your workout. Adding variety to your workouts will make them more engaging, but it is also important to do it with purpose. Human motion has three different planes, sagittal (backwards and forwards), transverse (rotation) and frontal planes (side to side), so to develop the full functionality of our body we need to include all three. 

The sagittal plane includes exercises like lunges or squats, oblique crunches or crossed jabs are exercises on the transverse plane, and jumping jacks or side leg lifts incur on the frontal plane.

and you may be wondering, WHAT ARE FUNCTIONAL EXERCISES?

They are a mix of plyometric exercises such as squat jumps, squat thrusts or tuck jumps. Unilateral movements such as press-ups, lunges, tricep dips, and compound exercises like shoulder press, burpees, squats, plank to press, or deadlifts. 

There are many options to create diverse functional workouts, but as mentioned earlier, it is important to include exercises that align with our fitness goals. Our workouts at Tanktoppers combine strength and functional training, we put a lot of effort into making them diverse and varied. Each of our workouts targets different parts of your body so that we work out your whole body by the end of the week. Our experience tells us that this is a more engaged and effective way to consistently build up your body week by week. If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch with us!!

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[1] 7 Benefits of functional training. Primal Play
[2] Functional training isn’t what you think – The what, why and how explained
[3] Functional training: A complete guide, plus the best exercises, classes and gyms.Women’s Health
[4] Systematic review of functional training on muscle strength, physical functioning, and activities of daily living in older adults
[5] Principle of specificity in fitness training

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