You may have seen the words functional training circulate the fitness industry for a few years and wonder if it’s a fad trend or a style of workout that is worth the time and effort. Like many fitness trends, it might seem like a fad that will soon pass and not be worth your daily time, however, functional training has a place in your regular workouts that is worth adding to your routine.
Functional training is just that: functional. It refers to the exercise having a function, aka a purpose. You are training with a purpose and not just moving your body for the sake of moving. When you understand the philosophy of this type of workout, you will see that functional training is about incorporating movement patterns to your workouts that have a purpose.
Functional training exercises train the muscles to help you perform everyday activities safely so that you don’t hurt yourself, such as pulling a muscle when carrying bags, picking you your child or moving boxes. For some people, exercise is a way to live a quality life, and not just about exercising for the sake of exercising or aesthetic goals. The focus of functional training is for these people who exercise to maintain or improve their quality of life.
What Are Some Examples of Functional Training for Women?
A simple way to understand functional training is a combination of full body exercises based around movements and activities you do every day. These exercises can be done in the gym, at home, outside, with or without added weight.
Here are some functional training exercises:
The examples above can be broken down further to create a comprehensive functional training exercises list.
- Squatting – bodyweight squats, back squats, front squats, sumo squats, goblet squats, jumping squats
- Lunging – multidirectional lunges, forward lunges, reverse lunges, side lunges, jumping lunges, elevated lunges, weighted lunges
- Pushing – push ups, shoulder press, chest press
- Pulling – pull ups, chin ups, standing row, seated row, single arm rows
- Twisting – russian twist, criss-cross abs exercise, windmill, sit ups to twist, trunk rotations, wood choppers
What are the 10 Best Functional Training Exercises?
For a full body workout here are 10 of the best functional training exercises to add to your workout routine.
- Medicine ball squat with overhead press
- Stair climbs or step ups
- Wood choppers with a medicine ball
- Alternating reverse lunges
- Pull ups
- Dumbbell back row
- Squat jumps
- Russian twists with medicine ball
- Plank to twist
- Dumbbell thrusters
What are the 5 Basic Exercises for Functional Training? How Do Use Them in a Workout?
If you are looking for a simple workout that is effective and saves time in planning a thorough training plan, then focus on basic exercises. Focusing on basic exercises will still give you a fantastic workout with great results for your health and fitness.
Each basic movement has been put into categories to create your own workout. Pick one move from each category, then do 3 to 4 sets of 12 reps. Feel free to chance up the moves from each category, and perform the workout 3 to 5 times a week.
- Bench press
- Push up
- Shoulder press
- Single arm press
- Push Press
- Pull ups
- Chin ups
- Dumbbell row
- Cable row
- Lat pull down
- Kettlebell swing
- Romanian deadlift
- Sumo deadlift
- Single leg deadlift
- Split squat
- Barbell squat
- Goblet squat
- Reverse lunge
Plank (keeping the body in a straight line)
- Side plank
- Bird dog
- Farmers carry
Performing functional training exercises as a woman is simple to do. The key is to listen to your body and see how it feels in each movement. If you can lift heavier – do, if it hurts – stop, if you can go faster – go fast, if you need to rest – rest.
Functional training is about bringing fitness to your normal daily life. Pay attention to how your body moves in each exercise so that it can benefit your quality of life.