Functional training is a term that describes any exercise that helps you to perform life’s everyday activities with ease. It involves exercises that mimic everyday movements, but for young athletes, these movements can also enhance sports performance. The exercises target multiple muscle groups at a time, if not the entire body, leading to a strong core and optimal balance – great for life and sports!
While functional strength training is often associated with adults, it’s also beneficial for young athletes. It can not only help adults and athletes stay fit, but it can also help young athletes get better at the sports they play. Sport performance training is the ultimate difference maker in athletic performance and following a functional workout routine is a great way to start.
Incorporating functional training into your child’s exercise routine is a smart move. It not only reduces their risk of injury in everyday life and as they age, but also helps prevent injuries during sports competitions.
Examples of Functional Exercises
Now that you have a basic overview of what functional training is let’s talk about some exercises that fall into this category. Many of these exercises can be done at a home gym, but going to a sport performance training center near you and getting a personal training session to make sure you have the right form when you begin is a great idea.
Here are some exercises to try together:
- Glute bridges
- Squats (single leg is a great variation!)
- Lateral lunges
- Planks (engage your core!)
- Dumbbell rows
- Goblet squats
- Romanian deadlifts
All ten of these exercises are functional moves that are great for people at any fitness level. Many of these exercises can be done with bodyweight only and can progress to using resistance bands when appropriate.
However, remember to ask for help from a personal trainer if you’re unfamiliar with any of these exercises and want to be sure that you’re doing them correctly. They can also help you explore other exercises to try and put together a routine that works your entire body efficiently.
Benefits of Functional Training
Because functional training mimics the movements of real-life activities, it helps better equip you for any situation that might come up wether it’s an activity for daily life or a game time scenario. It enhances athletic performance by:
- Enhancing specific sports skills.
- Minimizing injury risks, a concern for every young athlete.
- Supporting balanced growth and physical development, crucial during your formative years.
- Improving flexibility and agility, fundamental in sports performance.
- Building and maintaining essential muscle mass and coordination.
Functional training, when integrated into your workout routine, not only makes everyday activities like taking the stairs, running, and carrying groceries easier for adults but also enhances athletic performance in activities like jumping, bending, and reaching, reducing the likelihood of injury for both adults and athletes.
Start Functional Strength Training Today
This article walked you through what functional strength training is and why exactly it’s so beneficial to begin doing it right away. Whether you’re 10 or 100, functional training can help you to get through the tasks of your day-to-day life with ease and greatly reduce your risk of injury along the way.
If you’re interested in learning more about crafting an effective and personalized workout routine, please don’t hesitate to contact us today for more information.