Helia Fitness women's personal training leg day

Functional Training 101

Whether you want to ski better, play more golf or chase your kids around the park, you need better balance and stronger legs. Exercises that mimic everyday movements create functional strength; enhancing everyday activities, finally answering the question “what are you training for?”

What are the principals of Functional training?

Integration vs. isolation

Strength training on machines, works muscles in isolation—although it’s rare that your muscles would be required to work in isolation in any other situation. Functional training, on the other hand, removes the support provided by machines, requiring the body to work multiple muscle groups in integration, as the body is intended to move, resulting in more balanced muscle tone.

Reaction vs. injury

Functional training is “reactive” teaching muscles to “fire” in a pattern, with primary “moving” muscles and secondary “stabilizing” muscles working in sequence to execute movement. This integration engages strong, stable “core” muscles aiding in balance. The result? Your body attains equilibrium between strength and flexibility, between agonist and antagonist muscles, increasing functionality while reducing risk of injury.

Balance vs. bulk

Concerned about developing large and bulky muscles? Functional training techniques enhanced with Pilates and yoga-based exercises, help you create a leaner, tighter and more-integrated physique.

Multi- vs. limited movement

Your body performs along forward, backward, rotational and diagonal planes of movement everyday. A lack of balanced strength along these planes will result in injury—such as a twinge in your back when picking up a suitcase or indulging in your first golf game of the season.

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