Gym workouts for functional fitness

Posted on: 19 July 2016

Not all gym users are working out to create a spectacular physique. Some users just want to be able to perform their day to day activities more comfortably. This approach is known as functional fitness and is making a resurgence in gyms across the world. 

Here are some common areas to work on to improve your functional fitness. 

Core strength

Building core strength isn't just about having a great looking 'six pack' of visible abdominal muscles. Building core strength can help protect your back so that you can easily lift items, and can help you avoid the injuries that can occur from a slack abdomen which comes when people sit down for a long period or have a very poor posture. Functional training usually involves doing exercises that work across the core, such as diagonal cross body movements as these mimic the nonsymmetrical movements that you might need for tasks such as lifting furniture when you move house. 


Balance can often be an issue for people after an accident, but can also be a concern as people age. A lack of balance can make it more common for people to slip or fall, particularly in slippery situations such as pool edges, bathrooms or on rainy paths. Balance exercises can make it easier to navigate tricky surroundings. Common exercises to help improve balance include balancing on Bosu (half) balls or full fit balls, either in a laying or crouching position. As you become more confident you can start to carry extra weights through your exercises. 


Agility is your ability to respond rapidly to stimulus, such as being able to dodge to avoid an oncoming cyclist, or chase an errant dog running into traffic. This ability to respond can be improved through training which involves rapid and nonsymmetric movement. This can often be done in gym classes, but can also be introduced using smartphone apps or prompts from a personal trainer. The movements are often unexpected and use multiple muscle groups and joints so it's a good idea to build strength in a controlled environment to ensure that you can use them when it's truly vital. 

If you are interested in improving your functional fitness it can be worth chatting with the trainers at your local gym. They can chat about your lifestyle and can help you work out an exercise regime that optimises the functional fitness that you need.