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Business News/ Opinion / Functional training : Making the most of daily movements
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Functional training : Making the most of daily movements

Functional training may be the new mantra, but do you know what it is supposed to do?

Functional training is about being fit for everything, through a combination of aerobic, anaerobic, agility, muscular endurance, strength and power training. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/MintPremium
Functional training is about being fit for everything, through a combination of aerobic, anaerobic, agility, muscular endurance, strength and power training. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Functional training is a buzz phrase in the fitness industry and, often, it gets widely interpreted. Many people confuse functional exercises with high-impact movements. Functional fitness is, as the name suggests, all about being fit for everything, through a combination of aerobic, anaerobic, agility, muscular endurance, strength and power training.

In my experience, most faulty mechanics of bending and lifting patterns are due to weak core muscles. Functional exercises contribute to the improvement of the core (deep muscles in the abdominal area and the lower back) and exercises like the plank, side plank, and props like the Swiss ball, kettlebells, etc., should be included in training routines.

Functional exercises are not limited to replicating everyday movements; they are also used to train sportspersons. For example, golfers and tennis players greatly benefit by including functional training in their routine. To replicate a good and strong swing, core exercises like the wood chop and dynamic variations of the plank are great, as they stabilize the pelvic- and aid-controlled trunk- rotation. For tennis, agility drills like using the ladder (an exercise prop) and overhead squats strengthen the legs and aid quick start and stop movements.

If you want to improve your overall fitness level, integrate these exercises in your workout.

Sumaya Dalmia is a wellness consultant, fitness expert and owner of Sumaya, a personal training studio in New Delhi.

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Published: 30 Sep 2013, 07:19 PM IST
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