Functional Training and Fitness Equipment
Functional training is a style of training that improves strength, mobility, balance and overall health. Movements for functional training aim to mimic movements that individuals perform on a daily basis, therefore making these movements easier and preventing injury. How many times have you hurt your back lifting a heavy load off the ground? Or struggled to place your luggage in the overhead bins before a flight? Not only will regular functional training increase your strength to make these tasks easier, it will also train you to stabilise and position your body correctly so you no longer have to visit your physio because you picked something up incorrectly.
Some core functional training exercises include movements such as deadlifts, overhead presses, squats and walking lunges just to name a few. Another great benefit from functional training is the full body aspect of it. Functional movements use multiple parts of the body so while you may feel one specific part of your body working, you are in fact utilising your core and surrounding muscles to stabilise your body. Functional training can be adapted to meet a range of fitness goals, whether you want to tone up, increase size or improve your cardio you can use different equipment to achieve whatever you want!
Powerbags are an incredibly useful piece of equipment for anyone that is interested in functional training as they provide varied resistance to your training regimen whilst also challenging your core in ways that traditional weight plates or dumbbells can’t. Powerbags are basically a highly durable duffle bag shaped weight that is filled anywere between 10kg to 50kg. A workout tool officially adopted the U.K. Royal Army, Nacy and Air Force that can be lifted, thrown and carried to mimic functional movement. Unlike rigid weights, powerbags won’t damage surface when thrown down so don’t worry about denting your flooring when using a powerbag. Because the sand within the bag is loose and therefore moves around during training it challenges balance and stability, needing more core engagement and increasing core strength.
Functional training equipment isn’t always about adding weight though, other pieces of equipment can help users perform bodyweight or cardio movements. One of the most versatile pieces of equipment is a plyometric box. Traditionally these boxes are used for plyometric (jumping) exercises such as box jumps, which are a great way to increase your heart rate. However, they can be used for anything from triceps dips, elevated push-ups, single leg step-ups and anything your imagination can come up with.
For simpler functional exercises, medicine balls and kettlebells are great tools that can be used to challenge strength, balance and flexibility when combined with a range of functional exercise circuits or routines. These are also great for individuals who like to train at home as they are compact and portable.