Rediscover the real meaning of fitness and start having more fun in the gym again. AMRAP Antics walks you through the workout style that is taking the world by storm and can transform your time in the gym; Functional Fitness.
What Is Functional Fitness?
In our blog where we defined functional fitness we said:
"Functional fitness is the ability to perform movements that mimic everyday, practical actions or activities usually incorporating multiple muscle groups at the same time. The idea is that if you increase your functional fitness, you increase your ability to actually perform every day, practical actions or activities.
Building fitness will help you become a more efficient human being both in the gym and outside of the gym as well. "
Functional training is a versatile term that we can use for all exercise protocols that are not designed with narrow goals in mind but benefits life outside the gym too.
Being functionally fit means that physicality is never a limiting factor, no matter what activity you are doing. Training your body so that you can tackle whatever activity at any moment. Everything from playing football (or soccer) in the park with your children, carrying shopping to your apartment block up the stairs or helping your buddies move that heavy sofa all without keeling over, out of breath.
IF your training pushes your body beyond these requrements, then your day-to-day life will cease to be physically demanding and you are better prepared for whatever life throws at you.
How do you train functional fitness?
Well that's all well and good but how do you actually train to be functionally fit?
Firstly you can start by breaking life down into the physical abilities required and check them off. Within CrossFit for example there are 10 recognized general physical skills for functional fitness.
They are cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.
By then breaking down each of these general skills we can apply them to real life scenarios. For example you are moving house and you need to move heavy objects to the moving van (requiring strength and stamina), you also need to fetch items from hard to reach places (requiring balance, coordination and flexibility), you need to paint ceilings and walls (requiring accuracy and coordination) all within one day (requiring cardiovascular/respiratory endurance).
Functional Fitness training can help you improve in all 10 of these elements to help prepare you for life.
However, improvements in endurance, stamina, strength and flexibility are acheived through training these skills. Training refers to activity that improves performance through a measurable organic change in the body. Put simply, you can easily measure the improvement in performance by looking at the numbers that you lift or the timings that you run.
By contrast, improvements in coordination, agility, balance and accuracy come about through practice. Practice refers to activity that improves performance through changes in the nervous system. Something that may not be as noticable week after week, for example improving balance is harder to measure but will essentially mean you "wobble less". Power and speed are adaptations of both training and practice.
What Workouts Will Help Improve My Functional Fitness?
Understandably, you may be thinking "how can I fit all of that in to my limited time I have to workout?" Functional Fitness Workouts waste no time with impractical or in-efficient movements or exercises and will instead focus on compound movements supported by accessory exercises that will help you keep injury free too.
The functional fitness workouts that we have put together require low skill but pack a punch. With a mix of intensities and a focus on full body workouts you won't be feeling too sore in one muscle much like traditional bodybuilding where you move from body part to body part.
Functional fitness workouts will help prepare you to be more functional in life and prepare you for whatever life throws at you so lets get started. Choose from our list of functional fitness workouts below
20 Minute AMRAP Functional Fitness Workout
This full body workout will prepare you for whatever life throws at you. You have 20 minutes to complete as many rounds as possible from the exercises below. Testing your pull, push, squat and endurance, this workout will kickstart your day!
20 Minute AMRAP:
6 Pull Ups
12 Push Ups
24 Reverse Lunges
Anytime Anywhere Functional Fitness Workout
Some people say you can get a workout anywhere in the world but with this workout you really can. Throughout this workout you will complete 200 push ups but with a twist: everytime you take a break you complete your sit ups and your body weight squats. Complete as fast as you can (you can even record your time and test yourself again in a few months time).
Complete 200 Push Ups for Time*
*Everytime you break, complete 10 Sit Ups + 20 Body Weight Squats.
Kettlebell Functional Fitness Workout
Only got a kettlebell to hand or just want to try something new? This Kettlebell only workout will do wonders for your fitness. This workout is a 30 minute EMOM which means you complete the work every minute on the minute with three different exercises that you change every round.
30 minute EMOM
Minute 1: 15 Kettlebell Swings
Minute 2: 15 Kettlebell Goblet Squats
Minute 3: 16 Kettlebell Shoulder Press (alternating 8 on each arm)
Repeat for a total of 30 minutes (10 rounds) starting on the minute for each round.
Dumbell Ladder Functional Fitness Workout
A pair of dumbells are worth their weight in gold in fitness gains so this dumbell ladder workout really takes your fitness to the next level. The ladder means that on round one you complete 10 reps of all three exercises, round two you complete 9 reps and you repeat this pattern until you complete one rep of all the exercises.
With two dumbells, complete for time 10 reps to 1 rep of:
Dumbell Push Press
So whether you have a fully fitted gym or just a hotel room to hand, you can prepare your body for whatever life throws at you with these functional fitness workouts.
Have you tried them? Let us know in the comments below.