It is amazes me to see so many people doing exercises that have little use for their activities performed in daily life. I was once that person who believed in going to the gym and lifting heavy weight while only isolating primary muscle groups. I would also jog for an hour on the hard pavement a few days a week. I increased my strength and endurance, but I had constant aches and pains. I could bench press a decent amount of weight, but I couldn’t bend down and field a groundball. Getting out of bed every morning was a debacle as I would often limp and my body would crack all over the place. I constantly had chronic lower back pain that affected my sports performance and daily activities.
I finally realized my intense workouts were actually counter productive because of my lack of stability and nagging injuries. That is when I started implementing functional training into my fitness programs. I noticed immediate results as my mobility improved and the pain started going away. I now feel better than ever. My performance has also improved because my workouts cater to the movements I make when I play sports. For example, I do a lot of core exercises, sprints (on the beach) and plyometrics that help me perform to my potential and avoid injuries.
It is essential to exercise to your interests and prepare for YOUR daily activities. For instance, why would your workouts only consist of jogging on the hard pavement if you were preparing for a beach volleyball season. Some functional exercises include, weight bearing activities targeted for your core muscles, sport specific workouts, running methods for an upcoming race, bodyweight training and exercises to help lose weight or play with your kids.