Can functional training help promote weight loss?
One of the most frustrating parts of working out can be finding the right exercise routines to help you lose weight efficiently and effectively. You might be under the impression that cardio-heavy sessions are your best bet, but there are easier methods to shift any unwanted weight without being stuck on a treadmill for hours.
Functional training is a popular way to shed the pounds through using your own body weight and light dumbells, and won’t leave you feeling exhausted and sweaty after your workout. We’ve looked at the key areas of functional training, how it can help promote weight loss, and offered a few examples you can try out for yourself.
What is functional training?
Functional fitness exercises are all about looking after your long-term fitness and wellbeing, whilst helping you lose weight. Designed to help improve your balance, posture, muscle strength and flexibility, these workouts improve the way your brain talks to your muscles as they are being worked out. There’s a lot more focus on the movements you are making in functional training, compared to the distance you cover in cardio or the weights you’re lifting in bodybuilding, to help you stay balanced and maintain a strong body shape.
How can functional training help you lose weight?
Rather than exposing your body to the stresses and strains of weightlifting and cardio, functional training is designed to get your body feeling more comfortable. Research has proven that bodies that are able to move more freely burn off calories more effectively and help you drop the pounds. Doing functional exercises also makes it easier to lose weight through more common exercises too.
The best place to start with functional workouts and losing weight is to identify any weaknesses you may have in your motion (i.e. any flexibility or balance issues). This way you can improve these areas and allow your body as a whole to move much more comfortably. If you’re unsure on how to best evaluate your body’s movement, getting a personal trainer for a session may be a good option, as they’ll be able to spot your weaknesses and help you make improvements through functional exercise which in return will help you lose weight.
Simple functional exercise routines
Adding functional workouts into your sessions doesn’t have to be difficult. You can incorporate them into your current fitness routine, or just do a couple in the morning before you start your day at home.
- The plank: Probably the most famous of all functional exercises, the plank is an intermediate level exercise aimed at strengthening your core through improving your balance and posture.
- Single-leg stand: The basics in improving balance, all you need to do is stand as firm as you possibly can on one leg, for as long as you can. As your core becomes stronger, add in arm movements to benefit the exercise and promote weight loss.
- Single-leg squat: Similar to the above, the single squat encourages you to stand on one leg and bend down, then back up again. At first, you may find this difficult but practice makes perfect. Over time you’ll have a greater sense of balance and see noticeable weight loss around your midriff.
- Shoulder flexion: When you are laid on the floor, lifting your arms from by your side to up above your head can help you control your back and abdominal muscles, promoting both muscle growth and weight loss. It isolates your lats and restricts the movement of your shoulders, which will minimise the risk of uncomfortable action.