Written by: Lorinda Visagie
As a Certified CrossFit Level 1 coach and Sport specific conditioner, functional fitness has completely changed the game on how we condition different sporting codes and recreational individuals.
Functional fitness in CrossFit per definition states: “increased work capacity, across broad time and modal domains” thus “constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity” – Greg Glassman.
The goal of functional fitness in a recreational sense, is to put off landing up in a nursing home for as long as possible. Functional fitness in CrossFit, is to put the function back in everyday life. It aids in fighting chronic illnesses and disease.
In a professional sport conditioning setup, it aids the athlete in overall body preparedness, whether beginner or advance. Making sure that a general accepted movement base is created via scalability and helping the athlete to grow to advance movements that will lead to optimal performance.
Our natural movement patterns as young individuals are revisited as we get older through functional fitness. Movements such as squatting, pulling, pushing and lifting are made easier through functional fitness training regimes.
There are several benefits involved in functional fitness but not limited to:
It improves everyday life, by improving overall body functions, strength, endurance, muscle development and body stability. Functional fitness is a more enjoyable way of keeping fit and functioning more optimally.
Functional fitness promotes greater muscle memory. By performing regular exercise, you are building an optimal muscle and core strength base which is not only limited to muscle strength but proper CNS adaptation which provides a positive transfer from brain to body.
Functional fitness increases mobility. Balance, coordination, muscular strength and agility improves flexibility. Which aids you in your everyday life.
Balance and posture benefits greatly from this type of conditioning. Functional fitness trains the body to make muscles work together rather than working against each other in a negative way. Functional fitness trains the body to distribute weight evenly, canceling some muscle imbalances if not most and improves overall posture.
Functional fitness also helps to prevent injuries through mimicking everyday life movements.
The above are just a couple of reasons why functional fitness conditioning through CrossFit can benefit any type of individual no matter age, gender or lifestyle.
I have been an athlete since the age of seven, never taking an athletic break, always training and advancing in my specific sport. But my athletic career dreams came to a drastic end at the age of 20, just before advancing to the “big league’s” as a paid professional athlete. Two years later I found CrossFit and I finally was home. Functional fitness completely changed my view on conditioning and sport science and I have never been happier with the results in my own capacity but that of the all the athletes than came through my training facility.
Interesting article to read: CROSSFIT CONDITIONING: WHY YOU NEED IT AND HOW TO GET IT