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Functional Fitness Guidelines

Functional fitness

The goal of any fitness program is to improve performance in activities of daily living ADL’S, job demand, sports and recreational activities SRA’s. Most exercise program isolate problem areas, but don’t mimic the way muscles are used in actual activities, which should be the main focus stepping stones in training.

A valuable training principle to understand is the SAID principle, which means that training causes Specific adaptatic to improve demands. These adaptations are specific to the length, movement, speed of the exercise trained.

An example of functional exercised are 3-D lunges, Single leg balance squats. These all utilize a star matrix so that all 3 planes of movement can be simultaneously trained front to back; side to side; and twisting.


Functional fitness

  • Focus less on appearance and more on improving one’s ability to perform daily activities and recreational.
  • Focuses on using multiple muscles to perform an exercise task with body awareness and core stabilization.
  • Designed to improve life’s activities from sitting, standing, housekeeping ETC.

Components of Functional training.

  1. Balance and stability
  2. Flexibility and range of motion
  3. Agility and coordination
  4. Mobility
  5. Core stabilization and strength

Tool for functional exercises

  1. Stability balls
  2. Medicine balls
  3. Balance boards
  4. Balance beams
  5. Foam rollers
  6. Cables
  7. Rubber bands

Basic functional exercise

  1. Including from the very beginning of any fitness program.
  2. Focus on flexibility, strength, endurance, and proprioception.
  3. Progression that provides increasing stress.
  4. Use functional evaluation tools to access to next goals.

Advanced functional activities

  1. Polymeric and skill frills
  2. Advance skill like agility, speed, power, and control.
  3. Progression earlier
  4. Periodic assessments and progression.

Advance functional exercise progression

  1. Force and intensity start light.
  2. Speed  start slow
  3. Distance  start short
  4. Complexity  start simple
  5. Support start with bilateral support.


  1. Always understand prior exercise cues during each exercise.
  2. Avoid activities if in pain or swelling in areas you’re working out.
  3. Know your confer level.
  4. Be aware of progression and tolerance.


  • The way you start an assessment you start with balance ability. Try standing on 1 leg with eyes closed for 30 seconds. With a few warm ups should be attempted first before recording the best time achieved.

First test

  • The test is stopped if the other foot touches down; hopping; eyes open or either hand touches the wall for support. 

Normal ranges

  1. 20-40YRS/ 24-28 sec.
  2. 50-59 YRS/ 21 sec.
  3. 60-69 YRS/ 10 sec.
  4. 70-79 YRS/ 4 sec


  • Next step is to balance on 1 foot on a stability trainer. Perform it first with eyes open and once mastered with eyes closed. Progress the next level of exercise when you perform 6 reps with 10 second holds.
  • Next progression is to perform a dynamic lunge exercise first on the floor then on the stability trainer. Perform the exercise slow in each direction. When you perform 12 reps you can move on to the stability trainer without any jerky movements.
  • Another challenging functional exercise is the single leg squat. You should first master the exercise with your eyes open, then move on with eyes closed. Next challenge is to perform the single leg squat on a stability trainer. Same rules apply to the start of the single leg squat.
  • The final functional exercise progressions are movements that mimic sports or activities while you’re on a stability trainer. It is the ideal way to challenge balance, coordination, strength, endurance, of the individual functional positions and movements.







This article was provided by Fantastic fintess
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