Trying to keep up with a fast-paced lifestyle, like one of a parent, can lead to numerous injuries. Even when performing everyday activities like carrying groceries or running around with the kids, pulling a muscle or spraining a joint can seemingly happen out of nowhere – especially if you work hard to be fit and healthy. With your hectic schedule, you may not think there is time to work in any routines designed for functional movement, but in fact many of these exercises can be done right from home.
HIIT vs. Functional Exercises
Unlike high-intensity interval training (HIIT), functional exercises are meant to improve your overall movements by using your whole body in each exercise, therefore focusing on forgotten stabilizing muscles. Absolute Balance describes these exercises as “full-body integrated movements with upper body actions being performed in conjunction with the lower body”, which requires coordination and allows for movements in multiple planes. A big difference between that and most HIIT workouts is that the latter usually involves focusing on one muscle or part of the body in isolation, which doesn’t affect overall balance which can support functionality of everyday tasks. As functional exercises become integrated into your workout routine, your daily living activities should be performed with more ease than ever before. While the goal of functional exercises is to reduce the risk of injury for everyday activities, how do you know if an exercise will help or hurt your current injuries?
Functional Exercises Benefits
Not only are functional exercises beneficial for preventing injuries, but in actuality, many people use functional exercises to recover from injuries. It is also common for pregnant women who need pain relief in their feet to use functional exercises that strengthen their glutes and legs. Another benefit of these workouts is a higher control of balance through core stabilization, which ultimately leads to less injuries over time.
There are a lot of great fitness trainers who have full functionality workouts on YouTube, like Obi Vincent, Natacha Océane, and Yuri Elkaim. As mentioned before, you can workout from home with these exercises without any equipment or costly gym memberships. A great way of integrating them into your routine is to replace one or two HIIT workouts with a functional workout; or, if you’ve read our article on the benefits of mobility, incorporating functional workouts into your nightly mobility training will also do the trick. Whatever your method, you should be sure to train your functional movements, as without them you’ll likely be slowed down either by injury or fear of injury, and in the end you be unable to tackle that hectic schedule.