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Functional training is a type of physical exercise intended to improve the specific functionality of the body to certain gestures or efforts.
What is meant by functional training?
Functional training is a type of physical exercise intended to improve the specific functionality of the body to certain gestures or efforts. What is functional training for? Therapists often use this approach especially to recondition patients affected by certain motor imbalances.
The protocols are therefore based on specific activities and practices for the subjects, with the aim of restoring a so-called functional independence and preventing possible accidents. Functional activity and rehabilitation Functional training has its roots in the branch of rehabilitation.
The functional exercise proposed exercises very similar to domestic and work activities, in order to regain these skills lost by the subjects following trauma or surgery.
If a patient's specific job required him to repeatedly lift heavy loads, functional exercise would focus on this type of effort. If, on the other hand, the patient were a parent of small children, the functional activity would be aimed at increasing the resistance to moderate loads, with a certain isometric component, on the arms.
And again, if the patient were a marathon runner, functional training would be aimed at rebuilding endurance.
In rehabilitation, functional training must not necessarily involve maximal or submaximal strength activities, or aimed at creating hypertrophy, but must develop the ability to cope with the efforts in which the subject presents difficulties.
Balance training, for example, is often included in the functional treatment of patients in rehabilitation for a lower limb injury or surgery.
On the other hand, functional treatments require careful planning, which cannot ignore the realism of the objectives set, the means to be used and the time required.
Usefulness of functional training in body building
In the context of bodybuilding, functional training mainly involves strength activities aimed at the core muscles, therefore the abdomen and lower back.
In most gyms and fitness centers, functional training mainly includes resistance training machines and strength machines, which all too often tend to isolate the muscles.
Consequently, the movements adopted have no relation to those that people perform in normal daily activities, work or sports.
Scientific evidence on functional training In the last 15 years, the post-stroke rehabilitation that we remember can lead to a nerve loss of motor skills, it has evolved from conventional treatment techniques to specific ones involving functional training and basic skills, and endurance.
Functional training is well supported by scientific research which shows by no means negligible evidence on the rehabilitation of this population. In detail, it has been shown that specific functional training determines a chronic and specific cortical reorganization for the areas of the brain dedicated to each activity / movement.
Studies have also revealed that patients engaged in functional training obtain greater gains in the motor gestures proposed in rehabilitation and, since they are more likely to continue practicing these tasks in daily life, in the follow-up the results are objectively superior.
Means and tools for functional training
Some tools and tools frequently used in functional training are: Clubbells (similar to baseball bats) Macebells (bars with a sphere at the top) Barbells Dumbbells Medical balls Fitball Kettlebell Callisthenics Elastics and resistance tubes Rocker and wobble boards (proprioceptive tablets) Vibrating platforms Balance disks Sandbags (sandbags) TRX Slideboard (for slide training) Redcord (for suspension training) Ropes and ropes.
In rehabilitation, equipment and techniques are chosen based on their relevance to the specific case.
In many rehabilitation cases, the needs are very minimal and may include everyday items, such as bottles of water.
It is different for functional training used as a desirable physical motor activity, carried out for example in gyms or fitness centers, or even in home fitness.
Here the availability of a wide range of tools and methods certainly makes training more varied and effective.
Cable machines Especially in the context of rehabilitation, functional training can include cable machines.
Cable or pulley machines are large vertical machines, equipped with one or two pulleys per cable.
They are also often used in resistance training in bodybuilding, as an intermediate way between strength machines and free weights.
Extremely flexible, they allow the user to move on multiple planes by recruiting all the main muscle groups.
Cable machines allow: regular and continuous action; less need for momentum at the beginning of the repetitions; constant tension on the muscle, but with a modest; peak of contraction at the beginning of each repetition; greater confidence to perform negative reps.
To be effective, a functional training program should have fundamental and specific characteristics that will adapt to the individual's goals and needs.
For this purpose, we could say that functional training must be: Based on functional tasks directed to the activities of daily living; Personalized, i.e. adapted to each individual.
Any program must be tailor-made also taking into account not only the purpose, but also the state of health.
Therefore, before drawing up the program, it is always necessary to carry out a preliminary assessment; Integrated:
should include a variety of exercises that work on flexibility,
core, balance, strength and speed, focusing on multiple planes of motion; Progressive: by constantly increasing the difficulty of the task, greater adaptations are obtained; Periodized:
by varying the stimuli within an annual or mesocyclical schedule;
Frequent: the stimuli must be close enough;
Including tools for common use;
Contextualized: the areas should also be specific;
Including post workout feedback (from subject or trainer).