Do you know what the F you’re doing when it comes to Functional Strength Training? See which one of our 5 Functional “F” tips you’re executing and which ones you may need to put back into practice.

1. Foundation First

Functional Strength Training doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. In fact, the good old basics: squats, dead lifts, presses, pulls, jumps, and rotation will give you a strong functional foundation. You can add specialized functional training for your specific sport or activity on top of these basics, but whatever you do, don’t forget about the basics.

2. Feet on the Floor

While you can certainly do supine, prone, kneeling, etc. exercises to enhance your body’s functional movement capacity, you need to train with your feet on the floor if you want to be the most functional. Don’t rely on seated machine based exercises as your staple source of training because they don’t translate into better ground based movement in comparison to exercises that require you to support your own body weight with your feet on the ground.

3. Find and Feel the Form

To get the most functional bang for your buck, you want to be sure you “Learn the move before you Load the move”. Form and technique keep exercises safe and lead to better results in terms of movement skill and body control. Use less weight in the beginning and make sure you are doing exercises properly before increasing resistance.

4. Faster Force Production

No matter who you are or what activity or sport you engage in, you will always benefit from being more powerful. Power is defined as Force/Time x Distance. Be sure to develop an adequate foundation of strength and then incorporate dynamic power based movements so you have the ability to apply force faster. This applies to everyone. As long as you don’t do too much too soon, this is the way to train for best function.

5. Fun Forever

Longevity is a principle objective of functional training, and the older you get the more you will appreciate this. “Forever” in this case is defined by your lifespan. Wouldn’t it be nice to age gracefully and be capable of moving, caring for yourself and others? As well as being ready to take on the next challenge into your 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and perhaps even 100’s? Understand that life is more like a marathon than a sprint. Focus on proper progression, form and technique to make your functional strength training pay off for the long run. 

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