Step into new gyms these days and you’ll notice that high-tech treadmills and elliptical machines have now made way for ropes, a docking bay for kettlebells and a ceiling speckled with suspension trainers. This obstacle course-esque set-up is meant to facilitate functional training, and it’s now one of the latest buzzwords in the fitness industry.
Like its name implies, functional training involves exercises that mimic movement patterns of everyday life, which can range from mundane activities such as carrying the groceries to more exciting ones like playing football. Originally designed as a means of rehabilitation by physical and occupational therapists, the exercises are carefully curated to mimic what patients do at home or work to expedite their return to normal lives after an injury or surgery. Of course, it didn’t take long for its effectiveness to catch onto the mainstream.
Challenging agility, balance, strength and range of motion, functional training encourages your muscles and joints to work together while emphasising core stability. Yoga and pilates are two of the most popular examples, while others such as TRX training are starting to catch up.
If you’re pressed for time and 30 minutes is all you have to spare a day, here are five functional power moves that’ll jazz up your workout and condition you for a better quality of life.