CrossFit training programs can be crafted to suit a variety of wants and needs.
Some athletes may be set on striving for massive strength and muscle gains. Others might be working on their cardiovascular conditioning to achieve their elusive first marathon.
Regardless of your initial fitness goals and intentions – through the incorporation of functional exercises – you can implement intelligent strategies to help smash your goals while at the same time extending your tenure in the fitness game.
What Is Functional Fitness And Why Is It Important?
Functional fitness in a nutshell is training with the specific purpose of simulating everyday movements.
In addition, by training and conditioning your body to complete these everyday movements, you will become more accustomed to the increased resistance on your body as every workout gets easier to handle.
In other words your base physical fitness and function will begin operating at a higher level of performance throughout the day.
Developing common movements through the utilization of functional exercises will also build a powerful core allowing for superior balance and stability.
Taking advantage of progressive overload will also reinforce your posture and stance therefore making lifting, standing jumping and throwing feel effortless compared with the effort you exert in the gym.
Functional fitness can be broken down into three base components: mechanics, consistency and intensity.
Mechanics covers the correct technique and form – the “how to” of each lift and the intricacies to note during each rep.
Consistency measures your ability to perform the mechanics of each lift by way of reps and sets and is the precursor to the final link that is intensity.
Intensity is the vigor or force you perform the workout at. As you acquire more functional ability and endurance over your CrossFit journey you can increase the weight of each workout and quicken the lifting speed to ratchet up the intensity.
Nailing all 3 components will see you well on your way to developing a highly trained and maintained physique that can perform inside and outside of the CrossFit gym.
Add These Exercises To Your CrossFit Training Programs For Peak Functional Fitness
There are numerous lists of exercises available to help supplement your functional fitness, however, these two exercises are a terrific base offering the greatest returns for your efforts:
The front squat is a compound exercise meaning it harnesses multiple major muscle groups during the lift.
Front squats translate into increased stability and balance by working your core and legs at the same time.
By adding intensity and performing each rep at a faster pace you will notice major improvements with your vertical jump.
Furthermore front squats expose weak areas in your movement where back squats may have helped disguise those flaws.
This is beneficial to your CrossFit journey as you will reduce any blind spots in your technique and return a more complete body of movement.
The deadlift is perhaps the most important exercise when discussing functional fitness and longevity.
Deadlifts are a complete exercise and incorporate the most muscle groups to finish the movement,
Because this exercise takes advantage of the activation of more muscle groups you will notice the deadlift may be one of your heaviest weighted moves.
With heavier weight comes a shock to your central nervous system – and it is this shock that often times propels struggling athletes above major strength and power plateaus.
Furthermore, this exercise is performed by lifting the barbell with your hands – your grip ability often becoming a limiting factor.
Grip strength is a major indicator to quality of life in old age so this benefit speaks for itself – the stronger your deadlift the more mobile you will be into the distant future.
Deadlifts will help you perform everyday tasks with relative ease, such as placing and lifting objects, pulling, ripping, crushing and holding
Without a shadow of a doubt absolutely everybody can benefit their daily lives in some way, shape or form by adding functional fitness exercises to their CrossFit training programs.
There are many levels to the fitness game and no matter where you’re at it’s in your best interests to get on board.
You may view your CrossFit training programs as a grind, something you do just to get “fit”. Instead, take a holistic approach and realize you’re playing the long game – you have time to develop much more than just aesthetic gains.
Are you interested in functional fitness? Do you want to experience massive performance gains whilst also training for helpful daily movements and longevity? Book a free trial with us today at TOA CrossFit Wellington Central – Wellington’s Premier CrossFit Gym.