It’s not unheard of to injure ourselves every once in a while. We are only humans, after all. But, the thing is, when we do injure or hurt ourselves, our first thought is usually to take it easy and just rest up, isn’t it? And we know (probably) that too much rest can sometimes make our muscles a tad bit lazy and that it is more likely to get hurt again later. So, if such is the case, what would be the best way to heal and also stay strong at the same time?
Now, this is where the one and only functional training comes in. Just think of exercises that feel like our everyday tasks – like picking up a shopping bag or even throwing a ball. It helps our body get ready for daily life. Plus, it’s especially helpful for people healing from injuries. Just remember, if you’re thinking of trying it out, it’s always good to talk to someone who knows their areas of expertise first.
Knowing how our muscles and tissues work when we move or put weight on them can help us heal the right way. This keeps us safe and strong for the long run. And that is exactly what this post is all about. Welcome! Keep reading to find out just how functional training can be helpful for your rehabilitation.
Understanding Functional Training
Functional training is like gym workouts but for real-life stuff. Instead of just lifting weights to get big muscles, functional training is about making everyday tasks easier. Think of it as exercise to help with things like carrying groceries, climbing stairs, or picking up a dropped toy.
How is it different from regular gym workouts? Well, traditional strength training often focuses on just one muscle at a time. But functional training works on groups of muscles together, just like when we’re doing everyday tasks and chores.
In short, functional training is all about getting fit for our daily life, making sure our bodies are ready and able for whatever comes our way.
Benefits of Functional Training in Rehabilitation (H2)
Adding functional training to rehabilitation is kind of like giving your recovery an extra boost. It will make sure that you come out feeling stronger and more ready for everyday life, even after your injuries. Let’s now take a look at how functional training can be beneficial in rehabilitation:
Mimics Real-life Activities:
Functional training is all about training for life. Whether it’s bending down to tie your shoe or lifting a heavy box, it prepares your body for the motions you do every day.
This isn’t just about big muscles. It’s about building strength that supports your daily activities, making sure you’re strong where it counts.
Boosts Balance and Agility:
It’s not just about strength. Moving with grace, balance, and quick reflexes is equally important. Functional training gets you there.
Tunes into Your Profession:
Whether you’re planting trees or typing away at a computer, functional training tailors exercises to what you do. It’s like personal training for your job.
Functional training helps reduce the chances of future injuries by teaching you the right way to move and strengthening your body.
Speedy Return to Daily Life:
Regardless of the setback you might have faced, the aim of functional training is simple – get you back to your regular life and feeling even better than before.
The Role of Functional Training in Rehabilitation Programs
When we think of rehabilitation, traditional methods often come to mind, right? Let’s say structured exercises, routine stretches, and sometimes even machines to help target specific areas and whatnot. These methods have been used for ages because, well, they work.
But here’s where functional training enters the scene. Instead of just strengthening an injured muscle or joint in isolation, functional training focuses on training the body to handle everyday tasks. It’s all about mimicking the movements we do in our daily lives, like bending to pick up something or reaching out to grab an item off a high shelf.
So, imagine traditional rehab gets you out of pain, and functional training prepares you to return to daily life.
Best part is, with the right guide or with the help of personal training and approach, it can be customized to address your specific rehabilitation needs. All the focus will be on you and your needs. Before starting, these experts will check out how you move, what you can do, what’s tough for you, and what goals you have. They’ll use that info to make a plan that fits you perfectly and you can take online zoom classes for better understanding.
Common Functional Exercises for Rehabilitation
If you’re healing from an injury or just want to get stronger in everyday movements, these exercises can really help. Let’s check out some popular exercises, shall we?
1. Upper Body
Here are two of the upper body workouts that we are sure will make your rehabilitation a tad bit smoother:
- Push-ups: This classic move strengthens the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Make sure your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Keep your elbows close to your body to avoid straining the shoulders.
- Dumbbell Rows: Beneficial for the back and biceps. Holding a dumbbell in one hand and leaning on a bench with the other, pull the weight up towards your hip. Keep your elbow close and back straight.
2. Lower Body
For lower body exercises, you can never go wrong with squats and lunges:
- Squats: Mimicking the action of sitting down, squats work the thighs and glutes. Keep feet shoulder-width apart and back straight, and ensure your knees don’t pass your toes as you lower down.
- Lunges: Great for the entire leg. Step forward with one foot & then drop your body until both of your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Maintain an upright posture.
For better balance and steadiness, give these two a try:
- Planks: Engage your whole core by holding yourself up on your elbows and toes. Do make sure that your body forms a straight line and tighten your abdominal muscles.
- Bird-Dog: On all fours, extend one arm forward and the opposite leg backwards. This exercise challenges your balance while strengthening the core.
4. Balance Improvement
To help you prevent falls or further injury, and simply make your daily activities easier to do and perform, these balance improvement exercises:
- Single Leg Stands: Stand on one leg, holding the other slightly off the ground. Try to maintain balance for a set amount of time.
- Heel-to-Toe Walk: Like walking on a tightrope, place the heel of one foot right in front of the toes of your other foot each time you take a step. It helps in improving balance and coordination.
- Warm Up: Always start with a 5-10 minute warm-up to prep your muscles.
- Proper Form: Maintaining correct posture and alignment is key. If you are unsure, seek guidance from professionals.
- Start Slow: Especially if you’re new or recovering, it’s okay to take things slow and make sure that you’re comfortable.
- Listen to Your Body: If something feels off or causes pain, stop. Don’t overdo it, either.
The Progression of Functional Training in Rehabilitation
When it comes to functional training in rehabilitation, there are certain important things you need to keep in mind. Let’s take a quick look at some of our tips:
1. Step by Step Matters: It is a must in rehabilitation to take things step by step. Jumping ahead too fast could mean setbacks. So, take a slow and steady pace to make sure that you see lasting progress.
2. Adapting as You Grow: You need to be prepared that functional training changes. As you get better and stronger, the exercises adjust to match where you’re at to further make sure that you keep improving.
3. Experts Have Your Back: Think of healthcare professionals as your personal coaches. They watch over your rehab, making sure exercises fit where you’re at and changing things up if needed. They make sure you heal the right way, so you have got to learn to trust them and the process.
Is Functional Training Right for You?
Before jumping into any workout, especially the intense ones, it’s smart to talk to your doctor. If you’ve had health issues, or if it’s been ages since your last workout, a quick doctor’s visit is a good idea.
Now, here’s the amazing part about functional strength training: it’s for everyone. That’s right, whether you’re young, old, or somewhere in between, you can give it a go. And the best part? You can start anytime.
A study found that people aged 65 to 93 got better at their day-to-day tasks after doing strengthening exercises for 16 weeks.
Worried about fancy gym equipment? Don’t be. You can even start with things like resistance bands or kettlebells at home. Some just use bands in their workouts.
But how do you know what exercises to do? Well, it depends on things like:
- How old you are
- How fit you are right now
- Any health problems you might have
- What you want to achieve.
That’s why talking to a fitness expert or physical therapist before starting is key.
If your goal is to move around easily in your daily life, functional strength training is your friend. But if you’re aiming to bulk up one specific muscle area, maybe the regular gym workouts are better.
So, whether you’re training for a sport or just want to feel better in daily life, talk to a fitness professional to see what’s best.
All in all, functional training is all about exercises that mirror our everyday movements, making healing more practical and rooted in real-life scenarios. It helps not just in healing but in making day-to-day tasks easier. Remember, whether you’re young, senior, or anywhere in between, there’s a tailored functional training exercise just for you.
Remember to talk to your doctor and professional fitness gurus.