The fitness industry has been known throughout the years to promote the latest and the greatest new exercises. It may be a new strength machine, cardio machine, bar design, handle design, band material etc. Then along with the new equipment there is a new body position or body motion that is more effective than anything that has ever done before. These new body positions may put you on one leg, one hand or even on your head. Simply put something new must be better for you, right? Not necessarily true when comes to functional fitness and the aging process that we all must face, no one escapes.
New Exercises, Same Muscles, Same Movements
What must be understood is that a new piece of equipment or a new way to use existing equipment or a new way to position and move your body doesn’t change our normal body mechanics. Simply said, an arm (shoulder, elbow, wrists) can only move so many ways safely. This is the same for legs (knees, ankles, hips), back and neck. When you do extreme body movements while exercising you are putting yourself in risk of injury. You need to lift doing the full range of motion within the range of movement that is natural for the body. Once you find an exercise that works for you keep it in your exercise program and don’t change all the time, this is Functional Fitness. This allows you to train in a safe way. What you can change is how many sets you do, how much weight you use and when you do the exercise in your functional fitness program.
A Great Example is My Dad
He has been lifting weights since 1948. This year he will be celebrating his 85th birthday. He still opens the NBAC four days a week. He has personal training clients and their programs are designed according to the functional fitness philosophy which he taught me over forty years ago. His personal weight lifting routine has not changed in over fifty years. He is doing the same lifts, in the same order, just a little lighter weight. The important point about this is I can’t remember my dad ever having any major injury from lifting weights.
What also is exciting is my dad’s lifestyle is extremely active for his age. He walks, works on his roadster, plays ladder ball and gets up at 4am three days a week to open the NBAC. His workout is a fun part of his life but it doesn’t put his lifestyle in jeopardy by trying some new exercise that could have the potential of injuring him. Keep workouts simple, keep workouts safe, that’s Functional Fitness.