TUES | 24TH FEB 2020
Hi Friends of Oompf!,
This is Alvan, Coach at Oompf! fitness. I would like to talk about Strength
Training and Functional Training; I often get asked the question which is more
important? Firstly, what is Strength Training and what is Functional Training?
Strength Training uses resistance – be it dumbbell, barbell, kettlebell or even
your own bodyweight to make our muscles contract, which then helps to build
strength, increases bone density, size of muscle and builds anaerobic
endurance. It even helps to manage some of the chronic diseases that we
know such as type 2 diabetes. Many of us want to be strong, and strength is
also very relevant for women who are pre to post menopausal, it is very
important that they maintain their bone density which commonly declines
rapidly in post menopausal women. Even men, after 40, are at risk of losing
muscle mass. The good news is that loss of muscle mass can be reversed!
Strength training is vital to improving, maintaining muscle mass and even
reversing muscle loss.
Functional training is actually training the body to function for its purpose –
purpose of living everyday life. Functional training focuses on movement
patterns, how we engage our muscles and joints in our movements – be it
picking up groceries, getting your bag down from the overhead compartment
in an airplane or just climbing the stairs. Most importantly, it helps you to move
about doing these various activities without feeling too restrictive. For
example, knee pain when you climb the stairs, lower back feeling stiff when
sitting or standing or not being able to raise your shoulder over head to take
something above you. Functional training often comprises of effective compound
exercises and targets the use of many muscle groups like a back squat, lunge or a
push up. These exercises mimic daily activities’ movement patterns, like
squatting, rotating, hinging, pushing.
Functional training is very important whether you are training to get stronger,
build muscles or training to improve your athletic performance. If we don’t
learn to engage our muscles and joints in an optimal way, our movement
patterns will be distorted or not optimised and our range of motion, limited. If
we learn and know how to move our bodies, our strength training will be more
impactful and effective and we also lower the risk of injury to ourselves.
Hence, we always incorporate functional training into strength programs!
Hip Hinge movement in everyday life.
Hip Hinge; the most important movement pattern in our life.
I’d like to ask you a question now : do you know what your primary training
goal is (why do you train and what do you want to get out of it?) and what is
the most challenging exercise you have tried (e.g lunges, push up, deadlift?).
Share this with your personal trainer and tell him/her how you feel when you
do these exercises especially if you have any pain or restrictions in some
areas of your body. It will help him/her and you understand your mobility
limitations better and work towards improving this