A great way to incorporate functional training into your workouts is by using it as a warm-up. Typically, these exercises will involve using light resistance to work out the entire body, with an emphasis on movement quality. Doing a few of these exercises before the main part of your workout will not only prepare you for more intense exercises but also improve your athleticism and balance (hence why it’s functional). This can also be a surprisingly tough “warm-up” depending on the amount of movement involved throughout this functional exercise circuit.
It’s common knowledge that you need to exercise to get results, but it's also important to get a solid amount of daily activity in. Many people lead sedentary lifestyles due to desk jobs, resulting in minimal activity apart from commuting and occasional office mobility. Now with working from home being more common, activity levels have decreased even more for those who do work from home. I wrote about this some time ago (You NEED to Move More if You Have a Sedentary Job) and still believe daily activity is very important. Not only is it healthier to get more daily activity in, but it will also allow you to achieve your fitness results.
Improving posture is a primary goal for all of my senior clients. Posture refers to the alignment of your entire body in relation to the medically accepted neutral posture. We incorporate shoulder and back exercises into our workouts to improve upper body posture. Additionally, we include abdominal and glute exercises to promote a healthy lower back and proper pelvic alignment.
This year marks my 20-year anniversary working as a trainer! Since 2003 personal training and wellness has been my full-time job. Sometimes it boggles my mind when I tell people, “This is all I have done professionally: Train people one-on-one or in small groups, and provide massage therapy to support an active lifestyle.” Within these 20 years, I have worked with many different demographics: Young adults, seniors, busy working professionals, teenage athletes, those with chronic injuries, and those where having peak fitness is essential. Here is my number one recommendation for each of these groups:
For someone in their senior years, a gym workout will look a lot different than a workout for someone decades younger by including much more than just lifting weights. In addition to general strength and endurance, including functional exercises can help improve daily life.
Basic movements and functional exercises for everyday life
Restoring and improving basic movements are important for an optimal quality of life as you age. Based on personal activity levels, this could mean a simple task such as being able to climb stairs. For those with an active lifestyle, being able to perform hobbies like a strenuous hike or bike ride is crucial to maintaining a high quality of life. Being able to step, squat, bend (hinging effectively), pull, push, and balance will make everyday tasks easier and reduce fatigue at the end of the day. These exercises will also improve performance for athletic hobbies.
High school sports can be very demanding for young athletes. Practice is often 5-6 days a week for 2-3 hours a day in the preseason. During competition season, athletes will have games (or meets) and tournaments 1-3 days a week. For many kids this is their first exposure to a full sports season and intense competition. Even at the JV high school level, athletes will encounter tough competition that is taken more seriously than in middle school or lower-level club sports. The high school varsity level is competitive in nearly in every sport. Depending on popularity, making the varsity team can be tough. This is why in-coming high school athletes need to be well prepared for long practices and high-level competitions BEFORE they even start their preseason practices.
We have cheat days to give us a break from being on a caloric deficit when doing a weight loss program. They are necessary for most people, but they might need to be moderated if results are not happening. Sometimes we have them too often or we consume too much on a scheduled cheat day. These explanations will better help you understand how to utilize the cheat day and avoid its pitfalls.
I absolutely love running, but I didn’t always feel this way. It took years of on and off running to adapt to it and become proficient enough to enjoy it. One thing that helped me and many other runners improve their performance was to have a consistent weight and resistance training program. More importantly, this will help prevent injuries that are certain to occur to runners without a proper weight training plan.
Starting a new fitness program can be a daunting task. It takes courage and a willingness to change for someone new to walk through our doors looking for a personal trainer. When it comes to starting a training program for beginners, I try to empathize with my clients here in Palo Alto, CA by thinking about how it is for me to start a new training program where I am a beginner. When I first started training for Track & Field I would get very self-conscious when learning a new event. Since I only had considerable experience in 2 events, I was a beginner or a straight up novice in all the others I attempted. Part of starting a new program is the technical portion. Knowing what exercises to do, how often, how many reps, etc. The other side is finding inspiration and motivation so you stick to your new fitness program and have fun doing it.
A home gym may be easier to set up than you think. This may look more like a mini workout area than a full room dedicated to a gym. All you really need is a small space and a few pieces of versatile equipment.
Jerry Yuhara, CPT, CSCS, CMT #75123
299 California Ave, Suite 120
Palo Alto, CA 94306
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