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7 Benefits of Functional Conditioning

Functional Conditioning
Kent Probst, BS, MEd
Kent Probst is the owner of Long Healthy Life Blog

Why Functional Conditioning is Important

At its most basic meaning, functional conditioning is resistance exercise that increases strength in your musculoskeletal system for the purpose of improving your activities of daily living.  

It’s important for you to avoid the functional decline that comes with aging. This is why you need functional conditioning to remain functionally independent late into life.

To stay functionally independent late in life, your workout should improve or maintain function.  

Your workout should be based around your individual needs, so each person’s workout will vary. 

Functional exercises should mimic your functional activities.  


Plyometrics at Power Systems

 

How You Benefit From Functional Conditioning

1. Less Risk of Injury 

Functional conditioning exercises will make your activities of daily living easier, thereby reducing the risk of falls. By getting stronger in the muscle groups you use during your activities of daily living, you’ll have better core and lower extremity stability.

 

2. Unnecessary Expensive Equipment

You won’t need fancy equipment for functional conditioning. Most of the exercises can be done using body weight against gravity, dumbbells, or therapy balls.

 

3. Increased Muscle Mass

Increased muscle mass is associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality in people over age 55. Since functional conditioning exercises tend to be compound exercises involving more than one joint, they stimulate more testosterone and growth hormone than isolation exercises, building more muscle mass and strength than isolation exercises.

 

4. Improved Coordination

Complex movement patterns required for functional conditioning translate into better coordination involving activities of daily living. The more your conditioning program simulates activities of daily living, the more transfer of learning there will be.


 

5. Better Core Stability

Improving your functional activities requires improving core stability, and functional conditioning can deliver stronger and better developed abdominal and paraspinal muscles of the lumbar region. 

 

6. Postural Improvement

Unless you’re actively working on maintaining good posture, or improving posture, it tends to deteriorate with age. Poor posture can also lead to neck, shoulder, and back pain. 

Incorporating functional conditioning can be done at a young age so you don’t have to worry about poor posture later in life.

 

7. Improved Balance

As a consequence of aging, our balance tends to deteriorate.  More specifically, this means loss of sensory ability and motor control, as well as a decline in musculoskeletal function from sarcopenia. 

Reducing the risk of fractures is another reason you should be concerned about balance. People involved in functional conditioning tend to see better balance and athletic ability.


 

Summary

When you incorporate exercises into your routine that mimic your activities of daily living, you’ll see your functional activities get easier. 

You can start with the exercises outlined in the article 5 Strength Training Exercises for Longevity.

Need help designing a workout? The American Council on Exercise has resources to help you find a fitness professional.

 

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

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One Response

  1. In a world where digital content often succumbs to mediocrity, your work stands tall as a beacon of sophistication. The meticulous attention to detail, coupled with an unwavering commitment to excellence, is both refreshing and admirable. It’s a testament to your dedication to the art of written expression.

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Hi, I'm Kent

As a personal trainer, exercise physiologist, and bodybuilder, I’ve dedicated my life to optimal nutrition, fitness and natural remedies. And putting it all into practice. Now I’m taking my experience and knowledge to the next level by helping others through blogging.

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