I do functional training with Boomers and Seniors in their homes. Every client is different. Some are just looking to get through the day with more energy-many have back, knee, hips or shoulder issues, while others may be looking to lose weight and some may have a goal in mind to run a 5k. The point is, they will all see the most improvement with a “functional training program”.
So, what is “functional” training? This method of training employs movements that mimic the way you move in life. Let’s say you are moving boxes. You will need to squat down and lift a box then carry it. A Deadlift is a very functional movement. It involves a bend at the hip and knee and then a lift very close to the body. It is a highly functional movement and one that most people do several times in a week. How many times do you lift something over your head to set it on a shelf above you? A shoulder press is another functional movement that will help you to safely lift that object over your head and onto the shelf. What about balance? Must of us lose some balance as we age. A program that incorporates balance training on an unstable surface can help tremendously with those issues as we age.
The way I train seniors is to strengthen them in ways that will benefit them in their every day lives. If you are traveling, how many times have you climbed hundreds of steps only to be extremely winded with tired legs at the top of the climb? Functional training can really improve your strength and endurance AND you will lose weight and feel better! So next time you are exercising, think functional, think about how you move around throughout the day and then train that way.