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Functional training: body beats machine
Gyms are the trend, but for some time now, alongside modern equipment, classic training methods have also been in demand, in which one's own body serves as a “fitness device”. Functional training is the name of the exercises for which more and more gyms are setting up special open spaces. The training not only addresses individual muscle groups, it also strengthens the body as a whole. Group training also has a special motivation.
Essentially, your own body weight is used in functional training, but dumbbells, ropes, medicine or exercise balls can also be used as aids. The individual exercises are limited in time or are only carried out in a certain number of repetitions. However, numerous different exercises are used as part of a training session. During a one-hour functional training, several muscle groups are addressed. This benefits coordination, endurance, strength and the overall movement. In particular, the training of the back muscles, abdominal muscles, hip muscles and shoulder blade muscles often plays an important role in the exercises, since these are crucial for the stabilization of the body. Dustin Tusch from the employers' association of German fitness and health facilities (DSSV) told the news agency "dpa" that functional training is currently the biggest trend in the fitness industry.
Improved mobility and increased muscle strength The fitness studios are responding to the trend by offering more training sessions and creating additional free space for them. Functional training was originally used primarily in the context of rehabilitation and physiotherapy. Overall, the special training, if carried out correctly, leads to better mobility and stability of the joints and to more efficient strength patterns. Professional sport has also made use of this effect in the past, since it can significantly reduce the potential for injury during sporting activities. Professor Christoph Eifler from the German University for Prevention and Health Management in Saarbrücken explained to the news agency "dpa" that the functional training "serves to prevent injuries, thus reducing the risk of injury and improving performance at the same time."
Functional training with less risk of injury Carried out studies, in which the effect of the classic device training was compared with that of the functional training, showed that the latter leads to a significantly higher muscle strength as well as to a significantly better sense of balance and improved mobility. The former coach of the German national soccer team also knew the advantages of this training method and had therefore used it for the first time on a larger scale among professional soccer players. Although training on equipment may seem safer at first glance, sports doctors believe that "restricting movements to a single level, which is often also of an unnatural shape, favors incorrect movement patterns and can therefore lead to injuries" . For example, functional training in "professional sports has now prevailed over device training in many areas".
Functional training particularly popular with women According to industry experts, the popularity of functional training can also be attributed to the growing proportion of female customers in the fitness studios. Because women rarely have fun lifting weights and generally do not strive for any pronounced bodybuilder muscles, but rather want to get in shape overall. Training in a group is often particularly helpful for them. In addition, the exercises are individually adjusted so that "they are also well suited for beginners". Professor Christoph Eifler comes to the conclusion that "functional training can be clearly recognized as a trend, not only in the studios, but overall in leisure sports." (Fp)