Are you working out to achieve fat loss? Unfortunately, your workout may not be giving you the calorie and fat burn that you really want. Many people make the mistake of logging hours of cardio when they want to lose weight, and this rarely offers them the results they really want. For the best fat burning results, you need to rethink the way you’re exercising.
When you’re ready to torch fat, functional exercise is an excellent option. Functional exercise is one of the latest buzzwords at the gym, it’s one I’ve been using for the last decade on myself and my clients. Using this workout method can help you lose fat while offering you many other excellent benefits. Here’s a closer look at functional exercise, how it can be used melt away fat, and some helpful examples of this type of exercise.
What is Functional Exercise?
Functional exercise is designed to train the muscles to work together, preparing your muscles for everyday tasks by simulating the common movements often done at work, home, or in certain sports. This fitness method also focuses on using multiple muscle groups at the same time while emphasizing core stability. These exercises specifically involve using two or more muscle groups and a minimum of two joints. Some of the everyday life movement patterns mimicked by these exercises may include reaching, rotating, picking up things from the floor, and squatting. The goal of functional fitness training is to develop or adapt exercises that let individuals perform daily activities in life easily and without injury.
When performed correctly functional exercise should result in improved stability and joint mobility, as well as improved, efficient, movement patterns. By improving mobility and stability, the potential for injury is reduced. Functional exercises can be with the use of just body weight, dumbbells and plus cable systems can be used, to tone muscles, improve fitness, and stimulate fat loss.
Using Functional Exercise for Fat Loss
How does this type of exercise help you achieve fat loss? First, when you engage multiple muscles at one time, you’ll burn more calories than you would in other workouts. When incorporating functional fitness exercises into your workout, it results in muscle metabolism acceleration.
When you try losing fat with long periods of slow cardio, the body often begins releasing more cortisol and increasing your appetite and both of those things make it tough to lose fat. With functional exercise, you start tapping into the anaerobic energy system of the body while building more lean muscle tissue. Not only do these things help you to increase your metabolism while you’re working out, but they’ll increase your resting metabolism as well. Working out in this way also helps to promote the release of growth hormone, a fat burning hormone that aids in fat loss and cortisol reduction.
As you begin losing fat, your functional fitness routine can be changed to increase the intensity so you continue building more muscle while challenging your body. A progressive routine that increases intensity will help you keep losing fat in the future as well.
Examples of Functional Exercises to Use for Fat Loss
Now that you’re familiar with functional exercise and how it works, you may be wondering exercises you should add to your workout to start working on fat loss. Here are a few examples that you can use to improve your functional fitness while burning calories and enjoying fat loss.
– Medicine Ball Squat with an Overhead Lift – This exercise is designed to strengthen your lower back, shoulders, legs, arms, and glutes. No doubt you lift your groceries or your kids regularly, and this exercise helps strengthen the muscles that will make this easier and safe for you. Start by standing with the feet wide and hold a light medicine ball with both hands right in front of your body. Lower into a squat while lowering the medicine ball all the way to the ground. Make sure you keep your back straight and your head up. Push up to the start position and lift the ball over the head. Do three sets of 8-10 reps. As you grow stronger, you can increase the ball’s weight.
– Bicep Curl with Stair Climb – Stairs offer an excellent way to tone your legs and butt, and by adding bicep curls, you’ll also strengthen your arms. This exercise helps improve your ability to carry items up stairs, and they boost your cardio fitness as well. Begin by standing at the bottom of your stairs with a five pound dumbbell in each of your hands. Climb the stairs, doing bicep curls as you climb. Then run down the stairs without doing curls, but still holding the weights in your arms. Do five sets of 10. You can increase the weight as you get stronger.
– Dumbbell Chops – You rotate your body every day, whether you’re grabbing something from the back seat of your car or backing the car out of your drive. When you rotate and reach, it fires your abs, the quads, and your hip flexors. Dumbbell chops help to train your abs, quads, and hip flexors so they perform this type of movement without injury. Take a dumbbell and hold it above the right shoulder with both hands with your torso rotated to the right. Start swinging the dumbbell down to the left until it’s at the outside of the left knee. Do this by rotating to your left while bending at the hips. Do 10 reps to the left and then do 10 reps by starting with the dumbbell over the left shoulder.