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Michele Silence, M.A. is a 37-year certified fitness 

professional who offers semi-private/virtual fitness 
classes. Contact Michele at michele@kid-fit.
com. Visit her Facebook page at: michelesfitness 
Visit her Facebook page at: michelesfitness.


You may have heard the term Functional Fitness recently 
and wondered what exactly it means. Who is it for? What 
does it entail?

 Functional fitness refers to a type of exercise aimed at 
making daily activities easier and safer. Unlike regular 
strength training, which focuses on specific muscles, 
functional fitness exercises work multiple muscles and 
mirror real-life movements like lifting and bending.

 The main idea of functional fitness is to train the body 
for everyday tasks, not just lifting heavy weights. This helps 
improve strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and 
endurance, which are important for staying independent 
and avoiding injuries.

 Functional fitness exercises can include using your body 
weight, dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, and stability 
balls. They involve movements like squats, lunges, and 
deadlifts, along with cardiovascular and flexibility exercises.

 The goal is to help you do daily activities more easily, 
reduce the risk of injury, and improve your quality of life. It's 
beneficial for people of all ages, especially athletes and older 
adults, looking to enhance their fitness and mobility.

 If you’re an athlete, Functional fitness can offer you the 
following benefits:

Improved Performance: Functional fitness exercises often 
mimic the movements required in specific sports, helping 
to develop strength, agility, and coordination relevant to your activities. For example, a soccer player 
might incorporate exercises that simulate kicking, sprinting, and changing directions quickly. 

 Injury Prevention: By targeting multiple muscle groups and focusing on functional movements, 
athletes can strengthen muscles and joints in a way that better prepares them for the demands of their 
sport. This can help reduce the risk of common sports-related injuries, such as strains, sprains, and 
overuse injuries.

 Enhanced Movement Efficiency: Functional fitness workouts emphasize movement patterns that are 
similar to those used during sports activities. By training these movements, athletes can improve their 
biomechanics and movement efficiency. That means better performance overall.

Core Strength and Stability: Many functional fitness exercises engage the core muscles, which are 
essential for providing stability and transferring power during athletic movements. Strengthening the 
core can improve balance, coordination, and overall athletic performance.

 Balance and Coordination: Functional fitness exercises often require athletes to maintain balance and 
coordination while performing dynamic movements. This helps improve proprioception (awareness of 
body position) and neuromuscular control, which are crucial for sports performance, especially in 
activities that involve rapid changes in direction or unpredictable movements.

 Versatility and Adaptability: Functional fitness workouts can be tailored to target specific areas of 
weakness or address individual goals. Athletes can easily modify exercises to challenge different muscle 
groups or adjust intensity to match their fitness level and training objectives.

 Functional fitness can also offer the average person many benefits as well. Especially as a way for older 
adults to maintain fitness over time. Some of these benefits include:

 Enhanced Mobility and Independence: As people age, maintaining mobility and independence in 
daily activities becomes increasingly important. Functional fitness exercises focus on movements 
relevant to everyday life, such as bending, reaching, and lifting, helping older adults maintain their 
ability to perform these tasks with ease and confidence.

Improved Strength and Balance: Functional fitness workouts target multiple muscle groups and 
emphasize movements that challenge balance and stability. This can help you build strength in key 
areas like the legs, core, and upper body, reducing the risk of falls and improving overall balance and 

 Fall Prevention: Falls are a significant concern as we age and can lead to serious injuries and loss of 
independence. Functional fitness exercises that improve strength, balance, and coordination can help 
reduce the risk of falls by enhancing stability and agility.

Joint Health and Flexibility: Regular participation in functional fitness activities can help maintain 
joint health and flexibility, which tend to decline with age. By promoting proper movement patterns 
and incorporating exercises that target flexibility and range of motion, you can reduce stiffness and 
discomfort in the joints, improving overall mobility and comfort.

 Independence: Functional fitness focuses on improving the ability to perform activities of daily 
living, such as getting up from a chair, climbing stairs, or carrying groceries. By enhancing functional 
strength and mobility, you can maintain independence and continue to engage in the activities you 
enjoy throughout life.

 Mental Well-being: Engaging in regular physical activity, including functional fitness exercises, has 
been shown to have positive effects on mental wellness, including reducing symptoms of depression 
and anxiety. That helps in staying active, providing a sense of purpose and boosting overall quality of 

 Look into incorporating functional fitness exercises into your routine. It can enhance your fitness 
abilities, reduce the risk of injury and increase life satisfaction. Those are things we all can benefit 

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