Functional fitness – at the core of good training

The new functional fitness suite at Kelsey Kerridge Outlooks Gym is an absolute dream space for anyone who wants a work out containing variety, innovation and good old fashioned hard work.

Comprising a whole range of functional fitness equipment, including Bulgarian bags, Kettle-bells, a punch bag, bars, cable ropes, a weighted tyre, bands, TRX suspension cables and plyoblocks, this is an area that – used properly – will get to the very core of your fitness.

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Here is one user’s review.

For me going to the gym means a run/bike or row for roughly 40-45 minutes, followed by a range of weights, usually following a very similar pattern – arms, legs, stomach. This will be followed by a further 15 minutes of cardio and then a cool-down.

When I first encountered kettle-bells, I began to push my work-out in a slightly different direction. To the above routine, I added some kettle-bell work that challenged my balance and definitely worked my core. Suddenly, symmetrical workouts were not proving as satisfying, it was far better to be lifting a weight while balancing on one leg, or using a weight to mimic an actual movement (who actually ever does a pure bi-cep curl in real life?).

Well, the functional fitness suite at Kelsey Kerridge has just taken my training to a new place. As I write this, my shoulders are aching from the three minutes of cable rope work that I did earlier today. Six sets of 30 seconds on those ropes and I defy anyone to walk away and not be physically shaking.

Then there was the Bulgarian bags. I used them while doing lunges and they really tested my core to the utmost. Another woman working out was using the bags while she did deep squats; they can also be used for trunk twists, hip thrusts, press-ups; any number of exercises.

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My own personal favourite involved a piece of equipment that looked like a giant maraca. This weighted piece makes a ‘maraca-like’ sound as you move it back and forth or up and down. The most effective movements were the hawaii-five-O rowing motion on each side of the body and the movement that targeted the hips – get into a deep squat and move the equipment laterally in front of your body.

Add into the mix the presence of fitness guru Mustafa Ustamehmetoglu urging me to do ‘just 10 more’ and I can honestly say it was one of the best, most vigorous workouts I have done for a while.Kelsey Kerridge user.

Just a quick word on functional fitness.

Functional fitness exercises train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports. It also emphasises core stability.

For example, a squat is a functional exercise because it trains the muscles used when you rise up and down from a chair or pick up low objects. By training your muscles to work the way they do in everyday tasks, you prepare your body to perform well in a variety of common situations.

Rope Training

What are the benefits of functional fitness training?

According to the Mayo Clinic, functional exercises tend to be multi-joint, multi-muscle exercises. Instead of only moving the elbows, for example, a functional exercise might involve the elbows, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles. This type of training, properly applied, can make everyday activities easier, reduce your risk of injury and improve your quality of life.