Training Specificity and Functional Exercises


While any exercise in general is beneficial to the body, as we get older it becomes more important for us to train in functional exercises. Functional exercises are used to support movements that are found in day-to-day activities, such as walking, sitting, standing, climbing stairs, etc. The body adapts specifically to exercise movements, so by emulating functional movements in your exercise routine, the body will adapt and improve on these movements.


Here are some functional exercises that can be done at home:

1) Sit-to-Stand

Sit-to-stand is an important functional movement that can help with many activities done during the day, and is a determinant for independent living. To perform a sit-to-stand, tighten the core muscles as you push your hips back and lower into the chair. Then after a brief pause, step back up using force towards the heels. Perform 10 reps for 2-3 sets every day.


2) Lunge

Lunges are a functional movement that supports any action that requires strength from one leg, such as walking and climbing stairs. To perform a lunge, start standing up straight then take one step forward and slowly descend such that the knee creates a 90 degree angle. Pause for a brief second, then use the strength in the front foot to step back up. Perform 10 reps for 2-3 sets every day, and smaller lunges without the step can be done for those with knee problems.


3) Single Leg Stance

Single Leg Stance helps train balance and the ability for the ankle to support many different movements, reducing risk of falls and injuries. To perform a single leg stance, tighten the core muscles and lift one foot off the floor by bending the knee. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds with as little movement as possible. If you feel unsteady, it would be better to perform this near a wall or countertop to have a support in case of falls.



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