Man versus machine

Bring your workout in line with current times

By Maureen Eggers, Women’s & Coed Fitness Manager

The future of fitness is now! Cutting-edge concepts and trends are revolutionizing the exercise experience. Americans are working out regularly in greater numbers. Fitness studios are popping up all around us. And smartphones put workouts in the palm of your hand.

Although some trends come and go, others have lasting power. One trend that is here to stay is functional training, which takes the weight machine out of the equation to improve workout efficiency and movement quality. Brilliant!

What is functional training? Simply put, it is exercise that improves our mind-body connection using movements that mimic those we do every day. Kettlebells, bands, and medicine balls are often used in functional training, but body-weight exercises are popular, too.

Why train functionally and not on a machine? Here are a few of the reasons:

  • Machines move in one direction. But each of us moves differently depending on variables such as our limb length, range of motion, and past and present injuries. Machines force the body to track with their own preset direction. Although this won’t always create an obvious problem, it can inhibit quality movement.
  • Machines do one thing. But daily activities and sports require complex movements that involve multiple joints, patterns, and planes.
  • Machines cheat your core. But core strength is vital to life. The best way to deactivate your abdominal muscles is to sit down. Many of us already do that all day. Although some sit-down machines are great, we can often do a better job with a functional approach.

Additional functional training equipment will be coming to Women’s Fitness in the next year. The most noticeable change will be a Life Fitness cable system and additional barbells. Cable machines offer more exercise options and natural movement paths for the user.

Many functional training options are also available in Men’s Fitness and Coed Fitness. To find out more about functional training, schedule an appointment with a WAC personal
trainer, who can walk you through this fitness trend with staying power.

—Reach Women’s & Coed Fitness Manager Maureen Eggers at meggers@wac.net or 206.839.4785. Email fitness@wac.net to schedule a personal training session.

As published in the January/February 2019 issue of WAC Magazine.

—Posted January 6, 2019

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