Functional Training Circuits

Functional training circuits are a workout routine designed around a specific fitness component. The basic concept of circuit training originated in the 1950s as a way to develop general fitness. By the 1970s, aerobic classes focused on cardiovascular conditioning using the circuit method. The movement branched out and, soon, the fitness industry developed several formats, including Step and Spinning. Even weight training adopted the circuit approach particularly the Body Pump. What a circuit includes The arrangement of the initial routines in a circle, alternating the different muscle groups resulted in the name “circuit training”. By allowing only a short rest interval of mere seconds between stations, cardiovascular fitness is gained along with the benefits of resistance training. Today, the format remains similar. A group of strength exercises, for example, are completed one after the other. A time period or repetition number is assigned to each category. There is, however, a brief and timed rest period between each exercise and the length of time between each circuit is separated by a longer rest period. How many circuits you perform varies according to your training level, your period of training and your objective. Functional training circuits, follow the same pattern, but are formulated based on the intent of the work out. Functional human movement is the foundation. In other words, they are sport specific in design or, at least, devised to address needs based on function. Functional training circuits, at their best, can actually improve the performance and activities of your daily life. As a result, functional training circuits can follow a wide variety of themes, such as cardiovascular, balance, stability, or core work. Pump you up? The Body Pump is one example of basic functional training techniques. It starts with an initial routine around which the rest of the activities circulate. Other formats center on other specific fitness component, such as cardio, toning, strength or flexibility. Cardiovascular fitness and resistance training circuits are another circuit strategy, effectively combining cardio conditioning with functional strength training. Developing functional training circuits can introduce variety and creativity into a routine. The type of equipment and exercises to be used is numerous. Moreover, the changing pace and the alternating of the various pieces of equipment hold interest at a peak level. Moving from stairs to dumbbells to physioballs balance equipment and weights increases cardiovascular health, enhances motor skills, improves endurance and prevents boredom from setting in too quickly. As a side benefit, it can sharpen the mind. Functional training circuits, as it can be seen, are flexible and provide great variability. They are also adaptable to specific needs. Adding resistance training into the mix can help to build both strength and stamina. Research in this area has found resistance training can reduce the amount of injuries in athletes. This is, probably, because integrating resistance work into a circuit produces stronger leg muscles including the frequently injured hamstrings and shin muscles. In the process core muscle groups, such as the lower back, are also strengthened. There is no doubt functional training circuits can play a significant role in preparing athletes to play, win or perform successfully. As part of an offseason workout, it acts as a means to maintain general fitness gained over the season while providing a gateway to higher levels of conditioning.

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