Functional fitness workouts train muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements users might do at home, at work or in sports.
Because these movements can be beneficial for members, Lauren Harrington, the fitness coordinator at the South Rowan – J. Fred Corriher Jr. YMCA, has implemented functional fitness programming into her facility’s daily action.
To make space for this new offering, the Fred Corriher Y converted half of one of their basketball courts into a functional training center. It is fully equipped with a lifting rig, bars, bumper plates, plyo boxes, rowers, SkiErgs, Assault Air Bikes, wall balls, GHD machine, reverses hypertension machine, dumbbells, kettlebells and more.
With all that equipment available, the Fred Corriher Y is able to offer a wide variety of classes free to their members, such as Bootcamp, Kettlebell and TRX. “We also offer paid programs, similar to small group training and more specific to functional training, that are programmed and taught by our CrossFit level 1-certified coaches,” said Harrington.
A special program that has blossomed out of offering functional training is a six-week progression program. Members who participate will weigh in, get measured, do a body fat scan, and record max weight, reps and speed for specific exercises. Throughout these six weeks, participants will be focused on very specific workouts and challenges to help them reach their goals. At the end of six weeks, members will repeat the process so they can see the real progression they made.
Offering functional fitness not only helps members see real results, but also boosts overall engagement. “Every member is looking for something different, but they are all looking to get healthier in some way,” said Harrington. “It is our job to encourage and give them the tools they need in order to be successful.”
In order to make these programs successful, Harrington said teamwork must be a top priority. “I always say, ‘Teamwork makes the dream work,’ and it’s so true,” she explained. “You could have an amazing program, but if you don’t have the right instructor or coach leading it, it will fall apart.”