Core versus Functional Fitness training

I write often about Kemme Fitness being a Functional Fitness workout program and about working your core. In fact, many of our workouts have the word core right in the title. So what is the difference between core training and Functional Fitness training? I have been getting that exact question a lot lately, so here is my best attempt to answer it.

It may be best to simply define each.

Core Training:

  • the development of stablization and balance through the center of the body
  • the conditioning of the torso with exercises that bridge the gap between your lower body and upper body strength
  • a strong core distributes the stresses of weight bearing and protects your back
  • core training focuses on exercises designed for your core muscles
  • core muscles are the total muscles running the entire length of the torso and stabilize the spine, pelvis, shoulder, and provide a foundation for movement in the extremities
  • core muscles make it possible to stand uprighta nd move on both feet
  • core muscles help control movements, transfer energy, shift body weight, and move in any direction

You want a list of the core muscles?  Here are some:  hip adductors, hip abductors, hamstrings, piriformis, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, gluteus, maxiumum, internal obliques, external obliques, multifidus, rectus adominums, erector spinae, and hip flexors (psoas major, illiacus, rectus femoris, pectineus, sartorius).

I’m sure you know exactly where all those muscles are! If not, who cares. Just know that there are a great deal more to the core than your abs. And the description above should help you understand the important of your core. Now what about Functional Fitness training

Functional Fitness Training:

  • utilization of various techniques to improve speed, agility, power, strength, coordination, balance, and overall physical performance
  • teaches us how to handle our own bodyweight in all planes of movement
  • trains our bodies to be efficient during all movement patterns which translate to sports or real daily living
  • focuses on multi-joint movement that integrates muscles groups into movement patterns that are functional
  • develops our ability to display strength in conditions of instability
  • helps us with balance
  • incorporates proprioceptive input (sensory feedback)
  • develops movements instead of muscles by enhancing the coordinated working relationship between the nervous and muscular systems.

As you can see, Core training is part of an overall Functional Fitness program, but is not everything.  A strong core will help you to achieve your body functionality, but the whole program deals with your total body with merely a focus on the core. You see, the core is one of the most essential parts of your body when it comes to being able to move, keep balance, develop strength, and have agility and coordination. However, the overall program is designed to give you compete functionality with your entire body.

So when people ask what type of program you are doing, don’t just say a core workout. You are engaging in a Functional Fitness program. If they ask further, explain that it is core-centered, works muscles instead of movements, and is more than just getting strong (ie agility, balance, coordination, endurance, power, stamina, reaction time, etc).

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