http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBRWQlYY_z4
Functional fitness conditions the body to perform natural daily life actions–lifting, pushing, pulling–even the way we stand up and sit down more efficiently with minimal risk of injury.

Most gyms feature nautilus machines which isolate musclesquadriceps, hamstrings, biceps, triceps, etc. in an artificial way bearing little resemblance to real life movement.

Double Eagle Fitness trains in a park or in your back yard using body weight. Basic exercises such as squatting, dead-lifting, push-ups, pull-ups, planks, climbing, sit-ups, jumping, and lunges mimic movements we all do all day every day. Getting on and off of couches, toilets, chairs, beds, etc. Lifting laundry baskets, groceries, and children. Moving furniture, washing the car, hanging photographs, and reaching for that can way in the back corner of a high cabinet.

You always get on and off the couch like this, right?

All of those actions require the use of the whole body rather than isolated muscles the way machines in most fitness facilities operate. Functional fitness means that core muscles–abdomen, lower back, pelvic muscles, glutes, and hip flexors–are involved. When more than one muscle engages the excercise becomes compound. In other words, you burn more calories doing body weight exercises involving the core and your hamstrings than you do prone on a machine performing hamstring curls.

Think about your daily life. How many times do you stand up and sit down. Challenge yourself to use squat mechanics for an entire day and post how many squats or partial squats you did. This creates muscle memory, burns extra calories, and protects your knees. What else do you do everyday that could be improved with core strength or proper lifting technique?

(Refresher core post: http://doubleeaglefitness.com/new/2011/08/24/workout-wednesday-why-is-core-strength-crucial/ )

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