If you’re a gym rat and have started feeling that post-workout burn less and less, Don Gallucci, a fitness coach and personal trainer at the TriHealth Fitness and Health Pavilion, says you might need to change up your routine.
“You’re not challenging the muscle anymore,” he points out.
Functional Exercise vs. Isolated Exercise
What’s the best way to challenge those muscles? Don suggests switching from an isolated exercise to a more functional exercise. This means that instead of working out just your abdominals, for example, you incorporate another body part, like the oblique muscles, in the same exercise.
Similarly, he recommends using different machines to develop weaker muscles, and then, once those muscles have been strengthened, using them in coordination with another muscle, resulting in a functional movement.
This also means more caloric burn for your exercise buck. “Again, functional is going to involve a lot of muscles firing at one time, which means you’re going to generate more energy and burn more calories.”
Always Consult a Professional
While incorporating new exercises into your fitness routine is beneficial, you also run the risk of injuring yourself if you aren’t performing the movement correctly. “If they can perform the functional movement correctly, that’s fine, but if it compromises things in their body, then the risk is greater than the benefit,” Don explains. “The best thing to do is ask a professional how to do it correctly.”