Functional training is a type of strength training that helps you perform better in everyday life as it mimics the movements we use in everyday activities, whether that be carrying heavy shopping or walking up a flight of stairs. Dumbbells can therefore add extra resistance to your workout.
CrossFit is a very similar to functional training, but it is performed at high intensity. Both CrossFit and functional training can be performed at home and CrossFit dumbbells are extremely useful in both types of training.
One of the biggest benefits of using CrossFit and functional training weights is that they can help improve your stability, as you coordinate your movement to use them effectively, and they will help your bones and joints to get stronger.
An additional benefit of exercising with functional training and CrossFit weights is that, unlike the popular barbell, dumbbells require unilateral movement, which means that your arms move independently of each other. This can highlight strength imbalances between your right and left arm.
Dumbbells in CrossFit
There are loads of exercises you can do using CrossFit dumbbells but some of the best known include the dumbbell lunge, the dumbbell thruster, and the dumbbell hang power clean.
The dumbbell lunge, which requires holding two dumbbells at each shoulder whilst you lunge forwards alternating your legs, works your bilateral strength and requires a bilateral transfer of force whilst you ensure that your trunk is always stable.
The dumbbell thruster requires you to hold two dumbbells at your shoulders as you sink into a squat, raising them above your head as you rise up. Again, this will very quickly highlight any imbalances that you have between your right and left arm strength.
Other popular CrossFit dumbbell exercises include dumbbell burpees, bent over rows, and shoulder press.
What About Functional Training?
Functional training involves compound exercises that recruit several muscles and requires them to interact. CrossFit weights are a great fitness tool to help you perform these functional full body workouts. Examples include the bent over row, which is a great upper body functional exercise that targets a range of different muscle groups including the biceps, rhomboids, and posterior deltoids.
The "plank dumbbell drag" is another example of how the humble CrossFit weight can help target muscles including the core, obliques, trapezius, rhomboids, and glutes. This exercise is great for your core and with the introduction of the weight, a plank exercise is made more challenging as you introduce movement with resistance.
Other exercises include the dumbbell squat press and the dumbbell jump squat.
Considerations When Buying
There are different types of dumbbells to choose from so it is important that you understand what these differences are before you buy. Fixed dumbbells are popular in home gyms with sets available from 2.5 kg to 30kg. When deciding which weight of dumbbells to buy we would advise buying a range of weights, so that you can use your CrossFit dumbbells in as flexible a way as possible. It is worth remembering, though, that for CrossFit, the standard dumbbell competition weight is 22.5kg for men and 15kg for women.
Fixed dumbbells come in different finishes, rubber, and urethane, and both are popular in CrossFit and functional training. Fixed rubber dumbbells are hardwearing and durable with a protective outer coating, so they are good at reducing the noise when exercising which again makes them popular in home gyms.
You can also choose fixed rubber hex dumbbells. The hexagonal shape is great if you want to avoid your dumbbells from rolling around the floor, which can be really useful in exercises involving quick movements.
The only real dumbbell to avoid for this type of training is the studio dumbbell which are the small, coloured dumbbells which are usually light in weight and fully coated. These tend to be popular in gyms for cardio workouts only. If you're looking for more CrossFit weight options, you might be interested in our selection of kettlebells and medicine balls.
Shop the collection of functional fitness and CrossFit weights at GymEquipment.co.uk today and get free UK delivery when you spend £100 or more. Don't forget to enquire about our gym design service, too.