Is Resistance Training or Functional Training better ?

For anyone that is big into fitness and working out, you probably know the difference between resistance training and functional training.  Is resistance training or functional training better ?  Here we cover some basic differences between using machines, free weights, and functional training. 

Traditional resistance training is great to use for increasing general strength in all the muscles of the body. Most of the exercises used especially with machines are meant to isolate the muscle. If you are looking more at general strength and fitness, machines or free weights are a great choice.

Machines are good to use if you want to isolate a specific muscle. They are also ideal if you want to do different types of training like circuit training or undulated training where you have to make fast transitions between the weight being used each set. 

If you are more inclined to use free weights at the gym, these exercises are much more similar to functional exercises you can do at home. This includes exercises like the squat, deadlift, bench press, or shoulder press. These exercises are similar to functional training because they are not isolated but work multiple joints and muscles. These exercises are also much more complex in movement patterns similar to everyday movements. 

Although muscle isolation is good for increasing the overall strength of the muscle, it isn’t a motion you would use in everyday activity. Functional training or general resistance training are both good. As stated though functional training may be used when your training for specific movements or everyday activities. This includes motions of throwing, pulling, picking things up, and other motions used everyday. General free weight dumbbell and barbell exercises are also good.  Here is a video of some great functional exercises and differences between the two. 

If your serious about training and want to start more functional training depending on your goals, you can make some of this equipment yourself at home. Here is a great article giving detailed information on this. If your goal is to increase general fitness and strength, machines are better to use. If you want to increase your strength for every day movements, functional training is your best option. Overall though resistance training or functional training are both good.