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Will The Functional Training Rig Be Your New Gym Obsession?

woman doing pull ups on rig scaled

As we hurtle closer to the end of the year, now is the time a lot of us start looking forward to 2021.

For many people, the new year is a time to either get into exercise or switch up their routine, the name functional training rig sounds overly technical, but they’re actually simple to use and accessible to all kinds of people, no matter how pro you are at the gym.

“A functional training rig is a bespoke training station designed to fit your training area and requirements,” says Melissa Weldon, head trainer at Sweat It. “It can come in a range of shapes and sizes and has a variety of fixed and removable attachments. They are completely multi-functional and space saving, and users have a wide variety of different equipment on offer that they can use all in one place.”

This is essentially a metal structure with bars you can swing from or do pull-ups on, along with attachments like resistance bands and weights you can use to work all areas of the body. They’re often hulking beasts in the middle of the gym floor which means they can be daunting to approach, but it’s the rig’s complexity which keeps your workout interesting.

At the studio where Weldon is trainer, each rig station “incorporates equipment such as landmines [barbells which are angled on the diagonal that you press up], Olympic bars and resistance bands, to deliver a full-body, results-driven workout that teaches the fundamentals of strength training,” she says.

“The equipment can be used for various exercises, such as pull-ups, landmine squats, landmine press, pull-ups and dead lifts.”

Even though functional training rigs can be different sizes and involve varying pieces of equipment, they’re essentially a one-stop shop for all your training needs: cardio, strength and body weight.

“The benefits of a functional rig are virtually limitless,” explains Weldon, “with individuals utilising this type of training to enhance athletic performance through increasing cardiovascular fitness, agility, muscular endurance, flexibility, fat loss, co-ordination and core strength.”

There’s a reason it’s called ‘functional training’. These are exercises which mimic everyday tasks, training your muscles to perform them properly. Think squats, resistance training, lunges – the kinds of movements which will help you carry the shopping in one hand and your kid in the other with ease. Not only will functional training help with your day-to-day life, but it builds up strength in your joints, meaning you’ll be able to remain active for longer as well as reducing the risk of injury.

It’s likely there’s  a rig in your local gym – so why not have a go on the monkey bars, and then do some TRX body weight work off it? Or if you’re looking to invest, you can get functional training rigs for your home. Their size can be tailored to how much space you have and what attachments you want, but we daresay a trip to your local gym or a class at Sweat It are a cheaper way to get in on this new fitness trend.