Functional fitness is a fantastic training style to develop practical strength, mobility and movement.
It helps in everyday life as well as enhance movement for top athletes.
If you’re new to the concept of functional fitness, check out our definitive guide to functional training, that explains everything you need to know about this type of exercise.
As well as lots of bodyweight exercises and workouts, there’s lots of equipment and gear to help support functional fitness workouts and training.
Luckily, our team have been hard at work searching high and low for the very best functional fitness equipment out there. This list of equipment includes our favourite products that’ll help you develop explosive functional fitness!
Best Functional Fitness Training Equipment and Gear
Check out our 12 top favourite pieces of functional fitness training gear below.
Suspension trainers offer a fantastic full body workout. They are incredibly versatile and can be tailored to work pretty much every muscle in your body.
They are also very lightweight and compact, making them a great piece of equipment to take travelling or on the road.
They can also be used in a variety of ways. Forget bicep curls, dumbbells can be used for lots of functional movements and add additional weight to your usual workout.
Simply adding dumbbells to Tabata training can instantly create more resistance and make your muscles work harder.
Kettlebells come in a range of weights so you can find one most suitable for your requirements.
Kettlebells are perfect for any swinging exercise or movement. They offer another layer to the more common exercises involves dumbbells or barbells.
Slamballs allow you to unleash your true power and force. Slamballs won’t bounce up so you can throw them as hard as you can against the floor (providing a highly effective functional movement) without worrying about the ball flying up.
Slamballs vary in weight so again, you can pick one most suitable to your requirements.
Once highly effective slamball workout is squatting while holding it and as you return to a standing position, throw the ball as high as you can against a wall. Catch the ball, squat down and repeat. This offers a great full body functional workout.
Battle ropes help create dynamic exercises that create effective cardio and muscle toning workouts.
Battle ropes help train muscles in way that not many other bits of fitness equipment do – this makes them highly effective at hitting the muscles from a new angle and making them work harder.
Polymetric boxes provide the perfect platform for jumping squats, one legged lunges, and other lower body exercises.
Strengthening these muscles are a vital component to functional strength so polymetric boxes will always deserve a spot in our functional fitness kit list.
Parallettes are great for both functional and calisthenics workouts. Parallette bars come in different heights, and this will impact what you can do with them.
Higher parallettes will give you more versatility – but likely to cost more.
Many gymnastics, people doing lots of calisthenics and CrossFitters will use parallettes for advanced core exercises.
Check out our guide on the best calisthenics workout equipment.
Air bikes are a fantastic at providing an intense full body workout. Unlike a normal exercise bike, an air bike has handle bars that also move and the front wheel creates resistance from the air. This creates a really effective workout – if you push yourself, within seconds you can find yourself exhausted in a heap next to the bike!
These type of bikes are also great for warming up or cooling down.
Resistance bands are cheap, light weight, easy to transport and can be used to train or aid recovery for pretty much every muscle group.
From resistance band stretching to aid mobility and injury recovery, to adding additional resistance to exercises and workouts, resistance bands are the perfect addition to your functional training kit bag.
Bulgarian bags are a great all-round piece of fitness gear. They are very versatile and can be used in a variety of ways.
One of their big benefits over other bits of equipment and gear, is the emphasis on grip. Grip is often ignored in fitness but plays a huge role in developing functional and practical strength. Improved grip is really useful, especially as we get older, so exercises, workouts and equipment that support and foster improved grip strength is a real bonus.
ViPR fitness tubes are another versatile and adaptable piece of functional training gear. It helps build strength and enhance movement training.
It can be lifted, dragged, thrown, stepped on and pretty much anything else you can think of. It encourages and celebrates creativity in your workouts and helps keep exercise exciting.
Power sleds, ideally that include a leash/harness, allow you to improve pushing and pulling movements. Power sleds will involve all your muscles, from legs and core, right through to arms and back.
This means they pack a punch and help with overall body conditioning.
Exercises and workouts that involve power sleds are usually very well suited to those looking to improve their functional fitness.