Functional Fitness Is a Trend to Watch in 2024

sport, fitness and healthy lifestyle concept - smiling senior woman exercising with resistance band on mat at home
By Syda Productions -

Personalized fitness is booming! From HIIT to cozy cardio, it seems there are workout programs for everyone—which is a great thing.

Functional fitness is a topic that folks are talking about more and more, so we sat down with Antonietta Vicario, chief training officer at Pvolve, a fitness franchise that pairs functional movement with resistance-based equipment to sculpt and strengthen the body.

Here, she shares a few of the core reasons that functional fitness has become a top wellness trend to watch.

A Focus on Longevity, Injury Avoidance and Mobility

For years, fitness consumers were led to believe that you needed high-intensity workouts that felt punishing and often left people feeling broken down or even worse, injured. No pain, no gain—we’ve all heard it a thousand times.

Today, people are in search of a workout that they can do consistently in a way that doesn’t leave them feeling depleted. Functional fitness, which works with the body’s natural movements, builds strength to support daily life while correcting muscular imbalance. The results make people not only look better, but feel better too.

At Pvolve, our resistance-based equipment and programming focuses on taking members’ joints through their full range of motion, while the resistance activates the muscles. This allows them to build both strength and mobility. Our trainers also teach correct biomechanics to help guests build better overall movement awareness.

Related: Even Minimal Exercise Boosts Overall Health

We’ve been involved in several clinical studies that further the public’s understanding and confidence in what functional fitness can do. Most recently, Pvolve worked with the University of Exeter on a clinical study that compared low-impact, resistance-based workouts against standard fitness routines in women 40 and older. The results showed staggering efficacy of the functional fitness method, such as increases in strength, flexibility, energy and overall quality of life. 

An Inclusive Modality

There has been a healthy shift in people incorporating movement as a part of their daily routine, even if it’s just 10-20 minutes when they can fit it into their day. But other times, people want the accountability, community and expert trainer tips you get from a studio setting.

Functional fitness can be offered in a hybrid model that allows members to enjoy in-studio classes as well as on-demand options at home, which allows pros to meet guests’ diverse needs.

More and more people are also looking at healthspan, beyond just lifespan—not just living long, but living well for the long haul. Staying active and mobile is top of mind for consumers of all ages.

Low-impact functional movements are approachable for all fitness levels and ages. The exercises mimic and support the movements we encounter in our daily lives.

It’s a modality that’s essentially training the body to withstand the normal activities we all take on each and every day: squatting, pulling, twisting, bending, etc. while building strength, mobility and stability. This supports people moving better for longer.

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