TRAC adds new Functional Training Zone

Tamarra Newbern, News Reporter

Jeffery Wittah utilizes the TRAC's new Functional Training Zone
Tiffany Chin
Jeffery Wittah utilizes the TRAC’s new Functional Training Zone

The Recreation and Athletic Center (TRAC) has a new addition to the building that just may become a new addition to students’ workout routines. The new Functional Training Zone, which is located in the upper level of TRAC, was added on Feb. 9.

The training zone is equipped with TRX bands, kettle bells, dumbbells, slam balls, etc. to help you get in shape and experience something different than your everyday workout routine.

Alexandria Cosner, assistant director of fitness and wellness, said, “Functional training is a top trend. It is ‘in’ and has been around for the last couple of years. Functional training is a good way to expose people to a different type of training.”

The new addition to TRAC is geared toward using your own body weight as resistance to building muscle mass.

With its introduction to TRAC, the training zone could possibly be viewed as a breath of fresh air. It’s something different and new to try that, depending upon how students use it, could change the way they train and/or perform.

According to Cosner, the Functional Training Zone also can be beneficial to a person’s overall health.

“This type of training, properly applied, can make everyday activities easier, reduce your risk of injury, and improve your quality of life,” Cosner said. “Functional exercise training may be especially beneficial as part of a comprehensive program for older adults to improve balance, agility and muscle strength, and reduce the risk of falls.”

Functional fitness trains muscles that you use in everyday life and prepares them by doing movements that you would do at home, at work, or in a sport. Due to its uniqueness, it can be seen as quite a beneficial exercise station.

Cosner added that, “By training your muscles to work the way they do in everyday tasks, you prepare your body to perform well in a variety of common situations.”

Mac Leverenz, a junior at UIS, expressed how he felt after first using the Functional Training Zone by stating, “I think it’s a great opportunity to do athletic lifts and is a great space that was missing from TRAC.”

The Functional Training Zone is a multi-joint and muscle exercise center where users keep their upper and lower body moving. Instead of just using one specific area of the body as with any other workout machine, almost the entire body is worked simultaneously.

The elbows, hips, spine, knees, and other body parts are all moving and working at the same time as students perform each task/workout. This type of training can improve balance, agility, and muscle strength.

Students interested in how to use the new training zone properly could have a personal trainer at TRAC demonstrate how to use the center or even create a personal workout plan.

Additionally, students can email Cosner for more information on fitness classes that incorporate functional training.

Beginners may feel a bit indecisive on whether to use the new Functional Training Zone, but should not feel discouraged. The new training zone is deemed a great way to start exercises by using body weight for resistance. Its goal is to help users get fit and train for more difficult workouts to come.