WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL FITNESS?
The goal of this type of training is to empower each individual's body to be able to push, pull, carry, hinge, rotate, lunge, jump and squat with optimal movement, strength, and safety. We want the body to train the way it was intended to, rather than avoiding or fearing the movements.
Before starting functional training, we take each individual through a specific movement assessment to find out where they lack optimal strength and range of motion. We also check to see if there are areas that the individual may be over training in, causing tightness and compensatory issues to occur.
For each individual that trains functionally, there are three major principles used when selecting specific exercises:
They must be safe to the patient
They must effectively train the patient for life-like challenges or tasks
They are efficient because they contain the least amount of risk while producing the greatest amount of benefit to the body
PROBLEMS WITH TODAY'S FITNESS SOCIETY:
Today’s fitness society has two major road blocks to accomplishing those movements. The first is that we have an overwhelming dependency on machines. This is because people tend to avoid barbell, body weight, and dumbbell exercises due to their fear of injury or lack of proper strength/mobility to do so correctly. Eventually this training style becomes a negative cycle in which we perform machine work in hopes that it will lead to enough strength gains to perform more fundamental movements, however it doesn’t due to the lack of neuromuscular specificity, therefore we just keep exercising and adapting to the machines patterns.
Secondly, people perform the same routines day in and day out. This includes the same repetitions, weight, and exercises. Those types of monotonous routines work for a little bit but eventually plateau. When our bodies plateau, we miss out on the neuromuscular challenge (balance/coordination) and growth stimulus for strength/power. Most people stick to these types of routines because they fear hurting themselves or lack the prerequisites to perform greater weight, repetitions, or range of motion confidently.
The human body was created to physically adapt and survive regardless of the environment we live in. How well it does this is hugely dependent upon our body’s ability to perform the following fundamental movements: push, pull, carry, hinge, rotate, lunge and squat.
In today’s culture, performing those movements correctly or at all has become optional. Survival is not dependent upon the ability to move functionally anymore. However, our body’s DNA and physiology were programmed to perform exactly those movements. Our bones, muscle, tissues, and nervous system still contain the potential to perform and grow immensely from those exercises just like those before us did.