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Understanding Our Why

So now you have access to all this extra space, but WHAT do you do with it?  That seems to be the underlying question of many that enter the newly turfed area.  Golf comes to mind for some;) FORE!!

To explain WHY we have opened up the space, I want to introduce a new perspective on a term that has been over used and misunderstood by both the general public and personal trainers alike.  That term is Functional Training.  If you Google it, you will get a billion hits but generally speaking, Wikipedia defines it as, “Functional training is a classification of exercise which involves training the body for the activities performed in daily life.”.

It’s a start but it’s missing something.  Here is the way I believe it should be defined, “Functional training is a classification of exercise which involves training the body for the WAY activities SHOULD BE performed in daily life.  My point here is that the fitness industry and the internet is cluttered with misinformation and so much of it that it becomes very difficult to determine what or who is credible and what or who is not.  And that brings me to the reason behind our WHY.  Our goal for anyone who walks through our doors is to help them move better in order to feel better and ultimately perform better by educating them how to do so.

With respect to our goal of moving better, you need room to do so.  Machines have their place and for many of them, in my opinion, they are best suited to rehab and post rehab unless you have a very specific reason to train one muscle group in one single plane of motion while sitting!   If you think about it, it’s been said that sitting is the new smoking.  So does spending most of your time in the gym sitting on a machine to get your exercise make a lot of sense?  Our bodies were designed to move in three planes of motion, forward and back, side to side and rotationally.  Much of the time we will move in multiple planes at the same time.  You can’t do that with most machines.

Getting back to my definition of Functional Training, moving the way you should be moving requires an understanding of HOW your joints were designed to move and an understanding of what “Neutral” or Normal” looks like or used to look like…

As we get older, we adapt to the demands that have been placed on our bodies.  Generally speaking those adaptations take us away from neutral and we develop movement impairments which for many, can lead to pain.  So simply doing exercises that mimic what we do in daily life can compound these impairments.  Just going through the motions or line of pull that the machine takes us, doesn’t really help. What trainers should be doing is identifying your individual impairments and getting you back to neutral as much as possible.  I am not suggesting that every compensation or adaptation can be overcome with corrective exercise because we need to take into consideration the pathology behind the impairment.  However, identifying movement impairments and knowing what to do about it is the key to helping a person move better before you get them moving more.  My next post will get into how we identify these impairments along with a cool video of how our body compensates but how a simple corrective exercise can bring you back to neutral.

In the mean time here are some suggestions to help you use the space.  Incorporate these into your warm-up along with some foam rolling and you’ll be off to a great start!

Inch worms…

Bear Crawl…

Overhead Lunge Walk…


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