Sports Performance Training/ Functional Training

Sport Performance Training and Functional Training
What is Sports Performance Training/ Functional Training? Many people have heard of the both of those terms in when it comes to training.  Functional training is training that will help improve a person’s ability to function in their daily activities. There are several categories of Functional/ Sports Performance training: Soft tissue care, Flexibility & Mobility, Strength training and Conditioning.  Each area is very important to improving an athlete’s performance and reduces your chance of injury. The same areas can also be applied to General wellness client.
What is Soft Tissue care? Soft tissues are your muscle, ligaments and tendons in your body keeping those tissues in proper working order will save you a lot of pain later on in life. Very common soft tissue care is Sports Massages. Unfortunately not every has the time to get a sports massage before they workout. The next best Soft tissue work is the foam roller.  A foam roller is a cylindrical piece of hard celled foam. They come in many different sizes, shapes and densities.  The larger or more muscular the person the more dense the foam roller should be. The Foam roller should be used as a way to apply pressure to the sore area in long sweeps across the length of the muscle.  Your goal with the foam roller is to find tender areas to roll those areas to keep the muscle density uniform throughout the length of the muscle.  Keeping the Muscle tissue uniform can reduce your chances of strains and tears.

Flexibility and Mobility everyone is should know the importance of stretching and keeping your body limber. I don’t think there is anyone in the world that aspires to be very stiff.  So if no one wants to be stiff then why don’t people stretch more often?  The ability to move your body through full range of motion will allow people to move without restriction and get into positions that are essential for sports and life. The trick however is to find whether people’s restrictions are caused by flexibility or joint mobility.  Once you determine where a person’s limitations are you can implement some proper stretches and/or mobility exercise to increase those range of motions. When you have a limited motion in a joint it will cause the neighboring joints will have to move more to compensate for the limited motion.  Having the full range of motion will reduce your chance of injury.

Strength Training is vital to proper health. Remember the ability to move objects or run faster is correlated to a person’s ability to produce force.  If you cannot produce more force how you will be able to run faster. Yes some people will make improvements when you teach them how to run with proper form.  Eventually they will reach a plateau and that is where strength training will help progress further.   Why is Strength training important for the General Wellness? Strength is important as you age you will begin to lose muscle mass which also means you will lose strength.  Losing strength not only means losing your ability to move object but also losing your ability to absorb forces that act on your body.  Remember energy cannot be created or destroyed. When a person falls or gets hit. If the person muscle cannot absorb the energy from the force then energy will have to go to other places such as ligament, tendons, and bones.  Keep your muscle strong not only helps you perform daily task better it can also
help prevent injuries from falls or unexpected hits.

The last component and arguably the most important is Conditioning.  Conditioning is one’s ability to sustain an action. There are many different criteria for conditioning. For runners it is how far someone can keep a pace over a certain distance.  For lifters it is how much weight you can lift with in a time period.  In sports it’s how long you can play in a game before your performance begins to drop due to fatigue.  For the General public if you can’t walk up a flight of stairs without getting to winded then you may want to reconsider your conditioning. Depending on what you doing in your everyday life you should condition yourself appropriately so that heart and lungs are not over worked on a daily basis.
Being in good condition will not only help you perform your activities better but will make you sure your heart and lungs are working properly.

Functional training/ Sports Training is training that is tailored for each person to strengthen their weaknesses whether that is Soft tissue care, Flexibility, mobility, Strength Training and/or Conditioning for sports or General Wellness.  The last information that I can give you is before you start any new training program please go see your doctor and make sure your get testing done.  I recommend that everyone gets a stress test done at least once a year.  If you are 24 or older I think it is mandatory for you to have a stress test done once a year.  Athletes should have a stress echo done with their routine physical every year to make sure that there is no underlying condition.  Too many athletes die due to underlying heart conditions that were never checked out before hand. If you want to start a new program I recommend scheduling an appointment with your doctor first to make sure you have been cleared to do so.

Author: Smithfitness

A former basketball player now fitness professional. Alex holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Kinesiology and certified NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist(CSCS). Alex loves lifting heavy things repeatedly and going for long runs or rides and helping others achieve high levels of fitness and health. If you love fitness and health follow this blog and submerge yourself in all the fitness and health knowledge.

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