What is Functional Training?


It’s been a while since I have last written Life has taken control but it is starting to calm down a little bit.  What comes to mind when you hear the term Functional Training.  Most people will think about balancing on Bosu balls or balance boards while performing exercises to force people to adjust to every shifting environment. You also may think of Crossfit in which it is randomized workouts so that everyday is something different so that you will be prepared for anything that you may come across in your life.  I am still young in my career to determine say whether one is better than the other. My interpretation of Functional Training is looking at Human Anatomy and develop a program to help  those muscle perform there function better. That can include Strength training, power training,  flexibility and mobility work.

Strength Training
Strength is very important  if muscles are not strong enough to resist gravity I can bet you will have a hard time in life. If your legs can’t support your own body weight your will have a difficult time in life. Think about all that you do with your legs. If you can squat then it will be very difficult to get in and out of cars, chairs, off the ground. Sometime there are imbalances between muscle group. An example is an imbalance between chest to upper back strength. Most people are able to bench press a lot more than they can pull.  When you have a great imbalance between muscle groups you are more susceptible to injury.  Strength training is very important to make sure your body is strong enough to propel itself and to resist gravity. When muscles are strong you will decrease the chance of injury.

 

Power Training
Power Training is very important in everybody. As you age strength will decrease. Whats even worse a person’s ability to produce power decrease more than their strength.  What is an everyday power exercise that everyone does daily? It is very simple getting out of a chair.  Sit in your chair and try to get out of it slowly without using your arms to help you up. I bet that it was impossible( if you were able to do it then either your cheated or you’re a beast and you must post a video of you doing it).  A power movement can be anything from Olympic lifts, Box Jumps, Bounds, Kettle bell swings, skipping, Anything that forces your body to move quickly. If you perform a power exercise daily you will feel a lot better.  Power is defined by Force x Distance / Time  or Work/Time. It is creating a force in the shortest amount of time possible.

Flexibility and Mobility
Picture yourself as stiff as you have ever been. I can bet you felt awful.  Now think that some people bodies are like that all the time. If you take those people and you stretch and work on their joint mobility(ankles, hips, and thoracic spine) They will have a new lease on life.  Make joints that are supposed to be mobile move  and that will allow the other joints to perform their jobs better.  Also working on connective tissue length as will also help with flexibility and mobility of those joints.  Foam Rolling  and Mobility exercises to help increase Joint range of motion are vital.  A rule of thumb for how many decades you are alive that’s how many days of mobility  work you need a week.

Functional training does not have to be some super creative outlandish exercises just try to make people strong enough to resist gravity, develop power, and have as much range of motion as possible in their joints. It is very simple. Do those things and you will change people lives.