Let’s Get Functional!

Let’s Get Functional!

Another awesome blog by Deanna Niceski “Accredited Exercise Physiologist”

Slide Why not listen to this blog read by the author

Deanna NiceskiStep aside traditional 70’s style gym-based programs and hello functional movement.

You know those cages, green artificial grass, kettlebells, ropes, deadballs and therabands you see in a small section of your gym? That’s there for those ‘out-of-the-box’ people using a more functional approach to training.

So, what’s all the fuss about and why should you bother?

Let’s break it down.

Functional: An activity that is natural to or the purpose of a person or thing.

Movement: The act, process or result of moving.

Functional Movement: The ability to move the body with proper muscle and joint function for effortless, pain-free movement.

As a society, we are lost and confused, and here’s why. “The fitness industry loves to load dysfunctional patterns (which often leads to pain) and the rehab industry loves treating pain, which is the problem”. The missing link is establishing a person’s baseline of movement quality and integrity, which can then be constructed and trained to lift weights efficiently and move more dynamically.

We are humans, 3 dimensional multi-planar beings that thrive off versatility. We are designed to move, crawl, roll, walk, run, throw, climb and jump and by looking to our ancestors, those primal creatures, we can see humans are meant to move functionally, not turn into couch potatoes binge-watching the latest series of Gogglebox.

So, I ask you this question, if you understand how the body works in relation to our physical and environmental demands why is a ‘standard’ gym program only training people in a linear position (mostly seated) using the anterior chain and not real-life movements?

“The question shouldn’t be: How can I fix this? It should be: What am I doing to create this?” – Katy Bowman

Thomas W. Myers author of Anatomy Trains, explores myofascial meridians and muscle slings within the body. Basically, what that means is within our body we have connective tissue and several muscles that communicate and work in unison, to create seamless, functional movement we are naturally designed to execute.

It’s hard to segment our body to just one structure or joint, as we are a whole kinetic chain. Would you think I’m crazy if I said something that influences your big toe can cause a ripple effect that implements change in your opposite shoulder? You’re probably thinking how and agreeing that I am crazy, but the answer is because of our muscle slings and architecture.

It’s all about function and movement and then combining them into real world mechanics and real time variables so we then feel better, jump higher, run faster, stand taller and move without pain.

“You can’t run naturally with an unnatural body, if more of your waking hours are spent sitting than moving, your body is no longer natural.”

Myers isn’t alone, Gray Cook, Dr Perry Nicholson and Naudi Aguilar (just to name a few) all explore and create a new path for people to understand, develop, improve and repair in, you guessed it, a functional way. They have established their own global footprint based off the same principle and each of them are helping many people combat inactivity, the effects of gravity and general movement deficiency.

“A body that looks good naked is the natural by-product of living a healthy, movement rich life.”

Join the movement revolution and jump on the functional train to experience how reproducing fundamental movement patterns and training with a practical mindset will help you reduce imbalances and weakness in your body and make you thrive.