Functional fitness is a critical part of every day wellbeing. Its not a trendy new form of exercise, its a simple fact! From a trip to the grocery store to a PR on your Deadlift, we all rely on it to support our activities of daily living (ADL) at every age and every stage.
There are five primary movements of the human body: single leg movements, squatting, pushing, pulling, and rotational. All ADL involve these movements. Usually they are used in concert with each other, and ideally in a flowing, rhythmic way. Think of loading and unloading a grocery cart into your car. Lean to one side, rotate, grab the groceries, pull the bag toward your body, rotate again, transfer weight onto your other foot, push the groceries into place. Whoops! You dropped your receipt….squat down and pick it up and in less than 20 seconds you have completed the five primary movements. This task relies on the stability, mobility and strength that you have developed throughout your life. Tasks like this, though they may seem simple to many, become impossible to those who lack functional fitness.
When just one of these movements becomes compromised, we take longer to accomplish ADL. We think carefully before we move, methodically working to avoid aggravating our injury. This inherently puts stress on joints and muscles that are not meant to be the primary mover in a given task. This is called compensation, and guess what? It causes even more injuries. This is why it is critical that your exercise program touch on the five foundational movements regularly, and why it is essential that you are consistent with your exercise for your entire life. A functional fitness program may allow you to safely participate in activities that enhance wellbeing well into your golden years. Growing older gracefully is not done by chance. When you see a person in their 70’s playing with thier grandchildren, hiking, playing golf and going fishing without discomfort, you see a person that has worked on their functional fitness.
If you are new to exercise or if you have been sedentary for a year or more, an assessment with a qualified Personal Trainer is a smart investment. It will help you better understand what areas you need to focus on and it may also help you prevent injury. A good trainer will check postural alignment, stability, mobility and strength before referring you to a suitable exercise program. If the assessment results in a need to continue Personal Training, make sure to review the programming and the plan with your trainer before beginning. Take time to ask questions and express concerns. It is imperative that you understand the plan so that you can apply the information in all your ADL. Your trainer may only see you for and hour or two per week, so it is critical that you are applying new habits in your ADL to make your progress as efficient as possible and avoid setbacks.
If you do have an injury don’t lose hope! Many times a rehabilitation routine involving a combination of stretching, mobility and strength training will get you moving functionally once more. If the damage is severe surgery may be needed to resume ADL, though often times those who have had severe overuse or acute injuries will never be able to resume ADL without compensatory movements and pain. For this reason it is well worth it to start early on a functional fitness program and maintain the quality of life we all strive for.
To your health, 🙂 Coach Michelle
Functional Movement at Mens Camp: Farmer Carry
Gumsaba Outdoor Fitness Class schedule Tuesday 6/2/15:
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Womens only class – Coach Michelle – TRX Intervals
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Mens only class – Coach Briana – HIIT Tuesday
6AM Sunup Lafayette Co-Ed class – Coach Jentry – Chippin Triplets
9AM Sunshine Walnut Creek Womens class – Coach Michelle – TRX Intervals
11:00AM Cytosport Strength Training & Power – Coach Briana (private class)
12:00PM Cytosport Power Yoga – Coach Jentry (private class)