Why is functional movement training important?

May 11, 2021

Functional movement training is centred around movements that are as true to our natural movements as possible, focusing on multiple directions of movement and using many joints and muscles at the same time to have the best carry over into our daily life as possible. For example, doing a solitary bicep curl will help us to build strength into the biceps, but the carry over to our daily life can be relatively small. By considering the transferability of the exercises used in our Hybrid classes, we want to make sure that the results carry over to help you achieve your Health goals as established in your health assessment. Exercises that use many joints and muscles and that include various directions carry over to our daily tasks more efficiently.

Functional training aims to increasing available range of movement, building strength in natural ways of moving and exercising the neuromuscular system. By repeating movements and training movement patterns, the movements become learned movement patterns and help us to move more efficiently. An example to make this a bit clearer, is if we always cycle with training wheel’s we will only develop the ability to cycle with these in place. Although it serves a purpose when we initially learn, unless we remove them to challenge ourselves to hold the balance up and adjusting to external elements such as ground and the wind we will never not learn to cycle unaided. But by removing the training wheels and practicing we become better cyclists.

We need an element of variability to gain results that carry over to real life. This is why our classes are never the same. If we always move in the same direction, we don’t build up the strength and mobility we need when we move in a different direction. We are also in more risk of developing repetitive strain syndrome because our joints and soft tissues are always placed under the same stress. When we move something, it increases the cortical mapping of this area in the brain. If we always do the same exercises, the cortical mapping becomes relatively simple, emphasising more dominant muscles. When we have more variability, our cortical mapping becomes more complex and our ability to move and lift in different directions improves. This is why we add challenges such as dynamic and static balance, coordination and proprioceptive exercises to create a more complex cortical mapping. This will help to build core strength and reduce compensatory movements patterns. We don’t want to increase your injury risk, we instead want to reduce the risk, make you stronger and achieve your goals successfully. This is why we use functional movement as the foundation for our classes.

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