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WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL TRAINING?

Sports Practice

In the realm of movement, "function" is a term often used but not always clearly defined. Establishing its meaning is crucial for injury prevention, improved performance, and rehabilitation purposes.

The personal training industry defines functional fitness training as a type of workout geared explicitly toward better functioning when performing everyday tasks. These tasks might include putting a heavy object on a high shelf, bending to pick up something off the floor, or walking up and down stairs. The industry may also label specific exercise equipment ‘functional’ without evidence-based science on ‘why.’

This is too simplistic and not very helpful.

At its core, functional training prioritizes training movements over isolated muscles, representing a significant paradigm shift. Rather than focusing solely on muscle groups, the emphasis is on movement patterns and how muscles function within them.

Understanding functional muscle function, what the muscles authentically do during all forms of function, requires an in-depth appreciation and understanding of physics, biomechanics, and behavioral intent. The authentic function of muscles bears very little resemblance to our traditional understanding of muscle function. The traditional origin and insertion concentric model is extremely limited and erroneously misleading. We must fully appreciate and take advantage of how muscles function in our upright, three-dimensional world.

 

Functional training differs from traditional strength training because it emphasizes movement quality, coordination, and multidirectional, three-dimensional movements in a purposeful chain reaction rather than solely focusing on isolated actions. Understanding the biomechanics and primary planes of motion involved in specific movements is crucial for designing effective functional training programs. Training across all three planes of motion—sagittal, frontal, and transverse—leads to comprehensive movement enhancement.

The ultimate goal is to apply developed strength relative to real-world sports performance, prioritizing aspects like force production, reduction, deceleration, and stabilization to ensure precise movement execution and prevent injuries. This approach optimizes neuromuscular control and movement efficiency.

The end result is functional strength.

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TOTAL BODY FUNCTIONAL PROFILE

Analyzing sports biomechanics has been shown to enhance injury prevention. By identifying specific areas where injuries commonly occur and addressing  biomechanics around those areas, potential faults can be corrected proactively. These preemptive measures contribute to a reduction in injuries by addressing potential issues early on. Through a thorough assessment, early recognition of errors in an individual's preventative sports biomechanics can lead to increased injury prevention. The Three-Dimensional Movement Analysis & Performance System (3DMAPS) assessment is designed to meet these requirements.

The Three-Dimensional Movement Analysis & Performance System (3DMAPS) assesses:      

• 66 Tri-Plane Joint Motions        

• Biomechanics of Primary Body Complexes        

• Mobility Analysis Movements        

• 6 Vital Transformational Zones        

• Stability Analysis Movements        

• 6 Chain Reactions®        

• Three-Dimensional Interaction of Joints, Muscles, and Proprioceptors        

• Range of Motion / Shape of Analysis Movements        

• Control of Motion / Quality       

This scientific roadmap delineates the intricacies of achieving versatility across various dimensions, encompassing heightened mobility, augmented strength, refined balance, amplified power, pain reduction, overuse injury prevention, and enhanced efficiency and athleticism. The precision afforded by systematic assessment becomes integral in tailoring interventions that address specific biomechanical nuances, ensuring a targeted and effective approach to health optimization for athletes and individuals alike.

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IMPROVING PERFORMANCE WITH A FUNCTIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM

In the realm of athletic performance, versatility and adaptability are paramount qualities for success. An athlete's training regimen must align with the demands of their sport while addressing their specific needs. Movement execution relies on the seamless coordination of all body systems, whether for endurance, explosiveness, or fine motor skills.

A comprehensive Functional Training program integrates foundational movements that intricately engage the neuro-musculoskeletal system. This engagement aims to manage loading dynamics and optimize explosive force generation. The program's sophistication is evident in how it channels body resources from foundational and sport-specific movements into skill-focused training sessions.

In Functional Training, parameters like repetitions, movement velocity, and load variables are fine-tuned to meet individual clients' nuanced goals. These principles, combined with neuro-musculoskeletal Chain Reaction™ biomechanics, provide a robust framework for precise decision-making in training strategies.

Beyond enhancing performance, a well-designed Functional Training program is crucial in injury prevention. As previously defined the cornerstone of functional training is to train movements, not muscles. Thinking must shift away from isolated muscles to patterns of movements and how the muscles function within those patterns. This process can be applied to all activities and programs that prevent injury, provide post-injury or post-operative rehab, or boost performance. The difference is not in the movements and exercises but in the application, emphasis, and sequencing based on the individual’s current level of success.

By acknowledging the interplay between effective training and injury reduction, personalized programs are essential for devising meticulous practice plans and warm-up protocols. Their systematic implementation prevents overuse injuries and systematically elevates individuals to reach their athletic potential through refined movement mechanics and dedicated practice.

Sign up for your Functional Training Program today!

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