There is a lot of confession out there as to what is Functional Training and what makes it functional. First of all lets make one thing clear, for your body to move freely without any restrictions, we need a balanced muscular skeletal system that is functioning the way we were born to function, this allows us to move about the day with ease and to preform daily activities. Functional Training is about training specific muscles using various modalities to improve muscular balance, whether it be through weight training, flexibility and body weight movements, or a combination of all three, they will all help us achieve a balanced body if done correctly.
I have two children aged 4 and 2 and everyday when I am with them, I observe them playing together and the way they move effortlessly around the house or playground without any form of restriction. I even tried playing Twister with my four your old the other day and to my embarrassment, I couldn’t keep up with him. We often hear parents calling their kids monkeys, or stop monkeying around, this is because they are doing exactly what monkeys are doing, instead of swinging in the trees, its on the monkey bars in a playground.
Our kids are doing functional training all day long with ease; they develop the strength, stamina, flexibility and stability to do those movements throughout childhood.
As our bodies grow older, they lose ability to do things they way children do them, we lose that strength, stamina, flexibility and stability which in turn effects our ability to move freely without restrictions or injuries, we lose the ability to move functionally, which is based on real-life situations and usually involve biomechanical body movements that are multi-planar, multi-joint.
Functional training has become a very popular term during the past decade, people are moving away from the fixed-planar movements that machines replicate on the gym floor and focusing more on multi-planar movements or three-dimensional movements using Kettlebells, Suspension Trainers, Medicine Balls, Dumbbells, Barbells, Cable Machines and Body Weight Exercises. Now there is nothing wrong with using these fixed-planar machines, as sometimes there is a need to isolate a certain muscle because of an injury or a non-functioning muscle that needs to be isolated in order for it to improve.
When using these fixed-planar machines, you are restricting the body’s natural ability to move three-dimensionally and therefore you will restrict or inhibit your bodies mobility and its ability to function properly.
During my training session, my primary focus is the movement of the body and for it to move freely without these restrictions. Sometimes we need to build strength using the machines I mentioned in order to build that area that might be dysfunctional or injured, but once we have recovered, there is no need to go there.
Peter has worked within the fitness industry since 1996 first gaining a Fitness Instruction Certificate before moving to London in 1998 where he successfully set up and ran PS Personal Training and Fit Fast Trainers which he still operates with his business partner Pilar. While living in London, he developed more advanced qualifications specialising in Cardiovascular and Stroke Rehabilitation. He has featured in newspapers, magazines and has trained everyone from students, celebrities and even a knight. Over the many years he has been working in the fitness industry, he has built up an extensive knowledge of the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the human body. Working with clients who have suffered neurological injuries has taught him that the human brain is more powerful than we think. He now teaches his clients to use Mindful thinking while exercising and training to maximise their results. Continue reading....