The popular ‘F’ word is used everywhere, in the workplace, in the gym, in the Pilates studio, at the physio….pretty much everywhere. You see posts and photos of it all the time! What gets to me the most is the fact that this word is abused to the point where it has lost its meaning and impact. The general public hear the word and they jump thinking ‘this must be good cause they use that word’!
The ‘F’ word…..FUNCTIONAL!
YES FUNCTIONAL TRAINING!
The meaning of functional is ‘designed to be practical and useful rather than aesthetic’. So let us analyse this then. If it is designed to be practical and useful, that would mean that it would have to promote healthy joints, stability, and longevity right? Have you ever looked at a photo of someone doing some exercise and you cringe at the form. Have you watched people train in a group or on their own and cringe as you see the body aching in a really bad way. There is only one reason why I cringe and that is because as I watch the movement or exercise being performed, I can see how the joint, ligaments, tendons, cartilage or even other structures in the body are screaming….STOP OR I WILL BREAK! People who are promoting functional training are not training functionally. They are training to pick up huge boxes, push cars, lift their bodies off of a chair as if it weighs 150 kg’s. Their knees are screaming for mercy as they lift heavy weights, their shoulders are crying and screaming within the supraspinatus groove, begging for mercy otherwise it will tear. And the neck is saying…’Good heavens, every time you use this weight or full body lift with these scrunched, elevated shoulders, my friends, the levator scapula and upper trapezius is tugging on me. And then when I look again you are adding more weight to us and we can’t handle it!’
Do you know what the consequences of these ‘functional’ movements are?
DISASTER…NOT NOW…BUT LATER!
How do I know this, because we fix them constantly and when we point it out to folk they are so amazed at what they thought was good and what is actually increasing the rate of injury and degeneration in their body!
Functional means that you do movements that contribute to your everyday life. So if you are picking up huge boxes and pushing cars then yes, I guess your training should involve that. BUT if this is not what your functional movements are then I guarantee you that you are doing more harm than good.
The point is that there is a huge gap in what precision in movement and functional training is. Those that say they promote longevity or functional training for their clients have to then obviously train as such themselves. With precision, no compensation, perfect alignment and functional stability. Sadly this is not the case. Many may be seriously unhappy about this blog post but instead of being unhappy and too proud, take a step back and assess whether you might be making this fundamental mistake.
If the clients are getting injured during training then something is wrong! It is up to the professional to step it up, see the fault in the movement, see the fault in the load and realize that maybe the perspective of health is not quite what you thought it was.
There are many amazing bodies out there that are broken…knees, hips, backs, shoulders, spines and necks. This is not looking after your body for ever. It is making it look fabulous now and then taking it for a few ops later.
Let us exercise intelligently and this starts with YOU the professional!
May the public become wiser and realize that if it hurts in a bad way…..DON’T DO IT!
Don’t be the one in the gym training with strapping on your shoulder or transacts on your body. Think of the consequences. Everything has consequences!
Bring back the true meaning of the ‘F’ Word! And make those consequences great ones!
And this is the HEALTHY TRUTH!