Say Yes to Functional Movement Training

Lois Moncel, Director of Fitness & Wellness

Do you keep your body moving or have you become a couch potato? There are a thousand reasons why, as we age, we start to become less active. It is no wonder why our functional movement (our ability to move the body with proper muscle and joint function for effortless, pain-free movement) is threatening our lifestyle.

We have all heard that we should participate in functional fitness, but do you know what that really means? The goal of functional fitness and corrective exercises is to reteach your body better movement patterns. This is vital for all individuals, not just those who are recovering from an injury. Below I have described a few multidimensional exercises that tend to improve your natural movement skills and enhance your general mobility.

1. Squats work the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal; they help you to get up and down from a chair with ease. Beginners would start with getting in and out of a real chair properly and then progress as you get stronger.

2. Lunges help to make climbing stairs easier and help with your balance. Lunges mimic walking in general, an important part of everyday living, right? When performing lunges, be sure to step to the side, behind you, and to the front of your body as well. Your body doesn’t move in one direction. Note: lunges can be modified to any fitness level.

3. Push-ups can help to strengthen the chest, shoulders, triceps, and even the core trunk muscles. Push-ups can be done at any level of fitness. Beginners could start by pushing from the kitchen-counter then progress to a desk, a chair, etc.

Words of wisdom: Always check your form. Poor form can change the whole exercise, even creating an injury or an unwanted strain, for example. Don’t forget the importance of functional fitness training as reported by the Mayo Clinic. Functional fitness trains your muscles to work together, and prepares them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home or at work.

Assessing and screening your functional movements is available. If you are not sure where you stand or have questions regarding functional fitness training, contact Lois Moncel at [email protected].