The brain controls movement and thinks in terms of whole motions, not the specific body parts involved in a movement. That’s why exercises that isolate joints and muscles result in less functional improvement.
Functional fitness, however, trains the body as a whole instead of as a collection of individual parts. This strengthens your ability to navigate with more certainty and ease throughout life’s everyday tasks such as walking, running, jumping, lifting, pushing, pulling, bending, and twisting.
Strengthening exercises help recondition, retrain, and build up soft tissue structures that have been hampered by musculoskeletal imbalances, in addition to stabilizing the body’s skeletal framework and support proper alignment. This is accomplished by remodeling and retraining the neuromuscular, myofascial, and musculoskeletal systems to correct problems and safeguard the body from future harm. By selecting, designing, progressing, and regressing a strengthening program tailored the clients specific needs and goals, this will help improve stability, increase mobility, and restore coordination to areas of the body that have experienced movement limitations or impairments.
Musculoskeletal imbalances can lead to compensations and dysfunctional movement patterns that will affect how clients perform their strengthening exercises. Therefore, exercise routines are designed to accommodate the clients’ abilities and the focus is on correct performance of the movements in order to achieve their goals and decrease risk of injury.
Customized Programs For Special Needs: Eddie’s Story
Eddie C has been a client on and off for the last 3 years. He is 75 years old and 7 years ago was unfortunately diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. There is no known cure for Parkinson’s however medications can help control symptoms. Highly recommend are lifestyle changes, and self-care that includes cardio, strength, balance and stretching exercises to help slow down the progression of the disease in addition to warding off depression.
After suffering from a serious fall a year ago, Eddie recently had a hip replacement just prior to the pandemic. Due to Covid he was unable to receive adequate rehab Physical Therapy post-surgery whereby losing hip and leg strength. He and I and began working together 3 months after his hip was replaced, these videos show an increase in strength after only a few sessions. This is Exercise as Medicine!
Med note: Functional fitness involves more than simply performing many reps of a single joint bicep curl. That’s because exercises that isolate joints and muscles are training muscles which results in less functional improvement. Functional movement training enhances the coordinated working relationship between your nervous and muscular systems. For example, squats will have a greater transfer effect on improving an individual’s ability to rise from the seat of a car or a couch than a seated single joint knee extensions on a leg extension machine.