Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Functional Training

The importance of maintaining a degree of functional fitness is a main determinant in reducing and preventing injury. Integrating functional training into a client’s exercise prescription will improve aspects of coordination and synergism of multiple muscle groups. By intentionally recruiting muscles simultaneously through various planes the client should experience an enhanced sense of proprioception, balance, and overall strength.

Smooth, integrated movements are the basis to all activity, ranging from every day tasks to athletic competition. Implementing functional training will make the performance of everyday activities easier, safer, and more efficient.

Seeing as the body is considered a ‘kinetic-chain’ we can assume that the significance of the core is of massive importance. The core connects and coordinates movements between the upper and lower body. A great exercise for improving core stability are the variants of the cable pallof press as shown below. This movement again, requires core and anti-rotational strength while recruiting lower body muscles to maintain solid form. The beauty of an exercise like this is that it is easily modifiable and can be performed utilizing a variety of modes including but not limited to resistance bands and cables as well as many positions including a standing, kneeling, squat or split stance lunge position.

The following pictures show examples of the standing press, split stance press, and sustained squat press.

The starting position for each exercise is with hands interlocked and close to the chest, and knees bent in an athletic position. By pressing straight forward you will reach the end position with the arms fully extended. Return back to the chest to complete the repetition.

Standing Pallof Press

Split Stance Pallof Press

Sustained Squat Pallof Press

As with all exercise begin with appropriate repetition and weight ranges while progressing in a proper manner. Start with 2 sets of 10 repetitions on each side. Enjoy the different variations and have fun!

Blog post by Evan Healy.

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