Being able to live a pain-free and healthy life can be difficult, especially if you have recurring pains that you cannot get rid of. If you have been in an accident or experienced a serious injury, and have tried typical physical therapy and other methods to rid yourself of pain with no luck, you know how easily it can be to simply give up. That is where Functional Movement comes in.

At Health By Ratio, we offer functional movement programs that help you regain full ranges of motion and enjoy a more pain-free life. While typical physical therapy can help you initially after an accident or injury, rehabilitation programs often focus primarily on the areas that were injured, which does not always lead to full recovery. With our function movement programs, we will look at the entire body and how it works together to help you feel 100 percent again. We can often see why the injury happened in the first place &/or what the problem is that is holding you back from your health & fitness goals.

So what exactly is Functional Movement? In this blog, we are going to give you more information and help you better understand this technique and how it can help you. Read on to learn more!

What is Functional Movement?

Well, having functional movement is being able to move the body with proper joint and muscle function for pain-free and effortless ranges of motion. These are movements that are based on real-world situational biomechanics. In other words, these are movements you do in your everyday life, whether at work, home, or in sports, such as squatting to sit or squatting to jump. Functional fitness exercises help to train your muscles to work together, preparing them for daily tasks that you perform regularly. Since many of these exercises work both upper and lower body muscle groups at the same time, it will also help to build core strength and stability. The focus of functional movement training is to help teach (or reteach) your body to work harmoniously to perform everyday movements with ease.

Why It Matters

Functional movement training can help you to build strength throughout your entire body and allow your muscles and joints to work together easily and without pain. These exercises can improve stability, range of motion, and your ability to perform regular daily tasks with ease; heck it even impacts your athletic power, strength and endurance by optimizing the efficiency of your athletic movements. When you work on functional movement, you not only relieve your pain, but you can prevent future pain and injuries as well. So functional movement is important because it allows you to build strength and stability and allow your entire body to function properly throughout your daily life.

For instance, Functional Movement training can help optimize your running gait, golf swing, vertical jump, change of direction, and much more. When you better understand how to use your entire body and muscles groups together, you’ll be able to avoid incorrect movements that could lead to set-backs & injuries. An example would be going for a long run, maybe you’re training for a race, and start to feel a pain on the inside of your ankle… But instead of correcting our foot, ankle, and knee alignment, we just keep running to force ourselves to complete the distance… eventually resulting in a set-back that make us take time off of our running routine. Functional movement training allows us to address the causes of those pains and stop them before they turn into a more serious set-back.

Functional movements build strength in your entire body and core. These exercises can help make it easier for you to perform different everyday tasks properly and with ease. You do not use any single muscle group to perform very many real-life tasks, which is why it is important to train your body and muscle groups to work together. Think about lifting a heavy box. If you are unaware or uncomfortable with the proper movement of squatting or deadlifting to pick it up while keeping your back straight, you may end up picking the box up incorrectly and hurting your back.

Functional Movement Exercises

There are many functional movement exercises that you should incorporate into your regular workout routine. In fact, a majority of your workout routine should be exercises that target multiple muscle groups rather than just one, with other isolated exercises sprinkled in. There are several different functional movement exercises, but some of the most popular ones include:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Deadlifts
  • Pushups
  • Pull-ups
  • Planks/Band Chops

Ideally, you want to pick exercises that balance out your posture and movement deviations, often moves that work on the posterior muscle groups (glutes, hamstrings, back musculature, external rotators around the shoulder girdle, obliques), since we tend to often be dominant in our anterior groups (quads, hip flexors, chest, shoulders). There are different variations of each of these workouts, plus a ton of different exercises to add to your routine that can help improve your functional movement. Many of these exercises are done with twists, rotations, or an additional movement (like a squat to resistance band row), which is why they translate better into real-life scenarios. Incorporating these different exercises into your routine can help you when lifting, pushing, throwing, squatting, jumping or performing any other movement in your active daily life while reducing your chance of injury.

In a future blog, we will go over different exercises in more depth and how practicing these workouts can help you reduce the pain you currently have and prevent injury in the future.

Now that you understand a little more about functional movement, try incorporating more of these moves into your regular workout routine or begin a workout routine that includes functional movement exercises.

If you are suffering from pain from an accident or injury and have yet to find a solution that works, give our functional movement training program a shot! Our Functional Movement Coach at HBR, Madison Doubroff, and Functional Physical Therapists, can help you reduce your pain and prevent future injuries, so you can live a more fit, healthier, and pain-free life with the help of our program! Learn more and be sure to contact us today with any questions you may have.