What is Functional Training?
Functional training is used for fitness and strength training, however, it is also often used to retrain patients with movement disorders from previous injury along those at risk of injury. Functional training or rehabilitation uses interventions that are designed to incorporate task and context specific practice in areas meaningful to each individual, with an overall goal of functional independence. Thus, functional rehabilitation is targeted towards an individual’s personal limitations and goals.
Functional Training and Sport
Functional training, if performed correctly, leads to better joint mobility and stability, as well as more efficient motor patterns. Improving these factors improves sport technique and performance, and decreases the potential for a sporting injury. These benefits arise through the emphasis on the body’s natural ability to move in six degrees of freedom, without restricting movements to a single plane of motion. Single plane body motion is an unnatural form of movement which may potentially lead to faulty movement patterns and therefore injury.
How I Benefit from Functional Training
The influence of my education and career in physiotherapy and sports rehabilitation has driven me to apply functional training to my personal fitness and strength training regimen. Along with increasing my fitness goals and improving my physical strength, I aim at using my body to its maximum potential – I have found that functional training allows me to achieve this.
When structuring my training programs and planning my personal fitness and strength goals I consider all the potential methods of using multiple planes whilst, most importantly, using correct technique. I initially focus on optimising my technique using body weight, which I progress by increasing external load when I feel my technique is ready for a challenge.
How my Patients Benefit from Functional Training
As a physiotherapist and specialist in sports rehabilitation, when treating and rehabilitating my patients, I constantly consider the functional capabilities of the human body. When assessing patients I instantly consider what their sport/functional activity is, what their body must be able to achieve and withstand, and what their individual goals are. Once these factors are identified, along with analysing movement patterns and possible risk of injury, I am able to put together an individualised functional rehabilitation program which will be progressed accordingly. This program must promote healing, encourage optimal technique and reduce risk of future injuries.
Is Functional Training Suitable for you?
Functional training is suitable for anybody wanting to achieve efficient motor patterns, optimise sports techniques and minimise risk of injury. Functional training and rehabilitation may be adapted to your specific aches, pains and injuries too if delivered by a professional and experienced individual.