Functional Defined

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In the fitness industry, there is much talk about functional movements.  Everyone agrees that if something is functional then it is undoubtedly important and should be the staple of your regiment.  It becomes problematic when ‘functional’ is asked to be defined and the given definitions are as varied as the fitness disciplines.  

CrossFit has several criteria, with one very important one, that characterize and define functionality:

  • Natural – there is nothing contrived or artificial about standing or sitting properly (squatting) or manipulating external objects (weightlifting), or controlling your body (gymnastics.)  These movements were around hundreds if not thousands of years before CrossFit, and you would be doing them in your everyday life anyway.  We just provide biomechanically correct technique and instruction.
  • Safe – given proper technique, these movements do no harm even at post maximal loads.  Done with progression at sub maximal loads, they are the best things going.
  • Essential – functional movements are abolutely necessary for independent living.  If you do not have full command of primary movers, do not have powerful hip extension, cannot stabilize your midline under load, you will be dependent on others for activities of daily living.
  • Compound/multi-joint – functional movements are not isolation movements.  In nature and training, our bodies move and act as a single unit.
  • There is a definitive wave of muscular contraction from core to extremity.  Notice most of our movements start at the hip/legs/lower back and move outward.
  • They elicit enormous neuroendocrine response
  • Finally and most importantly, functional movements are singularly unique in their ability to generate Power.  Only when we have movements that can be expressed in terms acknowledged and accepted by cardinal realms of science, and only when these expressions can be measured, can we further our understanding of human performance. 

 

Functionality and Wall Ball (because we know you love Wall Ball) by Greg Glassman

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