Functional Conditioning - a series of movements which build stability and resilience across the activities you undertake in your everyday environment in order to minimise the influence of dysfunction, pain and injury, while also improving performance.
What is Functional Conditioning?
The fitness industry focuses on performing movements believed to represent activities of everyday life loaded with weight, whereas Functional Training origins began within the world of rehabilitation and ultimately aim to retrain patients with movement dysfunction in order to help them return to an independent life or work after injury or surgery.
For us it is a mixture of the two. We aim to be specific to an individual’s environment to ensure movement patterns which previously influenced pain and/or injury are addressed, whilst building resilience to reduce future injury risk – hence the term Functional Conditioning.
The body understands movement, not individual muscles. With this in mind, we’re able to positively influence the neurological control of the fascial chains involved in your everyday life and/or sporting activities by improving movements related to these activities, therefore building resilience, control and stability to all of the associated tissues.
How does it differ to the fitness or health industry?
Many of our programmes and activities may look and feel the same as they would in other industries, however we’re able to incorporate elements from other areas of our skill set to work to joint level, while also focusing on your specific needs and taking your environment(s) into consideration.
It’s all well and good going to your nearest fitness centre to embark on some related CrossFit or ‘Functional Training’, but will this regard your previous physical history and are your future needs catered for?
For new mums, will lifting a barbell above your head whilst performing a squat benefit and build resilience towards your new baby-related activities such as picking up your baby from its cot and holding it in one arm whilst feeding? Although there are some great crossover benefits, this will not address the adaptations to your body which occurred during pregnancy and labour, nor will it provide specific and relatable resilience to the multiple twists and turns which happen on a daily basis whilst holding your baby.
For manual labourers, lifting heavy things above your head during a fitness session can be seen as relevant, however how is the rotational nature of labouring catered for, or the undulating surfaces encountered daily on a building site? The majority of lower back injuries occur during movements from undulating ground or combining rotation and bending – either standing, squatting or kneeling.
Where do you perform Functional Conditioning?
The activities are typically performed on a 1-on-1 basis within our clinical setting. They can vary between floor-based, non-resistant activities, through to the use of some common gym equipment such as kettle bells. It all depends on your needs and goals. Some activities can be performed in a small group setting, allowing you to build a community with similar minded individuals.
In addition to the 1-on-1 or small group activities, we can provide you with a specialised toolbox which you will be able to perform on your own – be it at home, out on the hills or another preferred location. The programme can be integrated seamlessly with any other chosen physical activity or training.
Why do we use it?
Our extensive toolbox is able to provide relief from pain, stiffness and re-occurring injuries. However these only offer a partial prehabilitation solution.
We will work collaboratively with you by providing the education and tools to allow you the ability to progress your new found ranges of motion and control. By teaching you how to utilise it in your everyday life, we can prevent your body from reverting back to its previous patterns.
"The constant ache through my right leg, which once made the simplest things so difficult for me, is gone. It felt like pain was something I had to deal with for the rest of my life.. it would never go away. Now, after using the fascial stretch combined with corrective & functional conditioning process, it's like I have a whole new leg.- Julianne C