Functional_Training___Hot_Topic

Functional_Training___Hot_Topic - Functional Training...

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Functional Training Steven Plisk, MS, CSCS*D This paper was presented as part of the NSCA Hot Topic Series. All information contained herein is copyright© of the NSCA. www.nsca-lift.org
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Hot Topics: Functional Training 2 www.nsca-lift.org In the last decade, functional training has evolved from novel buzzword to household term. It’s a paradigm based on the common ground between sports rehabilitation and preparation. Following are some popular definitions of functional training: An exercise continuum involving balance and proprioception, performed with the feet on the ground and without machine-assistance, such that strength is displayed in unstable conditions and body weight is managed in all movement planes. 5 Multi-joint, multi-planar, proprioceptively-enriched activity that involves deceleration (force reduction), acceleration (force production) and stabilization; controlled amounts of instability; and management of gravity, ground reaction forces and momentum. 7-9 A spectrum of activities that condition the body consistent with its integrated movement and/or use. 20 Taken at face value, these descriptions seem pretty sound. Unfortunately, the more popular a fitness issue becomes, the more often it tends to be misinterpreted or misapplied. I propose an alternate definition: Functional training involves movements that are specific — in terms of mechanics, coordination and/or energetics — to one’s activities of daily living (ADLs). When considered in these terms, the range of “functional” activities may be broader than commonly thought. This brings us to a key issue. “Athletes” vs. “Non-Athletes” There seems to be a common belief that sports activities differ enough from ADLs that athletes should train one way, whereas non-athletes should train another. While this is typically true in terms of power output, both types of activities tend to share some basic features: They involve skillful application of ground reaction forces. Forces are transmitted through the body’s segments. Tasks are performed in multiple planes of motion, often with no machine to guide one’s movement (in biomechanics parlance, this is referred to as unlimited degrees of freedom). Consequently, we must control, direct and stabilize the mass of our own bodies as well as other objects. Tasks, while often repetitive, are usually brief in nature. In fact, rapid “spikes” in force
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Hot Topics: Functional Training 3 www.nsca-lift.org output are the rule rather than the exception. In order to achieve the balance and leverage needed to perform these tasks, we regularly get into certain positions. And the more habitually we do so, the more this reinforces corresponding motor programs and functional adaptations. For these reasons, it’s helpful to rethink the traditional distinction between athletic and non-
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This note was uploaded on 07/26/2009 for the course 3534 3535 taught by Professor Nelson during the Spring '09 term at LSU.

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Functional_Training___Hot_Topic - Functional Training...

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