There has been an astonishing shift of style and modality usage with functional training from the inception of the idea to today. It has evolved from physical therapist, to strength coaches and personal trainers, to the now so popular Crossfit environment. Large manufacturers have evolved from a leg curl machine to functional training machines and other unique pieces.These current machines require you to stand and/or perform ground based movements for progressions.
Today’s economy has made it difficult to purchase these machines, which have led most fitness professionals toward outdoor boot camp settings or smaller Crossfit facilities to continue business growth. In this environment the tools used are tires, ropes, sleds, or just about anything that can create load to a moving muscle.
Functional training was originally introduced to perform multi-joint functions that require muscular stabilization and/or to achieve enhanced mobility of these given joint functions. Enhanced mobility makes quality of life better for the client and the performance of the athlete even greater through functional training. With this said, a fair debate has started within the sports and fitness industryof whether or not certain important muscle groups get neglected due to the thought process of the industry leaders avoiding isolation. Functional training methods can be broken down for a given section of the body as well as multi-joint functions;this is subjective on a client to client basis.
Functional Integration Training(FIT)is an excellent solution to supplement these needs no matter who you are training; a kid, the injured, the average fitness enthusiast, the experienced athlete, or even the active senior. Functional Integration Training allows for less risk of injury, less risk of compromising an athlete’s performance, and less risk of neglecting important muscles groups needed to enhance the overall health of the everyday active person.
The Important Factors of Functional Integration Training (FIT)
1. Strengthen the transverse abdominis, internal oblique, and deep stabilizers of the low back
2. Stabilization of the scapula muscles and shoulder rotators
3. Hip Stability achieved by ground based movements
4. Preparing muscles for movement progressions in life and sport
Unfortunately, most trainers overlook Functional Integration Training (FIT) when structuring programs for performance and rehabilitation. There are several opportunities and specific target groups where Functional Integration Training (FIT) can be instrumental such as: male and female athletes performance is becoming paramount to decades ago; kids are becoming less active, while the rate of adult fitness enthusiast are increasing. We as trainers, coaches, therapists need to raise our standards, accountability, and efforts with our clients. Equipment manufacturers need to provide more integrative equipment that allows for versatility in and out of the gyms/studios, which will lead to the overall enhancement of the sports we play and everyday life. Select products on the market can concentrate more on developing specific movement patterns for each and every particular sport’s skill set or personal training skill set and can continue the correction of clients’ muscular deviations.
Here’s a few examples of Functional Integrative movements with an excellent product.
Assisted Single Leg Squat:
Assisted Push Ups:
Let’s continue to stay creative and engaging to our clients and communities. But let’s also be open to evolve with Functional Integration Training and its benefits to make us all even better trainers, coaches, and therapists. Our work together as a community of industry leaders will ONLY help bridge the gap of kid’s motor skills, a client’s mobility, and an athlete’s overall performance.