Core-Principles: The Function of Functional Training
Okay?okay?okay! Enough already!!! It seems like with every new term, every new invention or just about anything that is seemingly not "Everyday" that we all become flustered and assume we know nothing, which is both a testament to our lack of faith in ourselves and also a reflection of our ever-growing dependence on externals to give us a little reassurance where our natural instincts should be in high gear.
My intention with this article is not to offend anyone especially those that whom, without their continual support I would surely be seeking a new line of work, and yes I am referring to my clients, so please don't feel like I'm bashing "you" if I ever refer to any particular individuals or events, no names will be mentioned though. Okay so?a while back, a client that I really respect and admire as a person had a dilemma that caused quite a bit of frustration for him and the other party that was involved?his daughter, also a client. What happened (an avoidable sport related injury) was tough on all involved, including myself, which, for me was my integrity as a fitness professional, something that I don't take lightly and also a profession where in today's world either has a negative connotation or if viewed positively, "we" are all equally educated and equipped to handle all aspects of fitness when it comes to the customers specific and infinite diversities; be it post-rehabilitation, specificity of sport, special populations or general fitness concerns or needs... All fitness trainers are not "professionals" (imagine that!) nor are they equal in their abilities and hardly ever do you find a fitness trainer with expertise in a variety of different specialties! It takes many years of education, study, application with thousands of delicate intricacies (people are complex) that make us all, well?'us", minutely distinct. It also requires an understanding of unique differences in personalities and the ability to cope with a multitude of unknown, potential disasters; not to mention?likes, dislikes, opinions, lifestyles, cultures, beliefs and so on? And it's not just a general understanding of anatomy, physiology, exercise-science or athleticism? It also includes an aptitude in psychology, communication and a deep desire to help others and to serve your fellow man with all that propels you forward?or at least that is what it is to me!
I'm a pretty sensitive guy especially when it comes to my client's needs and the fulfillment of their needs and when something strikes to the bone such as this particular incident, I become so absorbent of their concerns it usually drives me to really dig deep into myself and hopefully I become a better resource for my clients out of these situations, which ironically if you read on is why I am writing this piece in the first place. The previously mentioned sport related injury of a talented young athlete is what motivated me to put pen to paper, she is very gifted and posses the kind of personality that we desperately need as role models in modern day athletics. But she was injured by a degreed professional and it seemed like there wasn't anyone around that could see 'the picture' clearly: The "DIAGNOSIS"?rehab-therapy mingled with the rigors of hard-core team training?this boggled me; rehab always precedes specificity (sport) training, build, repair and then if recovery is attained, hit the hard-core stuff, plain and simple because re-injury will surely squelch the spirit and possible prevent true talent from ever recognizing it's infinite potential.
This article is actually on core training or as I'll title it? Kore-Training, but what is really functional training and not just abdominal/tummy training or training the body from it's core center of gravity or even training the body beginning with it's proximal musculature moving outward toward the distal focal point. The big misconception with core training is that it is just mid-section training and all you have to do is some quick crunches or even worse hyperextensions and your "core" will be stronger and leaner. I hear this all the time and it still puzzles me, its one thing for the customer seeking fitness to not be 100% sure what core training is, but a professional should know better! Guess what? Too many fitness trainers, sports and conditioning coaches and other so-called "professionals" have no idea what core training is! In essence it is just functional training and 'functional' simply translates to the training of function/daily uses of the body or just training our bodies as they were designed to move. This obviously varies from person to person, athlete to athlete and the specific uses of each and every individual. Now, for a little tech-talk?
If you wanna get down to nuts and bolts, the primary vicinity of the core is called the?are you ready for this? Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip-Complex and in order to enhance the integrity of the core, what we are really doing is developing better dynamic postural control, increasing muscular balance, a greater degree of neuromuscular and bio-mechanic efficiency and building or rebuilding structural endurance and stabilization strength and power. And that's core training? What does this mean to the layman? Crunches? Sit-ups? No! It means something different to each and every one of us. Are, ab exercises part of core training? Perhaps, if the lumbar region is strong enough to endure these exercises, but usually crunches are performed so poorly that a greater potential for injury will nullify what positive effects the crunches might possibly provide. So, the answer is both yes and no, depends on who is asking and your particular conditioning level, however rather than sticking our bodies in odd looking machines we should use movements that are relative to our activities or our sport or more specifically we should just use movements that keep our bodies free to move through space as we target various muscle groups, and if pondered, it doesn't take a genius to figure that out. The truth is both the Greeks and Romans trained for competition like this thousands of years ago, not to mention the fact that our bodies have not changed that much biologically, biochemically or physiologically, we are made of the same material as they were then.
Common sense is the key, move our bodies as they were designed to function and allow them to improve through progression and repetition. If we are looking to rehabilitate, repair or strengthen debilitations or genetically pre-disposed weaknesses then my advise would be?consult a qualified professional and by professional I mean someone who has a back-ground in this specific area of 'application' or applied expertise: this "expert" should give an assessment and then a prescription of a detailed movement protocol for the individual, what you should be weary of is the "professional" that eagerly dispenses a standardized penciled-in work-out sheet that resembles your?'Free-Introductory-Work-Out' card at "Jack's Work-Out Shack". Also, if any of these "professionals" hurt you? Then, they simply are not "PROFESSIONALS"! Final note, I am adamantly opposed to "knocking" hard working, well intended others of my particular profession as well as those of the medical community, but when injuries are concerned, we should always do our selves justice and seek more than one (1) 'professional' opinion?degrees, credentials and "leg-up" opportunities aside?and I know you don't need me to tell you that. I, applaud each and every one of you that chooses the right choice, because the right is merely an echo of truth!
-Kurt Lee Hurley, Veritas
Kurt's website http://www.kreatefitness.com, as well as his Provo Utah Private Fitness Facility Synergy Fitness Systems, specializes in in providing leading edge exercise and nutrition programs and a super premium supplement line. All of these superior products offer superior results.
Some Great Ideas on Staying Fit
Physical exercise is something that you need to do on a regular basis. If you're looking for examples of great fitness exercises to try out, you'll find them on our site.
Exercise Tips: Move Your Body - Boost Your Productivity
Do you find yourself setting a New Year's Resolution (every year) to get fit/go to the gym/lose weight/drink more water? If you could answer yes to any of those. I totally understand. I did that too for many years. But I also discovered two weeks into January I had blown my resolution and then would feel guilty for "not achieving my goals". What I discovered was it was more about making movement part of my everyday routine (notice I used the word movement not exercise)! Making little changes in your life can help you make exercise part of your life, rather than something you "have to do"!
Athletics and Winning
Athletics are pretty cut and dry in one regard; the goal to win. Having been in competitive athletics in a prior life I can certainly attest to that. Often however I see something that does not make a lot of sense, the need for society to treat everyone equal and to somehow over do or condemn the competitive aspect. For instance; I question an article I read in Sports Illustrated Women in February of this year about the "Agony of Defeat". The article discussed public humiliation, financial disappointment, and long-term psychological trauma? That is utter bull.
Lose Weight - Stay Fit and Stick With It!
Health and nutrition experts continually advise us that the more we exercise the healthier we will be. In magazines, the doctor's office or on television we are never far from information showing us how to exercise, what to eat and how to lose weight. One constant rule, in the expert's opinion, is that regular physical activity is an essential element to successful weight loss and fitness maintenance.
6 Things A Norwegian Fable Teaches Us About Healthy Perseverance Part 1
Author, H. Besser, in his book, "Perseverance:How To Develop It," shares a Norwegian fable about a man who left his hometown to rejoinhis fiancée. They were to get married when he arrived.
Get a Health Screening Before You Start Training
So, you have decided to hire a personal trainer to help you with your workouts. If your trainer is reputable and following proper certified techniques he/she will probably ask that you go through a Health Screening exam before begging your program. Many people resist this essential part of their training program because they feel it is unnecessary or that it will be embarrassing for them, however, these worries are untrue and skipping your health screening can result in a lower quality program design or even an increased likelihood for injury on your part.
Stretching exercises are important before you begin your workout. Always remember to stretch before and after your workout. Stretching exercises also give you health and fitness by making you more flexible.
The Benefit of Back Exercises
Back exercises are often prescribed effectively as an alternative to surgery. Doing daily back exercises can significantly reduce back pain related to a variety of common ailments. However, not every exercise is appropriate for some conditions and certain back exercises may even make the problem worse. This is why it's important to check with your doctor about which exercises will help or hinder you.
Get Your Exercise ? Without Actually Exercising
With a few minor adjustments it is possible to get the exercise that is suggested and not go out of your way or spend money at the gym!
The Importance of The Fibonacci Numbers in Fitness Training
"Things do not change; we change." ?Henry David Thoreau
Take a Break
Writing is a strenuous creative activity, and like physical activity it produces fatigue that requires rejuvenation and renewal, so when the mind is blocked, it is time to rest it. Many writers call this 'writer's block' but others claim that no such state exists.
Monitor Your Body Fat Levels For Results
A very important aspect in really finding out if you're on the right track or not, is to monitor your body fat levels. Go to your local sports store and buy some body fat calipers to test your fat levels. Record these levels along with your body weight each week and start to monitor these changes. You want to make sure you're building quality muscle mass and burning that extra body fat.
Tai Chi, NOT Chai Tea!
Those of you that have either completed a one-on-one program, purchased an on-line program or have read anything else that I have written in the past have most likely determined by now and realize it is quite evident... I am a huge supporter and advocate of integrated and phase-based training as optimized methods of health and fitness technologies/systemologies. And it wasn't until I started researching Tai Chi as an alternative form of exercise (I have been exercising for three-and-a-half decades consistently) did I understand how such a slow-velocity activity can help decrease blood pressure, reduce stress, help develop a greater degree of coordination and diminish the number of falls experienced by the elderly. The affects of resistance and aerobic type activities and their impact on health is unequivocal. Resistance training improves strength and the development of lean muscle mass, as well as an increase in bone-density and cardiovascular training improves the efficiently of the heart, lungs and circulatory function while decreasing mortality rates. However, over the past few decades, Eastern practices such as Tai Chi and Yoga have complimented mainstream fitness training programs by demonstrating comparable health benefits to traditional fitness training. A closer look at Tai Chi is warranted and yes this is coming from a fitness coach who intrinsically knows and has meticulously practiced and has been the recipient of the absolute benefits of weight bearing exercise for over 30 years.
The Bad Workout: Some Advice for Female Bodybuilders
Bad workouts. We have all had them at some time or other. When you need to train so intensely to break the muscle down it is hardly surprising that the odd bad session occurs. After all, we are only human and we cannot be 100% consistent all the time. (I would question that when it comes to Ronnie Coleman but I am sure even he has had his bad days).
Complete Physical Transformation Using The Purposefully Primitive Fitness Methodology
The Purposeful Primitive approach to the art and science of physical renovation is deceptively simplistic. By using a few basic tools and food purchased from the grocery store, you can radically alter the way you look while simultaneously improving health, vitality and energy levels. The Primitive approach has two irreducible goals: tone, strengthen and increase muscle mass and function, and the systematic reduction of body fat. This methodology has been used by the athletic elite for decades and is shorn of fluff and bloat.
How NOT to Return from an Exercise Break
Several sites, including this one, recommend that you take a break every 8 weeks after working out with weights. But how do you come back from that break and get back into your routine?
Building those impressively sleek shoulders takes a great deal of raw grind but once you sport a shapely set, you'll quickly be separated from the rest. If you like to wear bikinis or summer dresses that reveal your upper torso, shoulder training is ideal in sporting a sexy physique.
An Ab Exercise For Everyone!
I don't have much of a problem with belly pouch or bulge, since I've been doing one ab exercise or another for most of my life to make my abs flat.
When Exercising Right Looks Wrong III (Back)
Hopefully, if you read my last article I got you thinking. Thinking about different ways to train, not necessarily using machines, but using your entire body with each exercise. We talked about the changes exercise science has brought about and the risks of continuing to train the way we currently do. Our bodies, as I alluded to, were not designed to be cramped into a one size fits all machine and forced to move in a specific pattern. That pattern unfortunately is single jointed, and those of us in the know understand that even putting food in your mouth requires 3 major and around 24 smaller joints. We need to train the same way that our body was designed to operate.
Try Different Forms of Exercise for Success
If you have always used free weights, then switch it up and try training with machines like "Hammer Strength" or "Nautilus". These are excellent weight resistance machines and they will really work your muscles from different angles and different intensities. You should always strive to find new and exciting ways to workout your body. Try doing all body-weight movements, which are a really great way to build quality strength. The military uses mainly body-weight movements during their training. These include pushups, situps and pullups. The three main body-weight movements will really give you a great overall body workout!
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