WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL TRAINING REALLY ABOUT?

Do you train just to look good? Or is moving effectively and feeling great for the long-term just as important to you? Of course we all want to look good, but rather than training just to get a six-pack and a perky derrière, we like to keep fit and healthy so we can stay active and happy throughout all stages of life. So what exactly defines functional training for a healthy person who wants to look good and feel great?

Before we even get to the training side, first make sure your lifestyle is functional – try not to be too sedentary, choose good quality whole foods (most of the time), and manage stress to avoid neuromuscular issues such as poor body awareness, incorrect movement patterns, tightness, pains, aches and injuries.

Next up, get your training right.

HERE’S HOW WE DEFINE FUNCTIONAL TRAINING

Functional training is the training of correct movement patterns applicable in various activities, aiming at developing smooth movement with good dynamic stability and posture. As trainers, we want to play the role of movement educators.

THE AIM

To improve static and dynamic posture, body awareness and movement patterns, thus enabling Agogians to safely engage in daily physical activities (think all the fun stuff such as surfing, team sports, trail running, kayaking and any other fun activity you like to fill your weekends with). We see it as conditioning for a (fun) life.

HOW WE DO IT

Integrated and multiplanar movements, with an emphasis on acceleration, stabilisation and deceleration aiming at improving movement ability, strength of the trunk region (core) and neuromuscular efficiency. Such movements include pushing, pulling, squatting, rotating, stepping, bending and balancing in 3D world compounded into strength, flexibility, coordination and balance exercises.

WHY

To improve skill related fitness components – balance, power, speed, agility, coordination, and reaction time.

HOW DO WE PROGRAM OUR SESSIONS?

We have few rules we strictly follow:

  • Education about myofascial release, stretching and corrective exercises to remove any postural and movement dysfunctions before, during and after sessions is important but subtle enough not to bore our Agogians.
  • Specific warm up consisting of dynamic, neuromuscular and myofascial stretches, postural exercises and basic core exercises to ensure correct muscle patterning throughout the session
  • Multi-joint (compound) exercises in multiple planes of motion (3D environment) aiming at developing dynamic core strength via conditioning of the sling systems (‘functional core’)
  • Combining strength, flexibility, coordination and balance exercises to strengthen muscles and improve musculo-skeletal integration within the nervous system
  • Involving acceleration, deceleration, changes in direction and body angles to mimic a ‘real-life’ dynamic environment
  • Building complexity and intensity progressively
  • Challenging both body and mind in a playful manner
  • Always including a cool down in a form of stretching and/or myofascial release

NEW FUNCTIONAL TRAINING COURSE

AGOGA has just launched its first ever Functional Training Foundations course for trainers or group exercise instructors wanting to add depth to their knowledge. It scores you 6 CECs with Fitness Australia and is run by our Head Exercise Physiologist, Veronika Larisova. The general public are welcome to attend for their own benefit too. The next course date is October 30th.

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