Functional Movement/Functional Training
CrossFit uses functional movements in all of our workouts of the day. The reason for using these movements is that they translate to everyday life. The Squat is necessary for getting in and out of chairs, going to the restroom, and getting up and down from the floor. The Deadlift is necessary for lifting anything off the ground. If you set your groceries down to open up a door and then pick them up, you have successfully completed 1 repetition of a deadlift.
According to fitness expert Michael Doyle, functional movements or functional training must include the following: Standing, multi-joint, and have stabilizing properties at the hips and core. Every movement in CrossFit meets these standards for functional movement. In CrossFit we call this core to extremities. What this means is that the core must be activated prior to extremities being activated. If we look at the motion of a squat snatch; prior to any upward pulling the core must be braced and activated or else we would fall over the moment we started to pull the bar up.
These full body movements we do in our daily workout stabilize the core; this is vastly different from doing crunches. Crunches work the mirror muscles called the Rectus Abdominis, or what everyone refers to as abs. While these are great for sitting poolside they do little for actually protecting your back or spine from injury. Being able to stabilize the core is essential for lifts we complete in CrossFit and prepare us for being able to do any and all activities of daily living.
100% of people need to be able to perform these functional movements. Training them in such a way as we do in CrossFit will help ensure that we will not injure ourselves, and or be unable to take care of ourselves in the future. Exercise should be looked at as an insurance policy. By doing CrossFit/Functional Movements you are helping insure your health, this is preventative medicine, prehab, and rehab all in one.
By: Dr. Derek Nelson D.C., M.S., CSCS, CF-L1, FMS