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What is Functional Movement?


Hi all


This week I am just writing about ‘What is Functional Movement?’ as not much is actually used to it;s proper effectiveness in today’s corporate gyms.


Functional Movement is the ability to move the body with appropriate muscle and joint function for effortless, painless movement.  Acquiring how to be bio-mechanically efficient with everything you do, whether it is for sports and athletic competition, general physical fitness, or day-to-day life activities, is very crucial for maintaining healthiness and avoiding injury.



You would think that automatically our bodies would just work well, but this is in general not the case.  From birth, we begin to develop dominating and weaker muscles.  Lack of physical activity can gain poor muscle use habits, and any injury or accident could further limit the body is ability to develop in a balanced way.  The outcome, we never fully utilise optimum form or support to train functional movement systems for whole-body wellness.


If we repeatedly move our body with bad posture, or bad body mechanics, our joints do not have adequate space for our bones to move freely, and the muscles that had better be moving our bones can not fire effectively producing restrictions in our range of movement, and muscle imbalances which eventually can lead to injury.  Not only can our poor functional movement habits lead to injuries, but the body will assume these muscle habits as the way to always move!



I call these,  The 5 towers of Functional Movement in Training!

As all movements in life and sport are basically derived from these 5 fundamental human movement patterns, I have found that establishing my sessions/programs around improving the 5 pillars of functional movement is a uncomplicated and super effective formula of planning more comprehensive inter crossed strength training & conditioning workouts for all clients!

A skilful coach will  train clients in functional movement that can be transferred to their sport performance. Irrespective of what sports they participate, these 5 functional movements will be integrated in their training program.

    Pushing (moving something farther away from you)
    Pulling (moving something closer to you)
    Rotation (striking, throwing, swinging an object, and other twisting action)
    Locomotion (walking, running, crawling, carrying, swimming, climbing etc.)

        (Anything that gets you from point A to point B can be considered locomotion.)
    Raising & Lowering your centre of mass

      (squatting, lunging, stepping, getting up and down off of the floor, etc.)




These 5 Towers of training are inspired from  ‘5 pillars of movement’ which was  coined by Nick Tumminello, whom improvised on JC Santana’s 4 pillars of movement somewhere back in early 2000. The difference between Nick and Santana ‘s concept is that JC Santana combined the pushing and pulling movement together, whereas Nick separates the two arguing that the two movements are opposite action and requires their own training application.



Most all Strength & Conditioning  associations will advocate similar training approach of training movement instead of muscles in isolation. Personally I believe that any training program that doesn’t include these 5 towers of movement will cause dysfunction on the kinetic chain and allow a gap in our movement ability which in turn could lead to possible injuries and pain in the long run.
I’ve found that If you get better at the 5 towers of functional movement,


You’ll be better equipped to do virtually anything…


That’s it for now..


‘Learn to Love that Burn’  :)