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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in functional training
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b2ap3_thumbnail_Invention-Pictures-153-533x800_20151002-203038_1.jpgAn often overlooked exercise, the single leg squat, demands a come-back in the fitness community as it is possibly the best lower body exercise you can do, not only for the health of your spine, but also for its strength and balance building potential.  Moreover, with the proper set up and coaching, a single leg squat is an exercise everyone can do.  First though, it is imperative that you understand the value of the single leg squat.   Let’s start at the very beginning:

During motion in bipedal animals (like humans), the lower extremities are rarely doing the same thing at the same time.  Functionally speaking, since we alternate walking between one leg and then the other, instead of using both legs on the ground at one time, we are actually unipeds, using one leg at a time.  In essence, we create force with one leg and then accept it with the other. This form of motion creates unique challenges for our lower extremities, necessitating unique training with unipedal motion in mind in order to maximize our functional strength. 

 

 

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If you’re a man, you probably don’t want to read this article.  But you probably should.  Actually, a real man is willing to take a look at what he’s always done in consideration for a better way.  There is a better way to strengthen your chest and arms than bench pressing.  In fact, over time bench pressing can cause significant shoulder pain and dysfunction. 

It all started decades ago, with the popular floor press. In the 1930s the floor press evolved to a wooden “bench” or box with the use of a barbell.  By the 1950s bodybuilding was on the rise, and with it, the popularity of the bench press grew.  The bench press started becoming over-emphasized as a training exercise in the 1970s.  As a disproportionate amount of focus was placed on the bench press, the movement grew in popularity as a common benchmark of masculine strength.  For decades it has been considered the gold standard of upper body strength lifts. But it is not and should not be a standard of strength.

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Functional training is a buzzword in the fitness world.  According to Wikipedia, the resource most people will go to for a simple definition, Functional training is “an exercise that involves training the body for the activities performed in daily life.”  This definition of “functional movement” is dangerous because it is widely open to potential misinterpretation.  Functional movement should be thought of in relation to a movement continuum.

To get even more specific, the best assessment of whether a movement is functional or not is to determine whether or not it is conducted in a closed kinetic chain (CKC). Closed kinetic chain exercises are movements performed where one extremity is fixed in space and cannot move. During a CKC exercise, or functional exercise, the extremity stays in constant contact with the immobile surface, which is often the ground or the base of a machine.  Additionally, since CKC exercises are often compound exercises (they involve more than one muscle group at a time), they are known to be more beneficial to the body.  The human body was uniquely designed to function optimally in a closed kinetic chain movement.  The exception to this is for the upper extremity, where many movements are performed in an open kinetic chain (OKC).  Unfortunately, OKC training can compromise the integrity of the rotator cuff, leading to injury and a lapse in training. To optimize the “functional training” of you upper extremity we recommend that you program and plan with CKC exercise in mind.  

 

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Get faster, by training faster. 

Nerve conduction speed is an important part of muscle performance.  The proper implementation of nerve conduction speed training can significantly improve overall athletic development. To optimize nerve conduction in your programming, you must first fully understand the physics behind what it is.

 

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We all know we need to train “functionally.”  It’s been a trend in the fitness industry for the past decade and to be quite honest, “functional training” is a sexy word to throw around.  The thing is, everyone talks about “functional training,” but ask a group of personal trainers why functional training is important and a large majority of them will not be able to give you a proper answer.

Let’s break down the actual importance of functional training so that you can be among the elite who know why we need to train functionally and how to better use it in our programming.  It all starts with gravity...

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Why Are Shoulder Issues So Prevalent?

 

As fitness professionals we are always on the look out for ways to improve one thing and one thing primarily: that is, results.  In this business, if you don’t get results, you don’t have a business.   In this post, you will learn why shoulder issues are so prevalent, why you should care about the upper extremity mismatch and how this information will improve the results of your training sessions. Ultimately, a better understanding of the shoulder girdle, along with an understanding of the upper extremity mismatch, will enable you to more safely and effectively train the upper body without risk of shoulder injury.

Let’s start at the beginning, with an understanding of what exactly is meant by the “upper extremity mismatch”, which can be directly linked to the reason why so many people suffer with shoulder and rotator cuff issues:

 

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Lower Extremity Mismatch is an important concept to understand for anyone wanting to improve their fitness programming, whether it is for themselves or for clients / patients.  

During the process of bipedal evolution the structure of the human pelvis changed. The hips positioned themselves more in a frontal plane allowing for more lateral motion. (Lovejoy, 2009:326) This allowed for the stabilization needed for the single leg motions that make up the human gait pattern. The problem is that this mechanism was designed during a time when we were much smaller beings. As an aging and overweight population we are stressing this structure which leads to joint disease.


 

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The Luedeka Body Weight Trainer is the first functionally based all-in-one exercise trainer to incorporate the many scientific principles of progressive resisted exercise into functional closed chain training.

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CKC Fitness Systems
Crozet, Virginia 22932

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