Yesterday’s MONSTER Monday workout started off much like any other. My lifting pal and I decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and do our workout in the park. We did a bit of TRX, some body weight training, tossed a football and included some hill sprints; it was all so far, so good. Next, my lifting pal suggested, we would run up the stairs and at the landing do a lateral shuffle and chest pass back and forth with a soccer ball, then continue running up the stairs to the top. Same story on the way down. Going to the top was just grand, however on the way back down I managed to step into a deep sinkhole as I caught the ball on the last chest pass. As is the case with most falls/injuries, I could see it happening all in slow motion and the thought going through my head was “Oh S***!!! I am going to smash my face into these stairs!!!” Without even thinking about what to do, my body automatically reacted; I let the ball go and somehow managed to put my arms out to catch my fall, my face landing a mere 3 inches away from the cold concrete steps. It was SCARY.
After checking to make sure I was okay, my lifting pal (and I) burst into a roar of laughter. Together we sat on the stairs for well over a few minutes laughing like a couple of hyenas. She gave me her best reenactment of what she saw in slow motion, and I recounted mine. We both could not believe that in the split second of my misstep, I managed to catch myself from totally falling and getting VERY hurt.
Here’s where the moral of MONSTER Monday comes in….We decided that it was thanks to lots of functional training that I was able to do so.
[Functional Training, in one description, is "Multi-joint, multi-planar, proprioceptively-enriched activity that involves deceleration (force reduction), acceleration (force production) and stabilization; controlled amounts of instability; and management of gravity, ground reaction forces and momentum."
In plain English, "Functional training involves movements that are specific — in terms of mechanics, coordination and/or energetics — to one’s activities of daily living (ADLs).] **source**
I have read myriad articles outlining and explaining in detail the many benefits of functional training. I have heard well-known and respected fitness professionals advocate for this modality of training over others because of its benefits in everyday life. I, myself, have explained to clients how and why functional training is superior to many other modalities. Training in planes of motion & training the body to work in a cohesive manner through movement patterns simulates real life actions. In other words, training the upper body, lower body, and core to work in unison while IN the gym will automatically improve mobility outside the gym, doing everyday things. In addition, working in this fashion is more efficient and effective in terms of reaching fitness goals. Conversely, training a single muscle in isolation while the rest of the body is immobilized is not realistic in nature [think using a bicep curl or leg extension machine]. It is also a much less efficient way of working out, given the goals of most individuals. Some people buy my explanation, and others don’t. Bottom line, without functional training, I probably would’ve ended up with a broken nose, some missing teeth, or worse. I was quite happy to walk away from the “scene of the crime” on my own two feet with a few cuts and scrapes.
I now have a new (and favorite, #1) reason in support of functional training: IT LITERALLY SAVES FACE!