Somagenesis San Diego Personal trainer, discusses Intelligent Fitness Programs.
Posted Aug 06 2012 7:46pm
Over the twelve year span of my career as a personal trainer in San Diego , I have heard multiple complaints from the 40-60 year old population. Complaints involving rotator cuff pain, epicondylitis (golfer or tennis elbow pain), knee pain on flexion and extension, and the classic lower back pain syndrome . Ironically all these complaints are not related to sports injuries, or working out, but are presented on the initial consultation as painful injuries that occur frequently with ADL’s (activities of daily living) For example bending over to pick up the newspaper, or playing catch with a 6 year old child. Some of these injuries are often related to an unstable, poorly conditioned core, and a inflexible musculature. Conversely, I have also seen similar injuries in people who look apparently fit, which is not always the reality. You can’t judge a book by its cover!
My point being, the fitter clients that come my way, often believe they are working out in an intelligent, systematic way, however they simply engage in a conventional strength and conditioning. Strength conditioning has is benefits, however it is designed to isolate muscle groups, and create hypertrophy. And, the exerciser often train muscle groups in a non functional way, creating abnormal movement patterns. Non functionality meaning, the exercise, provides aesthetic results, but severely lacks in functional chain movement patterns, which are imperative to prevent joint and neurological injuries
Functional exercises are awesome! These exercises mimic natural body movements you perform in daily life. Functional exercises use many muscles at the same time to create one fluid movement. Lets look what happens when you bend over. You engage your hamstrings,gluteals, erector muscle of your lower and mid back, latissimus muscle of the upper back and arms. This is a classic closed kinetic chain movement. This simple movement can be potentially dangerous if the associated muscles are not working in synchrony.
My basic prescription to to improve your lower back dynamics in a functional manner, would include:
1. A hamstring, hip flexor and gluteal flexibility program
2. Posture analysis with back taping to reduce back flexion during lifting
3. Scapular adduction program with bands while seated on Swissball
5. Four count bilateral bent over row with rotation to simulate the actual chain movement with bodyweight at first then with free weights.
Although this is a small brief exercise prescription for improving lower back dynamics, there are numerous other functional exercises that improve overall joint function and biomechanics. It is imperative that you integrate functional fitness into your overall fitness program. Just ask any experienced bodybuilder how often they visit their chiropractor to get there spine adjusted. You’ll be suprised. Too tight, is too bad and not good. For more information on functional fitness program design, contact a Certified Personal Trainer at Somagenesis Health and Fitness , and live a long, healthy and pain free life!
PS. Be sure to check out the attached video demonstrating some cutting edge functional exercises!. Enjoy!