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Functional Patterns VS Traditional Lifting

By Courtney Smith posted November 1, 2019

Functional Patterns vs Traditional Lifting | Chattanooga Personal Training

Does your training emphasize strength that relates to your reality?

Walk into any gym in the world and you will see sagittal plane movement everywhere! What's worse is that you'll primarily see people pushing weights solely against the pull of gravity (up and down). This is a longitudinal form of strength which is of limited use in real life. This is where a large difference between functional and non-functional forms of training lies – in the direction of the force that you're emphasizing.

Our myofascial chains (muscles + fascia) developed over thousands of years to propel us through space horizontally. Walking, running, and throwing are all horizontal actions that caused this muscular development, stimulating the fascial chains through rotational stretches, decompressing the joints, and keeping the body hydrated through rhythmic motion. This means that movements that emphasize rotation and horizontal resistance are likely the most important for developing physical efficiency in a human.

In present times, the most common forms of resistance training not only lack rotation, but they emphasize compressing the body vertically with heavy loads. The more this happens, the less efficiently you'll be able to use horizontal and rotational force to propel yourself through space. This makes walking, running, and throwing extremely difficult.

Ever wonder why most gym goers seem so “fit” with their sculpted muscles, but are unable to perform normal human movements (walking, running, throwing, and even picking things up) efficiently and without pain? Traditional barbell training does not respect the way our bodies evolved, and it literally disconnects the myofascial links, causing you to perform worse at human movement.

If traditional strength training improved performance in human movement, most gym goers would already be running like Usain Bolt. However, the results we have attained from traditional lifts seem to be the opposite: pain and movement degeneration.

Instead of training primarily by lifting weights up and down, ignoring the fact that we are built for horizontal propulsion – consider training in a fashion that respects your human blueprint. If you would like to move like a kangaroo, continue squatting and deadlifting; if you would like to move like an optimized human being, get started with Functional Patterns.