Functional Training Part 3

One of the benefits of functional training is with strength. Strength is simply the ability of the neuromuscular system to exert force against a resistance. There are many different types of strength that must be considered when developing a functional training program; maximal strength, absolute strength, relative strength, speed strength, stabilization strength, functional strength, cardiovascular strength, limit strength. 

By developing the various types of strength an individual will be more adaptable to many different tasks and forces presented upon them. Strength training in a functional capacity has many different phases associated with it. There is an emphasis on developing not only the eccentric and concentric phases of muscular contraction, there is also a concern for developing the amortization phase as well. The amortization phase is when the stabilization strength, core strength and neuromuscular efficiency control the time between the eccentric contraction and the concentric contraction. This is concept is an important factor in functional training. 

Functional training is not designed necessarily to produce hypertrophy of muscles like bodybuilding. The main goal of functional training is to optimize muscle synergies and to  perform greater neuromuscular efficiency of integrated movement patterns in all three planes of motion at varying speeds of biomechanical energy. 

When dealing with fixing a dysfunctional movement pattern it is important to understand that performing isolated uniplanar exercises might not produce significant results. In order to sufficiently repair or rehab a particular weakness or dysfunctional movement pattern it is important to perform exercises that require communication among a series of synergistic neuromuscular components. Training in this manner will promote the higher brain centers to charge more neural output to the motor units of the muscle, improving the overall efficiency factor. 

To develop strength it is important to train in all strength capacities. There needs to be protocols that will enhance the eccentric, concentric, isometric, and amortization phase of contractions. 

In the next blog I will continue with discussing common postural problems that affect millions of people. 

Daryl Conant, M.Ed