By Josh Bird
How can functional exercise help you with everyday life? First of all, functional exercise is exercises that can offer transferable movement patterns into everyday life and helps to create a strong core, and in our later years be the difference between having our independence or being put into a care home by our loved ones. So, if we don’t learn these functional movement patterns now while we still can (such as the deadlift, squat and shoulder press) how can you have your independence at a later age or even play with your children or grandchildren later on in life. In today’s blog I will be discussing the different functional movements that can help you with this/ transfer over and the importance of core strength and why we need this to maintain our independence independence.
First let’s talk about the squat. The squat itself is so important in everyday life and we do this movement a lot without even realising. The sad thing is this movement is often overlooked in a Globo gym setting and favoured for the leg press or is taught wrong. So why is the squat important for life I hear you ask? Well, I want you to look at the squat in a different light. What do we do to get off the sofa/ chair? What do we do to get off the toilet? And lastly what do we do to get out of bed? Think about it, it is the same movement pattern as a squat. If we can’t do the squat itself then we haven’t got the ability to remain independent as we get older as it will mean our legs can’t hold our body weight and we need some sort of frame for assistance getting up and walking around. The thought of not being able to get out of a chair and walk around scares me and it should scare you, if this doesn’t make you want to do your squats, I don’t know what will.
Now let’s talk deadlift! People say he or she who has the heaviest deadlift is the strongest person on the planet. People also say that’s the reason why deadlifts are dangerous and that’s why we shouldn’t do them, which is false as any exercise can be dangerous if we aren’t lifting with proper form and maintaining that neutral spine. Now let’s look at the deadlift movement pattern, what are we doing in a deadlift? We are picking up a deadweight off the ground. Now what is this movement pattern mimicking? It’s mimicking the ability to pick an object off the ground which we use more than we think in life even if we aren’t in a manual handling job. This could be picking up a heavy parcel, or just picking up anything in general.
The shoulder Press, how does this translate into the everyday? Well, you may have figured this one out already and see a correlating pattern with this blog and see how it transcends into everyday. Well, if we look at a shoulder press, we are essentially moving weight from our shoulders to a position overhead, which mimics us putting something on a shelf which is an everyday task we do without even realising. This for example could be putting shopping away in a shelf which requires you to press overhead or even picking p your kids or grandkids overhead. This is also essential to having independence and to live a good quality life.
In conclusion you can see how important functional exercise is to living a good quality life with full independence. As you can see the movements, I have described to you transcend into many avenues in day to day tasks as well as giving you independence and as we get older that’s the most important factor, as we are all going to end up having someone look after us but we as people have to make the choice when that will happen. This blog isn’t about how CrossFit can help (even though it can) it is about trying to get you as an individual to lift for life at any age, it doesn’t have to be heavy weight. It could just be with a bar, dumbbells or even a stick. We need to set ourselves up for success in life just as much as wanting to beat people and be on top.