At Ascent you will often hear coaches refer to movements instead of exercise and practice or training instead of a workout. Yes, you will get a workout in our classes and you will also get all the benefits of movement training. Let me explain why…
I got into personal training after experiencing several injuries while playing college ultimate. I was in the “best shape of my life” but kept getting hurt! During one visit with a physical therapist he told me about the FMS (Functional Movement Systems) method which led me down a path of studying functional movement from many of the founders of this type of training.
I became fascinated by the concept of training movements to improve mobility, strength and performance. I started to apply functional training concepts to myself and improved my flexibility, decreased pain, and had more interest in doing it.
I went from a 90 degree squat to a deep squat and from barely touching my toes to palms on the floor in just a couple months. I increased my range of motion without stretching and my knee pain from a torn meniscus went away. I was inspired to keep learning and got my personal training certification so I could start training others.
Over the years I have attended several movement courses and conferences and my repertoire and understanding continues to deepen. So much so, that the concept of learning movement is so ingrained into my brain I sometimes forget to share the importance of movement with others. Below are 8 reasons why we focus on movement practice at Ascent.
- Purpose: Movement encompasses the purpose of our bodies! Tying purpose to an action is more satisfying and fun meaning you will want to do it again
- Intuitive: Movement is natural and intuitive. is something we crave, Unlike, exercise that is often detached and for the purpose of burning calories or improving bio metrics. Because movement training is intuitive we are better able to monitor our progress and limits which can prevent injury and increase satisfaction.
- Mindful: Our brain controls our muscle contractions so it makes sense that we should train those pathways together. Neuro pathways that are used get reinforced! In other words practicing real life movements makes those movements stronger and more efficient and therefore safer in sport or an emergency. For example: a leg press will strengthen all the same muscles as a squat but it doesn’t teach your brain how to utilize those muscles in a way that you will use it in life. So even though you can leg press 150lbs you may not know how to put a person on your shoulders and stand up without hurting yourself.
- Complex: Outside of a lab our body parts do not move in isolation or in straight lines. While strength training muscles in isolation will build muscle it may not improve performance. For example: A pushup entails a pattern of muscle contractions and relaxations to take place. Just strengthening your chest muscles will not necessarily lead to a push-up.
- Mobility: Movement practice increases mobility! Mobility is the combination of strength and flexibility meaning you must strength train at full range of motion. When you move through a full range of motion under load you increase flexibility and strength. Just stretching will not increase capabilities in your end ranges.
- Injury Prevention: Mobility equals less injuries. Most often injuries take place at the end range of our capabilities. Either you have overused a muscle, tendon, or ligaments to the point of degeneration or you have put too much force on it in a position it is not prepared to take that force.
- Competence and Confidence: Movement practice increases confidence. Raise your hand if you ever felt more confident after doing leg curls? How about deadlifting? My suspicion is that a lot more hands went up for deadlift. Because movement is functional we can see how our improvements will apply to the things we do.
- Growth: There are endless opportunities for growth. We can scale, refine and complicate movements forever.