Functional strength, flexibility, proprioception, balance and optimised gait

Functional movement exercises aim is to train and develop muscles gradually in order to enable client/athlete to perform normal daily activities and functional movements easier, safer and pain free. These exercises will progressively increase client’s/athlete’s stamina during each day enabling him to resume his sport specific function. When full ROM, strength, flexibility, proprioception, balance and optimised gait pattern are re-gained to their pre-injury state (level) then it is time to incorporate functional exercises into the rehabilitation process. These exercises improve how the client/athlete perform his daily tasks such as bending down, sitting and rising up from sitting, walking, picking up an object from the floor etc., by stimulating common movements. When a person is injured and off work, functional exercises help preparing his body for different forms of daily activity which enable him to return to work without re-injury. Let’s say a builder is off work due to an injury, his functional movement training exercises will simulate lifting, hammering and cutting. The more his body performs a particular movement or exercise, the faster, safer and easier his body can repeat the movements in the future. In case of a basketball player who could not compete this season due to an injury, his functional movement exercises will mimic sport specific actions such as jumping, landing and throwing. Example of functional movement exercises: squat: body weight squat, barbell squat; lunge: multidirectional lunge, side-step lunge, barbell lunge; hinge; push; pull: pull-up; rotate – hit, punch, throw; walk. Benefits of functional movements exercises:increase heart rateincrease coordinationimprove flexibilityimprove general balanceimprove reflex timeimprove joint mobilityimprove overall physical fitnessimprove overall quality of lifeimprove muscle memory improve brain memoryimprove balanceimprove posturereduce risk of injury or re-injurymakes every day activities to be performed easierimprove neuromuscular control and coordinationprepare body for various forms of daily activityhelps client/athlete to return to work without re-injuryhelps client/athlete to return to sport activity