What is Functional Movement?

by | Sep 21, 2022 | New this month

“Functional movements are movements based on real-world situational biomechanics. 

They usually involve multi-planar, multi-joint movements which place demand on body’s core musculature and innervation.”

~ Wikipedia

 Let’s unpack the fancy quote:

Functional Movement usually involves large groups of muscles working together across the body, with the focus on both stability and mobility.

Functional Movement mimics our usual, normal-life, everyday movements – such as getting up from a chair or couch, reaching into a cupboard, or carrying bags of groceries.

The beauty of Functional Movement is that unlike many other movement disciplines it doesn’t just train individual muscles in isolation. Functional Movement challenges all of our muscles to work together as team – kinda like they should in real life.

What’s more, Functional Movement moves our entire nervous system (yes, nerves need to move!) in a variety of ways and in a multitude of planes – forward, back, up, down, and from one side to another. This improves the sliding and gliding of the nerves through the connective tissue and that is hugely important: there’s nothing like a stuck, angry nerve to ruin your night’s sleep, I tell ya!

Put simply, functional movements teach us how to move our bodies with proper muscle and joint mechanics for effortless, pain-free movement.
I know this not just from reading about it in a book.

Take knees, for example.

Earlier this year I taught the Knee-Hub – a knee rehab program largely based on the Functional Movement model –  to help students reduce or even eliminate their knee pain with a tested-and-true system of movement tools.

As we dove into the anatomy and alignment bits, quite a few Knee-Hub students discovered that their knee issues were directly related to what was happening up-stream of their knees – in the pelvis and low back, and also downstream of the knees – in the feet and ankles.

The unanimous vote was that we needed to examine the connection between all of our knees’ moving parts, and explore movement patterns of our up-stream and down-stream parts in a much fine detail to improve the functionality of our knees.

That’s how the Knee-Hub Extended was born!

IN – Breath. OUT – Breath. HERE WE GO!

Hey, my name is Julia

Living with chronic pain has taught me to look for solutions in unlikely places –  places where most people see only problems.

Over the years I’ve gotten to be pretty good at this problem-solving and silver-lining finding thing.

So good that I felt compelled to share what I’ve learned and help others to find their sea legs while navigating, living, and winning their battle with chronic pain.

Hey, my name is Julia

Living with chronic pain has taught me to look for solutions in unlikely places –  places where most people see only problems.

Over the years I’ve gotten to be pretty good at this problem-solving and silver-lining finding thing.

So good that I felt compelled to share what I’ve learned and help others to find their sea legs while navigating, living, and winning their battle with chronic pain.