Just what does this word “functional” imply? Well, most simply it means to perform an action or activity three dimensionally, fully expressive, and in a global manner. In other words, moving as one would during activities of daily living. In the case of the elite athlete this would mean incorporating training strategies that come as close as possible to the movements and challenges of their particular sport. For example, a baseball player might use a resistance band to exercise torso rotation in order to strengthen their swing.
However, for the majority of us who are not in training for a particular sport, our aim while training should be to enhance performance in our activities of daily living. In other words, life is our sport and walking, carrying and reaching for a top shelf are our activities. This means that “functional” training for most of us will incorporate movements that come as close to these movements and actions as possible. For example BOSU suitcase squats prepare us for carrying grocery bags on uneven sidewalks.
So, just how does posture come into play within the functional model of training? Well, in order to move our bodies through our environment most efficiently and effectively, optimal posture is necessary. It affords us with the elegance, grace and resiliency that our bodies express, when working with the reality of the ever-present force of gravity. A functional model of posture is not rigid - not “straight”, but rather fluid, supple and changing.
For many of us, daily activities have become dominated by sitting, slumping and crouching over some kind device or other. Since we do not have the luxury of not working, it has become imperative that we begin taking on Functional Postural Training, as we do any other fitness training in which we participate.
Posture must be both functional and adaptive to our daily demands. As demands change from activity to activity, so must our postural intelligence. This can best be accomplished with a set of mental and physical exercises geared specifically to correct postural faults, combined with a diverse array of strength, mobility and movement sessions weekly.