Gain, Not Pain: Why is Functional Movement Important?

20th February 2020

We all move constantly in our day-to-day lives. ‘Movement’ is one of the seven qualities that determine whether something is alive. Naturally, we all want to care for and preserve our freedom of movement as much as possible, and maintaining an exercise regime may seem like the logical way to do this. But what if exercise causes you more pain than gain?

We do not consciously co-ordinate every small movement we make. Movement is controlled by your Central Nervous System (CNS), and is therefore entirely reflex-driven and subconscious. We have a conscious thought, such as ‘pick that up’ or ‘walk there’, which is converted into a subconscious direction to our CNS that sets a chain of minute actions in motion that altogether make a natural movement. 

On the other hand, most exercise programmes and classes are designed to work on the basis of conscious muscle engagement, building particular muscle groups to be able to do the particular sequence of actions prescribed by pilates, boxing, spin or yoga. While this does carry a lot of benefits such as weight loss through burnt calories, it doesn’t necessarily follow that exercise in this format develops your fundamental natural movement. A person may be able to lift their own body mass on the bench press, but struggle with a bad lower back when gardening or picking up their kids.

The basics of this problem boil down to time. There simply isn’t time to be consciously engaged in your every movement in everyday life. Our conscious brain doesn’t have that kind of processing power or physiological awareness. Our muscles are designed to operate subconsciously, so exercise that consciously targets specific muscles can’t touch whatever lack of natural mobility still lies underneath. If we stumble or catch something falling, our brain cannot catch up in time to make sure we have the ‘right’ muscles engaged before the movement. This is where injuries crop up.

A survey recently found that increasing numbers of yoga teachers are suffering from significant hip injuries, which a leading physiotherapist put down to the fact that exercise formats like yoga encourage people to force their bodies to “fit prescribed positions, even if our natural physiology prevents it”. 

So is there a way to strengthen our natural physiology to make exercise as rounded and beneficial as possible?

Functional movement training reminds the body to link subconscious impulses to the correct muscles, enabling you to move through day-to-day life from a position of confidence and natural strength whilst reducing the risk of injury. Simply experiencing movements that suit your level of ability enhances the effectiveness of your exercise efforts, rejuvenating the body’s natural form and functional strength in everyday life.

Natural Fit has developed a unique system of bespoke training that focuses on building your body’s natural functional strength, re-connecting brain and body to enable you to rediscover moving how you were born to

Enquire now for more information about our natural movement studio and innovative classes.

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