How Functional is your Training really?

Lately I have discovered a new type of training that I think is a game changer in the world of fitness and sports. I didn't invent it, it’s not new, but I believe that it is very underestimated, and not enough people know about it yet. This article is hopefully going to enlighten you with some new and interesting knowledge regarding functional training. The Three-Dimensional (3D) training is based on the understanding of chain-reaction bio-mechanics. The human body can move in 3 different planes of motion: Frontal (side to side), Horizontal (rotation) and Sagittal (forward/backwards). The body is made to move in all 3 planes of motion and is doing it every day. In many gyms now a days we are taught exercises that do not replicate authentic human movements. A very interesting point that Ian Houghton (@ian_shp) from Scandinavian Health & Performance (@shp_dubai) points out is that we are only exposing ourselves to the same old exercises in the same old safe and controlled environments. In life and in many sports we will be exposed to situations where we will have to move in other ways than you are used to seeing in the gym. Which is why I believe that many injuries happen in the first place.

"If your goal is to enhance function in a joint, improve your ability to move or off a playing field or just so-called “Functional training” then I cannot see any reason to confine yourself to the limitations of traditional gym exercises. By exposing your joints to a larger variety of joint motion you can facilitate feedback and hopefully create greater acceptance and acquaintance of movement. On top of this, you can enhance the structural tolerance of the collagen around your joints, hopefully reducing the risk of injury when “sh#t hits the fan." - Ian Houghton

That's why your training program should be designed to move you into all 3 different ways of motion. Through this kind of training an improvement of peoples mobility has been developed. Without good mobility you will often struggle to align your body in the correct and safe positions, which eventually will create some sort of atrophy and potential injury. Bad movement patterns and injuries can occur often in Crossfit due to lack of mobility and range of motion. Passive stretching, which has lately increased in many peoples training regimen, will help you become more mobile but won't strengthen you in these new achieved positions. I see the 3D training as a great way to strengthen, to gain more range of motion and in general to make your body as athletic as it should be. All info is based on articles and interviews of people using this training method. Links to each article can be found at the end of this article. A special thank you to Ian Houghton for sharing lots of articles and videos on this topic, and to Julien Pineau (@strongfit1) for teaching me the principle of moving in all the different planes of motion. There will be posted videos of specific 3D training exercises in the near future. Stay tuned and share this article to whoever could be interested.   By: Andre Houdet, Performance Coach