Functional fitness is a popular buzz word these days in the fitness industry, and for good reason. Most people want to feel and look better to improve their daily lives and their ability to move without fatigue or injury.
Achieving that goal requires a balanced approach to improving overall health, such as the EXOS four pillars: mindset, nutrition, movement and recovery. The movement pillar specifically improves functional movement to support the physical demands of life and shore up weaknesses, decrease injury risk, and build strength and power. It’s all built on the concept of pillar strength.
Your body’s pillar is the foundation for all movement. It consists of your shoulders, torso, and hips. When your pillar lacks stability, you transfer energy less efficiently from your lower body to your upper body (and vice-versa). This can increase your risk of knee and low back injury and make your workouts less effective. Increase your movement capability through strengthening the shoulders, torso and hips to improve posture, performance, and resilience.
Build resilience with functional movement
The first step in building pillar strength is finding out how you currently move your body, and how you can improve it to be stronger, more efficient, and prevent injury. A Functional Movement Screen is a diagnostic tool that can help fitness and health professionals pinpoint deficiencies in the way you move.
Lots of physical challenges can influence the way we walk and lift things, but asymmetrical movements can make us vulnerable to injury and chronic pain. Through identifying and addressing specific improvements in our functional fitness, we can build strength and resilience with targeted pillar strength exercises to support our lifestyle and fitness goals.
Stay strong during everyday activities
Building pillar strength to support daily activities requires mindful focus to maintain the strength we’ve built and support our workout efforts. Here are four ways to support your pillar when you’re not at the fitness center:
- Sit strong. Engage your pillar at your desk by elevating your chest, pulling your shoulder blades down and back, and drawing your stomach up and in.
- Improve laptop use. Avoid putting undo strain on your neck and shoulders by using a laptop stand or stacking books under your laptop and using an external keyboard.
- Doorway posture Designate a doorway at work or home you frequently walk through as a posture checkpoint. Think “tall” and feel as if you’re balancing a cup of water on your head.
- Perfect posture behind the wheel. Don’t sacrifice posture while driving. Sit with your hips equal or slightly higher than your knees and hold the steering wheel 9 and 3 (not 10 and 2).
Find a workout that works
A truly great workout is about more than sweat. It’s about getting the coaching, community support, and attention you deserve. Mercy Sports Performance is Powered by EXOS, a company that has improved the lives and physical performance of elite athletes, military teams, and regular people for decades. Sports Performance coaches use Functional Movement Screen results to create a plan of action for each member that incorporates mobility work, movement-based strength training, interval-based cardio, nutrition, and more.
Mercy Sports Performance is offering free Functional Movement Screen services for those participating in either the Adult Functional Fitness classes or the Sports Performance Bundle. Schedule yours today by speaking with a membership advisor and upgrade your life with a foundation for functional fitness through pillar strength.