Why CrossFit? - Part 3

November 2, 2015

Why CrossFit? - Functional

 

In case you missed Part 1 and Part 2.

 

A functional movement is something that utilizes real world situational body mechanics.

Huh?

 

If there was a box laying on the ground and I asked you to pick it up, you would more than likely squat or bend down, bring the box close to your body, and stand up. Congratulations, you just completed a functional movement - or in other words, you completed a deadlift!

 

You would more than likely use your legs, back, shoulders, arms, and core to pick that box up by using as much mechanical advantage through your body's joint levers and angles to pick the box up in the most efficient way possible. What you probably wouldn't do, or least not encouraged to do, is to simply biceps curl the box into place.

 

Don't get me wrong, biceps curls are great and all, as people love to do them for mostly aesthetic purposes, but they should not be the cornerstone of your health and fitness regimen. In fact,  "simple" exercises like curls and triceps extensions used by individuals as the basis of their workouts is something commonly seen.

 

To put it in another sense, let's think about total overall calorie burning. The more muscle that is recruited to do something will cause the body to expend more energy, or as most people refer to it as "burning calories." Deadlifting 300lbs is going to burn more calories than biceps curling 40lbs. So for individuals who are trying to lose weight and/or get "fit," their focus should primarily be on compound functional movements to do so.

 

There is nothing wrong with throwing in some biceps curls from time to time. It is an exercise that is enjoyable, and besides, who doesn't like to get big arms? However, focusing on improving movement patterns and strength through functional movements is far more effective.

 

Functional movements are non-discriminant of age or gender. Everyone completes some sort of functional movement during their day to day activities, so here at CrossFit Orangeville, we help you learn the proper way of moving so that you can not only increase your mechanical advantage and loading techniques needed to safely perform an exercise or movement, but you can also increase the tactile forces placed on your body so that you can promote growth and adaptation for improved aging.

 

In fact, in a few years/decades when people look back on the history of CrossFit, introducing an entire generation of women (and men) to barbell training may be the best thing to come out of it. Supplementing with calcium and magnesium alone is not enough to prevent or reverse the effects of age-related osteoporosis. Our bodies need a stimulus to promote bone growth and density to stave-off these age-related effects. Just as resistance training causes a stimulus to improve the strength and durability of our muscles and ligaments, compound movements with weight, such as squats and deadlifts, promote bone density to increase bone health and are extremely beneficial for individuals of all ages.

 

By the way, no, weightlifting will not stunt your child's growth, or cause any other type of terrible myth surrounding weightlifting and youths.

 

 

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