Functional Training

“You can cheat your head but you can’t cheat your body” Robert Hlatky

Whatever your activities may be, our goal is to improve your quality of life by changing the way you move. We will change the way that you move and will enable you to feel much better by targeting stagnated areas of your body and bringing them back to a more fluid state. Just like stagnated waters turn foul, stagnated and unused areas of your body are poisoning your natural balance. To achieve this goal, we will work with you on multiple levels, including physical, emotional, energetic and psychological levels, to truly retrain your body.

What is functional training?

Functional training is designed to improve your daily life and is for people without prior injuries. You might have experienced discomfort or some restrictions in your movements before starting the training but you should not have been diagnosed with any physical conditions. If you were diagnosed with special physical conditions, we can help you through one of our Therapeutic programs.

How does it benefit you?

Improving your daily life is a broad and versatile goal. It encompasses improvements in strength, flexibility, coordination, endurance, range of motion or three dimensional awareness. The emphasis of the training will depend on you and your daily activities. For you to better understand what we mean by improving your daily life, here are a few examples of what functional training might mean to you depending on what you do.

How do we do it?

Functional training is a form a re-training in the sense that it is about changing your habits. It is about changing the way you move. By definition, it is based on movements. The reason is simple yet very important. We can only re-train your body by increasing mobility, flexibility, coordination and strength and if the targeted areas move. We need to make you move before we can train you.

  • The first reason is that you would not feel anything without an actual movement.
  • The second reason is that we can only evaluate the progress of our work by seeing you moving.
    We expect certain standards and quality in your movements and that is the only sign of a successful re-training.
  • The third reason is that progress is only achieved through and during repetitive movements.

Come work with us and you will discover parts of your body that you did not know could move this way. At the beginning, the movements will be small but perceptible. With time and numerous repetitions, their amplitudes will increase. Once we are certain that you have achieved the necessary mobility, flexibility we will work on coordination, strength and intensity. That is the only safe way to train your body without damaging it. Let’s take an example here. It describes the way we will interact with you. Each client is unique and treated individually. However, the method that we follow can be outlined through the following example.

Example of the principles we follow.

1. Coming to MRC

A new client comes to the Movement Re-Training Center. He is an office worker, with no prior injuries. He runs a couple of miles twice a week, occasionally goes to a fitness center and feels generally very healthy. At the end of his day of work however or after a long time spent standing in a museum, he will feel some discomfort or stiffness in his lower back.

2. Observation

The first stage of our work will be to observe you move in our studio. We will watch you walk, stand, sit and simply be yourself. During this observation, we notice that the lower part of your spine is much more mobile than your upper spine. In fact, your thoracic spine is barely moving.

3. Physical experience

We now have to create a physical experience for you that will enable you to understand but mainly to feel which part of your spine should move more. This occurs by guiding your movements according to well established principles of biomechanics.

4. Regaining mobility

This stage is of paramount importance because it allows you to gain a physical feedback corresponding to a new mobility in your body. Your upper spine will start to slowly move. The movements will be small but along several sessions it will become larger and larger. You will feel something changing in your body. A whole area was not moving and was forcing the body, which is very intelligent, to compensate and to strain other parts, more movable. By regaining mobility in the previously blocked region the natural balance of your body is restored. The compensation mechanism will stop. Simply said you will have learnt a new trick. Your body will be able to do something new.

5. Building strength

From this moment on, once we are confident you have enough mobility in your upper spine, we can start working on building strength and even more flexibility. The work becomes more intense and the exercises more challenging. You will train to move differently, to fully use your upper and lower spine in a coordinated manner.

6. Re-trained

The next stage is to experience this new mobility in your daily work. That is sitting at work or standing in a museum. Sitting at your desk at the office, you will stop trying to correct your posture to reduce the tension in your lower back. Instead you will consciously mobilize your whole spine and be aware of the way you sit when reaching for the phone or when picking up that pen from the floor. By doing that you will allow your body to be constantly in movement. Even small barely detectable movements are important. You will avoid the common stiffness associated with office work. You have been re-trained. Not only did you learn how to move your upper spine but you are now also capable of using this knowledge in everything you do.

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