The exercises that you undertake every time you work out are more than just chores that help to burn calories or build muscle. They are the basic movements that, when combined, allow you to perform every complex task which you are capable of. Each repetition reinforces the duration, intensity and sequencing of muscle contractions and relaxations within the nervous system for that movement pattern. Your nervous system is continually relearning movement patterns via feedback from its sensory receptors. Proper movement patterns are vital for optimal efficiency and maintaining full range of motion and joint health.
Correct movement patterns can be overwritten for any number of reasons. Poor postural habits and improper motions can rewrite the movement pattern gradually so that proper patterns from childhood are replaced in adulthood. Physical trauma from sports and accidents involving an impact or fall are beyond control but often result in a replaced movement pattern. Overworked muscles from the workplace or the gym can become so much stronger than their respective counterparts that they fire inappropriately or unnecessarily. When a movement pattern becomes detrimental to the overall health of the individual, it becomes a dysfunction.
A movement dysfunction is the incorrect engagement of one or more muscles within the body that results in a harmful or less efficient movement pattern. Dysfunctional movement patterns lead to imbalanced muscles and increased friction on joints and connective tissues. Over time, the improper joint mechanics and poorly balanced muscle pairings of dysfunctional movement patterns will pull the skeletal system out of structural alignment. This can result in loss of capability, poor posture, joint stiffness, discomfort, or pain. Improper movements are unhealthy regardless of whether they are isolated events or repeated regularly during any activity or exercise program.
The hallmark of Functional Movement Training is that it is focused on training the body to better perform the motions that carry it throughout life. Exercises that challenge the whole body force major muscle groups to work together and maintain both strength and flexibility. The practice of proper movement patterns builds awareness, coordination and control. The primary goal of FMT is to regain the ease of motion that comes from neuromuscular efficiency and proper joint mechanics. The principle benefits are improved performance and reduced internal friction on joints that must last a lifetime. Better balance, greater flexibility, and increased core strength and stability are just a few of the additional benefits of Functional Movement Training.