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  • Heidi Blackie

What is Functional Movement?

Updated: Apr 19, 2022

When is the last time you were performing a task and you took a moment to notice the movements you were making during the activity?

I just made lunch and observed all of the primary movements I used. To name a few: chopping required grasp of the knife and pushing down, with light pulling up to reposition the knife. I hinged my hips and bent my knees into a squat while I reached to a lower cupboard and then hinged forward slightly as I reached up to get something off a higher shelf. Plus pulling open and then pushing closed the refrigerator door several times.

These are all considered “functional” movements and they are the main movements that we repeat over and over again - every day. They are multi-joint and multi-planar and it is important that we perform them correctly. Many back injuries stem from years of poor mechanics rather than one specific insult. The same goes for the shoulder.

So, what are the main functional movements?

Push: When you get up from lying down or sitting in a chair, close the car door, or lift something over your head.

Pull: Every door you open and item you lift or bring closer to you.

Squat: Every time you sit down, stoop, or just lower your center of gravity.

Hinge: Bending (or hinging) over to perform an activity, pick something up or put your sock on while standing.

Lunge: Walking up and down stairs.

Rotation: Turning around to check your blind spot in the car or reaching for something not directly in front of you.

Gait/Carry: Gait is all about the foundational movement that we as humans do - walking, running, skipping. Carry relates to objects we have in our hands - which can also be a pull or a push.

Next time you are doing a daily task, consider all the movements required and how many times you repeat them!

At Ergology, we help you lay the foundation to perform these movements correctly and then build on them to increase your strength, stability, flexibility and balance as we work toward your specific goals. If you have any questions about our Functional Movement Coaching, please reach out!

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