Functional Exercise: Yes or No?

 In Featured, Joanna Tan, Physiotherapy

F45 Training merges 3 separate leading-edge fitness training styles into one, consummate and compelling group training experience for its members. F45 Training combines elements of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Circuit Training, and Functional Training. This combination of interval, cardiovascular and strength training has been proven to be one of the most effective workout method for burning fat and building lean muscle.

CrossFit (CF) is a workout methodology consisting of a variety of exercises such as Olympic-like lifts, cardio training and multi-joint movements (such as Box Jumps, Pull-ups and skipping). This method of training and community, as with F45, has exploded worldwide over the last few years. This is evident in the number of people we encounter at our clinic doing either F45 and CF or even both!

F45 and CF can be classified as being part of the Functional Training family of exercise. This means that you are choosing to train your body for function rather than form. The training program is thus broad and includes all forms of natural movement. Running, jumping, lifting, agility and mental fortitude are all fundamental pieces of F45/CF training programs. Almost all of the F45/CF “moves” require the entire body to become involved. There is a nearly equal blend of calisthenics and weight bearing exercises within each workout creating all over fitness.

Since most F45/CF exercises require the whole body to be challenged, it is imperative that there are no imbalances or issues with each individual. A weak and unstable ankle from a sprained ankle 10 years ago which hasn’t been rehabilitated properly will cause problems with Box Jumps. A desk-bound person with poor posture will lack the flexibility in their shoulder(s) and hip(s) to be able to effectively perform a Clean and Jerk or use Battle Ropes. These are just 2 examples of potential causes of injury at F45/CF.

Most people that start F45/CF will be new to some of the exercises thus it’s imperative that they are taught these exercises safely and perfectly. This is particularly important when one gets fatigued and is trying to challenge oneself. It is also important to try to work within one’s limits and not to push oneself too quickly.

F45 and CF are both good forms of exercise and have a wide appeal but each individual needs to make sure that he/she has the necessary stability, flexibility, strength, co-ordination and proprioception globally and at joint level to ensure that they can cope with the challenges ahead.

If you are looking at taking up either of these two forms of Functional Training or are already doing it but keep getting injured or stagnant in your progress, then you should make an appointment with a physiotherapist to get assessed and rehabilitated thoroughly. We here at Pinnacle Health Group are all familiar with F45 and CF and are experts at recognizing any potential issues and how to find solutions for them. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

You can find me at Pinnacle Health Group if you would like an appointment!

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