There has been a rise in a new style of so-called “functional” exercise programs at gyms. The theory of functional exercise is that the exercise mimics activities we perform in our daily routine and therefore should be beneficial.
In the name of “functional exercise” some potentially dangerous exercises are being thrust upon the general gym population. Not surprisingly, we are seeing a spike in gym-related injuries at Leading Edge.
We feel the reason we’re seeing a spike in gym-related injuries is that a lot of gym instructors and personal trainers simply don’t know our client’s bodies well enough to prescribe the correct exercises. They’re all being shown the same exercises with little knowledge of how it fits in with their exercise history, injury history and what they do in their personal lives. In other words, the exercises aren’t “functional” for the clients and it can result in injury.
We would encourage all gym users to question whether the exercises you are being encouraged to do are right for your body.
If you have a longstanding history of lower back problems is bending to swing heavy kettlebells between your knees “functional” or is it asking for trouble?
If you are a 40-year-old mother of three is it really “functional” for you to be doing box jumps or is that likely to tip your degenerative netball knee over the edge?
Battle ropes look like fun but would not be considered “functional” for many. Are they the best thing for your rotator cuff injury?
While we continue to blindly follow instructions from “exercise professionals”, who do not know our bodies, injuries will keep occurring. It is ok to say “No, I don’t think that exercise will be good for me. Can I do something else?”.
It is important to remember that most “exercise professionals” are not trained to assess and diagnose musculoskeletal conditions so if you have a new or pre-existing injury you need to seek help and advice from a physiotherapist. We can correctly advise you on the exercises you should and should not be performing, so you can exercise safely and get the most benefit from your gym program.
If you are having trouble with your current exercise program or have sustained an injury the best thing you can do is book in for a Leading Edge Physiotherapy assessment. We can assess and diagnose your problems and help you to perform an exercise program that is safe for your body.