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Favorite Functional Strength Training Alexandria VA Exercises

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Functional Strength Training Alexandria VA involves exercise techniques that mimic movements performed in everyday life, outdoor activities, or in a sport. This training technique involves the use of numerous tools to build the movement patterns such as: Kettle Bells, Viprs, TRX, Barbell, Dumbbell, Sandbags, Sleds, Ropes, Medicine Balls.

How would we mimic movements? If you were looking to improve your climbing technique we would use our ceiling rope, rock wall, and campus board.

Functional Strength Training is often compared against fitness trends such as Pilates, Zumba, P90X, Insanity, CrossFit etc and against old favorites such as Boxing, BodyBuilding, and Running.

So where does it fit in?

It is a subset of most of these techniques (CrossFit is almost Exclusively Functional). The real concept behind functional strength is making sure the movement is consistent with the ordinary movement continuum that humans were designed to move in- Think  farming, gathering, hunting, building, etc.

Benefits of Functional Training include:

  • Rapid Weight Loss
  • Core Development
  • Improvement in Lean Muscle Mass

Functional Strength Training  fully scalable; meaning both professional athletes and completely de-conditioned adults can perform these training movements under the correct guidance and instruction.

This style of training improves the nervous system by training the brain how to actuate, control, and as needed isolate muscles. Functional Strength Training athletes are keenly aware of their muscle contraction sequence especially along the posterior chain. Since Functional strength training develops the muscles to work in a sequence used in real life, functional training is useful for real life activities.

Functional Strength Training Alexandria VA

Functional Strength Training Categories

Movements: Squats, Pushes, Pulls, Swings, Twists, Jumps, Lunges

Improvement: Balance, Endurance, Strength, Range of Motion, Flexibility, Resilience, and Metabolic Conditioning.

In just these movements, there are literally thousands of individual exercises including: Dumbell Curls, Overhead Carry, Situps;  and even complex moves such as Ring Muscle-Ups, Barbell Snatches, and Handstands.

A lot of the programming that goes into a successful fitness program is the chaining of movement together with careful analysis of the rest period, repetitions, complexity, and sequence.

Since the large machines take up most of the the Big Commercial gyms do most of the stabilizing work for us, they are much less useful for mimicking real life movements. These machines do have value for strengthening a damaged muscle or tendon through isolation. However, a skilled trainer can perform the same feat with careful selection and control of the movement.

Functional Strength Training in Alexandria VA 22314

Why aren’t there more Functional Strength Training gyms?

It takes a lot of training to develop coaches that can properly train athletes without relying on machines. More than that, the companies that make these machines (Cybex, Tuff Stuff, Matric, etc) have invested billions of dollars into the bulky equipment industry are very effective and convincing club owners of the need for this equipment. Plus, these machines maximize dollars per square foot, have low risk of injury (It’s hard to do the movement incorrectly), and require little thinking on the part of the client or the trainer. But for all their ingenuity the bulky machine movement will always have four flaws:

  1. Big box machines do not develop the neuro-kinetic pathways for real life movements
  2. Big Box machines do not develop balance or stability
  3. Big Box machines are really difficult to work into a cooperative or group atmosphere
  4. Big Box machines are inherently boring to use

There is a reason we compare boring things to “running on a treadmill.” And while, companies like Matrix have plowed forward in building truly impressive user interfaces with fancy screen, built in tv, music videos, and even mimicking trails, they are all built for one purpose…to distract you from realizing how boring running on this treadmill is. Freedom from gym boredom is what Functional Strength Training is all about.


Have fun and get in the best shape of your life? – With Functional Strength Training you can!

Functional Strength Training Alexandria VA

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Paul Roberts

Head Mobility and Conditioning Coach at Sand & Steel FItness
At Sand & Steel, we diagnose sources of movement problems, correct muscle imbalances, and utilize the XT60 personal training system to improve body fat and activate weakened muscles.Lose Weight, gain flexibility, and build rock-solid strength,
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