The fitness culture of today is focused on how hard you push your body, how much you can lift, how fast you can do it, how far can you bend, etc. The prioritization of work is perfectly fine if you’re willing to sacrifice long-term health for performance. But this has resulted in our bodies not working the way they were intended to function. Our hips and shoulders don’t work correctly yet we try to condense days worth of human movement into one hour of training.
The fitness and health industry is now booming with new gyms and studios popping up on every block, claiming to have the secret to success. Our high prioritization of work and effort has left physical therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, and movement specialists with packed schedules and businesses due to the growing number of injuries. But why are all these injuries happening? Isn’t working out regularly good for us?
While the rule “If you don’t use it, you lose it” applies to our joints and range of motion, we also need to understand what role each of our joints plays in our movement, as well as understand how we can improve the monikers of success while still staying healthy.
FRC’s Philosophy on Longevity
I’ve trained some of the highest level athletes in the world, such as Jake Arrieta, a right-handed pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, the proud owner of a World Series ring, a Cy Young award, an all-star game, and silver slugger, Tyronne Woodley, UFC Welterweight Champion, and Carlin Isles, the fastest man in rugby. During my work with them, I’ve learned that the best ability you can give any athlete, whether they be a professional baseball player, a UFC Fighter or a weekend warrior, is availability. It is really hard to get paid millions of dollars to play a sport if you are hurt all the time.
It’s really hard to improve your game or even compete in your game if you’re hurt. So while building mechanical stress, stimulating with progressive overload, and performing dynamic “functional” movements are extremely important, nothing compares to longevity and health. Can you show up every day to compete at the level you expect from yourself while also feeling confident your body is ready to meet the demands your ego asks of you?
Well, Dr. Andreo Spina, creator of the Functional Anatomy Seminars which houses the hottest continuing education course on the market in FRC (Functional Range Conditioning), as well as Kinstretch, Functional Range Assessment, and Functional Release (Manual Therapy), insists that we as coaches, trainers, clinicians, and humans need to teach ourselves and our clients how to manage their internal environments first before loading our external environment.
The problem doesn’t lie in our movement choices (even if some of them are silly) but rather in our bodies not operating the way they were designed to move. When you stack a ton of volume on top of poor movement quality for an extended amount of time, you’re going to end up with a broken link in the chain, which leads to injury.
Another problem is coaches and trainers imposing their personal values and programs onto their clients yet they have no regard for what that client actually needs. For example, a client comes in for fat loss but also has severe lower back pain due to poor internal rotation of their hips, and little to no big toe mobility. A coach puts them through dynamic movements and high-intensity exercises because they’re convinced this will lean them out but doesn’t address the bigger issue —the lack of activity which is resulting in back pain. It’s not that Dr. Spina is saying not to train and do the activities that bring us joy, but he insists it should be done in regards to how our bodies are meant to move.
So would multiple rounds of wall balls and sprints be an appropriate way to train the squat pattern and build aerobic capacity for this client, or could we achieve those goals through ways that don’t feed poor movement quality further?
What Is FRC?
Functional Range Conditioning is focused on functional mobility and articular resilience. Functional mobility is focused around articular strength and neurological control, like how much load that joint or tissue can load. Load > Capacity = Injury.
Articular resilience is focused on increasing the tissues load bearing capacity. How much of your “flexibility” “ROM” “Mobility” can you call up when your body asks for it? Just because you’re loose or mobile doesn’t make the tissue healthy or useful. How much range can you control? That’s the important question.
It seems like everybody wants to train like a high-performance athlete, pushing their bodies to the absolute limit all the time, but what most people fail to realize that there is a cost of high performance, and that’s long-term health. The better you are at moving, the more ways you can express it. Notice it’s the better you are at moving, not the further you can move.
The Benefits of the FRC Course
Attending the FRC course is a great way to help take your clients journey to the next level. I understand that you also have a training business to run and people are paying you to get their ass kicked, not necessarily get them more mobile or spend what may seem like excessive time on their mobility. But if you can learn how to use FRC as a tool to help your clients achieve the long-term results they’re looking for, which usually includes getting out of pain and doing something they have missed doing, then you will have yourself a well oiled business.
FRC will serve as a great lens of perspective for you as well as a valuable tool that you can install into your training program to help your clients achieve long-term longevity. This kind of longevity inevitably would benefit you because if your client stays healthy, they are more likely to hit their goals, have a positive experience with your service, and be willing to tell all their friends about it, which in turn means more money for you and a more stable business.
The Final Word
When you leave this course you’re going to walk away with more one-liners than you did when you watched Step Brothers and Anchorman combined, like the following:
“You don’t lose range of motion with age, you lose range of motion by not moving. Your joints are really the epitome of ‘If you don’t use it, you lose it.’”
“The feeling of ‘tightness’ is not determined by your range of motion; tightness is a feeling.”
“Everyone is so concerned with elongating their muscles but most injuries occur in the shortened ranges because they never train there.”
“You will always regret not training the position you got hurt in.”
“Posture isn’t static. It’s dynamic.”
“Are you trying to fit all of your physical activity for the day into one hour? Is your client?”
“Joints need independence before interdependence.”
“The better you’re at moving your body, the more ways you can express it.”
These may seem like abstract concepts and phrases now, but they’ll serve as foundational instructions for you and your clients. Both you and the people you work with will have a better understanding of their bodies, their range, and their human abilities.
Learn more about Functional Range Conditioning by going to: https://functionalanatomyseminars.com/functional-range-conditioning/