This past weekend, I visited New York City to attend a FRC Seminar. Some of our physical therapists have already gone through this course and I had gotten great recommendations from many credible sources that this seminar would up my game as a coach, so I was excited to learn.
What is FRC?
FRC stands for Functional Range Conditioning and was developed by @drandreospina. It is a whole system of mobility/joint training that’s completely backed by science. To be honest, I was a little leery at first because of the word “functional” which seems to be a buzzword these days in the fitness industry, but I can honestly say without a doubt that this was the most beneficial course I have attended. It has totally switched my mentality toward training. The biggest takeaway that I got from this course was: if you can actively move every single one of your joints through its full range of motion, the only reason that you would really ever get injured is if an outside load (weight, force, whatever) exceeds the tissues capacity and something has to compromise. That’s it! Joints stay healthy by moving. When they don’t move they lose their range of motion. When they lose their range of motion, your movement is compromised and that’s what leads to injury.
What does all of this mean?
If you noticed, I referenced above “actively move your joints”, meaning that you control each joint. Not letting gravity take over, not using momentum or swinging, rather, you controlling your own muscles to get the joints through their range of motion. I cannot stress this enough: YOU need to move your joints. All basic weight training is: progressively adding an external load (weights, bands, etc.) to a movement. A dumbbell bicep curl is not just holding a dumbbell and bending your arm. A bicep curl is you holding a dumbbell and consciously taking your elbow through flexion and controlling it in extension on the way down. ANY variation to that movement is not the intended movement and therefore your body will not get the intended adaption (results) from it. A dumbbell bicep curl is an easy way to comprehend this concept because there’s not too much going on for you to deviate from. However, when you start talking about multi-joint movements like a squat or dead-lift where there are a lot of parts of the body to control, you can really see why it is important to be able to move your joints through their full range of motion.
How will I be utilizing this?
For starters, if you have attended any of my training sessions since the seminar, you will see that I have switched my warm-ups to more of these mobility drills (specifically: CARs (controlled articular rotations)) and informing my athletes of their importance. I’ve also tightened up my leniency on my coaching to not let as much slide. As for me, it has totally changed my mentality when training. It has finally sunk in that if I know I have the required mobility when I’m completing a heavy lift and any part of my body deviates from the intended plan then I didn’t set out to do what I wanted to do, and I usually just need to lower the weight.
What does this mean for you?
I’m not saying that you can’t do “X” exercise if you can’t put your body in “X” position. You can do whatever you want and honestly get away with it for quite a while. Just know that if you do certain exercises before the required mobility has been acquired, you’re not going to reach your potential as fast as you possibly can. This is especially true if you factor in the (almost certain) possibility of injury from doing said exercise without the required mobility.
There are no “hacks” to the human body. There are no short cuts. It’s going to take work, but you would be surprised how fast your body learns when you put deliberate work into gaining these ranges of motion.
Improving function and reducing pain and injury should be a priority in any training program. We are committed to investing in education and staying ahead of the curve to bring our members and community the latest science based methods available. If you already know that you lack mobility or are just flat out unsure of how to do certain things, and you want to embark on your quest for health and fitness, then let’s get started on the right foot (no pun intended) and come see us at TTR Performance! I’m confident that utilizing FRC principles in our training programs will be a game changer, keeping our members healthy and optimizing their performance.
Yours in Health & Human Performance,
Coach Aaron Bonaccorsy, CSCS, CSPS, FRCms
Click HERE to learn more about Functional Range Conditioning.
Click HERE to learn more about Coach Aaron.
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