Restoring Function & Specificity

With all the hype about strength training, it would be easy to follow anyone’s advice on what’s best.

Strength training comes in various forms. It can involve core work such as pilates, machine-based exercises, or what’s often referred to as ‘functional training ‘.

And so the question is, does it matter how you strength train?

The answer is yes, it does matter.

One key principle to understand is specificity.

Specificity of training means that we train the movements, skills, muscle groups and cardiovascular systems relevant to your sport or in areas you need to improve for a better quality of life.

Using machine-based equipment at your gym and extending your leg may strengthen the leg muscle group being used, but it won’t improve the skills you need in your pastime or sport.

Compare this with a program that includes squats and lunges, which not only activate more muscle groups but also build the movement skills used in many sports and active daily life.

All physical pastimes and sports involve the body performing functional movements such as squatting, stepping up, lunging, bending, pushing, pulling, and rotating.

This is why, in our ‘Four Principles of Movement,’ after our first step of reassurance, our second goal is to restore function with the above movements.

It’s training ‘specifically for the sport that is life’ as one of my mentors once said.

Ady Watts The Personal Training Gym logo

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