Answers about TheOptimal.me
In lay-man’s terms: you’re able to walk, sit, get up off the floor, go down on all fours, get into a child’s pose, touch the wall behind you, reach forward or extend upwards, step sideways or step backwards, stand, climb, push, pull, turn and twist, confidently moving from one to the other without fear of injury or experiencing pain.
As we age, these movements naturally become more difficult due to physiological decline. To counteract or slow down this decline it is essential to keep moving. Functional movement classes are designed to help you stay active with less chance of pain or injury as you age.
Actually there are many similarities between these disciplines. In fact, you will see some familiar Yoga movements in our program. The main difference is that our functional movement program works all muscles, tendons and joints in your body at once, in each class, through integrated, changing movement sequences that replicate the way you move your body in daily life. Whether you are at work, home or doing sports, all the different parts of your body should be moving as a whole. When it does, you can reach, turn, stand, sit, do whatever needs to get done, with less pain and greater flexibility and mobility. Additionally, classes are 15, 30, or 50 minutes, you decide, and you don’t need any special equipment to do our program
The answer is twofold:
a) Most popular sports and exercises work a single/ few muscle groups at one time, focusing on isolated movement, strength and beautification of the body. You can blank out doing repetitive movements, not focussing on what’s happening in the rest of your body. Functional movement classes focus on integrated movement, training your brain to work with your whole body. It is mindfulness in practice, training your brain and body to work together to tell you what your body does and doesn’t need or want.
b) In many exercise programs and sports, you are likely to experience injury or strain at some point especially as you age. Adding a few functional movement classes will decrease your chance of injury and improve your form.
For example, if you’re a runner, doing regular classes will help keep your knees and ankles stable, helping you run longer and further. It will also ensure that you stretch properly and regularly, keeping your joints lubricated. Golfers can expect an improvement in their swing with greater spinal, shoulder and hip mobility… we could go on.
Certainly not. In fact, the addition of our classes to your routine will likely make your performance in those other sports or exercises significantly better.
*If you don’t exercise much, our classes fulfil all your exercise requirements – as long as you’re doing them regularly and choose a variety of classes.
Functional movement is for everyone, whether you are 20, 45, 50 or way past 60. Functional movement is not something you start when you think it’s time to give up your gym membership, your weekend run, or whatever activity you currently do. Even the most active people who are “fit” will benefit from being functionally fit as early as possible. Functional movement is both prevention and a cure.
Functional movement is for ALL. To some, it may seem “girly” or too “dancey,” but we guarantee that if you give it a real chance, you won’t regret it. In fact, we know that you will love it. The benefits kick in quickly, and long term are good for everyone who embraces the classes.
Our classes include the use of resistance equipment – dumbbells and resistance bands - for those wanting to develop more muscle or toning. You have control over the weight and resistance level for your optimal workout.
It’s important to understand your current abilities and work from there.
a) If you would like a guided and structured progression, start with our 14-day Trial that will provide some structure and loads of information! If you follow along, we guarantee you’ll find your stride.
b) If you’re a weekend walker or an infrequent gym-goer, we recommend you take a look at the beginner classes and try a 15 minute class to assess your functional fitness.
We recommend that you always consult with your medical professional / health advisor before you begin doing something new. If they believe that you can begin exercising again, the answer is a definite “Yes!”
A benefit of our functional movement classes is that you are always in control. If you know there are certain moves you can’t do, don’t do them. This is where we encourage you to listen to your body (Read the full explanation here). Do what you can – and what feels good. Don’t push yourself beyond your capabilities – progression takes time.
If you need to work on recovery and restoration of proper function to specific parts of your body, please see the Restore section for exercise circuits to add to your routine. These circuits focus on restoring mobility to your neck, shoulders, lower back and ankles.
You are never too old to start moving and looking after your body. Functional movement will help you maintain or regain your independence and freedom in life. No matter your age, stage or circumstance, functional movement will allow you to move forward and keep doing the things you love for longer.