How To Move Better

Tension built in the muscles takes pressure off the joints, ligaments, and bones and allows the muscles and tendons to work as the support system for the body.

This all sounds ideal, especially if you’re someone suffering from pain and restrictive movement because of pain. However it’s not guaranteed to happen if you do exercises that compress your structure. Squatting with a bar on your back causes compression on you vertebrae, bench pressing limits the range of motion of your shoulder girdle and disconnects the pec muscles from the powerful oblique muscles, deadlifting causes your lower posterior chain to work but neglects the upper and causes your lumbar spine to overwork.

All of these are very common exercises that are prescribed to build strength, but often what you aren’t aware of is it’s at the expense of your joints, spine, bones, and ligaments. The physics behind these movements causes the muscles to load exclusively through one direction of force, whereas in reality, the same muscles are constantly being used through multiple angles of force.

There are a few problems with this way of training. The movements themselves don’t allow the force to be balanced out through other angles, and so while the muscles are being worked, the nearby joints and ligaments are also being strained. The movements also don’t allow other muscle chains to integrate with the targeted muscles, which leads to overuse and fascial disconnection from the rest of the chain. Finally, since the movements only train one force at a time, when you go to use your body in the real world, the muscles aren’t thoroughly prepared to be resilient against the multiple forces acting on it.

These movements do make your muscles stronger, but only within the context of the exercise itself. Once your body is off the bench, or the bar isn’t on top of it, your muscles have not been conditioned to withstand other forces. Additionally your muscles have not been conditioned through integration and all the built in connections are not linked efficiently so muscles are working on their own to help support you. Like you’re in a canoe with a group and you’re the only one doing all the paddling- the group should work together to make the paddling easier and the water more enjoyable. Your muscles should learn to work the same way.

Another point to consider is that the exercises themselves cause strain on the joints, ligaments, and bones from the dysfunctional mechanics during the movement. But the exercises can indirectly affect the joints, ligaments, and bones later down the road, by not offering the right support from your muscles when you move in the real world. In other words, the exercises aren’t preparing your body for reality.

Exercise should be used to build resiliency to life outside of the gym. This concept is one that our trainers always remind our clients of when we teach them exercises that align with this principle. The result is a stronger body, leading to less pain and old injuries being resolved in the process.

Come to our gym and learn what is best for your body and how you should be exercising to promote longevity and sustain your fitness.

Why We Do What We Do

A lot of you have been asking what we do, and the simple answer is we want to bring value to our customers lives. Whether that’s helping them out of pain, building muscle and strength, aligning their posture, or getting them to move better to reduce their risk of injury. All of which go hand in hand.

The fitness world is littered with trainers that promote getting stronger but usually at the expense of your posture, muscle strain, joint pain, and movement restrictions. We opened our doors to be a solution to this approach to getting fit, by teaching alternative techniques that simultaneously build strength and mobility without damaging your joints or exacerbating muscle imbalance.

We are Functional Patterns practitioners providing training that your body needs to function without adversity. Come try our gym to experience where personal training meets physical therapy. We help you reach goals you thought weren’t possible!

Pain & Anxiety Relationship

Suffering from chronic pain and anxiety?

Both correlate to the way your body handles stress, based on your physical frame aka posture. A slouched posture correlates to depressive episodes and high anxiety, because your fascia stores emotions- ie; childhood traumas, environmental stress- and those emotions influence the way you carry yourself.

It’s rare to see someone with a strong posture suffer from depression and unmanageable anxiety, because their structure cultivates a better response to handle those stressors. The goal is not to avoid stress, but to teach your body to handle it more efficiently.

It goes deeper, but if you’re on the fence about improving your health, learn Functional Patterns training. The results fix structural imbalances influencing your physical and mental health, producing a body equipped to handle stress.

Learn more here.

*pictures based on Functional Patterns Training Methodology Results from FP Practitioners world wide. Notice more resilient structures vs. body language before training.

We’re the only facility in San Antonio and surrounding areas that train Functional Patterns and have 3 Functional Patterns Practitioners on staff! If you’re not local to SA check out the Practitioner Map to locate someone near you, for results like these!

Less Pain Is Possible!

Is pain keeping your from the activities you enjoy? Have you been told surgery is your only option?

At SA Functional Fitness our pain management trainers restore the function of your muscles to support the integrity of your joints!

This is important because without proper muscle functions, your joints take on the stress from the force that your muscles should be absorbing.

Over time this leads to inflammation in the joints and causes pain from the joints working in a way they weren’t designed to.

Each trainer plans exercises to get to the root of your dysfunction causing adversity on your joints, or pain in general.

Most of the time surgery can be prevented, delayed, or faster recovery after surgery, from the right kind of exercise.

We work with numerous clients dealing with knee pain, back pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain. Our goal as biomechanics trainers is to fix the underlying issue that contributes to pain in the first place. Sometimes this isn’t always possible, so our next goal is to mitigate the pain, or set your body up to recover from surgery faster and fuller with exercise before surgery.

If this sounds like something your body is searching for, then call us today to get started with one of our trainers!

The Only Gym In San Antonio With…

We’re the only gym in SA to offer a 25 FOOT pulley machine to train the specifics of the human body in motion. This new piece of equipment allows our trainers and their clients to truly test their body’s function!

This pulley machine has a 25 foot cable length and provides resistance for dynamic exercises that mirror walking and running. Plus other aspects of human motion like rotating and throwing. This cutting edge piece of equipment will allow us to continue treating clients with pain, compression, scoliosis, joint restrictions, movement impairments, muscle atrophy, joint replacement rehab, athletic performance, injury prevention, general function, better movement, and more!

Call us today to set up your initial consultation with one of our Human Biomechanics Specialists! 210-947-4597 or safunctionalfitness.com

Pain Is Not Normal

Pain isn’t something to accept with age or with injuries that weren’t properly rehabbed. Pain is your body telling you that something is wrong and ignoring this warning only compounds the problem as times goes on.

Pain will start interfering with your daily life more and more. It can impact your sleep, energy, strength, and function. And when these aspects become affected, other aspects of wellbeing become worse as well.

We’re not the typical “no pain, no gain” kind of gym. Our team works one on one with you to battle against muscle dysfunctions that are causing your pain in the first place. In other words we work to get to the root of your problem, rather than working around it.

What happens when the real world demands more of your body and you can’t “work around it?” Pain and injury manifest! So avoiding a certain function during an exercise because your PT or trainer told you to because it hurts when you do it, is not fixing the root of the problem.

Physical pain stems from the body being out of homeostasis and chaos ensues when your body starts compensating to make up from lack of balance. Muscles start working the wrong way when you move, and when the muscles start malfunctioning they contract at the wrong time, or use the wrong muscle to move your body around the pain or issue that you’re dealing with. These compensations compound over time and lead to pain expanding to other areas of the body or worse, eventually cause an injury.

Think about it, when your ankle starts to hurt, eventually your knee and hip might start to hurt too. The body is an interconnected web of muscle, and that muscle supports your bone alignment and the integrity of your joints. When one muscle is not functioning properly, it’s going to impact other muscles normal function- which has a direct correlation to how well your muscles provide strength, stability, and support for your body.

When you’re dealing with pain in a particular joint or region of the body, that might not be the source of the pain, but rather a symptom from a malfunction elsewhere in the body. If you (or your trainer) look far enough and evaluate deep enough to determine what is the cause of the pain, then you can formulate a game plan and create exercises tailored to your needs, to start fixing the underlying issue.

In other words you don’t have to live with the pain. You can stop compensating around a pain and prevent a new pain from occurring because you’ve been compensating. You can reprogram new function to support your body to eliminate the pain and restore balance.

Remember, pain is not normal. It’s not something to live with, wake up with, or work around, it’s something that has a source and cause. Once we figure out that source, we can engineer a training program to treat the cause, rather than the symptoms. That’s what we do at this gym. (Then once your body is healed from its pain, we start training your muscles how to exercise to keep the pain away for the long term).

We do things differently at this gym, call us to find out more about our approach!

210-947-4597

safunctionalfitness.com

Exercise Priorities

There’s a lot of different training styles that clients are exposed to in the fitness industry. Some work, some don’t. Some are good, some are better, some are bad, and some are just plain wrong. In this gym we don’t try to keep up with the latest trends, but instead focus on the function of the human-being to know our training is relevant and beneficial to our clients.

We measure function as it relates to gait (ie; walking) because it’s what we do most as humans. If what you do most is dysfunctional, a cataclysm of problems will follow in other functions you perform. They will be restricted and imbalanced, leading to asymmetrical movement and compensation.

Consequently, pain and injuries will present themselves because your fundamental movement is wiring in bad habits. If every step you take is in a compensatory manner then your muscles start to learn that it is normal, even if it isn’t right.

Our goal when training clients is to expose their compensations to see what their body is doing wrong so that we can reprogram better function and build strength as it relates to the gait cycle. Thus circling back to what we do most as humans, if you have a strong body you should have a functional gait cycle. Strong individual muscles may look nice and serve some purpose, but if those muscles don’t know how to function together at a fundamental level then it’s a waste of mass. Then you start teaching your body to move around rigid and clunky because your muscles don’t know how to work together in harmony.

Isolating your muscles when you exercise (picture the exercises you see in most commercial gyms) and expecting them to magically translate to functional body mechanics is like not studying for a board exam and expecting to get your license. You need to prepare your body with the right stimulus for the outcome you want it to achieve.

That’s why in this gym, we train functions (through exercises) and not just exercise for the sake of saying you worked out. It’s a different breed of fitness and it produces a different outcome on the body. An outcome that translates to life away from the gym and better function when you’re living life in the real world.

So if you don’t want to be a gym rat, but you recognize the importance of exercise for your health, then you might want to consider learning the right way to exercise to get your body built for the world and not just a body that can perform exercises- that may or may not carry over to functioning well in real life.

If our philosophy meshes with your view on exercise then don’t wait to start functioning better today! It’s a long road but the body can be re-trained to move and function better!

 

Fed Up With Cookie Cutter Personal Training?

We aren’t your typical gym, we’re a boutique personal training studio training the human body the way it’s designed to function. We build muscle and strength that translate to every day movement. Our team of trainers are certified Human Biomechanics Specialists that work to uncover muscle dysfunctions that restrict how YOUR body moves and restore muscular imbalances that cause weakness, instability, and pain. Our training methodology is all encompassing; we train strength, flexibility, mobility, core, cardio, injury prevention, and rehabilitation all in one workout! Our exercises aren’t arbitrary, they’re designed to solve problems on YOUR body that other styles of training don’t account for. Come feel what it’s like to move without pain and experience the other side of the fitness and rehab industry!

“Corrective” Exercise- Training For Life.

Corrective exercise shouldn’t be in its own box.

All exercises should include corrections to enhance your body mechanics.
Proper mechanics lead to better movement and moving better leads to less wear & tear on your joints and ligaments.

If you’re exercising with a trainer that’s just there counting reps or showing you exercises that you can find on YouTube then you’re missing out on the critical biomechanical corrections needed to build muscle and strength for what your body wants to do away from the gym.

We aren’t here to show you exercises for the sake of exercising. We teach you what exercises your body needs and how you need to do them to strengthen your weakest link(s), enhancing your function and performance in life outside of the gym.

Auto Mechanic vs Body Mechanic

When your check engine light comes on in your car or you hear an unfamiliar sound when you’re driving it, you know something is wrong and you take it in to the shop for a mechanic to evaluate what’s wrong. You wouldn’t chance driving a malfunctioning car at 70 m.p.h. because there is a lot of risk if something is wrong with your engine or your brakes aren’t working properly when you’re driving at high speeds. So why do you treat your body any differently? When your knee hurts when you walk, or your shoulder hurts when you carry a bag, or your lower back is in pain every morning when you get out of bed, that’s your body’s “check engine light” and it’s telling you that something is wrong and you should get it checked out.

The same way a car mechanic addresses the problems with your car, that’s how our team of trainers views and treats the problems with your body. We don’t want you operating at “high speeds” when your body isn’t functioning properly to support your movement. We aim to correct what is wrong so that your function doesn’t create more problems in your joints from faulty body mechanics. The human body was born to walk, and eventually run, literally the way our species evolved was by using our muscles in this fashion. So if you can’t perform one or both of these fundamental functions without some form of ache or pain, then your body isn’t functioning optimally. When your body isn’t functioning optimally it can still find ways to move and mask the pain, learn to live with the pain, or avoid the problem entirely. But this isn’t conducive to overall health and fitness.

If you took your car to the car mechanic and they told you everything is fixed and working now…as long as you don’t drive over 50 m.p.h., make a left turn, or put your car in reverse everything will be fine. You’d likely except them to keep working on it until you can use your car safely on the roads. When we initially meet with you, we take an intake of what functions you have problems performing and we work with you to fix these dysfunctions in order to truly function without any consequences or restrictions. If someone comes in with shoulder pain, we wouldn’t say don’t raise your arm past your shoulder, drive with that arm, or carry your groceries with that arm and everything will be okay. That would be the same issue with your auto mechanic not fully fixing your car. We would be teaching people to avoid the problem and not getting at the root to fix it.

When working with us you should feel as though your mechanical dysfunctions, joint problems, muscle aches, etc., are on the path to getting resolved as we troubleshoot what is causing the malfunction rather than just having you avoid the issue. Avoiding the issue doesn’t do anything for your function in the real world, avoiding bending your knee, twisting your spine, or raising your arm overhead when you are performing exercise might make you feel like you’re getting stronger but it’s because you’re not allowing your body to encounter these problematic functions. But what happens when you need to bend your knee, or twist, or raise your arm up in real life? Dysfunction and pain! It’s time you start addressing these issues when you exercise to start creating a better path of movement without restriction.

Book your initial consult to start learning what muscles function and what muscles don’t, and how revealing this is the first step towards regaining your freedom of movement…without having to remind yourself not to use a part of your body so it doesn’t hurt, that’s not true function. You, or your trainer, or your therapist are avoiding the problem if you aren’t actively testing ways to address and correct it, and while we don’t guarantee an over-night fix of the problem, we will do what’s necessary for your body to start fixing the underlying issue and get on the path to healing. This is what separates us from your typical gym trainer, we have tools on our tool belt that nobody else does. The sharpest tools in our shed come from Functional Patterns! So stop spinning your wheels with what the mainstream fitness and rehab field dish out, hoping pain relief and function will come back when you need to start taking steps to make it happen, we will help guide your steps down a sustainable path towards health and fitness. Come check out the less beaten path at our gym!