My recent (FRC)® Functional Range Conditioning certification uses a systematic approach to the acquisition of mobility.

Mobility is the ability to control your range of motion, (ROM) actively.  Without using your hands or a prop to support that ROM.

Flexibility, is the ability to passively achieve extended ROM.

Basic human physiology teaches us that we cannot achieve active results with passive stretching because our nervous system is never taught to maximally activate the muscles in the ranges other than mid range, neither extended nor shortened ranges.  Flexibility is range where we have no control.

Dr. Andreo Spina, created the Functional Range Systems and Functional Range Conditioning (FRC)® a mobility and movement capacity system that is being used by trainers and manual therapists worldwide.  Teams like the Buffalo Bills, New York Rangers and the San Diego Padres are some of the professional logos you can find on the FRS website.

Why would a Yoga Instructor, Personal Trainer want to learn and incorporate this system of training, which applies scientific methods to expanding active, useable, functional ROM?

Because this system teaches you how to expand, control and create your ROM and how to move well as you age, no matter what your “thing” is.

This system has components to integrate into your yoga classes and your movement practice.   Its Intentions include:  injury prevention, improved performance, retard the affects of aging.

The intensity with passive flexibility is low and true strengthening isn’t attained, since strength requires a high percentage of a persons maximum voluntary contraction.  The body learns to bend, but the nervous system is not taught to maximally activate the muscles in the extended range.

Think usable vs unusable because the nervous system won’t use flexibility to produce movement.  You need to train the body to use that range to produce movement.

As a climber reaching constantly, my shoulders are often extended near end range  and fully flexed reaching overhead and high.  I began training the shoulder and the glenohumeral joint, the ball and socket of the scapula and the proximal humerus after an assessment from a certified instructor.  I knew then I wanted more and eventually completed my own training, as an (FRC)® Mobility Specialist.

Shoulder injuries can be part of an active climbing routine because we don’t think about training and strengthening with your shoulder reaching up, (shoulder flexion) and out, (shoulder external rotation) while maintaining a high amount of neurological output in order to generate force while reaching up and sometimes pulling and or reaching out for the next hold on the wall.  This movement modality teaches you how to train for the specific outcome you require for what ever it is you do!  You teach the nervous system how to create, expand and control the specific ranges of motion you need for your motion.

In my yoga practice, thinking this way can change the Intention of movement.  The reason why you do something and doing that something actively means I own that ROM.

(FRC)®,  (from the website) is Mobility Development, Articular Strength and Neurological control for all the joints of the body.   It is spinal segmentation, and foot and toe control.

In all forms of yoga and movement, for proper spinal movement, each segment of the spine has to contribute a small amount of motion to the overall movement.  In so doing, any loads being placed on the spine will be shared or evenly distributed across it evenly.  If you lack segmentation in one or more areas of the spine, the load will be placed solely on the segments that do move, which may result in injury if they are overloaded.  Proper segmentation will help with all the movements of yoga, all styles of yoga and daily life activities, also help you to avoid injury. Control allows you to train to move sections of the spine independent of other sections, think move thoracic without lumbar, or move cervical without thoracic or lumbar.  In yoga we often move through cow, extension, and cat, flexion, by using the thoracic-lumbar region, imagine segmentally moving the spine from the bottom to the top and back down again, like a sea urchin caught in a very gentle flow in the ocean.

By practicing EVERY DAMN DAY, this is suggested, and finding more ROM, you challenge the joints, spine and toes, to expand, control, and create new ROM.  This maintains joint health and prepares muscles, ligaments, and capsules for the new controlled ROM and eventually load.  Your brain knows where you are in space and with this snapshot your bodies movements are better organized.  Sounds like the brain body connection us yoga teachers speak of.

For a personal trainer, you have won the lottery when you incorporate this system grounded in science into your clients goals of strengthening and movement.  Healthy joints make movement easier, and motion is lotion.

Join me for a Functional Movement Class, a combination of FRC® and longer held seated postures or lets work together one on one.