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What is a Functional Movement?


What is a Functional Movement?

Five rounds for time of:
5 Muscle-ups
135 pound Power clean, 10 reps
Run down the alley and back, 200m.

If you are not yet able to do muscle-ups, substitute 1 ring dip for every muscle-up.  After the workout, work 5 sets of 5 box or floor muscle-ups.

Kathy visited CrossFit Malibu while she and Aran were on their honeymoon. Congrats you two!

Functional Movements

In CrossFit, we define our training method as “constantly varied, functional movements, performed at high intensity.”  With all of the exercise and fitness plans out there today, the word functional can lose meaning.  It’s similar to the use of the word luxury to describe condos in Boulder as well as condos in Manhattan.  A luxury condo in Boulder would certainly elicit a different vision than a luxury condo in Manhattan (sorry Boulder).  My point is that the word functional can lose meaning. Let’s bring that back into focus.

Functional movements are natural human movements.  No one invented them.  When baseball was invented, no one said, “oh, and we also invented the squat so pitchers could have a catcher.”  Humans are born with the ability and the necessity to squat (and below parallel).

Functional movements are vital to your ability to live on your own.  Sure, you’re 25 or 55 years old now.  You can run up a mountain in the morning, swim at lunch, and cross country ski at dusk, but those activities do not directly maintain your ability to safely squat down and pick up the fork you dropped from the dinner table when you are 85.

Functional movements are safe!  If a deadlift is too heavy, you simply can’t pick it up.

Functional movements are the most efficient and effective locomotors of the body and external objects.  Functional movements are defined as their ability to move large loads, long distances, very quickly.

More on moving large loads, long distances, very quickly tomorrow!

3 Responses

  1. Karl E.

    Got back to Boulder today; not quite in time to sign up for today’s WOD, will be keeping an eye out in case anyone cancels. This looks like a fun one!


  2. Nisha

    I can tell every day the difference CF has made in my functional movements–especially lifting my 35 pound munch kin! love it!

  3. Kevin

    I experienced a great example of functional movement while helping my girlfriend move last weekend. I was bringing her old, heavy CRT television into her new house, screen down, and had to step over numerous piles of junk, then extend it over a pile that was in front of the tv stand, rotate the tv with my arms extended, and set it down gently. As I was walking away I realized that I just did that without thinking, and I know it was possible because of CrossFit. Thanks, Roots!