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Functional Strength and Conditioning Class (FSCC)


In this technology age work is increasingly more sedentary and our “work” requires often static postures (computers and typing, talking on the phone, and driving) or “recreation” (watching TV or playing video games), so we need to find ways to alter our environment in order to keep our load-bearing structure active and healthy.

Functional strength and conditioning training will help us do the activities required of us more easily and with minimal effort; keep our muscles and bones healthy, keep our cardiovascular systems and neuromuscular systems optimal, improve our balance, joy of life and longevity.

Functional training attempts to adapt or develop exercises which allow individuals to perform the activities of daily life like lifting, holding, pushing, pulling, throwing, walking and reaching more easily and without pain, stiffness, restriction or causing injuries. Functional strength is the ability to load your joints (spine, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles) through a full range of motion with strength, endurance, coordination, power, speed and agility.

Historically free weights and weight training machines target and isolate specific muscles. As a result, the movements do not necessarily bear any relationship to the movements people make in their regular activities or sports.

In our classes, functional training involves mainly bilateral weight bearing exercises targeting all the muscles of the body at the same time.

The FSCC aims to harness the multiple “slings” of our body that we use in everyday movement. These myofascial “slings” connect the upper and lower limbs via the muscles (myo), and the tissue (fascia) that surrounds and connects the muscle to bone. These myofascial “slings” run in a line from the top of the body down the legs, and may be longitudinal, or oblique and they coordinate together to give us fluid and efficient movement from head to toe. The classes consequently train both the arm/s and leg/s simultaneously to produce normal functional movement- e.g. a squat with an overhead lift.

The classes utilise hand weights, resistance bands, balls, steps and our body weight to further challenge and build our neural and muscular system.

The classes aim to improve your everyday performance by increasing your:

  • Strength: the ability to lift a load
  • Muscle size: the cross sectional area of the muscle.
  • Muscle endurance: to perform the activity repetitively and easily,
  • Power, speed and agility: the ability to move your own bodyweight quickly and deliberately, and to change direction with speed and accuracy.
  • Cardiovascular endurance: using both your arms and legs together for short bursts creates a high intensity component of the class that will increase your heart rate, pump the blood around your system and improve your stamina.
  • Fat loss: through the combination of resistance training and cardiovascular exercise
  • Range of movement: stretching the large muscle groups is a vital component to each class, along with working the joints through their full range of movement.
  • Balance and coordination: practicing your balance, with activities such as standing on one leg, or moving with your eyes closed, and maintaining strong muscles through weight training is a critical element in preventing falls.
  • Bone density: weight training for osteoporosis, not just walking or doing aerobics, but resistance training can help protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis-related fractures. Studies show that strength training over a period of time can help prevent bone loss and may even help build new bone.

"We lose so much muscle as we age that by the time we're 70, we only have about 50% to 55% of our muscle mass left," says Beatrice Edwards, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine and director of the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "That explains why we feel weak and tired as we age, and we can prevent some of that with weight training."

Check out our current timetables for FSCC classes