Functional movement

healthy living waterfall  ADL.  How many of you have heard this term? Unless you are a nurse, MD, physical or occupational therapist, probably not many.  There is a trend in the fitness industry to help with that, as well as correct improper body mechanics which may lead to injury.

What is an ADL? ADL stands for activity of daily living.  What does that have to do with exercise or fitness?  Well in non-medical jargon–one whole hell of a lot..

As stated earlier, the trend for the fitness industry is to create programs which sustain and prolong independence.  You see, strength training and exercise isn’t just for the twenty something, searching for a new routine to amp up his biceps.  Nor is this market cornered by women looking to get into their size 4 bikini.  Personal trainers abound to help with both.  I’m just not one of them–but I digress.


Functional movement screens are not new.  However, they are gaining popularity in health club orientations, for new members.  They are designed to help assess exactly what the name implies:  functional movement.  Such tests may include but are not limited to:  ability to step over a low hurdle, dropping straight down to a deep squat, as well assessing orientee’s ability to clasp (or attempt to clasp) hands behind their back–one elbow pointing up, one pointing towards the floor.

You may be wondering, what does this have to do with an activity of daily living?  True enough, the latter appears to have little to do with it.  Yet consider this.  If falling backwards, many of us could put our hands out to catch ourselves; but an equal amount would end up on their rears.  Let’s add in a few years–perhaps ten, twenty, or thirty.  At age 65, 75, or 85–still confident in your ability, or your client’s ability, to catch themselves?

What about picking up one foot, and balancing on the other–long enough to step over an obstacle?  While this may sound simplistic, and those engaged in regular physical activity may take this for granted, there is a substantial part of the population for which this may give pause.  Just because their goals don’t include attempting to mimic an air brushed magazine cover, does it mean they don’t count?


Beyond promoting independence as we age, functional movement seeks to correct improper body mechanics.  Now there are many schools of thought which seek to do this.  And as with any research, each person engaged in their pet project may have their own opinions or promotions.  It is not my intention to favor one over the other. Yet if you are a trainer or need more information, take a look at this.

These lectures are fairly inexpensive.   However, they may be what takes your body to the next level, assist with an injury, or provide you with information outside the mainstream.

Again, fitness and healthy habits do not belong exclusively to one group.  On the contrary–lifestyle intervention, achieving a goal, and subsequent maintenance affects society as a whole.  You may be asking “how is that?”  And my reply would be “look around.  How does it not?”

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Need help scheduling a “lifestyle intervention” of your own?  Contact me at

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