Functional Progression: Little Known Secret to Abs

By: David Grisaffi

Copyright (c) 2008 Personal Fitness Development

The "Law of Functional Progression" is the process of mastering an exercise so you are at a state of balanced mobility, active stability and integrated strength, and necessary expressions of power.

I learned this though my internships, private conversations and reading many articles on body mechanics and function. For example, if you choose an exercise that does not fit your current level of ability you dramatically increase the chance of an injury. In other words, by following the "Law Of Functional Progression" you set yourself up for success.

One of the main focuses of the firm and flatten your abs program relates to proper exercise progression. Many people can put exercises in routine, but very few can put them together in a sequenced and precision manner to improve motility, add stability, increase strength and develop power.

There are few areas we must touch on to examine the "Law of Functional Progression." As stated above if you tend to break this law you will break yourself!

First and foremost is mobility.

Any time you alter the length tension relationship by crossing any joint in the body you create the scenario for possible shear, torque and or compression. You must maintain instantaneous axis of rotation in order for optimal function of each joint to occur. In other words, it must spin like a top in the joint or the joint and structures around it will wear down.

Altered length tension relationship of muscles crossing these joints create altered instantaneous axis of rotation of the joint itself. Stretching must be performed first in the workout to establish normal joint mechanics. Proper stretching creates an improved foundation in which correct function may be retained in the neuromuscular system. In the eBook package you get an in depth report on stretching and flexibility.

Second in the hierarchy is stability.

Stabilization should be your primary objective once an imbalanced system or weakness has been determined to exist in an active stabilizing system crossing any joint in the body. If a stabilization weakness is not present the emphasis of progression is to move on to functional strength. You should continue to focus on maintaining optimal levels of stability. It is important to understand stability and strength components may exist at the same time in an exercise program. Determining this highly exacting and precise means of exercise progression is the proper ratio and placement of stability and strength exercises.

Strength Training for better performance

These strength training exercises must be laid out in a precise manner. The strength exercises must challenge and prepare you in similar patterns of movement to be the most successful. Movements such as pushing, pulling, bending, squatting, twisting and lunging are the main movements. These are important in any environment whether it is work, sport or play. Once you have progressed to a necessary level of stability and strength and have achieved the objectives within that parameter you will move on to the fourth law, power.

Power is often left out, but vitally important

Your last section in the progression is the development of power. Power training is often overlooked and deemed not necessary. Some theories suggest that power is only beneficial for athletic performance and many rehabilitation programs are under the wrong belief that power training presents too much risk for the average person. This is just not true. The power component of exercise progression is absolutely essential providing that the mobility, stability and strength objectives in the routine have been implemented successfully.

Look at your current routine and ask yourself what four areas (mobility, stability, strength, power) of "The Law of Progression" are you aware of. I address these factors in my eBook "Firm and Flatten Your Abs" and provide simple tests to obtain muscle function of the core region. I talk about abdominal coordination and upper and lower abdominal strength.

This is used as a guide to your exercise program

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