Functional Range Conditioning: The Basics

Intro to Functional Range Conditioning

By Sophie Rambaud

I can’t tell you everything about Functional Range Conditioning in one post or two, but I can give you a brief idea of what it is all about! 

FRC is having the ability to control one’s body by itself and how important this is BEFORE controlling any external load. This is achieved by having the prerequisite active range of motion or controlled mobility (being able to get IN and OUT of a position with your own strength, not being pushed into or out of it by someone else) before doing a movement like squats, overhead pressing, etc.

Flexibility is being able to achieve a range of motion passively with an external load such as a trainer/coach stretching you, doing the work to move or hold your body in place.

Mobility is the capability of moving or being moved freely and easily.

Functional mobility is the ability to actively achieve a range of motion (ROM), to use and control your ROM, to move in and out of a "stretch" or position all on your own using your body. A huge benefit of FRC involves joint health. Who doesn’t want healthy and pain free joints?

This concept is so important as it will help you:

  1. Move better, at present and in future
  2. Strengthen joints
  3. Decrease chance of injury

Not to be too harsh, but there's no excuse for not being flexible - it’s just because you stopped moving in the first place. If you could do the splits at age five and did them everyday you’d still be able to do them today! FRC is big on working in positions our bodies aren’t used to being in. This is because we tend to live in the middle, which is easy. We tend to get hurt in those outside ranges (end range - lengthened and short) so why not train these to be less likely to get hurt, have access to more muscular tissue and become a beast! The position you regret not training is the one you get injured in. Fact. When your body has been in a position with purpose before, it’s more likely to be ready when you need to utilize it, and you won’t get injured. 

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My super star Liz is on the road to Dayton today after our @functionalrangeconditioning Session. It’s her 45th birthday tomorrow AND she’s crushing a marathon. She takes more care of herself than I do and it pays off. Her first marathon was in 2003, from then on she did one a year for a few years, then 2, in 2014 she did 4 for a couple years then 5, Liz did 6 last year and this year with hopes to do 8 next year! She has NY in a few weeks as well! She’s a machine! . . . It’s supposed to be hot tomorrow but Liz likes the heat!!! And she’s been crushing mobility. . . Today we started with internal and external PAILs followed that with these three exercises to help make the new range stick! Liz has been feeling better than ever. She motivates me!!! . . @liznieves262 . #marathontraining #marathon #birthday #run #runner #health #fitness #mobility #frc #everydamnday #runnerlove #legs #legday #trainsmart #goals #motivation #friday #fbf #chicago #nymarathon #september #power #strengthtrain #workout #fridayfeels

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Now, mobility is work you have to COMMIT to on the REGULAR, you can’t do it once and see a result. This goes for anything else in life. You don’t brush your teeth once, you don’t eat once, drink water once, workout once, do a bicep curl once and see result/keep the result. But. do it consistently everyday even for five minutes, and it will make a difference. That’s all I ask my clients to do! Heck, even every other day. You will see a difference. Your pains will go away, you will move better (now and later in life), feel better, and lifts will get easier - no joke. Movement is the language of our cells.

There’s different types of mobility work to be done within FRC, so I won't go into too much more detail on this post. But the simplest things to do are CARs – Controlled Articular Rotations. Try to make the largest controlled circle you can with one joint and none around it. Let me know if you have any questions! 

Go do your CARs!




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