Everyday Systems : Shovelglove: "Useful Movements" vs. "Functional Exercise"

The following was lifted from a post buried in a thread here.

I'm very happy to see "functional exercise" catching on vs. cosmetic exercise. But here's one issue I have with the movements described in this article and that I've read about in other places: it's still all about muscle, not about mind. The movements may train real muscles, but they don't do so in a real way. And that real way, something that feels like a useful movement, is what makes the exercise fun, and that, to me, is more important than mere physiological effectiveness -- because otherwise I wouldn't keep doing them, and then who cares how effective they are. The article shows these pictures of this surfer dude lugging a log around, but that's just for show: the actual recommended movements are contrived and gym-like.

I came up with the term "useful movements" before I'd ever heard of "functional exercise," and I guess this is the distinction:

"Functional exercise" builds muscles for a real world function. But the exercises often look and feel nothing like the real world movements they are training you for.

"Useful movements" exercise muscles by mimicking real world function. Every exercise looks and feels like a real world movement. This may be less efficient, physiologically, but it's more fun.

I guess you could consider "useful movements" a subset of "functional exercise." They are functional exercises that keep the form of the original movement.

By Reinhard Engels

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