In a world where sedentary lifestyles are becoming increasingly common, understanding and maintaining functional movement is more important than ever. This article delves into the essence of functional movement, offering insights into how you can assess and enhance your body’s ability to perform everyday activities efficiently and safely.

Understanding Functional Movement

What is Functional Movement?

Functional movement refers to the basic motor patterns that form the foundation of our daily physical activities. These include movements like bending, walking, lifting, and reaching – actions that are often taken for granted but are crucial for our independence and quality of life.

Components of Functional Movement

The key components that make up functional movement include flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. Each plays a vital role in how effectively and safely we can move.

Why is Functional Movement Important?

Good functional movement is essential not just for performing daily tasks but also for preventing injuries, maintaining good posture, and ensuring long-term mobility.

Self-Assessment Techniques

Basic Movements for Self-Assessment

To gauge your functional movement capabilities, consider simple actions like squatting down to pick something up, reaching overhead to grab an item from a shelf, or walking up a flight of stairs.

Observation Points

While performing these movements, pay attention to your ease of movement, any pain experienced, and your range of motion. Difficulty or discomfort can indicate areas that need attention.

Assessment Frequency

Conducting these self-assessments regularly, such as once a month, can help track your progress and identify any emerging issues.

Common Functional Movement Patterns

Daily Activities and Their Movements

Everyday activities like carrying groceries, sitting and standing, or even getting in and out of a car involve a series of functional movements.

Analyzing and Improving Movements

Breaking down these activities can help you understand which aspects of your functional movement may need improvement. For instance, if squatting is difficult, you might need to focus on leg strength and flexibility.

Enhancing Functional Movement

Targeted Exercises

Incorporate exercises like lunges, planks, and stretches into your routine to specifically improve your functional movement.

Lifestyle Changes for Better Mobility

Simple lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, improving your diet, and practicing good posture, can significantly impact your functional mobility.

Seeking Professional Guidance

If you encounter persistent difficulties or pain, consulting a physical therapist or a personal trainer specializing in functional movement can be beneficial.

Overcoming Challenges

Addressing Common Issues

Age, injuries, or chronic conditions can affect functional movement. It’s important to recognize these challenges and adapt accordingly.

Adaptive Strategies

Modifying exercises and movements to suit your ability level is key. For example, if full squats are challenging, start with partial squats or use a support.

Staying Motivated

Setting small, achievable goals and gradually incorporating these practices into your daily routine can help maintain motivation and consistency.


Functional movement is a critical aspect of our daily lives, influencing our independence and overall well-being. Regular self-assessment and proactive improvement can lead to a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Additional Resources

For those interested in exploring further, numerous books, websites, and articles offer in-depth information on functional movement. Additionally, professional services like physical therapy clinics or fitness centers can provide personalized guidance.

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