The Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) system has exploded since we took the certification three years ago.
Since then we have used the system in all aspects of our client’s care. From rehab to performance training, we have explored the how, when, and why you would incorporate these principles into a training program.
If you are not familiar with what FRC is, it is a system that helps you improve your active mobility and movement capacities. In less fancy terms, It utilizes methods of improving your active range of motion so your body can be prepared for whatever it is you want to throw at it.
When it comes to our strength training programs, FRC inspired movements are added either intra-session, post-session, or on off-days.
INTRA-SESSION USES FOR FRC WORK
Improve a movement pattern
A great way to get every joint in your body prepared for your workout is by performing the CARs (Controlled Articular Rotations) routine prior to working out. The entire series takes about 10 minutes to complete, so depending on your available time you can either perform all of them or hit the major joints you feel you need the most.
Corrective Exercise/Movement Pattern
We typically use FRC drills to improve movement limitations of our patients during physical therapy. But the same can be said when strength training our clients.
Here is an example of how we incorporate them into a workout circuit.
A1) Medicine Ball Slam
A2) Pallof Press
A3) Hip Capsular CARs
When you are sprinkling FRC drills into your strength training program, there are a couple of rules you need to abide by.
Do not select drills that compete with the workout
Use lower intensity FRC work intra-session
Use higher intensity FRC work post-session and on off-days
Some of these FRC drills such as Progressive Angular Isometric Loading (PAIL) and Regressive Angular Isometric Loading (RAIL) can be very neurologically demanding due to the maximal efforts they require.
Because of this, we need to be careful not to fatigue our system. Our body’s resources are finite, and if you go all-out on a PAILs/RAILs set you may not have the juice for your next deadlift set.
We also want to be careful when opening up mobility prior to or during a workout. When we expand motion, you create instability as we do not yet have control over these positions. This can actually increase injury risk especially if we are fatigued.
In order to work around this, mobility expansion exercises are best-saved for the final circuit in workouts, and those that focus on controlling your available range of motion could be used intra-session.
Remember, as with everything, you must have a why for what you select. Do not throw random FRC drills into a workout. This is a sure-fire way to not help your client to the best of your abilities.
If you have your why and follow the rules above you will find yourself to be pretty successful when utilizing FRC within your training programs!
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