Fitness Certifications ▶
Continuing Education ▶
Fitness Pro Resources ▶
My ACE Account ▶
About ACE ▶
ACE Store ▶
Need Help? Call Us ▶ (888) 825‑3636
Share this page
Pin It

April 2013

An Inside Look at ACE Specialty Certification: Functional Training

 

By Carrie Myers

JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

Have you considered specializing in functional training or other area of fitness? What specialty appeals to you most or offers the greatest potential for growth? Share your thoughts with us and other fitness professionals in the comments below.

You love your job, but do you sometimes get tired of focusing on six-pack abs and tight buns? Do you have days when you feel you will change careers if you have to listen to one more client complain about their weight, muffin top or butt size? 

Functional training is a specialty certification now offered by ACE. As a Functional Training Specialist, you’ll be able to help people move more efficiently, prevent injury, improve their balance and flexibility, and build strength. The focus of functional training is to improve clients’ overall quality of life. 

“Functional training could be the key to unlocking your clients’ results, since the focus is on quality of movement performance instead of body parts,” says Rachel Eisenman, an ACE-certified Personal Trainer in Manhattan and owner of Live Better Fitness.

“I've been the fitness director of a retirement community for the past few years,” explains Cathy Schulien Moxley, fitness director at Asbury Methodist Village in Germantown, Md. “The average age is 84 and functional training is all we do! There are zero people here looking for us to help them make their butts look better. It’s 100 percent about improving balance, strength, mobility, quality of life and staying as independent as possible.”

Functional training isn’t just for the older population, though. Athletes benefit from it as well, as it helps them move more efficiently within their chosen sport. Here, much of the focus is on core training and stability, as well as efficiency of movement for injury prevention. Many sports movements are initiated from the core, including swinging a bat, tennis racquet or golf club, so core stability and strength is vitally important. 

Functional training develops all five pillars of human movement: 

     1. Propulsion (skating, driving, running, walking)

     2. Changing levels (goalkeeping, wrestling, jumping, bending)

     3. Pushing (blocking, defense, checking)

     4. Pulling (wrestling, fighting for position)

     5. Rotation (hitting, twisting, throwing, kicking) 

Very few, if any, sports movements isolate just one muscle or muscle group. This is why functional training is vital to any athlete, as it trains two or more muscles groups at once, bringing sports-specific training to the next level. 

You can help even your regular clients benefit from functional training, because it takes the focus off their weight and size. This is especially beneficial for those who are becoming discouraged with their scale weight. Ask your clients to keep a list of other benefits they’re receiving from working out. Chances are, most of them will be functional benefits, from being able to carry a load of laundry to the top of the stairs without having to stop for a break to being able to keep up with their grandchildren. 

“Someone once said that everyone is an elite athlete whose sport is getting through an 18-hour day,” says Eisenman. “Functional training is ‘sports conditioning’ for that day and, of course, functional training puts the ‘FUN’ in working out!” 

In the Functional Training Specialist certification, you’ll take courses on functional anatomy, postural assessments, core and flexibility training, techniques for spotting and cueing, principles for better understanding integrated movement, and multiple open- and closed-kinetic chain exercises. 

Whether your goal is to help improve an athlete’s performance or help an elderly client improve his or her quality of life, becoming a Functional Training Specialist will keep you at the top of your game—and make you a sought-after specialist in this very important field.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BECOMING A FUNCTIONAL TRAINING SPECIALIST

_______________________________________________________________________________

myersCarrie Myers has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and has been a freelance writer for more than 11 years. She is the author of the award-winning book, Squeezing Your Size 14 Self into a Size 6 World: A Real Woman's Guide to Food, Fitness, and Self-Acceptance and presents, teaches and trains in N.H. and Vt.


Search This Issue
Keeping You Posted

GET A SNEAK PEEK OF ACE WEST

Want to know what it’s like to have more than 40 of the industry’s leading experts in one place? Get a special sneak peek at ACE Symposium West, our three-day event on May 16–18 in San Diego. Get insight from the hottest topics in health and fitness from the people who know them best.
Read More »

LEARN NEW DEMOS & DRILLS FOR ONLY $25

For a limited time, we’re offering Essentials of Group Fitness Instruction: Demos & Drills for only $25. Developed by award-winning group fitness expert Lawrence Biscontini, the DVD offers valuable tips on improving your communication skills and visual and kinesthetic cueing.
Read More »

UPCOMING FREE ACE WEBINARS

Don’t miss out on your chance to learn for FREE with ACE webinars. Join from the comfort of your home as experts discuss exercise theory, business strategy and a host of other topics at no cost to you. If you choose, you can pay for the continuing education quiz later on.
Read More »

Sign-up Today

Sign-up to receive Certified News, ACE's free monthly certified professionals e-newsletter.

Ace Certified News

ACE's Certified News is produced 12 times per year by the American Council on Exercise. No material may be reprinted without permission.

Publisher: Scott Goudeseune
Technical Editor: Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D.
Editor In Chief: Christine J. Ekeroth
Art Director: Karen F. McGuire