Posts Tagged ‘function’

Working out with Function First

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

null59191463 - businesswoman running on a treadmill. business concept
Once you take the time to think about it, it is easy to make the connection to how better health and fitness increases productivity and happiness at work. According to stress impacts everything in your life, including memory and processing new information towards analytical situations. These stressors not only impact concentration, but can also result in costly mistakes in any career field. Furthermore, energy around an office is contagious and employees with low energy and high stress will negatively impact the office atmosphere as a whole.

In addition, when we don’t feel well we are more likely to call in sick, thus getting further behind on our work and, in turn, creating more stress. It is a vicious cycle. Encouraging employees to work out with specific goals of increased functionality and mobility will help them to alleviate stress and increase focus and productivity at work.

This is just one example of how working out with Function First changed a life.

Before I found Function First, I was working out on a regular basis. However, I wasn’t seeing the results I was expecting. I still struggled with movements like squats and deadlifts. Lifting and running were painful so even when I attempted a solid workout, I often felt discouraged or unmotivated. I felt upset and annoyed with myself. I began to believe that working out was always going to be painful and started to wonder why I even bothered. Instead of the sense of happiness and stress relief that I wanted to get from working out, I was feeling more and more stress and fatigue after each session.

This frustration and stress combined with the pressures I was already experiencing at work. I was losing ground and I knew something had to change; not just for my own self-image, but also for my ability to grow my company and support my employees.

Enter Function First

After my first session I saw improvement and was already feeling like working out was something I wanted to do again. I was quickly shown how important it was to have specific, mindful goals during each workout. I gained an understanding that when a movement was painful, there was a reason and a solution. Staying focused on the proper movements quickly increased my mobility.

Soon the pain I had felt while running, lifting, and squatting began to disappear. I began to believe in myself again and began to believe that I was capable of working out in meaningful and productive ways. I was finally seeing the results I was after.

This energy carried over into my professional life as owner of SD Equity Partners. I was surprised to find that I was not only feeling less pain when working out, but was also feeling great throughout my day. The stress relief that workouts once provided me had returned. Currently, I find that I am better able to focus on my work to become a positive influence on those around me. I am able to find joy in my tasks and pride in my own creativity. This energy has also seemed to increase the enjoyment of the people that I work with. My positivity is contagious.

Looking back on my progress I cannot believe how much time I spent agonizing and putting myself through stressful workouts. The problem was that I was not working out with a clear goal in mind. My efforts were unfocused and the pain I felt just increased my stress and lessened my abilities to focus during my work day.

Thanks to the unique guidance of Function First I am not only stronger and feeling less pain, I am now more focused and productive in the office and growing my business more than ever before.

Written by:

Evan Harris
SD Equity Partners – Founder and Owner
Evan Harris

The BIG LIE about functional training

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Function First was incorporated in 1994.  I like to tell people that because the word “function” was not being used as every third word in a sentence in 1994 the way it is today.  As important as this topic is to human performance and rehabilitation, we should be treating it with a little more respect.

One positive note is that we are moving away from the notion that squatting on a physio-ball is the pinnacle of function.  So as an industry, we are heading back toward solid ground (pun intended).

Let’s start with semantics.  Very important semantics.  “Functional training” implies a mode of exercise, like resistance training or cardiovascular training.  Training for function implies an objective.  This is extremely important since function is ultimately determined by the individual, not the mode of exercise.

Those that believe that any exercise in and of itself can always be “functional” just by the nature of the movement are living the big lie.  They are relying on generalized movement patterns and/or props that have been used to train for function for specific individuals, but are not by default “functional”.

You could ask 50 trainers in a room to name just one functional exercise.  And inevitably you would get responses of lunges, squats, step ups, balance boards, etc.   And these all could be functional exercises, but are not by default functional exercises.  These trainers unknowing have bought into the big lie or are choosing to perpetuate it.

Before any answer to the question was given, every one of those 50 trainers should have responded with their own series of questions regarding a functional exercise:


Who is this exercise for?  Is this a functional exercise for my 48 year old obese client with osteoarthritis of the knees?  Or is this functional exercise for my 13 year old female with idiopathic scoliosis?  Or is this functional exercise for my 28 year old NFL linebacker?  The answer should be different for each one.

What is the functional goal?  Is it to avoid surgery?  Is it to better prepare them for surgery?  Is it to improve their competitive performance?  Is it to avoid boredom in their workout?  Is it so they can mow their own lawn?

Where are they in their progression with you?  Is their body demonstrating the necessary movement prerequisites for this exercise?  Are they compensating to get it done versus getting it done right?  Are they exhibiting any apprehension toward the movement?

The next consideration must then be can a “functional” exercise ever be dysfunctional?  Absolutely.  A lunge for example, can produce compensation, reinforce existing dysfunction and produce undesirable mechanical stress as much as any machine based exercise.

We must first understand our client.  Then we must understand functional anatomy.  And then we can understand what function for that client really is.

Corrective Exercise is Functional

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

I’ve just submitted a HUGE article to titled “Corrective Exercise is Functional”. It was so big they have decided to divide it into 3 articles.

I’m really excited about this article and the justification I make for the need and role of corrective exercise in the total continuum of training….even for uninjured athletes.

The first part of the series should be online February 1st.

The article is certainly going to ruffle a few feathers. And this is a good thing.

We should all be open to challenging the thoughts and convictions of one another for the purpose of expanding our own knowledge.

If you’re not a member of, remember you can get a discount by going to the Function First sign up page:

Stay tuned…..