Functionally fit? What's your Mobility like?
I have underestimated the importance of Mobility work.
Having undertaken another S&C course last month I was horrified to realise that despite being a swimmer and historically very flexible my entire life I wasn't actually doing my olympic lifts properly.
I didn't have the mobility, and I've always been concious of this. Let alone people that never stretch,foam roll or have even heard of PNF stretching.
Try squatting down with your bum by your heels, both feet facing forwards and both feet completely on the floor. now try and keep youur back straight and lift your arms so they are directly above your head.
Fallen over yet?
If so you have some serious work to do.
I predict you need to loosen your glutes, triceps, lats and hip flexors.
In order to deadlift for example you need to be able to actually position yourself into a decent 'set' postion before lifting, if you can't then your asking for your hips to rise before anything else and your lift will be broken into 2 parts causing massive strain on your lower back. This is going to increase your risk of back injury especially as the deadlift is the exercise where you can lift more than any other exercise in existance.
I'd NEVER stretch pre workout as you are asking to tear something, especially when it's cold, start with a dynamic warm up including body weight exercises and make sure you STRETCH AFTER TRAINING. Not only will this improve your Range of Motion and Flexibility but it helps clear Blood Lactate from your muscles (a biproduct from anaerobic exercise that causes that painful burning feeling when you train and the soreness 24-48hrs after training).
How many people in the gym or in training spend just a few minutes stretching post session to cool down and stretch off? Not many as a percentage in my experience and I've swum at national level and been fitness professional for years in Exeter.
If you want to call yourelf functionally fit and reach your potential wherever it be getting fitter, stronger or for sports performance then do Mobility work.
If you have any questions about what kind of stretches you should be doing, how long to hold, whats PNF etc then please feel free to ask: http://www.nl-fitness.com/contact
Also please feel free to like my FB page NL Wellness: https://www.facebook.com/nlwellness
Nye 'Cheesestring' Levett