Functional Range Conditioning and the Athlete’s Body: An Interview with Dr. Andreo Spina

Are you mobile enough to squat, snatch, thruster, run, and move freely? Are you able to actually control your body throughout all ranges of motion? According to at least one increasingly popular school of thought, the answer is probably “no.”

Last weekend, Chris Espinal and I sat down with Dr. Andreo (“Dre”) Spina, Creator and CEO of Functional Anatomy Seminars and a movement coach to MLB, NHL, and professional athletes. We discussed what Dr. Spina feels is the true meaning of what it means to be mobile. Through his interpretation of the scientific research, Spina created a “comprehensive joint training system” and “thought process” for coaches to help all athletes and humans acquire and maintain:

  1. Functional Mobility: Articular (joint) strength and neuromuscular control.
  2. Articular Resilience: Increase the tissue load bearing capacity, leading to greater injury resilience.
  3. Articular Health and Resilience: Overall joint health throughout the full ROM while demonstrating full control with the neuromuscular and muscular systems.

Spina says it’s “not the movement you’re training,” and the pattern of movement can change every time your body does it. He encourages identifying and focusing on prerequisites for performing and sustaining those ranges of motion before practicing those patterns over and over again. He believes identifying and working toward these prerequisites decreases the likelihood of injury in the short and long term.

In the video below, Dr. Spina talks about why most weightlifters, powerlifters, and competitive fitness athletes are (according to him) destroying their joints and long term health, along with and what they need to think about before crawling back under the barbell.

Do you agree or disagree with Dr. Spina’s thoughts? Are athletes — especially lifters — ignoring basic movement patterns and functional structures at the expense of their joint health? Have you taken a Functional Range Conditioning course, and what did you think? Let us know in the comments below.