The Ultimate Functional Fitness Test

Can you perform the Ultimate Functional Fitness Test?

Looking for the ultimate “Functional” test for health and fitness? Look no further than your closet. Yes I said your closet. Reach in the drawer and pull out a sock, this is all the equipment you will need.

Now, while standing on one leg raise the knee of the other leg straight up and attempt to place the sock on the foot of the suspended leg. You are not allowed to cross your leg parallel to the other. You are not allowed to bend the standing leg. The knee must bend and rise straight up and the foot held level while placing the sock on your foot. No twisting of the knee or angle allowed.

ultimate functional fitness test



Can’t do it?


Let’s diagnose the problem… but before I do that let me give you an early xmas present to health and longevity…


I perform this exercise every single morning without fail, at least the ones where I wear socks. But normally, I train in the morning and put on a pair of socks before throwing on my training shoes and heading out the door so I get a lot of practice but for a specific reason. 

I do this to remain functional. Functional Fitness means it has use beyond the gym.

If I can balance on one leg and pull my other knee high to my hip while stretching my torso downward and not fall, imagine how much more balance, agility and flexibility I will maintain at age 70 and beyond. Try this exercise now and if you can’t do it, imagine how bad your balance, agility and flexibility may be at age 70 if you don’t start doing something about it now.

It is a small test and a small exercise to perform but it means so much more in the grander scheme of things.


Ok let’s get on with the diagnosis…


Stomach stopping you from bending at the waist? You need to lose some weight. Insulin resistance and high cortisol levels have left you with too much belly fat, the most risky fat that leads to cardio vascular related diseases. I am sure you know what kind of diet is best to eliminate this and more importantly what kind of training program will be best for these hormonal imbalances and it is not power lifting. If not read this and call us!


Can’t bend over far enough without the small of your back starting to feel pain? Weak or tight lumbar muscles or a weak abdominal core to support the back could be your cause. Even a tight hamstring or gluteus medius causes a muscle so internal to the abdominal tract that it must be palpated from the backside, the Quadratus Lumborum, to be overly stretched. You probably need some good hip stretches and a foam roller.


Is the standing leg burning from doing all the work and feels fatigued like it is going to give way? Your muscles have weakened and atrophied and you may be seeing early signs of Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass as we age. Or you could be showing signs of severe deconditioning that creates lactate build-up quickly  A little proper weightlifting can reverse this problem, some extra walking or some slow side kicking techniques taught in many Asian martial arts. In short you aren't stressing your lower body enough and are probably seated too much all day.


Can’t get your knee up high enough? Either your hip flexors are too tight from probably sitting all day for work and not stretching adequately or the hamstring of the standing leg may be tight also due to too much posterior chain immobilization. In other words you need to move more and sit less.


Can’t balance on one leg long enough? You likely have a weak abdominal core and or very little neuromuscular signaling due to lack of activity. Neuromuscular signals recruit muscle fibers to fire and contract. The better the signaling the more muscle tissue you can recruit the stronger you get. Try a few single leg Romanian Deadlifts with a Kettlebell or Dumbbell, maybe a few Turkish Get-ups and even some lightly weighted shadow boxing on a couple of Bosu balls. Also make sure you are in flat shoes when you perform these movements so you strengthen the muscles that recruit the ankle to stay tight and in place to reduce wobble. If you are confused just come see us we can get you squared away!


Is the standing leg burning while trying to perform this function? A build up of lactate too quickly signifies a low metabolic conditioning level as storage glucose is used up quickly and secondary mechanisms are kicking into place. You need to perform higher repetitions of key movements to increase cardiovascular function and increase muscle tissue glycogen storage and recovery. In other words you need to get more carbs/sugars into the muscle tissue for energy rather than being stored as fat. But this requires the right type of training and the right timing and type of carbohydrates. We can help you with that too.


Didn’t accomplish your goal? Implement some of the above suggestions and keep trying. See us about getting to a minimum level of conditioning so you can put your socks on again like you did when you were 9.


Did you successfully get your sock on?  Congratulations you passed the Ultimate Functional Fitness Test. Come see us about getting to the next level in your training!

Dean
A graduate of Loyola University and MBA from The University of Chicago.
Pre-med LSU and post graduate at A.T. Still University.

His love of technology started right out of school. As a new hire for Arthur Andersen's Consulting group, the largest accounting and consulting firm in the world at that time, he led the first implementation of one of the very first IBM and Apple personal computers ever used in the business environment quickly becoming the world wide expert in analytical implementation of personal computers for business. Eventually moving on to a widely successful leveraged buy-out and then returning to Arthur Andersen and becoming a Partner in the Chicago office, he specialized in health, fitness, nutritional and food businesses managing some of the largest strategic food industry restructuring deals at the time. As COO of a successful Midwest Venture Capital firm, he was responsible for the operational management and success of over 25 investments each averaging $2-5 million over 5 years yielding returns in excess of 1000%.

He served on the board of many businesses in the health and nutrition sector as well as the educational and certification industries, including the board of Nutrisystems and one of the largest licensing and certifying bodies in the US. Achieving a modest level of success he decided return to school to increase his scientific and technical knowledge and launch an investment company targeting startups in the health and fitness sectors. During this time he became one of Infusionsoft's first Certified Partners providing digital marketing consultation and implementation for many industries including the health, fitness and hospitality service sectors. Having custom developed some of the very first website to Infusionsoft CRM integrations, he implemented over 50 Infusionsoft installations and one of the first website membership systems providing targeted content to clients based on funnel tagging and online behaviors. While UltraFit Systems has incubated and exited several fitness concepts, he noted a need for better digital marketing and client management systems as well as analytical tools for health practitioners to use to chart a scientifically valid path to achieving their goals and objectives.

He is a founding member of Six Sigma Fitness (SSF), an online science and technology company with multiple distribution channels. SSF is a Cloud based SaaS health technology platform for Athlete Management and sub-clinical Health, Wellness and Fitness evaluations for the Health and Fitness industry. It is also a health practitioner educational resource that certifies practitioners in the SSF proprietary methods and business processes. He has created proprietary scientific algorithms, custom CRMs and integrated technologies using API integrations and behavioral logic for marketing and conversion strategies in the health sector. This platform and technology is currently being adopted and customized for a small muti-location mobile technology retail organization as well and B to B telcom provider.

A wrestler in high school and for a brief time in college until realizing the challenges of studying and playing sports at a high level while constantly having to cut weight, he decided to coach and master the challenges of health and fitness through weightlifting and martial arts while pursuing careers in consulting and eventually the venture capital and private equity business specializing in food and nutrition industries.

He is a multiple blackbelt having studied martial arts for over 30 years including kickboxing, Muay Thai, BJJ, Krav Maga, Kenpo Karate, Kung Fu, Northern (Longfist) and Southern Shaolin (Hung Gar Tiger and Crane), Tai Chi, Qigong, Traditional Weapons and Chinese philosophical studies including Taoism, internal arts and energy systems from an Eastern medicine perspective.

He has had the good fortune to train with and or under the direct lineage of some of the greatest martial artists in the world including Master Ed Parker, Master Jinheng Li, Kru Pol and Master Eddie Cha.

He is also the author of the Six Sigma Fitness™ Scholar Warrior Program which brings together the Eastern and Western sciences as well as the training of both traditional strength and conditioning with martial arts programming.

He is currently the Research Physiologist with UltraFit Systems, Physiologist/Consultant to many professional athletes specializing in combat sports, weight cutting and physiological adaptation. Authored and developed The Scholar Warrior Program for Six Sigma Fitness™ and The Six Sigma Fitness™ Methodology.

Past certifications are too numerous to list but more include Six Sigma Fitness™ Certified Practitioner, Certified Personal Trainer (C.P.T.), CrossFit Level 1, Precision Nutrition, Poliquin Biosignature, Poliquin PICP, BioForce HRV, BioForce Certified Conditioning Coach

He is available for consults, private self-defense training and speaking engagements.

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