Last week I asked what you thought functional training is? And after checking my email every day over the last week, waiting for someone’s response…..I didn’t get an answer. Come on people!! Help me out here. Well, if I was to get some answers, I’m sure some of them would look like the the following:
- “Functional training involves working on the Bosu ball or standing on one leg.”
- “Any time you work the core, you’re training functionally.”
- “Functional training helps with everyday activities and movements.”
- “Exercises done in multiple planes of motion are functional.”
In my opinion, all of these answers are right in one way or another. To me, functional training is a a term that is used to make a trainer or workout sound good. The word functional is defined as “the ability to carry out a purposeful activity”. So any exercise that carries out the purpose you are looking for should be regarded as functional. So in most cases, any exercise should be looked as functional. Functional exercises are not just a particular group of exercises that use particular equipment as some people suggest. The type of equipment being used should have no bearing on whether an exercise is functional or not. If my purpose is to work on strengthening my grip through heavy bar isometric holds, isn’t this exercise functional? Most people would say no, just because I’m standing there with a bar in my hand. But the purpose is to strengthen my grip. This exercise is carrying out that purpose so it is functional. It may not look functional to you and it may not be functional to you, but it is for me.
I’d be happy if I never heard the term “functional training” ever again. We’ve taken a pretty simple concept and have used it to sell training packages or get new clients. But it’s no different than any other type of training most people have been doing through the years. You’ve been training functionally, you just haven’t realized it.