The next time you work out, think about each exercise you do and WHY you are doing it. Does it serve a purpose? If you consider an exercise a ‘functional movement,’ is it truly a function of your life?

By definition, the word functional means ‘having a practical application, or serving a useful purpose.’ In the context of physical training, this refers to a form of movement training that has a direct correlation to preparing the individual for specific movements or activities, either in life or for a sport or activity. For example, a person with a job that requires lifting oddly shaped items, like bags of mulch, would train at lower resistance levels and carry oddly weighted objects (Kettlebells, slam balls or sand bags) in a large range of motion. Training for this particular job will also benefit from training that emphasizes core or midsection training to enhance the person’s ability to carry loads and rotate their spine. Both of these training methods prepare the individual for their specific task by training that simulates the movement or prepares the individual to deal with those particular stresses.

Functional training does not mean exclusively training with BOSUs, balance discs, Kettlebells or cables. Manypeople inaccurately believe that if they work out on these apparatuses, they are training functionally for their activity. It is not what you are training on that makes your workout functional, it is why you are doing what you are doing that is the key.

If you have any questions about functional training to suit your personal lifestyle, please see one of our GATC personal trainers.

Vic Spatola, Director of Personal Training