What is functional training?

The British journal of sports medicine have recently published on instagram a really nice infographic about functional training and the injuries that you can get in it, and they talked about the different types of functional training, or what they considered in these particular articles that it’s been written for scientific papers and studies that have been done.

A lot of them they looked at things like crossfit and high intensity functional training which is not something that i’d really thought of as functional training. I’ve chatted with a couple of other instructors since reading this and we were talking about what we considered functional training and what we consider functional training seems to be very different from these studies that have been done recently that the British general sports medicine decided to collate together .

Most of us that teach classes and teach everyday people certainly those of us that do any kind of sports therapy would look at functional training as something that is functional to everyday life rather than something that pushes your body to its extreme. For instance do i train my rotator cuff to do an action that pulls my arm from up high and out to the the side of my body moving diagonally down across my body? well yes i do. Why would that action be functional? well in everyday life i do that action every time i get in the car i grab my seat belt and i put my seat belt on and that to me is functional.

What also is functional to me is taking a squat through its full range of motion so rather than only squatting halfway down which would be really good functional training when you sit on a chair. To take it all the way down means that you can actually bend down to get your washing out of the washing machine. Do we want to learn how to carry weights in hands on either side and walk? Well yes because that would be functional to getting our shopping out of the car or from the supermarket to taking it home so we generally carry two bags one on each side. Can a suitcase lift be a really good functional training yes if you’re going on holiday a one-sided lift picking up would be really functional and really useful.

For me functional training is some training that you can put in to everyday life. that to me is functional training.

crossfit to me is a training that’s pushing your body to an extreme. Is there a place for that training? yes of course there is. But to me it doesn’t seem to be functional training. To be considered functional training it should fit with everyday life.

So what do you do in your training that assists you that you can function in everyday life? it might be to do with your job for some people if you’re a hairdresser you might want lots of upper body work, massage therapists strengthen their arms. it depends on what you do every day to what is functional to you.

so have a little think what’s in your training that makes things functional or makes things easier for you to do in everyday life

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