Functional training is a more recent term that is used in the fitness industry today. You may have heard the term, but what does it mean? Functional training is a style of training that incorporates exercises with motions in the three cardinal planes of movement - sagital, frontal and transverse. It helps you to preform everyday movements with greater ease. Functional training generally targets more than one muscle group and recruits multiple muscle groups all at the same time. You are working synergistically making your workouts much more productive and effective. To dive a little further and get more information on this style of training click here: functional training.
Good examples of functional exercises are, squats, step ups, pull-ups, push-ups, planks, inverted row (TRX), and many other dynamic, fun and challenging exercises. Functional training will provide exercise variety and additional training benefits that more directly transfer improvements to real-life activities.
The term "functional training" is subject to wide interpretation. Therefore there are many different opinions as to what is the most effective style of functional training. When researching what functional training is you may find many of the exercises to be very explosive, ballistic activities of high-level competitive athletes. These types of movements are not meant for all people. There are ways to "dial down" the exercises and make modifications where needed and still keep the "functional" aspect of the exercise.
Functional training is not an all or nothing concept, it is another style of training that should be worked into your workout regimen. This mind frame will keep you open to keeping a diverse amount of exercises and activities in your workouts and lifestyle, keeping you in great health and physical shape. It is always important to push and challenge yourself but do it in a safe and effective way. Keep things interesting physically and mentally by incorporating functional style movements to your regime.