Functional training is an appropriate method of training for individuals with a goal of improving motion during activities of daily living, coordination and balance.
In many respects, functional training should be thought of in terms of a movement continuum. Humans perform a wide range of movement activities, such as walking, jogging, running, sprinting, jumping, lifting, pushing, pulling, bending, twisting, turning, standing, starting, stopping, climbing and lunging. All of these activities involve smooth, rhythmic motions in the three cardinal planes of movement- sagittal, frontal and transverse.
Training to improve functional strength involves more than simply increasing the force-producing capability of a muscle or group of muscles. Additionally, it requires training to enhance the coordinated working relationship between the nervous and muscular systems.
Functional training involves performing work against resistance in such a manner that the improvements in strength directly enhance the performance of movements so that an individual's activities of daily living are easier to perform. The primary goal of functional training is to transfer the improvements in strength achieved in one movement to enhancing the performance of another movement by affecting the entire neuromuscular system.
In functional training, it is as critical to train the specific movement as it is to train the muscles involved in the movement. The brain, which controls muscular movement, thinks in terms of whole motions, not individual muscles.