Functional Training: Why It’s Important

I didn’t get a chance to talk about this earlier, but it definitely deserves a little extra attention, so I’m gonna just go ahead and share it with you guys now, mmkay?

This morning, I pretty much got my boo-tay handed to me on a silver platter.

Yes, yes I did. Today was Day 5 of Tina’s Bootcamp and ohh boy was it a doozy! On the agenda for today:

  • 20 minutes of HIIT (I alternated 1 minute each of 7.5mph & 4.5mph on the treadmill)
  • “Workout C” – a functional and core workout.

Today’s workout was, by far, the most challenging of them yet. While I can’t get into the specifics of the actual circuit moves that were in the workout, I will say that there was a whole lotta movement, and a whole lotta sweat happening. I sorta felt like I should have had a drill sergeant standing above me with a whistle and stopwatch.


Okay, maybe that’s a little drastic. But even still, after three rounds of that circuit, I was spent. Whew!

So far, Tina has done a fantastic job of putting together this bootcamp program (not that I’m surprised). For phase one, the focus has been on stabilization and functional training, both of which are extremely important components to beginning a fitness routine.

Functional Training – Why It’s Important

Functional training is something that, in my opinion, everyone should be incorporating into their fitness routine. In essence, it is a very effective type of exercise that involves training the body to be capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions. You train several muscle groups at once, which can improve balance, core stabilization, strength, and flexibility.

Functional training is different from using most machines at the gym; these are typically isolating specific muscle groups (think seated row machine, etc.), but they’re not teaching the muscle groups being isolating to work together.

One thing that was highly stressed in my NASM training is the goal of getting the entire kinetic chain (nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems) in alignment. When you can teach everything to work together properly, the body is much better able to perform.

What Are Some Examples of Functional Exercises?

Functional training can incorporate both bodyweight exercises and those with weights; however, for someone just starting off, sticking with bodyweight exercises is your best bet. Functional training is a great way to incorporate compound exercises, because you’re incorporating several muscle groups at once.

There really are a TON of exercises, but here are some basics:

functional training
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Do you incorporate functional training into your workout routine??


And, of course, I can’t go for this afternoon without announcing the lucky winner of the Elaine’s Toffee Company Giveaway: Lucky Entry #28


Congratulations, Anna! Please email me at sweettoothcourtney[@]gmail[.]com so we can get you set up with your goodies!


  1. says

    So interesting to hear your thoughts on functional training because that is what my trainer really advocates and what our program is and i had never really even heard that terminology until I was looking into his training program. When I went to his website that is what his mission statement and description talk about “the importance of functional tarining”
    At first (before I started my training) i didnt really understand what he meant by that and just sort of went with the flow until we finally talked about it in depth and it automatically made so much sense!
    Andrea @ Andrea Out Loud! recently posted..Randoms & Kona Chameleon

  2. says

    I’m a HUGE fan of functional training – of teaching your body to do REAL LIFE moves that you’ll use every single day. I love bodyweight-only stuff, which is often a big piece of functional training so I’d be all over a workout like the one you describe from Tina’s boot camp session, so cool!
    Jess recently posted..Foodie Friday – some simple faves

  3. says

    When I was a gymnast, I was definitely the strongest I have ever been! It sounds to me like gymnastics uses a lot of functional training, since you are constantly using your own body weight as resistance instead of weights or machines. Holding your own body weight can be harder than even using hand weights, etc. super tough!
    Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life recently posted..Sweaty Bands

  4. says

    Love it!! I’ve been reading up on functional training and definitely need to incorporate it more into my workouts. I’m hoping to do some extra this weekend! My schedule for bootcamp has been a little off, so I haven’t done today’s workout yet. I can’t wait! Everyone says its a doozy!
    Carol @ Lucky Zucca recently posted..Homemade BBQ Tofu Flatbread

  5. says

    i absolutely love functional training. it’s one of my favorite ways to workout. functional training challenges my body and muscles unlike any other type of workout. i also love the fact that you can hit two birds with one stone when doing functional training!
    Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..Just Breathe

  6. says

    Functional training definitely appeals to me. It was one of the aspects I liked best about CrossFit when I was doing that. Understanding why doing a certain move would help me in my regular life just made so much more sense than doing endless reps on a machine!
    Erin recently posted..Running Results

  7. says

    seriously loving all the fitness posts of late on the blog! I was stuck in a serious pilates rut but I’ve been back on the weights the last two weeks, your post inspired me! I love functional exercises, especially incorporating weights. So many different exercises I want to try but it’s like a pick and mix trying to decide what to do so I love the circuit and superset workouts you’ve posted, keep em coming lady! :)
    Michelle@Peachy Palate recently posted..Feeling the Burn!


  1. […] Repetition Tempo is actually a very important variable to consider when designing a workout program, so I was glad to see that Tina incorporated this. The amount of time that a muscle is under tension will actually give specific results; for example, a tempo of 4-2-1 is often used in the initial phases of training because the slower speed places more demand on the connective tissue and stabilizing muscles, which better prepares your nervous system for functional movements (you know, those ones we talked about last Friday). […]

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