Functional training is a totally new approach to exercise focused on achieving results that directly translate into a better life.
Traditional machines, while useful, tend to exercise our muscles in isolation and on pre-determined paths that do not accurately emulate the tasks we perform in our everyday lives. Because of this, all the time spent in the gym may not be noticeable when you mow the lawn, weed the garden, play with your children or grandchildren, move furniture, or play in a pick-up game over the weekend. Research has even shown that over-utilization of traditional weight machines can actually lead to muscle imbalances that increase your risk for injury. Functional training eliminates these problems by engaging your whole body in natural, multi-planar movements that cause your muscles to work together rather than in isolation. Not only does this training style reduce muscle imbalances and translate more effectively into real-life, but it also helps you burn more calories by recruiting more muscles!
Functional training has only recently gained wide-spread popularity, though it has been used to train top-level athletes for decades. Functional training techniques were once mistakenly regarded as too advanced for those new to exercise, and so most people were directed to use machines. Unfortunately, while this dependence on machines did help exercisers strengthen and grow their biceps, triceps, chests, backs, and other targeted muscle-groups, it did not help them improve the way their muscles work together to perform complex tasks like those encountered in everyday life. Functional training has recently gained mainstream popularity because it helps all exercisers improve balance, coordination, and overall strength, which leads to a better quality of life.
One of the best aspects of functional training is that it is great for everybody! The basic movements are so natural and intuitive that they take relatively little time to master, and all exercises can be scaled accommodate individual needs and ability levels.