Functional training has become a buzz word in the industry and a trend that has taken the industry by storm. There are fitness education organizations that offer credentialing courses just around functional training. Traditionally, functional training is considered integrated (total body), multi-planar movement that requires efficient acceleration, deceleration and stabilization capabilities. It also involves training in a proprioceptively enriched (unstable, yet controllable) environment. The idea is to train “movements” instead of “individual muscle groups”. Placing an individual in a machine (stable environment) that primarily works a small group of muscles in one plane of motion does not carry over very effectively to the type of movements that one will be required to do outside the gym during everyday life or on the field. Or does it? Can stable, machine-based exercises be “functional”? What are some examples/situations you have come across where training in a more stable environment may be a form of functional training? What are your thoughts on the “functional training trend” and where do you think it’s going (fitness trends if very cyclic)?
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