25 April, 2017

Being a professional in the fitness industry for over 20 years, I see many training trends come and go. Currently, the one that seems to be taking the industry by storm is Functional Training. Gyms are altering their floor layouts and the services that they; physical therapists and personal trainers are incorporating various functional exercises into their training programs. Now gym goers are embracing functional training more than traditional strength training.

So what makes functional training more appealing than traditional strength training?

Traditional strength training tends to focus on building strength in a single muscle group. For example, performing triceps pull-downs on the cable machine to strengthen the upper arms.

Whereas functional training focuses on large-body movements that stabilise certain muscle groups while  others move to mimic the activities of daily life. Therefore, by improving our ability to stabilise the spine, core and major mobility joins (shoulders and hips), functional training gives one the confidence to handle any environment in a robust way.

Benefits of functional training:

  • Multiple muscle groups work together, therefore resulting in a full body workout done in less time.
  • Movements need stabilising and so use more activation of the core.
  • Movements incorporate agility, balance and plyometrics (jumping).
  • Repetitive practice of movements increase neuromuscular control which enhance skill and form.
  • Exercises are multi-planar and not performed in a single plane of motion, therefore they are more similar to daily movement patterns.
  • Training can be done with or without equipment, making it versatile and liberating.
  • Workouts can be done anywhere and not confined to a gym.


Some things to consider when starting a functional training program:

  • Add functional training to your exercise program 2-3 times a week.
  • Do functional training moves first before doing traditional strength training.
  • Do 2-4 functional exercises that combine upper and lower body movement while standing.
  • Start slow with lighter weights so that you avoid injury.
  • Be strict on form. Maintain stabilisation and activation of the core and shoulders.

Functional training has some great benefits, and can be a great complement to a well-structured strength program. Always remember that training for strength and/or increases in muscle tissue and training for skill are two completely different things. When designing or assessing a training program the following questions should be asked. What is the goal? Is it time efficient? Do I know that it is safe? Am I getting the desired results? Does my training programme suit my body type/age/build optimally?

At Backspace, we can help you with answering these questions and designing an appropriate training program according to your needs and goals. So come visit us and lets get your started!


To Book a consultation with Pete you can do 3 things:

  1. Call 0203 151 2345 and book in with reception
  2. Email Pete directly on
  3. Book in online at


By Pete Geracimo, Specialist Personal Trainer and Movement Coach

Photo of Pete our Personal trainer and Functional Training Guru

Meet Pete – Functional Training Guru at Backspace