Functional Movement Training

A training approach that focuses on exercises that mimic everyday movements and activities.


Functional Movement Training is a fitness methodology that emphasizes exercises and movement patterns that closely resemble the demands of daily life and sports. This approach aims to improve overall strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination by targeting multiple muscle groups and joints simultaneously. By focusing on functional movements rather than isolated muscle exercises, this training style helps individuals develop a more natural and efficient way of moving, which can translate to better performance in everyday activities and reduced risk of injury.

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The origins of Functional Movement Training can be traced back to the early 20th century, when physical therapists began using exercises that mimicked daily activities to help patients recover from injuries. However, it wasn't until the 1990s that the term "functional training" gained popularity in the fitness industry. Influenced by rehabilitation principles and the growing interest in core stability and natural movement patterns, fitness professionals started incorporating functional exercises into their training programs. Over time, Functional Movement Training has evolved to encompass a wide range of exercises and equipment, from bodyweight movements to the use of stability balls, resistance bands, and suspension trainers.


  1. Improved Daily Function Functional Movement Training enhances the ability to perform everyday activities with greater ease and efficiency.
  2. Reduced Injury Risk By strengthening muscles and joints in a balanced manner, Functional Movement Training helps reduce the risk of injuries in daily life and sports.
  3. Enhanced Coordination and Balance Functional exercises often challenge multiple muscle groups and require coordination, leading to improved balance and body control.
  4. Increased Muscle Strength and Endurance Functional Movement Training engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, leading to greater overall strength and endurance gains.
  5. Greater Calorie Burn Functional exercises often involve compound movements and engage large muscle groups, resulting in a higher calorie burn compared to isolated exercises.
  6. Improved Posture Functional Movement Training emphasizes proper alignment and form, contributing to better posture in daily life.
  7. Versatility and Adaptability Functional exercises can be easily modified and adapted to suit individual fitness levels and goals, making it a versatile training approach.

How It Works

Functional Movement Training is a holistic approach to fitness that focuses on improving the quality and efficiency of everyday movements. It involves exercises that mimic real-life activities, such as squatting, lifting, pushing, and pulling, to enhance overall body function and reduce the risk of injury. By targeting multiple muscle groups simultaneously and emphasizing proper form, this training method aims to develop strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination. Functional Movement Training often incorporates tools like resistance bands, kettlebells, and stability balls to challenge the body in dynamic ways and engage the core throughout each movement.


While Functional Movement Training offers numerous benefits, there are some considerations to keep in mind. First, proper form and technique are crucial to prevent injuries and maximize results. It's essential to start with a qualified trainer who can provide guidance and ensure correct execution of each exercise. Additionally, individuals with pre-existing injuries or medical conditions should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new fitness program. Functional Movement Training can be adapted to various fitness levels, but it's important to progress gradually and listen to your body to avoid overexertion. Consistency and patience are key, as results may take time to become apparent.

How Much It Costs

The cost of Functional Movement Training can vary depending on several factors, such as location, trainer experience, and session length. On average, group classes at a fitness studio or gym can range from $15 to $30 per session. Private training sessions with a certified functional movement specialist typically cost between $50 and $150 per hour. Some trainers may offer package deals or discounted rates for purchasing multiple sessions upfront. Additionally, investing in basic equipment like resistance bands, a stability ball, and a set of dumbbells for at-home workouts can range from $50 to $200.

Virtual & Online Options

Virtual or online Functional Movement Training has gained popularity in recent years, offering convenience and accessibility. Online training allows individuals to work with a certified trainer from the comfort of their own home, using minimal equipment and tailored workout plans. This option is often more affordable than in-person sessions and provides flexibility in scheduling. However, in-person training at a nearby facility offers the advantage of hands-on guidance, immediate feedback on form, and access to a wider range of equipment. In-person sessions also foster a sense of community and accountability, which can be motivating for some individuals. Ultimately, the choice between virtual and in-person training depends on personal preferences, budget, and accessibility.


When seeking a Functional Movement Training specialist, it's important to look for relevant certifications to ensure their expertise and credibility. Some of the most recognized certifications in this field include: 1) Functional Movement Systems (FMS) Level 1 and 2, which focus on assessing and correcting movement patterns; 2) National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES), which covers functional anatomy, movement assessments, and program design; 3) American Council on Exercise (ACE) Functional Training Specialist, which emphasizes practical application of functional exercises; and 4) Certified Functional Strength Coach (CFSC), which includes a comprehensive education in functional strength training principles and program implementation.

Complementary Practices

Functional Movement Training can be combined with practices like yoga, Pilates, and tai chi to enhance flexibility, balance, and mind-body connection. Strength training with free weights or resistance bands can further improve muscle strength and endurance. Cardiovascular exercises such as swimming, cycling, or jogging can boost overall fitness and support the cardiovascular system. Incorporating massage therapy or foam rolling can aid in muscle recovery and maintain optimal range of motion.

Practitioner Types

Various professionals can guide and support Functional Movement Training, including certified personal trainers, physical therapists, and athletic trainers. These practitioners are well-versed in assessing movement patterns, identifying imbalances, and designing tailored exercise programs. Occupational therapists may also incorporate functional movement principles to help clients perform daily activities more efficiently. Sports coaches and strength and conditioning specialists often utilize functional movement techniques to enhance athletic performance and prevent injuries.

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  • Q: What are the key benefits of Functional Movement Training?

    • A: Functional Movement Training offers numerous benefits, such as improved balance, coordination, and stability. It enhances muscle strength and endurance, allowing individuals to perform daily activities with greater ease and efficiency. This training approach can also help prevent injuries by addressing muscle imbalances and improving overall body mechanics. Additionally, Functional Movement Training can boost athletic performance and support healthy aging by maintaining mobility and independence.
  • Q: How does Functional Movement Training differ from traditional strength training?

    • A: While traditional strength training often focuses on isolated muscle groups and machine-based exercises, Functional Movement Training emphasizes multi-joint, compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. This approach mimics real-life movements and challenges the body to work as a cohesive unit. Functional exercises often incorporate balance, stability, and proprioception, leading to improved overall function and reduced risk of injury.
  • Q: Can Functional Movement Training be beneficial for individuals of all fitness levels?

    • A: Absolutely! Functional Movement Training can be adapted to suit individuals of all fitness levels, from beginners to advanced athletes. The key is to start with basic movements and gradually progress in complexity and intensity as strength, stability, and proper form improve. A qualified fitness professional can assess an individual's current fitness level and design a program that meets their specific needs and goals.
  • Q: What equipment is typically used in Functional Movement Training?

    • A: Functional Movement Training often utilizes versatile equipment that challenges balance, stability, and coordination. This may include items such as stability balls, balance boards, resistance bands, kettlebells, and medicine balls. Body weight exercises and free weights are also commonly incorporated. The selection of equipment depends on the specific goals and fitness level of the individual.
  • Q: How often should I engage in Functional Movement Training to see results?

    • A: The frequency of Functional Movement Training sessions depends on factors such as individual goals, current fitness level, and overall schedule. As a general guideline, engaging in functional training 2-3 times per week, with rest days in between, can provide significant benefits. Consistency is key, and it's essential to allow adequate time for recovery and adaptation. Consulting with a qualified fitness professional can help determine an optimal training frequency based on individual needs.


Functional Movement Training is a valuable approach to fitness that focuses on enhancing the body's natural movement patterns, improving overall function, and reducing the risk of injury. By engaging in exercises that mimic real-life activities and challenging multiple muscle groups simultaneously, individuals can develop strength, stability, and coordination that translates into improved daily performance. Whether you are a beginner looking to enhance your overall well-being or an athlete seeking to optimize your performance, Functional Movement Training can be tailored to meet your specific needs. Incorporating this training method into your fitness routine, along with complementary practices and guidance from qualified practitioners, can lead to a more balanced, capable, and resilient body. Embrace the power of functional movement and unlock your body's full potential for a lifetime of healthy, active living.