Functional exercise/Functional fitness is one of the more popular trends in the fitness industry today. It seems commerical gyms are offering classes and personal trainers are claiming to be functional exercise 'gurus' in greater numbers by the day. One does not have to spend much time on the worldwide internet to find thousands of articles devoted to functional fitness.
Regardless of the exercise, the majority of these functional exercise 'experts' attempt to combine a variety of movements into one exercise or challenge your balance/coordination. They make the claim these exercises improve your ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL) and/or improve athletic performance.
Fact: There is a dramatic difference between what is being advertised by 'experts' as functional exercise and the true principle behind functional exercise.
All exercise can be 'functional', if applied correctly to address the needs of the individual. This takes into account their goals, primary sport form, strengthens/weakness, and imbalances that need correction. If your exercise has no direct transfer into any of these areas, the exercise is not 'functional'. Functional exercise should never be determined by how it looks, but rather what it produces.