The 4 Principles of Functional Training- Principle #4 Multi- vs. Limited Movement



Finish- Overhead Kettlebell Lunge

Overhead Kettlebell Lunge

Overhead Kettlebell Lunge





Your body performs along forward, backward, rotational and diagonal planes of movement everyday. A lack of balanced strength along these planes will result in injury-such as a twinge in your back when picking up a suitcase or indulging in your first golf game of the season.

To be fair, machines do have a place in rehab and training, when muscle isolation, or the ability to control movement, speed, direction and intensity is desired. Machines are also useful for novice exercisers who may need a very structured program of movement to build some very basic strength. Machines can also have a role in “bulking” up the body with muscle for unspecified strength. Obviously, body builders will want as much muscle as possible, and aren’t as concerned with how that muscle performs precise, athlete movements. But functional training should be the core of a fitness program for anyone who wants to develop an athletic body along with strength, skill, agility and balance for sports (and life) outside the gym.


The 4 Principles of Functional Training – Principle #3 Balance vs Bulk

Functional Movement - Side Lunge with Kettlebell

Functional Movement – Side Lunge with Kettlebell

Concerned about developing large and bulky muscles? Functional training techniques help you create a leaner, tighter and more-integrated physique. Machine-centered training, and an isolated body-building style of training for 8-15 repetitions per set generally will cause what is known as sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, where the belly of the muscle increases in size, causing unnatural “bulking” of the muscle.

Instead, work in ranges of 3-5 reps with functional movements to achieve better strength gains and tone, while improving your joint health.