What is Functional Training?

Functional training includes systematic instruction in movements that challenge a person’s motor control in order to make ADL’s easier. It is intended to increase the stability, strength and power an individual needs to handle the activities they wish to engage in on a weekly or daily basis.

This kind of training encourages fascial pliability and healthy arthro-kinematics (healthy bone and joint movement). The training is progressive, proprioceptively rich and includes multi-joint movements. It is interesting and playful, involving re-education of behavior we engaged in as babies and children (rolling, crawling, coming to sitting, coming to standing and climbing).

Functional training includes specific instruction in getting up from the floor, getting down to the floor, squatting, lunging, rotating, hinging, pushing, pulling, walking, running, throwing and leaping. It teaches principles of stability by helping the student find a neutral spine, pelvis, rib cage and shoulder girdle. It stresses the importance of neutral head and foot placement. There is a strong emphasis on tranversus abdominis and pelvic floor engagement and breath awareness.

will it be too easy or difficult for me?

Rumi said, "out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field, I will meet you there." Our functional trainers work with students coming from every level of fitness. They begin their work with you by meeting you wherever you are. They are not interested in ideas about "right" movement or body shape.

Functional training is about helping you improve your motor behavior. If getting up and walking across the room is difficult for you, then this training is for you. If you’ve done five triathlons and feel a need to be challenged, then this training is for you. Functional training is scalable and progressive.

…make the impossible possible, the possible easy, and the easy elegant
— Moshe Feldenkrais


Functional training is very playful and makes use of all kinds of toys. Your movement abilities, goals and progress will usually determine which toys are chosen.

Trainers make generous use of balls, bands, TRX suspension trainers, kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells, free weights, clubs, ropes, pilates equipment such as reformers, Cadillacs, chairs and barrels.

Our functional trainers at Structural Elements take a multidisciplinary approach. They use principles gained from their education in TRX suspension training, Stott pilates, NASM corrective exercise, Animal Flow and Kettle Bell play. They incorporate methods from all of these disciplines to challenge you to move beyond your perceived limits of flexibility, balance, stability, strength and power.

Mixing modalities and using many types of equipment even during one workout allows our trainers to "cue" your body toward optimal balance and pliability.

What are The Results?

Of course, every body is different and results vary. Many students feel stronger and more stable after about a month of training. Your commitment to regular exercise and healthy eating plays major role in your success.

We commonly see exercise program compliance and increased desire to move when clients make even small gains in stability.