You may have heard the term “functional training” tossed around in recent years. “The overall category of functional fitness training, which includes strength training, nabbed fifth place on the American College of Sports Medicine’s worldwide survey of fitness trends for 2023″ (Everyday Health, 2023). 

Far beyond the world of exercising for aesthetics, functional training focuses on daily movement, aiming to enhance how you live rather than (or, in addition to) how you look. Our in-home trainers in Toronto, Ottawa, Collingwood, and Hamilton — and virtual personal trainers everywhere — work with a health-first approach, meaning function takes priority.


Functional training is about building strength, agility, and resilience that support your activities of daily living. While some workouts isolate muscles to build a specific shape (body-building), functional training uses movements that mimic real-life activities like squatting, lifting, pushing, and pulling. By engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously, “functional training significantly improves speed, muscular strength, power, balance, and agility, and moderate evidence suggests it could improve muscular endurance and flexibility too (Lie Science, 2022). Our trainers are seasoned at working with older- adults in this area, as these elements of fitness tend to deteriorate as we age.

Athletes and recreational sport enthusiasts can also use functional exercises to boost their performance; by practicing sport-specific movements, you can improve your speed, power, and agility.


The primary goal of functional training is to enhance ease and efficiency. Whether you’re lifting groceries, playing with your kids, or carrying luggage, functional exercises build the strength and mobility required to reduce your risk of injury and enhance your overall quality of life.

Functional training also emphasizes proper alignment and body mechanics, which builds better posture and kinaesthetic (body) awareness. Over time, this will allow you to stand taller, move more gracefully, and reduce your risk of pain.


A strong, well-functioning body is less prone to injury. Functional training targets the muscles and movements that are essential for proper biomechanics, helping to correct imbalances, strengthen stabilizing muscles, and improve joint mobility—all of which contribute to injury prevention.


Whether you’re working out at home with a virtual personal trainer, in a gym, or outdoors, functional exercises can be performed using only body weight, resistance bands, kettlebells, or even improvised items like water bottles or stairs. Functional training can also be modified to accommodate individuals of all fitness levels.


Functional training boosts your overall health, which leads to increased energy and vitality. As your body becomes more efficient at performing daily tasks, you’ll find yourself with more energy to tackle whatever life throws your way.

Functional exercises also promote joint mobility and flexibility, allowing you to move more freely and comfortably. Whether it’s reaching for something on a high shelf or bending down to tie your shoes, improved mobility can make daily life feel more effortless.

As you become stronger and more capable in your daily movements, you’ll gain confidence in your abilities. This confidence can spill into other areas of your life, empowering you to take on new challenges.


Functional training is about building a better life. Focusing on movements that train your body to function optimally will allow you to live with strength, vitality, and confidence. If you’d like to learn how to incorporate functional training into your routine, we’re here to help! First workouts are zero pressure, always free and can be booked here.