What is functional training?

The objective of any functional training program is to prepare the body for life’s daily movement and activities. Functional training requires whole body integration – engaging multiple joint and muscle groups as well as the brain to work together. By contrast, strength training involves individual muscle isolation at the joint. Some of the defining features of functional training include:

  • body stabilization through developing core strength
  • unpredictable movement challenges for balance recovery
  • controlled instability and body awareness

How can functional training help?

For patients experiencing chronic pain or musculoskeletal dysfunction, effective functional training programs can result in achieved independent function, pain relief/management, and increase mobility. It can also work to prepare the body to tolerate additional treatment techniques. For others, successful functional therapy assists in the recovery of an injury or surgery, injury prevention, and general preparedness for daily activities or athletic events. Functional training can:

  • assist in weight management
  • re-establish center of gravity
  • improve balance and stability
  • increased strength and joint mobility

What should I expect from a functional training session?

Following and initial assessment, a typical Functional Training session involves a series of exercises that mimic everyday movements we do at work or in sports. In the initial stages of the of the program, patients may use only the resistance of their own body weight to facilitate body control, while gradually building strength and stability. When appropriate, your physical therapist may progressively introduce additional resistance such as kettlebells, medicine balls, fitness cables, body boards, etc. The exercises will focus on full body movements that engage multiple muscle groups. Similar to resistance, additional complexity in movement will be introduced progressively. Patients can also expect many exercises that focus on the core to develop abdominal strength, support the spine, and provide power to the rest of the body.

Functional Training Physical Therapy in Washington DC

Our highly skilled staff works with patients one-on-one to develop a functional training program that may be used alone or paired with additional therapeutic techniques such as manual therapy. At Release Physical Therapy, care always begins with a full assessment of the patient’s existing conditions, tolerance to activity, and goals in order to develop a truly individualized treatment plan. Contact us to learn more about functional training or schedule an appointment.

What should I expect from a functional training session?

Following and initial assessment, a typical Functional Training session involves a series of exercises that mimic everyday movements we do at work or in sports. In the initial stages of the of the program, patients may use only the resistance of their own body weight to facilitate body control, while gradually building strength and stability. When appropriate, your physical therapist may progressively introduce additional resistance such as kettlebells, medicine balls, fitness cables, body boards, etc. The exercises will focus on full body movements that engage multiple muscle groups. Similar to resistance, additional complexity in movement will be introduced progressively. Patients can also expect many exercises that focus on the core to develop abdominal strength, support the spine, and provide power to the rest of the body.

Functional Training Physical Therapy in Washington DC

Our highly skilled staff works with patients one-on-one to develop a functional training program that may be used alone or paired with additional therapeutic techniques such as manual therapy. At Release Physical Therapy, care always begins with a full assessment of the patient’s existing conditions, tolerance to activity, and goals in order to develop a truly individualized treatment plan. Contact us to learn more about functional training or schedule an appointment.

Dr. Cari Simon, DPT
Owner, Physical Therapist

Dr. Danielle Clare, DPT, CMTPT
Physical Therapist

Dr. Stephanie Lam, DPT, CMTPT
Physical Therapist

Bettie Kruger, PT, DPT, CDNS
Physical Therapist