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So, if a functional exercise mimics daily activities, where does standing on the latest inflatable gimmick fit in? Is it just about making an exercise randomly more difficult? How truly functional is a functional exercise if it leads to musculoskeletal dysfunction? In our zeal to create interesting programs for our clients, we may have dismissed perfectly sound exercises that improve musculoskeletal function, and imposed challenges that our clients are unable to accommodate safely. Explore a wide range of current functional applications and the research on specific exercises that will add to your toolbox (rather than take them away). You'll walk away with an understanding of the value of the right thing, at the right time, for the right person (minus the biases).
By Tom Purvis, PT