City Centre Chiropractic

Brisbane 3229 6993

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Functional Exercise

What is Functional Exercise?

These exercises can be modified to suit both beginner and advanced exercise routines and are great for weight loss! They are fun, complex and can you challenge you both in and out of the gym.

Put simply, functional exercise is any movement that mimics activities that we do every day. They are exercises which involve the movement of multiple joints or body parts. Nowadays, this definition has been stretched to incorporate movements which we don’t necessarily conduct every day.

Functional exercise requires multiple muscles to be used, in which we see the upper, lower and abdominal muscle working together, in comparison to a single muscle unit. As with all fitness modalities, functional exercise has its place in the world of health and fitness but it doesn’t rule out the other modes of fitness.

Benefits of Functional Exercises

  • Improves your everyday movements i.e. squats, step ups, lifting – improvement in general day to day moveability.
  • Increases flexibility and coordination.
  • Improves posture and balance.
  • Increases abdominal strength and whole-body stability.
  • Enhances athletic performance.
  • Suitable for people of all ages.
  • Burns more calories due to more muscle movements.
  • Ability to improve multiple fitness principles; speed, strength, power, cardiovascular fitness, muscle, endurance and flexibility.

 Things to Consider

  • Practice and time is required to be able to perform the movements correctly.
  • Some movements require a certain amount of flexibility, strength and mobility before performing them.
  • Advanced exercises can increase the risk of injury.



The squat is the most frequently used movement in our everyday lives and it is crucial to include this exercise in your workout routine. It is a great exercise to develop the lower body, improve athletic performance and a simple way to assess for any muscle imbalances or weaknesses.

Technique execution:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and toes pointing slowly out
  2. Lower yourself by pushing back your hips as if you’re taking a seat.
  3. As you are lowering yourself push your knees out slightly and stop when your hips are in line with your knees. If you have good flexibility, you may lower your hips below your knees. Keep an upright posture, your chest up and your shoulder blades pinned together.
  4. Lift yourself up by pushing through your heels and bringing your hips forward to return to the standing upright position.


There is a significant amount of functional exercises that can be performed both inside and outside of the gym. They can be used at a beginner level right through to advanced where we see the involvements of other exercise equipment. Be sure to include some of these movements in your exercise routines to reap the benefits of performing functional exercises, and remember to be creative when performing them... there are no limits!


The well founded evidence for exercise as medicine in treating both musculoskeletal disorders and chronic pain has continued to overwhelm in the past couple of years. In the US an extraordinary amount of clinics have opened up that take patients through rehabilitation programs where exercise is part of your treatment. Unfortunately our inner city location prevents us from having space for facilities to practice these exercises in this clinic, for this reason we have been referring patients to functional movement therapist Luke Armstrong. Luke works with clients for about 6 weeks and in that times he gives you the understanding and skills to be able to complete the exercises by yourself. We have all been to Luke’s to try it out and found the experience extremely helpful.

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