Getting Outside the Box: The Definition of Functional Strength

Functional Strength Training Exercises

What Is Functional Strength?

The term “functional” refers to the ability of something to perform its purpose or function. For example, if you are trying to lift a heavy object, it will have no problem with lifting the weight, but if you were only attempting to pick up a light object without any other specific goal in mind then your body would not be able to do so.

A good analogy is like this; if you want to play basketball, you need to have some kind of leg strength or at least enough muscle mass that when you jump, your legs will move forward. If you don’t have these muscles then jumping won’t work properly. Similarly, if you want to get stronger in order to be able to perform certain tasks such as climbing stairs or throwing a baseball far, then your body needs some type of core strength.

In the case of getting strong, it is very important to understand that there are two types of strength training; strength building and strength endurance. Strength building means simply that you use weights in order to build up your muscles. Strength endurance means simply that you continue doing the same thing over and over again until your body gets tired or sore from it. You might think that since both activities involve using weights, they must be similar in terms of their effects on your body. While this may be true to some extent, the results that you get from each type of training are different.

Strength endurance can increase your ability to perform physically demanding tasks over a long period of time without becoming exhausted. For example, if you are pregnant and have to carry something heavy up several flights of stairs, then you should be doing some type of strength endurance training.

In the case of strength building however, it can increase your muscles’ ability to perform a task. If you are playing basketball, then this means that you can jump higher and run faster than you could before. The thing to remember here is that while strength endurance training will make you better at doing something over a long period of time, strength building will make you better at doing something specific in the short-term.

It’s also important to remember that nobody can ever be truly “strong.” After all, there are tiny women who can lift hundreds of pounds of weight but could never win a race against a child. On the other hand, there are people who are built like toothpicks who can run faster than cars. The whole concept of “functional strength” came about when people tried to make sense out of this apparent contradiction by creating specialized training to emphasize certain abilities.

As you can see, strength and its effects can be broken down into specialized fields such as strength endurance and strength building. While there is definitely a time and a place for both types of training, it’s important to understand the basics behind these concepts before you start setting up a program. The next section will go into more detail about the practical differences between the two types of training.

Want to read more?

Then check out The Muscle Pyramid!

Sources & references used in this article:

The reciprocity between spirituality in the workplace and thinking outside the box by JF Marques – Business Renaissance Quarterly, 2007 – researchgate.net

Looking’outside the box’ by G Berstell, D Nitterhouse – Marketing Research, 1997 – search.proquest.com

Managing complex systems: thinking outside the box by H Eisner – 2011 – books.google.com

What it really means to ‘think outside the box’: Why Foucault matters for coach development by J Denison – International Sport Coaching Journal, 2019 – journals.humankinetics.com

Outside the box: Interviews with contemporary cartoonists by HL Chute – 2014 – books.google.com

Thinking outside the box: Gender and court-mandated therapy by DG DuĴon – Family interventions in domestic violence: A …, 2006 – books.google.com

Collaborating outside the box: when employers and providers take on environmental barriers to guideline implementation by JL Reinertsen – The Joint Commission journal on …, 1995 – jointcommissionjournal.com

Comparison of two intervention programmes in young female players in European handball–with and without ankle disc by N Wedderkopp, M Kaltoft, R Holm… – Scandinavian journal of …, 2003 – Wiley Online Library