Functional Movement

What is functional movement training and is it for me?

Functional fitness exercises train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports. While using multiple muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness exercises also emphasize core strength and stability.

Functional movement exercises involve full-body motion and engage the stability muscles, which are extremely important in preventing injuries. There are seven basic movements the human body can perform and all other exercises are merely variations of these seven: Pull, Push, Squat, Lunge, Hinge, Rotation and Gait. When performing all of these movements, you will be able to stimulate all of the major muscle groups in your body.

We use a Functional Movement Screen (FMS), which is a series of standardised tests used to assess a person’s functional and fundamental movement patterns. This type of functional screening is used to identify a dysfunction with certain movement patterns. This then informs the coach as to which corrective exercises are best utilised to improve movement throughout the whole body.

It is vital that your body knows how to move effectively, no matter what your personal goals are.

If you’re wanting to lose weight we need to get all your muscles working equally to increase your body’s ability to burn fat. Rather than exposing your body to the stresses and strains of strength training such as weightlifting, functional training is designed to make your body feel more comfortable. Since functional training exercises tend to focus more on large body movements that stabilise specific muscle groups, the focus is on coordination, technique, posture, and core engagement, rather than weight. These compound exercises are often effective as part of a continuous routine and can easily be utilised as part of a personalised home programme. Research has proven that bodies that are able to move more freely burn off calories more effectively and help you drop the pounds.

If you are recovering from an injury, we need to make sure we rehabilitate your body to get everything re-balanced, to mitigate against the injury from reoccurring. Functional training, when done by a physical therapist is a rehabilitation technique. It focuses on restoring strength and proper function of the musculoskeletal system with the goal of making it easier for patients to perform their everyday activities. I work closely with physio therapists to maximize recovery, enhance performance, and hopefully prevent injuries (or re-injury).

I refer to functional rehabilitation as a process of working towards returning to an individual’s maximum level of independence in the activities that are important to them. A person’s priority of their functional activities are as varied as the individual to whom they apply.

So, no matter your goals, this type of training is essential.


A testimonial from Dave Shaw, one of our current FMS clients


Over two years ago I had a bad cycling accident which unfortunately resulted in my right shoulder being dislocated and broken and my left shoulder with a dislocation also. The injuries sustained to my right shoulder have been extremely debilitating and frustrating for myself. After several sessions of physiotherapy and manipulation I still saw no improvement at all to movement or a reduction in pain. A friend of mine suggested trialling the Functional Movement Programme at Body Complete.

I have been attending The Functional Programme for a couple of months now and I have not looked back. Chris Stringer is excellent with his knowledge, perseverance and support. Movement is slowly returning to my shoulder, and the pain is less, I know my injuries will take time to restore to full a range of motion, but I have complete confidence and hope in Chris. There have been times where I became despondent, but Chris spurred me on and I have turned a massive corner with my shoulder mobility.

Body Complete is nothing like a normal gym, it’s a fantastic place to be, with extremely knowledgeable staff who go the extra mile to help you. I love it and so does my wife too.

I would recommend anyone to come to Body Complete to see for yourself how good the staff and training programmes really are.

To see another testimonial, click here