In the YouTube video below, Coach Tumminello talks about the use of the term functional in sports and fitness training and gives a useful definition of the term.
What is Functional Training? The Real Definition
My definition is similar to that of Coach Tumminello but briefer and wider. I define functional exercises as those that improve your overall functioning. In other words, to borrow an expression from physical education, functional exercises “have a positive transfer” to all (yes, all) your activities.
That same definition applies to functional training. (Sports training consists of exercises, means of recovery, and means of rebuilding—that is, nutrition.) But keep in mind that nonfunctional training—such that impairs your function—may be made up of exercises that by themselves could be functional. It is a matter of dosage of all the elements of training.