As a trainer i hear the term Functional Fitness thrown around a lot, I've read descriptions of the term in many books by well respected fitness authors, and on legitimate fitness websites. I have a totally different view on what this terms means.
My role in therapy and as trainer has always been to provide excellent treatment to my patient/client to maximize their potential for reaching their goals in a safe manner. As a trainer, I have worked with able bodied individuals looking to lose weight and gain strength, young athletes looking to improve in field hockey, and even young men recovering from spinal cord injuries or Stroke.
"Functional Fitness" to me, is helping that individual increase their strength, endurance, courage to perform a functional task that is difficult for them to perform. For my able bodied client with goals to increase strength and lose weight that means designing a workout to increase their functionality....less weight and more strength means improved function, for my young field hockey player that means focusing on endurance and core exercises to functionally improve on field performance, and for my young men recovering from stroke or spinal cord injury that means working on strengthening movement patterns to increase their ability to transfer from one surface to the other, or to be able improve their walking.
"Functional Fitness" can best be described as Fitness that focuses on increasing specific functions of the client to enhance their overall performance.