Functional Strength Training

Functional Strength Training – A Foundation of Health

The most consequential intention I set last year was to improve my muscle power and strength. I had lost muscle mass in India due to the sedentary lifestyle of studying Sanskrit and Vedanta for eight hours a day for ten-plus years.  

In my recovery, I first brought a more intensive yoga practice back into my life, which has always advanced my health quickly. Then, I added weight training at the gym to build strength and bulk in large muscle groups. But when I replaced weight lifting at the gym with functional strength training, which is more like physical therapy, my athletic strength and buoyancy soared. 

The main difference between functional strength training and typical weight training is that functional strength training targets small muscle groups that have become turned off due to lack of use. Also, instead of isolating large muscles, it challenges a multitude of muscle groups that are essential in performing ordinary tasks, like carrying groceries, lifting something up from off the floor, changing a light bulb, or walking on uneven trails. Our daily tasks are complex, involving coordinated movements on many planes, which engage fine motor control and postural equilibrium. 

Whether someone has lived 40-plus years with compensation patterns from poor posture or injuries or is a young person who grew up staring at their cell phone and developed forward head posture or back pain, these compensations do not go away on their own. Functional strength training can help correct these dysfunctional patterns.

The value of functional strength training became more apparent recently when I was recovering from a foot injury. I had discovered that my injured foot prevented me from jumping from one rock to another at a tide pool at the beach. So, as part of my functional strength training, I learned how to isolate and strengthen those muscles needed for jumping, and the foot was quickly restored. It not only brought explosive jumping back into my life but also aided in the resolution of a hip injury, which also stemmed from foot weakness. 

Almost everyone lacks functional strength, even people who walk long distances or lift weights at the gym. If functional muscle strength isn’t included in one’s exercise program, whether your program includes long-distance walking, biking, or weight training, it will remain a missing piece of the health puzzle. It is foundational for health in that it builds strength that enables you to do the things you want to do without inhibition or injuring yourself.

My unique approach, as a pain relief specialist in yoga and hands-on therapy, is to address the micro details of joint and soft tissue health. Now that I am incorporating functional strength training into my work, I serve people’s needs in a more comprehensive way.

I am now offering an integrated program of functional strength training and yoga. This new program provides yoga therapy for pain management integrated with functional strength training. Private sessions can be either in-studio or online. I’m excited to work with you on building the health of your body and mind. Contact me for a free consultation. Call or text me at 415-879-6944. Also, visit my website at