[quote]Regular Gonzalez wrote:
The bench press is more functional than a tricep kickback, a squat is more functional than a bench press, a deadlift is more functional than a squat.
By comparison, I’d say the pushup is more functional than the bench press (yes this is just IMO) because a pushup involves all the core musculature needed to transfer the movement from the arms to the feet (you have to keep your stomach tight, glutes tight, serratus anterior is activated, etc). Basically, we’re built more for a pushup than a bench press. Its arguable that we’re even moreso built for a dip than a pushup.
But unless you’re doing a pushup with a significant amount of weight on your back, its ridiculous to call it “functional strength”.
I can’t tell if you are being sarcastic.
Pushups are functional at making you better at doing pushups. Benching is functional for improving your bench press.[/quote]
nods Ok, I can respect that definition of functional. For me, I tend to look at it as “is it something a primitive human would do? Is it a natural movement pattern?”. I cant think of many situations where you need to lay on your back and push something into the air… but I stand up all the time. Hence I consider the squat to be more functional than the bench. I cant imagine why someone would need to hold something over their head and squat down, but it makes sense that people need to pick stuff up off the ground. So I consider the deadlift to be more functional than an overhead squat.
This doesn’t mean I consider any exercise to be “nonfunctional”. Nonfunction would mean being relaxed and unused. Just, as I said before, some are more functional than others.
This doesn’t mean a “more functional” exercise (by my definion) is always to be preferred over a less functional one. If you want to be a powerlifter, of course you want to train your bench and not pushups. I dont see “functional” as an excuse to be weak. I especially dont see doing stuff on a wobble board or bosu ball to be “functional”, since there would be no time that a human in any natural environment would be on an unstable surface like that. I know there are a lot of people who make those assumptions as soon as someone says “functional”.