One aspect of functional training programs is to focus on joint function across multiple joints.
types of joints in the body
There are different types of joints in the body with different structure and different functions. Some joints are designed to be stabilizers and some designed for mobility.
The muscles attached to these joints are designed to support the function of the joint as well. You have stabilizer muscles, and you have mobility muscles.
A functional exercise based on multi-joint concept is designed to bring stability to those joints that require stability and mobility to those joints that require mobility.
After an injury or to promote performance based on a single joint, a functional exercise must be designed and performed based on the structure of a joint and it may be different depending on the need for stability or mobility.
One way to tell the difference is through the range of motion. Exercises that promote stability are tight, with smaller range of motion. Transversus abdominis and internal obliques in your core, your hip abductors and rotators as well as the muscles attached to your shoulder blade (scapula) are examples of stabilizing muscles in your core, your hips and your shoulder.
By stabilizing your hip, you’ll improve the function of your hip, your knee and your ankle joint. This process focuses the exercise selection into isolation and moves it away from multi-joint concept of functional exercise.
A single exercise may seem non-functional. However, the same exercise within a routine creates better functionality.