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If you think about it, movements involved in your daily activities do not require isolated muscle function. Rather, your day to day movements – getting into a car, lifting your child, running to catch the train – all require an integration of various muscles. Functional training exercises aim to reproduce those demands and develop your muscles, and the relation of your muscles to one another, so that you can perform those activities effectively, efficiently, and without injury. To train function, an exercise must engage the superficial core muscles to help produce force, reduce force, or dynamically stabilize the spine, and they must engage the deep, underlying musculature to provide stability. Functional exercises also activate shoulder stabilizers and neutralizers in the upper body, and the hip, knee and ankle joint stabilizers in the lower body. Meanwhile, functional exercises balance body segments over your base of support and challenge the body to maintain ideal posture. Functional training often incorporates the use of balance boards, Swiss balls, and other tools that create instability because the body responds better to training in an unstable environment.