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Master Real Life Movements with Specificity and Functional Training

Master Real Life Movements with Specificity and Functional Training

What is Specificity in Functional Training?

Adding specificity to your workouts isn't just a trend—it's a proven way to reach your unique fitness goals. The Keiser Functional Trainer makes it easy to copy real-life moves, adjust resistance, and mix up your training. Dive into functional training, and you'll discover a fitter, stronger you that you never thought possible. 

Open the door to the world of real-life movements with the Keiser Functional Trainer! Let's discuss two key concepts: Specificity and Functional Training. Specificity means tailoring exercises to match and improve the motions you encounter daily or in your favorite sport. Functional training involves doing exercises that mirror your daily activities, preparing your body for the everyday function. These ideas go hand in hand. 

If you're interested in enhancing your fitness, improving your quality of life, or excelling in a sport, this article is for you. We're exploring why specificity matters and how the Keiser Functional Trainer can assist you. 

Discover a new level of fitness: Incorporate specificity and functional training

Adding these training styles to your workout routine has numerous benefits. Your everyday life becomes smoother, and you can shine in your chosen sport or activity.

Boost Your Daily Game: By focusing on movements that replicate what you do every day or in your sport, you become better at those activities without straining yourself. Whether you're a parent lifting kids, a golfer perfecting swings, or a first responder handling tough situations, this type of training makes a real difference.

Target Muscles and Joints: Specificity lets you zero in on certain muscles, joints, ligaments, and bones. That means you can make those areas stronger, more flexible, and more stable.

Stay Injury-Free: When your workouts copy real-life moves, your body gets used to those patterns. That makes it less likely you'll hurt yourself during normal activities. This is super important for anyone on a lifelong fitness journey, keeping your movements pain-free and your overall well-being in check.

Boost Speed and Power: Specificity isn't just about picking the right exercises. It's also about matching your body's energy systems and movement metrics, like force and power. Training this way helps you get faster and more powerful.

Avoid Boredom and Mix It Up: While being specific is crucial, don't forget to keep things interesting. Trying different moves prevents boredom and keeps your workouts exciting.

A Glimpse into the past of specificity in training

The idea of specificity in training has a long history. Back in the early 1900s, Russian physiologist Nikolai Bernstein talked about "specific motor abilities." He said training should closely match the movements you want to improve. Dr. Yuri Verkhoshansky, a Soviet sports scientist, later added to thias with the concept of "dynamic correspondence." This idea stressed the importance of making exercises match the biomechanics and coordination of a specific sport or activity. These old-school principles still guide how we train today, not just for athletes, but for anyone looking to boost their fitness.

Building a program for Specificity

Creating a program that nails specificity takes some planning. Here's how to do it:

Set Clear Goals: Know what you want to improve. Whether it's lifting your kids or perfecting a sport, be clear on your objectives.


Pick the Right Moves: Choose exercises that match your goals. If you're a golfer, focus on moves that look like your golf swing.

Track your Progress: Keep an eye on how you're doing. Set goals you can measure, so you know you're heading in the right direction.

Mix it up: While being specific is key, don't do the same moves all the time. Change things up to keep your body on its toes. 

Choose the Right Tools: Picking the right equipment is crucial. The Keiser Functional Trainer is awesome for specific moves, but other gear can work too.

Think Beyond Movements: Consider how fast or powerful you need to be for your goals. Does your goal need endurance, or is it about quick, powerful moves?

Let's see how to put this into action with some sample programs:


Objective: Improve agility, explosive power, hitting power, and vertical jump for volleyball.

Movements to Incorporate: Plyometric exercises, jumping drills, sprinting, agility ladder work, quick directional changes. Rotational movements, pullovers, lat pulldown.

How to Measure Performance: Track improvements in vertical jump height, sprint times, agility test results, and power endurance. 




Warm-up (Dynamic Movement Preparation, Calisthenics, or Light Cardio) 

15-20 min

Sled Sprints 

8x20yds (1 min rest) 

Cable Vertical Jumps 

4x6 (1-2 min rest) 

Front Squats

4x6 (2 min rest) 

Crossover Step-ups 

4x6 each leg (1 min rest) 

Kneeling Cable Chop 

5x6 (1min rest) 

Sample Exercise Videos for Volleyball on the Functional Trainer


Verticle Jump Thumbnail
Vertical Jump
Man preparing to perform a front squat on a Keiser functional trainer
Front Squat
Man performing Cross Over Step Ups  on Keiser Functional Trainer
Crossover Step Ups
Kneeling Cable Chop Thumbnail
Kneeling Cable Chop


Objective: Enhance your golf swing for improved performance on the course.

Movements to Incorporate: Exercises that replicate the golf swing, core strengthening, rotational movements.

How to Measure Performance: Assess improvements in your golf swing mechanics, distance, and accuracy.

Sample Exercise Videos for Golf on the Functional Trainer


Man performing Standing Cable Rotation on Keiser Functional Trainer
Standing Cable Rotation
Woman performing Bent Arm Russian Twist on Keiser Functional Trainer
Bent Arm Russian Twist
Paloff Press
Paloff Press
Man performing side plank with row on Keiser Functional Trainer
Side Plank with Row


Older Adult

Objective: Enhance mobility and reduce the risk of injury for older adults.

Movements to Incorporate: Squats, lunges, balance exercises, and functional movements like bending, lifting, and reaching.

How to Measure Performance: Evaluate improvements in range of motion, balance, and the ability to perform daily activities with ease.



Warm-up (Shoulder and Trunk Mobility, Light Cardio, or Calisthenics) 

15-20 min 

Back Squat 

3x10 (1 min rest)

Arm Bicep Curl to Press

3x10 (1 min rest)

Standing Row

3x10 (1 min rest)

Pallof Press 

3x8 each way (1 min rest)

Balance Work

5-10 min 


Sample Exercise Videos for Older Adults on the Functional Trainer

Man performing back squat on Keiser Functional Trainer
Back Squat
Woman performing bicep curl to press on Keiser functional trainer
Arm Bicep Curl to Press
woman performing Standing Row at Keiser cable machine

Standing Row

woman performing Paloff Press at Keiser cable machine

Level Up with Specificity in Training

Adding specificity to your workouts is a proven way to reach your unique fitness goals. The Keiser Functional Trainer makes it easy to copy real-life moves, adjust resistance, and mix up your training. Get into functional training, and you'll discover a fitter, stronger you that you never thought possible. If you need inspiration and a bunch of exercises, check out the Keiser Infinity Series exercise library. Your body will thank you for it!