James A. Peterson, Ph.D., FACSM, is a freelance writer and consultant in sports medicine. From 1990 until 1995, Dr. Peterson was director of sports medicine with StairMaster. Until that time, he was professor of physical education at the United States Military Academy.
Editor’s note: This important Take Ten column originally published in the September/October 2013 issue of the journal, but bears repeating. Not only did functional fitness rank in this year’s top 20 list of fitness trends (#12), but its practical focus on training and developing muscles to make performing everyday activities easier and safer has mass appeal.