Functional fitness is something of a magical word nowadays. Everyone from Crossfit fanatics to late night infomercials preach how their system promotes functional fitness. Quite frankly it kinda makes me angry.
In my opinion the best methods of exercise can often be attributed to "natural" methods. By natural I don't necessarily mean that you've avoided sucking down testubes of growth hormone or transfusing your blood. What I do mean is that the best form of functional fitness available to all of us is basic calesthetics and body weight exercises. For the most part you don't even need any equipment, just yourself. Don't believe me? Look at Herschel Walker, yep, the running back and Strikeforce vet. He's a freak athlete and has stayed in top shape at almost fifty years old by doing all bodyweight exercises. Other fitness gurus like Jack Lalane preached about functional fitness for years. Now some of you may think, what the hell does this have to do with grappling? Good question - my point is that no amount of exercise will get you better at your grappling style of choice, but it could easily give you the edge in training or competition. And the best means of doing so may very well be by using your own body weight.
Gymnasts are some of the strongest and most well conditioned athletes on the planet. Why, because they have mastered the art of manipulating their own body weight, in a wide variety of ways, on several different planes. Gymnasts not only have an enormous amount of functional strength, but they also workout in a manner that is sport specific. Why do you think The Great Gama was so successful in competition - because he did 5000 bethaks and 3000 dands a day, and then wrestled for a hours afterward.
So despite your movement or exercise of choice, get in touch with your natural side and create a routine of your own or follow the methods that others have thought of which include Tacfit, Primal Move, and Gymnastica Natural. Take a look at this video brought to us by My Mad Methods and Aaron Cruz. It's a functional workout that will not only improve your overall strength, flexibility and fitness, but they also have a direct application to your grappling game.