Originally Posted by Jason C. Brown
We can get anal and over analyze our training. Functional simply means training with a purpose and we can justify that how ever we want. The purpose of the walking swing is metcon and it serves that purpose well.
I agree that people are too anal over what is vs. isn't functional (myself included sometimes) but I think your definition of functional is a little to general. However, after reviewing the definiton of functional movement via the CrossFit Foundations article:
There are movements that mimic motor recruitment patterns that are found in everyday life. Others are somewhat unique to the gym. Squatting is standing from a seated position; deadlifting is picking any object off the ground.They are both functional movements. Leg extension and leg curl both have no equivalent in nature and are in turn nonfunctional movements. The bulk of isolation movements are non-functional movements. By contrast the compound or multi-joint movements are functional. Natural movement typically involves the movement of multiple joints for every activity.
I can see a wealth of exercises that could rightly be considered functional, because they mimic motor recruitment patterns (core to extremity) that are found in everyday life, walking swings included. I think that's the point I was missing before, that functional is more about order of motor recruitment, not about specific exercises.