Functional fitness has grown in popularity over the last 10-15 years with the Cross-Fit phenomenon. Functional fitness and training are very effective exercises and have numerous health benefits. This trend has made its way into the outdoor fitness space in the form of larger rig systems. These systems typically feature several bodyweight exercise stations affixed together into a larger unit, with additional exercises and movements that can be performed on the equipment. When looking at this type of equipment, a few things to consider are:

functional fitness equipment

Does the equipment you are looking at provide correct exercise biomechanics? The majority of equipment in this category has poor exercise biomechanics. This means your body is moving or bending in ways it is not designed to move. This can lead to exercise-related injury.

Fitness Ability Required for Users

Like bodyweight equipment, a wide range of exercises on these functional rig systems require a high level of strength and fitness ability to perform most exercises.

Additional Accessories

Some of these functional systems require additional accessories to mimic a Cross-Fit Gym, like battle ropes and medicine balls. While these items provide legitimate exercise value, they cannot be left unattended. This means your outdoor fitness area will need to be supervised or staffed, and these accessories will need to be removed and stored away at the end of each day.

Pros Thumb Icon


  • Large & impressive units
  • Lots of exercise options
  • Multiple users at one time
CONS Thumb Down Icon


  • More advanced exercises
  • Can be intimidating for beginners
  • Many exercises require high level of skill and strength to complete
  • Higher risk of injury