People talk a lot about functional strength, so much that it has turned into a word essentially devoid of meaning. For some, it means “movements that mimic real world activities”. Using that definition, I would argue that movements like butterfly kipping pullups and kipping handstand pushups are about as far as you can get from a functional movement. Teaching the body to move in unison is one thing, but claims of mimicking actual movements are almost ridiculous.
In my opinion, there is no better example of functional strength that the strength it takes to lift the odd objects in Strongman. The difference between these objects and something like a barbell is the fact that a barbell is evenly loaded, and is built to be picked up. A 350lb square stone or slab of concrete is awkward and does not want to be picked up. HOWEVER, this is exactly why I consider it the most functional strength, strength that is most applicable to real world lifting. If I need help with moving (I don’t), I am not going to call the person who can do 20 light wall balls or kipping handstand pushups, I am going to call the person that knows how to pick up heavy-as-hell real world objects. Picking up a Husafell stone comes in quite handy when you need to carry a giant TV by yourself, or your box of the Encyclopedia Britannica Collection.
This is in no way a bash against Crossfit, I simply think the way in which the word “functional” is used needs to be changed.