A functional exercise is one that incorporates natural body motions and involves multiple challenges simultaneously (ie balance and strength, coordination and speed, etc). The unilateral shoulder press is an example of a functional exercise due to the fact that a natural sway motion is employed with the hips. This motion is beneficial for a variety of reasons. It teaches your body to work in a coordinated fashion and encourages proper muscle firing sequences. Also, it greatly decreases strain on the shoulder. In fact, I will often show this exercise to my patients who have previously suffered a shoulder injury and want an alternative to the standard push press. The goal of this exercise is to serve primarily as a Deltiod strengthening exercise.