7.5 Essential Moves You Need To Incorporate Into A Client’s Training Program
As a human being, there are certain basic movements that a person has to perform multiple times a day as part of daily living. For example, when you sit down or get up from a chair, you’re performing a squat. When you pick something up off the floor, you hinge at the hip. When you walk up a set of stairs, you’re lunging.
In all there are basically 7.5 essential moves that we call upon each day. Age, fitness, and even body type determine the degree to which a person can perform them. But teaching clients to execute proper technique with the list below is essential in establishing a foundation of movement that you can both build on.
Doing so will not only help your client, it will help you. As the personal training industry becomes more crowded – and competitive – trainers who are able to give their athletes/clients a complete fitness solution and at the same time keep it simple, will have a competitive edge and will clearly stand out from the rest.
So what are the 7.5 things your clients need to do?
We all need to sit down and stand up throughout our day, so squatting is a must. The bodyweight squat is a foundational movement pattern. You can progress or regress through altering the range of motion (ROM) and/or resistance/support.
Do your clients use the stairs? If you said ‘yes’ then lunges are a vital movement pattern. Like squats, lunges can be progressed or regressed through altering the ROM and/or resistance/support.
When someone bends over to lift something off the ground, they’re hinging at the hip. Your clients do it daily. Whether picking up a golf ball, a dropped pen or a suitcase, it all requires a hip-hinge. This makes a deadlift movement not only an excellent exercise to strengthen the posterior chain, but also one of the most functional of daily movements. Again, the ROM and resistance can easily be adjusted, along with variations of deadlift options.
What are you doing when you put your carry-on in an overhead bin? How do you get off the ground from your stomach (or even an arm chair)? These daily functions require you to do a push-up, a dip or a military press. The push is one of the most commonly used and under-executed movements in today’s gyms. This movement can be progressed or regressed through altering the ROM and/or resistance/support.
How many car/building doors PULL open? Have you ever had to pull yourself up onto something or climb/hang or play tug-of-war as a kid? As you can see, pulling pertains to the ability of the upper body to pull in all directions. Like the previous moves, this one can be progressed or regressed through altering the ROM and/or resistance/support.
The ability to walk is such a fundamental part of daily life that it should be a priority –specifically one aimed at beginners but incorporated into any program. You may create a training program that actually incorporates walking, or you can include exercises that help enable a healthy gait.
What are you doing when steering a shopping cart, countering an external force in the form of an accidental push or a nudge, or performing single-arm or single-leg resistance training? You’re eliminating movement through the torso while the shoulders and hips move. In conjunction with this is the ability to stabilize the spine in response to external forces being applied.
How often do you reach for something, play catch, box, or do windmills with a client? This is very similar to anti-rotation, but in this case, the torso produces movement instead of resisting it.
All humans are meant to move in these specific patterns. The degree to which your clients can execute these movements will vary, as will the intensity of the corresponding exercises you put them through to increase their abilities. But as you continue working with your clients, their abilities will indeed grow, impacting their day-to-day lives for the better. (Remember, the majority of your clients are more concerned with being better outside the gym than inside it.) And when your clients achieve their goals, you can be sure they’ll appreciate the role you played in helping them get there. They’ll not only be more likely to continue training with you, but to recommend you to their friends as well.