Chest day or push focus? Back day or pull focus? I’ve always found language to be a fascinating thing to pay attention to. In the Pain-Free Performance Specialist Certification we talk about language in the context of empowering clients to work around pain and focus on what they can accomplish and build on instead of telling them what’s “broken” or unavailable in their training. We use screens and assessments to determine what opportunities exist to improve movement quality and capability. We use the movement pattern pyramids to choose appropriate versions of the squat, hinge, lunge, push, pull and carry exercises for each client. We use the 6-phase dynamic warm-up to clean up weak/painful links and facilitate motor learning to help clients train pain-free for life. This coaching philosophy unites thousands of PPSC coaches in unlocking performance and longevity for themselves and their clients.
WHAT ARE MYOFASCIAL LINES?
But what does all of that have to do with myofascial lines? Well, it comes back to language. When I first started working as a personal trainer, we viewed the body as a series of opposing muscle pairs: chest & back, biceps & triceps, quads & hamstrings. Program design was then a recipe of individual ingredients thrown into the pot one at a time. Beginner clients did each machine in the circuit or performed a series of bodyweight and dumbbell/barbell exercises in either total-body or split body programs. I remember accommodating pain/discomfort/imbalance by picking a lighter weight or skipping certain exercises altogether. Some clients ended up with just a lot of stretches. And we carried on that way for quite some time.
Before I go any further, I want to clarify something. There’s nothing wrong with machine or dumbbell exercises. There’s nothing wrong with split body programs. There’s nothing wrong with meeting a client where they’re at and helping them get into the habit of showing up at the gym, gaining some confidence with basic exercises and feeling the benefit of consistent exercise. There’s also nothing wrong with more advanced participants using machines and more muscle-specific exercise techniques. Progress is progress. Strength gained is beneficial. Doing a form of exercise you enjoy is important. So, if you’re currently employing this type of program/service and you feel like it’s working for you, by all means carry on!
AND if you want a deeper understanding of movement, you want more variety in your programming, you’re looking for solutions for people with postural opportunities and the need to workout around pain then let’s get into talking about movement success and viewing the body through the lens of myofascial lines.
MYOFASCIAL LINES (aka anatomy trains, kinetic chains, slings, etc.) are continuous chains of fascia, connective tissue and muscles that link parts of the body, often from head to toe. The history of fascial research is surprisingly short. Andrew Taylor Still MD opened the American School of Osteopathy in 1892. In original papers he specifically described fascia as “a covering, with common origins of layers of the fascial system despite diverse names for individual parts. Fascia assists gliding and fluid flow and is highly innervated. Fascia is intimately involved with respiration and with nourishment of all cells of the body, including those of disease and cancer.” But it wasn’t until 2007 that his papers were presented internationally, and it took until 2012 to address his ideas of fluid flow.
A lot of the research regarding myofascial lines comes from studying cadavers and it’s easy to find images on an internet search of what the lines look like separated from the rest of the body. Why this matters for movement is that a line of connected tissue dissipates or manages load, movement, change of direction, etc. throughout its total length – not just in the area we perceive the work to be happening. Restriction or lack of integration of the line means opportunity for improved movement or, in some cases, pain and dysfunction. Let’s look at some specific examples:
SUPERFICIAL BACK LINE
-Flexor Digitorum Brevis
The superficial back line involves bend & extend patterns like squat, hinge & lunge movements. The example I like to show when teaching this line stems from the standing toe touch. This would be an assessment of overall back line mobility – some people can easily touch their toes and others struggle to do so. People that can’t reach their toes often claim to have “tight hamstrings.” But, as we’re about to find out, that’s not always the case.
Start by standing feet hip-width apart and slowly slide hands down your legs reaching towards your toes. See how far you can get just by gently hanging. Don’t reach or bounce to try to gain more depth. This is your pre-test. Then take a trigger point ball and roll the bottom of your feet – especially the arch and heel. Proceed to foam roll the soleus & calves. Now retest the standing toe touch. Feet hip width apart, slowly sliding hands towards toes. The goal is to see if the range of motion has increased. (For people who can already touch their toes you might now be able to take palms flat to the floor or you might notice a reduction in the stretch sensation even if your hands travel the same distance.) If you notice a significant improvement (which is common enough) what does this mean?
While the perception of the standing toe touch is that it’s a hamstring stretch, applying the soft tissue techniques to the bottom of the foot and the calf actually increased ROM. That’s because restriction or tone anywhere in the line affects the overall mobility/function of the line. (What might blow your mind even more is that performing soft tissue work on the quads might actually increase that forward fold ROM more than performing soft tissue work on the hamstrings! We’ll get to why in a moment.)
SUPERFICIAL FRONTAL LINE
-Extensor Digitorum Longus and Brevis
-Quadriceps (including the Rectus Femoris)
The superficial front line also involves bend & extend patterns but at the bottom of the deadlift when the superficial back line is lengthened, the front line is shortened. In a cobra or up dog yoga stretch the front line would be lengthened while the back line is shortened. Similar to how we used to imagine muscles pairs, the myofascial lines are actually synergistically opposed. That means they work together to manage mobility & stability in all movements and planes of motion.
So, let’s come back to the idea of the quad soft tissue work and how it affects the hamstring. If posture, training habits, etc. result in an overdeveloped quad group then we end up with tone and a lack of synergy between the front and back lines. Foam rolling the quad (with a focus on pillar position) helps downregulate tone (globally) and allows for more range on motion in the toe touch.
The other way we demonstrate the importance of synergy in movement is with the foundational movement pattern pyramids. Notice that supplemental exercises for the squat include glute and hamstring-focused movements for more vertical squats and quadricep-dominant movements for “hingey” variations. The difference between programming leg extension and leg curl machines vs programming a zercher squat and a sissy squat is that in the more functional viewpoint, the superficial front and back lines are in play during both movements but with a different focus, different ground contact points (zercher squat is an active/planted foot whereas sissy squats are predominantly focused on the balls of the feet,) and different requirements of glide through the fascial lines.
SISSY SQUAT VARIATIONS
Thanks to PPSC Coach Shawn Adair AND puppers for the Squat videos!
This one’s my favourite. Call it a soccer goalkeeper bias, but traditional workouts don’t train the lateral line to its potential and yet, for reasons you’ll soon see, it’s holding the key to unlocking performance!
-Peroneus Longus and Brevis
-Anterior Ligament of the Fibular Head
-IT band, TFL, Glute Max
-External and Internal Intercostals
-Splenius Capitis and Sternocleidomastoid
The superficial back line promotes the hinge pattern, but did you notice that glutes are not actually connected to that line? The gluteus maximus – the focus of so much program design, Instagram poses and influencer hype, is actually here on the lateral line! In the PPSC we teach a particular set up for the P4 activation drill – banded glute bridge because it accesses all 4 of the movements the glutes facilitate: hip extension, abduction, external rotation and a posterior pelvic tilt. Let’s break that down a little further. The connective tissues of the lateral line actually start at the first and fifth metatarsals (the tissue on the first metatarsal travels under the foot and then wraps behind the ankle to run up the side of the leg through the peroneals.)
So, starting with the feet in a slightly externally rotated position and cueing up an active foot or tripod stance (big toe, little toe & heel) is the first place we can make a difference as coaches in terms of dialing up tension and stability through the lateral line. Second, the posterior pelvic tilt establishes strong pillar position (but be careful – some people will be in a neutral position with their feet on the floor so DON’T need to add additional posterior tilt. Whereas other clients will still have an arch in their low back with their feet on the floor and so need to be cued into a neutral position by engaging a posterior tilt.
The goal is neutral – use the posterior tilt cue as needed!) Once the pelvis is set in the ideal position, we cue up abduction to help increase glute recruitment and to create better centration at the hip. NOW we can ask for breath, bracing the pillar and the movement into hip extension. There’s a HUGE difference between this execution and the low tension, disconnected, “isolated” hip bridges we see in clinics, gyms, home workout videos and group classes.
BANDED GLUTE BRIDGE
SIDE PLANK VARIATIONS
Incorporating the lateral line in programming should be a huge focus for all pain-free performance coaches. But that doesn’t have to mean fancy, fast or explosive movements. Here’s a few of my favourites: side plank variations, lateral lunges, iso squats with abduction and glute bridge variations with abduction! And since the right line is synergistic to the left line, it can be common to see imbalances between sides. *A bilateral/symmetrical program will not solve asymmetries! This adds to the importance of NOT neglecting the lunge pattern and unilateral work.
BACK FUNCTIONAL LINES
-Latissimus Dorsi (L)
-Thoracolumbar Fascia (crosses the body)
-Gluteus Maximus (R)
-Vastus Lateralis (R)
-Subpatellar Tendon (R)
FRONTAL FUNCTIONAL LINE
-Lower Pectoralis Major (L)
-Lateral Rectus Abdominis (L)
-Abdominal Aponeurosis (crosses the body)
-Adductor Longus (R)
While there are more fascial lines, the last one we’re going to look at in this article is the synergy between the back and front functional lines. We talk about contralateral movement (opposite arm & leg) in several of the foundational movement pattern pyramids but it becomes most obvious in the carry pattern. Outside of the Ministry of Silly Walks, humans actually perform a lot of movements with the rotational bias of contralateral movements. We see it in walking, running, sport, and dance all the time. It’s also what babies progress through as they explore and earn development positions from rolling to crawling to walking.
I had a few experiences in my own rehab and training where dedicated effort to work on one limb/joint (let’s use left shoulder for this example) was frustratingly incomplete. I was cleared as “good enough” to get back on the field but I didn’t have the same confidence and performance as pre-injury. But the nature of competition meant that you taped up and focused on doing your part to get the team a win. It wasn’t until off-season (or even years later as I got into yoga, fascial stretch therapy, kettlebell flow and animal flow) that I realized and worked on imbalances in my ankle/knee/hip on the RIGHT side and suddenly noticed that my LEFT shoulder felt better than it had in years!
I’ve found a lot of success in helping clients achieve pain-free movement and discovering work-arounds for their “non-fixable” issues by incorporating more contralateral movements into their programs AND these types of movements lend themselves really well to improvements in the set up, co-contract, breathe, brace and move style of coaching that we teach at the PPSC. When we link the whole body into a movement, the added focus and challenge of maintaining total body irradiation means that there’s more to progress over time that just intensity and volume!
CONTRALATERAL EXERCISES (Dead Bug & Quadruped Variations)
TRAINING UP THE MYOFASCIAL LINES (KETTLEBELL AND LANDMINE)
But Logan, based on what we’ve learned at the PPSC, doesn’t every movement train core? Isn’t that the point of pillar stability and the bracing techniques?
High five – you’re right! BUT at the same time, we talk about the Carry pattern and incorporating developmental positions into our training programs. For a lot of people, we’re going to see Core Stability deficits when we put them through the Train Smarter Strategy Session. That means we need to have strategies and exercises to bring up weak areas or patterns for our clients to ensure that they move better, train successfully and can work on getting stronger over time. I use the following exercises for new clients with big deficits, sure. But I also use them in my own warmups and workouts and with clients who have trained with me for a long time and are long past any corrective or foundational phases.
Remember what John says – the lowest exercises on the pyramid can always be programmed. When you load them correctly, they can be punishing! The same goes for how we progress our 6-phase dynamic warmups and for how we periodize our programming long-term including stability/foundation and de-load phases. Not every client (myself included) is chasing a 500lb anything. Taking these mostly bodyweight exercises and changing their training effect via variables like ROM, speed, complexity and volume can be just as beneficial as manipulating load!
There are LOTS of ways to train core in these lines but I’ve pulled together a few of my favourites – some may be familiar to you and, if I’m lucky, some might be brand new! I’m also showing some mobility drills which I would use a P3 progressions for clients who need to work on mobilizing in certain lines. The linchpin P3 drills taught in PPSC are still my go-to but some clients need/want more mobility and/or variety!
CORE & SUPERFICIAL BACK LINE MOBILITY DRILL – CRUNCH 2 EXTEND
Start supine with knees bent and feet flat, bringing hands beside your ears *light touch – avoid pulling the head into flexion
Curl up (leaving low back on the ground) and then bring knees to elbows – your goal will be to keep 1 side in contact here throughout the drill!
With feet dorsiflexed, drop one heel towards the ground and then extend the leg (hovering, not resting on the ground)
Keep your knee straight and pull your leg/toes towards your face – stop just before your knee bends *really work to keep your crunch tight – this is active mobility for the whole back line!
ALTERNATE LEGS – slow tempo is the way to go; I’m a fan of a block of time rather than reps. Make the focus QUALITY reps in the given amount of time. *that also means quality breathing. I usually cue inhale on the heel drop and exhale on the leg flexion since maximizing the spinal flexion links to the exhale.
SUPERFICIAL BACK LINE CORE: BRIDGE PROGRESSIONS (HAMSTRING BONUS)
There’s over 5 minutes of 3-5 reps of exercises in this compilation video. Here’s a couple things to think about:
The glutes are not part of the superficial back line. But of course, they are important in hip extension. 2-foot bridge exercises are the place to start, especially with clients who have a hard time finding pillar stability (ex. low back arch, rib flare, failure to achieve full extension, mild back pain with doctor’s approval to exercise)
GROUND BASED EXERCISES are going to allow for more proprioceptive feedback in the supine position, making it easier for clients to feel the position of their pelvis and spinal alignment. Take the time to make sure they are set up, braced and breathing properly before having them lift their hips. It’s tough to improve movement when dysfunctional strategies/muscle imbalances are already engaged!
TOP-DOWN EXERCISES (like a bodyweight hip thrust on a box) have an awesome isometric opportunity. Getting your client set up in full extension and asking for a timed hold is a great way to progress from floor-based options. Again, adding movement before clients have proper awareness of pillar stability and the desired movement (ex. hip hinge, not spine rounding/arching) means we are either accepting less than optimal form and we’re going to load them prematurely, increase the risk for injury and/or create frustrating plateaus.
OFFSET VARIATIONS – none in the video unfortunately – are a great way to start to move towards unilateral loading. The kickstand or 1.5 stance options create a “working leg” but maintain the ground contact which helps clients manage rotation.
SINGLE LEG VARIATIONS now incorporate the functional lines (and the spiral line… haven’t covered that one yet. Note: ask for it in the comments if you want more of this stuff!) As Rotation King David Otey revealed in his Master Class lecture, implementing rotation starts with anti-rotation & anti-flexion drills (after dynamic mobility!) Performing bodyweight single leg bridge variations is a kick ass way to increase the challenge, add integration and see carryover into regular life and athletic movement. And if you coach clients to good stability and irradiation, they will feel their glutes in new, exciting and fiery ways!
BRIDGE EXERCISE DEMANDS BREAKDOWN – the video is mostly grouped via type of equipment so it’s not a straight progression flow like the awesome PPSC programming pyramids
Should actually show a low ROM 2-foot hip bridge
Next up would be the full ROM 2-foot hip bridge
1st exercise in video is full ROM single leg hip bridge (added contralateral arm pattern)
BANDED GLUTE BRIDGE – technically a progression but also a great way to feed abduction for clients who need the physical cue so could be used as the first bridge exercise
BLOCK HIP BRIDGES – adds adduction. Tight adductors are still weak. I like this variation both for people who demo adduction in the squat and bridge screen AND for clients with a really weak core. Cueing up adduction connects to intrinsic core activation via the…? Functional Front line! Great choice on a lunge-focused day.
HIP BRIDGE MARCH would be a great option after an offset hip bridge or for clients who can manage rotation successfully. This incorporates an iso-hold with alternating single leg focus. Harder than it looks – this is your opportunity as a coach to make sure that anti-rotation is rock solid before progressing to loaded hinges.
HIP BRIDGES VS. GLUTE BRIDGES – up here in Canada I teach that hip bridges are ground-based and glute bridges are elevated. You don’t have to be like me, just wanted you to know where I’m coming from. Complaints can be addressed to my ex-pro boxer assistant instructor and PPSC event bodyguard @luishuete on IG. Cheers! *The added demand of “glute bridges” is that we’ve removed the proprioception from the mid-low back and glutes. Clients will have to know where neutral is in order to generate pillar stability and keep it through the hinge movement. Most common error is the pelvis heading for the floor and the ribs staying elevated (aka, rib flare = low back arch)
You could add an offset glute bridge (I’ve also seen it called “B Stance”) between the 2-foot and 1-foot variations.
Adding a plate, DB, sandbag, etc. is a great way to add load without going straight to the barbell. While YOU might think that no barbell = no bueno, your clients may not feel the same way. The barbell hip thrust is a good exercise but it can be timely to set up and cumbersome to get into. Especially for clients with mobility issues (older adults, return to fitness clients, etc.) Put yourself in their shoes, load them progressively but do it in a way that is comfortable and that builds their confidence!
HEELS ON BOX – increased hamstring demand because you’re isometrically “pulling” the box towards your butt as your lift the hips *not appropriate for something working to overcome synergistic dominance (aka hamstring cramp) in a bridge BUT a great exercise to strengthen weak hamstrings once they can do it successfully!
STABILITY BALL VARIATIONS – increased hamstring demand (isometric “pull”) and obviously increased stability demand. The ball will reveal if you put more weight in one foot vs the other. I love programming these for less-traditional clients (people that get bored or are scared of the iron) AND as primers for big lifts or that sweet end of workout burnout set.
The straight-leg hip press variation is great because it focuses on hip extension – not the hamstring curl. Call it a curl regression. I use it a lot for newbie clients, especially older female clients who need to work on years of sedentary posture/core strength deficits. The stability ball really makes them focus on control and quality. So, it’s challenging without being heavy/risky. Lots of ground contact and a small ROM.
The glider variations are sneaky tough. Since you’re staying quite low to the ground, watch for clients arching their back. It’s a big challenge to stay in spinal neutral WHILE doing the hamstring curl. For sure a more advanced bodyweight variation!
BOSU PLATFORM TILTS – challenges the client via instability and lots of older clients (and athletes) need foot & ankle exercises. Even though it’s iso-hip extension, you’ll feel the work shift in and out of hamstrings and you flex and point.
Now we look at adding complexity with total body integration. Some clients get sick of “those boring floor exercises” when they are focusing on single movements and yet their movement quality or pain-free training options are still limited. This is what I call “hiding the spinach in the chocolate cake” – I need them to build up some foundational capabilities but they need to enjoy their workouts and “get sweaty” or else they’ll quit me because it felt too much like rehab. And while these may look simple, especially with lighter loads, this is actually myofascial fitness! Incorporating different lines, different movements, maintaining the standards of each movement in concert – heck yes!
TRX HAMSTRING ROCK VARIATIONS – if you’ve completed a suspension training certification, you’ll know that the exercise is easier or harder based on the pendulum principle. If you start past the anchor point (closer to the wall than where the TRX hangs down) it’s pretty easy because gravity moves you down towards the anchor point and you can use a bit of momentum to make it up the other side. But if you start further away from the wall that the anchor point, you now have to “pull uphill” the whole way. If you really came to play, feel free to add a row at either the knee extension or knee flexion part of the rock OR go single leg like HERE!
SUPERFICIAL FRONT LINE MOBILITY DRILL – COBRA
*Shown here is the assessment.
0-6 inches is a low score
6-12 is moderate
12+ is exceptional (assess for hypermobility!)
For clients who score low to moderate, the assessment is the exercise. It can be regressed by putting the hands on the floor beside the ribs to slightly assist with the lift. It can be done for reps.
SUPERFICIAL FRONT LINE ADVANCED MOBILITY DRILL – FASCIAL BURPEE
This is done for 3-8 reps at a time. It’s NOT cardio. It’s NOT for weight loss/HIIT/burning calories. Movement quality is KEY. Getting tired means loss of the myofascial “bounce” we’re looking for. Example: I use it in the P6 superset for advanced clients before a heavy front squat KPI or OH squats, clean & jerks, snatches, overhead carries, etc.
SUPERFICIAL FRONT LINE CORE: PLANK PROGRESSIONS
PLANK EXERCISE DEMANDS BREAKDOWN
RKC PLANK – as we teach in the intro for PPSC, this hardstyle plank teaches total body irradiation. If you’ve taken a Canadian PPSC (or I snuck into one of a few US based courses) we take things up a notch by trying to extend the sternum away from the belly button WITHOUT dropping the ribs out of the pillar. As on the happy skeleton pictured above – imagine the lever length from the front of the pelvis all the way up to the sternal manubrium. Increasing the length of that space really dials up the challenge in the plank when you fight to maintain a neutral spine.
PLANK TAPS (the Davies test) is a shoulder stability assessment (if you want it to be.) The original test is hands 36” apart (but I’ll scale this a bit for clients under 5’5”) and you allow the client 3 tries of 15 seconds. If you take the testing parameters out of it and slow things down, it’s a great P3 drill for clients who need to work on core & shoulder stability. *You can also have them perform this on an incline using a bench or box. Watch for the feet or legs getting floppy/knees bending! Cue up those tight quads to keep the front line integrated.
Hello triceps (my fave!) I watch most people perform this with a lot of torso rotation. Imagine your whole back is a tabletop and the drinks are really full. Don’t spill anything! This increases core stability, irradiation (especially when you centrate the shoulder properly by screwing the hands into the ground and engaging the pecs & lats) AND your triceps will get much more work!
Arm extensions & box climbs could be called quadruped progression/bird dog variations too. Similar to the hi-lo plank, there’s an anti-rotational demand (so that means the functional & spiral lines are in play!)
PLANK TO PIKE (and inchworm/pushup combos) are some of my go-to drills for shoulder stability on pressing days. The down dog position (pike for you non-yoga types) is a loaded overhead position but because it’s closed chain (hands on the ground) you can stop at any point in the ROM. Since we endorse PAIN-FREE training, for some clients that means only a few inches of movement into that pike at first. You can also perform this on a box/bench so that more bodyweight is in the feet instead of the hands/arms/shoulders. This one also shows up in my upper body ESD and/or active recovery days. Adding the knee/shin/ankle taps is rotation via dynamic mobility (so requires a prerequisite stability!) and can be a nice spiral decompression.
PLANK ROTATIONS – an easier place to incorporate the rotation vs the pike position (especially for people with limited hamstring ROM.) I like cueing this one to be mostly thoracic rotation so if your right arm is reaching up towards the ceiling, thing about squeezing the right glute and trying to keep the front of the right hip pointing down towards the floor. For lots of people this will mean that their arm doesn’t make it anywhere near the ceiling. That’s ok.
LANDMINE PLANK PRESS – a cheeky way to program for clients who want to press but who need more core work ;b But, in all seriousness, a killer P4 for a press day. Take a wider stance with your feet for sure.
LANDMINE CABLE PRESS – similar to the landmine drill but harder. You can cheat a bit and push down into the barbell to stabilize in the landmine version. Nowhere to cheat with the cable! I do this one with a light weight (obvs?) and an open hand since it’s more about core and shoulder stability than grip strength & irradiation through the forearm. I find this also helps with less trap engagement.
Foot drivers like plank jacks, toe taps, etc are just more variety. Once clients have a baseline stability, drivers make iso-holds more interesting/bearable. These are GREAT ways to challenge more advanced group participants while still being able to show the holds for your beginners.
PENDULUM PLANK – adds in a little bit of lateral line mobility
Stability Ball (or TRX or Glider) Crunches & Pikes – I’ll be honest, I haven’t programmed a floor crunch in a long time (besides just doing random stretches and ab stuff when I’m watching TV.) And I’m not a fan of the hip flexor dominance and pulling on heads/necks that I see a lot of at the gym. However, I dig and do these plank-based flexion movements a fair bit. Bonus shoulder stability, less spinal flexion but still a ton of demand on the abs? Yes please!
ADD ROLLOUTS HERE – I love/hate them. They hurt every damn time. That’s probably why I don’t have a video of them – my face would be inappropriate and/or anyone who could lip read might get offended! Lol. But seriously, rollouts are great – IF YOU MAINTAIN THE PLANK! Don’t hero a standing to full rollout with an Instagram-worthy booty popping up!
PLANK SIDE DROPS – capitalized to show my mad love. These feel AMAZING (or you are suddenly informed of your complete and total lack of lateral and spiral mobility. Depends.) But either way, you owe it to yourself (and your clients) to try them out. Keep your hands flat and active, arms straight and only go down/over as far as you can maintain your stability, breathing and level of comfort. If you’ve never done them before, ease in. You’ve been warned. And encouraged
Just kidding… here’s the rollouts. Well, some regressions anyway. See better humans rocking them out here. #goalz
RAQS – who says core has to be all static and slow? Plank show up everywhere!! For clients who can do them well, throw them some fun sometimes! (Works well in group programming.)
Hope that gets some programming juices flowing!
Know how to do it yourself before your program it. You should know how to set it up, what it feels like, where the likely “leaks” are AND how to regress and progress it before you show it to a client. Walk the walk. Do the work. Master the craft.
You still have to squat, hinge, lunge, push, pull & carry at least 2x per week. Often the movement in this article will be P3, P4, carry regression or emotion choices. As with the “complexity” options, you can work developmental positions or core standards into some of your other exercises. This is ESPECIALLY important for people who don’t like weights as much. I know, it’s a bummer. But they are out there. And they need our help. Zumba is great, but it’s not training. Learning how to put your own preference for the iron aside and show up FOR YOUR CLIENT is pretty important.
You can earn the right to show them barbell things by starting first with smart/safe training inside of fun and non-scary exercise options. My mom has been working with personal trainers for about 6 years now. But she only started doing barbell RDLs and elevated deadlifts 2 years ago. It’s pretty freaking awesome that my 66-year-old mother does barbell lifts (and kettlebell stuff and TRX burpees) but her kind, patient and client-centric trainers who worked with her from day 1 knew better than to throw that at her at the beginning.
Lighten up sometimes – training should be fun! You either “have to” or you “GET TO” do it for the rest of your life!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Logan Dube is an Instructor for the PPSC and Functional Training Specialist based in Canada. Dube is currently working as Director of Fitness Education for Fitness World Canada as well as serving as Director of the BC Personal Training Institute which has certified over 1500 personal trainers since 2013. With over 20 years of experience as a coach and trainer, Logan retired from a varsity & pro soccer career and has since worked through all levels of the fitness industry from training young athletes all the way up to advanced aged clients, and has worked through a wide range of business formats from running a studio business all the way up to multi-unit leadership for a large commercial gym chain. In addition to PPSC, Logan is also a master instructor for TRX, RIP trainer, Trigger Point and Hyperice and curated 15+ CEC-approved courses via internal education for SNFC.
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