you first started your fitness journey what exercises did you struggle
to do properly? There was once a time where you were expected to
struggle until you got it. If you couldn’t do a full pushup properly you
just had to keep practicing regardless of how it looked or felt, but
that’s not the case anymore, or at least it shouldn’t be.
you can adapt exercises to your heart’s content. If you can’t do a full
pushup, you can modify according to your needs. From wall pushups to
modified pushups on the knees, there are so many cool variations you can
use to achieve the same effect. If the pushup isn’t working, you can
swap it out for another exercise that works the chest all together.
all the research, innovations, and advances in exercise science, there
are no excuses for performing techniques you just can’t do anymore. Even
if you can’t modify the technique, you can specifically pick areas of
the body that need to be strengthened to prepare you to perform the
technique. That’s why it’s important to master the art of selection and
progression. You’ll understand what exercises are necessary, when to
prescribe them, and how to modify techniques.
you begin working with your clients, do you do any forms of
assessments? At this point you probably offer a basic assessment to
determine if they’re ready to train; the assessment should also tell you
what you need to know about their health. Do you follow up and test
their physical readiness? Do you have them perform some basic movements
that you’re accustomed to prescribing to gauge how they perform them? If
you don’t, start doing this with your new clients.
you and your client have gone through a few sessions it’ll be time to
increase the challenge. First, make sure they’re able to move forward
before you progress them to something more difficult. This is part of
mastering the game of exercise progression and selection. Someone who’s
not ready or able to perform a certain technique shouldn’t be doing this
off the bat and if you’re unsure about their physical readiness then
you need to test it to gain a better understanding.
let’s say by your standards they’re ready to move forward, what’s next?
You have to select the right kinds of exercises that will not only
challenge them, but those that they can perform safely. Here’s the real
kicker, the exercises and the program must also align with what they’re
trying to accomplish. You’d never give an older adult whose focus is
mobility a program that requires them to lose weight. You, the qualified
professional, should know exactly what needs to be done for that
person, but it can be tricky when you need to select challenging, fresh,
and safe exercises for your clients.
concept of progression and selection can seem daunting, but it’s easier
than you think. The next time you’re about to step up their proverbial
game, try taking a familiar technique and pairing it with another
exercise. You can also make it more challenging by increasing the
difficulty instead of the weight.
Here are some ways you can challenge your biceps using bicep curls:
- Perform bicep curls while performing a wall sit
- Perform a bicep curl then an overhead press
- Perform a few bicep curls then hold the position for X seconds
- Perform bicep curls on one leg
- Perform bicep curls on one leg with both eyes closed
- Perform a bicep curl at the same time you perform a forward lunge
possibilities are endless and these variations don’t require more
weight or reps. Think of your favorite exercises you usually prescribe
and brainstorm cool new ways you can begin mixing them with other
techniques. Think of interesting new ways to make those old moves more
challenging. Let me emphasize a point I just made, you don’t have to up
the weights to increase the challenge. Sometimes just changing the
position is enough to do it.
If you want more examples of exercises and how to properly progress a client then check out our signature course the NPI-Certified Resistance Training Professional™ program. Not only is it chuck full of ways of adapting your exercises
to ensure they’re safe for the client, but it also gives you a list of
progressions for each major muscle group and more.
You can check out the NPI-Certified Resistance Training Professional™ program here >>