Keep It Simple

John DuranteUncategorized0 Comments

The more you know, the more you tend to over complicate things. It is a mistake to think that everyone we encounter in the personal training or strength and conditioning world has a broad skill set. This is why we have to create a good foundation of knowledge in all of our clients. It is up to us to develop their skill set and then progress to more difficult/advanced mechanics. We want to teach all of our clients how to hinge, lunge, carry, push, pull and squat. An individual’s abilities will vary depending on who walks through the door and their prior experiences with lifting and/or sport. However, making sure that we have a base from which to draw from not only increases your shelf-life as a trainer, but makes things easier for you in the long run.

This is the premise behind our youth camps and new clients. For example, early specialization in sports ingrains certain movement patterns into a young athlete. We want to expose them to a broad variety of basic movements and then add progressions as we see fit. The broader the foundation we can build with clients and athletes, the more efficient they will become later in their careers.

For instance, if you want to teach someone to do a overhead lunge, they need to be able to do several mechanics to get the job done: shoulder flexion, thoracic extension and good scapular upward rotation; proficient hip flexion and a strong anterior core to keep upright.

You cannot put someone into an over head lunge unless that have a proven proficiency with the regressed models of this exercise. You need to create a base for your clients to draw from…

Keeping your lower back neutral when going overhead is very important. We hammer home dead bug progressions from the beginning to teach “neutral” lumbar positioning. From there we are able to call on our dead bugs for context and use cues such as : “brace your core. Remember your dead bugs”. We can use this cue when squatting and over head pressing as well….When the client is able to recall their bracing cue over and over again, we can instantly improve someone’s movement patterns with minimal instruction…


We all know that it is important to progress. Doing it properly on the other hand is often done incorrectly or not done with the prerequisite movements patterns mastered first. It is the job of the coach or trainer to develop the client’s kinesthetics…in other words, the client has to be able to feel or know what good positioning is. Once that base is covered, it is plug and play for you as the trainer.

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