Test, Correct, and THEN Train!
By Andrew Henderson, Owner of Fitness Together
A personal trainer since 1997, I have witnessed many fitness trends come and go, including super-slow training, boot camps, High Intensity Interval Training, cross-training gyms, and even hanging upside from drapes suspended from the ceiling. And yes, there’s some benefit to each of these fitness options… for the right person.
What I love about personal training is how we can recommend the best type of exercises for each client’s current fitness and mobility level. But first we need to assess the client and their ability to move properly.
To receive the greatest benefit from your exercises, you should focus first on the areas of your body that are most likely to cause future problems. That may be weak core muscles, inflexible muscles, and poor posture from too much time on computers, smartphones, behind steering wheels, or poorly rehabilitated injuries that still plague you. And almost all of us sit way too much.
Typical gym assessments often include the standard weight, blood pressure, and body fat percentage. But fitness professionals are realizing the benefit of seeing how well people move. Programs like Functional Movement Screening© (FMS) help trainers identify flaws in how clients and athletes move and prescribe the appropriate stretches and exercises to help make improvements. Equally important is it lets trainers and clients know which exercises to avoid.
The goal of exercise should be to feel better. Knowing what to do and what not to do is the logical first step in a new or existing exercise program. Successful trainers will take time to do baseline measurements with you, as well as determine how well your body moves. They will show you exercises and stretches you can do at home to help improve your in between days at the gym. They will reassess so you can track your progress over time and make adjustments to your program as needed.
If working with a professional trainer sounds appealing but beyond your budget, training is likely less than the cost of a few meals at a nice restaurant. You will discover what exercises are best for your particular body, eliminating the pain and frustration from injuries and poor results caused by choosing the wrong exercises. Train smart and be kind!