Just like any building, your body is a structure. It has lots of beams, levers, pulleys, and other things that make it work and move around in space. Physics is the study of matter if we break down human movement, it is based on principles of physics. By understanding this side of things, we can affect how our bodies deal with exercise, resistance, force and therefore its improvement.
I’m an advocate that trainers should always be trying to learn. And this doesn’t mean just reading blogs and articles over and over again. Even journal studies only go so far. I’m talking about books. Really thick ones. Not ones with lots of pictures (unless it is an anatomy book). My personal library is pretty big but it doesn’t even come close to some of the higher-level people in my industry. As professionals we should all always try to improve our craft. One of the problems in my industry is that there are too many people in it who think they know everything just from reading some articles and taking a weekend course or two.
Many times trainers neglect to even think about minor things when it comes to how they apply force to a person. Things like jumping, moving weights farther away from an axis of motion, and even speeding up a movement can have a real effect on the joints involved in the process. The list goes on: inertia, momentum, kinetic energy, velocity, acceleration and torque. By being aware of these things as trainers, I believe that we can give people a reduced risk of injury both while doing the exercise and in the future, and also a much more responsible exercise experience while they are performing whatever they want to perform. We can make people stronger, faster, and more able to deal with the forces that are being applied against us. But first, just like when with a client; we have to start with the basics of movement and how things work.
In the future, this is what I will be discussing in a series of articles designed to not only help regular people, but also other trainers think outside the box a bit when it comes to their program design. For example, some trainers will consider things like tempo, but not have any idea how it affects movement – and this applies both in the concentric and eccentric phases of movement. We can make a very minor change in hand placement or placement of load and affect a whole different spectrum of movement. We can use the laws of nature to our advantage and really make a difference in the physical realm for our clients and each other. I’m still learning as I go myself, but I’m doing this in the hopes that we can all learn something and therefore help more people.
Let’s as exercise professionals always keep a couple of things in mind: The first is to DO NO HARM just like a doctor is supposed to. Be responsible with people because they are fragile beings who have paid a lot of money to be helped, not harmed. The second is to make things appropriate for the client at the level they are at, and the level that they want to achieve. There is no sense turning a grandmother into a powerlifter or a hurdler when she only needs to be able to pick up 50 pounds safely.
So I just hope I can help open some eyes and feel free to comment and follow me if you’re interested. Until then keep learning and growing!