Are all exercises equal? Perhaps certain moves are simply awesome while others can do more harm than good, best cast aside into the exercise wheelie bin never to reappear? Why are some moves considered trusted classics that stand the test of time whilst others are nothing more than a fad?
This sort of knowledge and personal opinion is not only part of how we teach our students on their PT course, it’s also the stuff great personal trainers are made of. Why? Simply because they don’t just learn and apply exercise science to their clients’ training. They form opinions on it, keep abreast of industry advancements and know not to treat every move the same without considering the individual, its relative plus points and potential bad points and client fit.
As a team we love to get together with our students for a good old fashioned debate. So on one of our recent personal trainer course practical workshops in Kilburn, London we couldn’t resist putting our students to the test in a skills based discussion on the very best and very worst exercises they’ve encountered.
Here’s our top exercise in each category.
The Great – Supine Lateral Ball Roll
This may look easy but when you consider it hits every single muscle group, clients are always impressed and surprised at the demands of this exercise and in our view its exercise platinum.
For more insight check out 3 Classic Swiss Ball Moves that Matter
The Good – Lunge Push Press Combination
We all agreed that the lunge time after time was a good exercise. But when you combine it with the push press you take it to another level by introducing the benefits of more complex movement.
The Bad – Floor Sit Ups
This uses only a partial range of movement of the rectus abdominis and is a disaster when your client is looking to effectively tone their six-pack, whilst also putting undue pressure on the neck and spine. As wannabe leading personal trainers try to move away from the concept that you condition a clients abs from lying on their back!
The Ugly – Don’t be a Planker
This widely used so called exercise has zero carry over to the functional health and well-being of the abdominal wall. We challenge you to identify a position in life where you are required to statically hold (isometric) the body in a horizontal plane – it just doesn’t happen!
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