Something we as personal trainers sometimes forget is coaching the thought process. When working face to face we usually have the liberty to just change things on the go if we don’t like what we are seeing.

Now that we are coaching at a distance (facetime, zoom, messenger etc) we are reminded that people sometimes need to know what they should be trying to think and feel during a set. Here is the most important coaching point of all:

In proper exercise you aren’t so much trying to complete movements from start point to finish point and back again. The goal of a push-up (during exercise) isn’t to push up off the floor and back again. What should hold your primary attention is feeling the muscles you are supposed to be using. You need to isolate in your mind how those muscles feel – squeezing and contracting followed by stretching and resisting the weight.

You need to learn to control your muscles, flexing them and squeezing them very hard. In the push-up example you need to feel your chest working not just your arms and shoulders. If you don’t do this you are just using your whole body, some momentum and whatever works to create the movement pattern. Your muscles only know tension and tiredness they don’t care what type of movement you choose.

Doing this is not natural because at first it makes the discomfort of exercise seem more acute. In time though you will find it finds it helps you build confidence with being physical and athletic. Focus on feeling your specific muscles working and make your reps harder NOT easier. Remember you are trying to get stronger not just get the reps done!

See our free easy to follow home workout on our home page:

Be well, be strong

Andrew and Tierney

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