Adapting Movements to Classes: Part 2
This week we are going into further detail on how to adapt movements from class programming to your individual design. Isn't that the coach's job? Yes it is, but the education we provide will get you the results you want quicker, push your limits further, recover faster from injury, and lead a pain free life. If you didn't read our last newsletter on part 1, go here
In general we try to stick with 30 movements every 12 weeks for group class. This provides a diversity in our primal patterns and every week we can build on. We can adapt these 30 movements into hundreds for your needs. I'm not joking about that number either. There are literally thousands of movements we can do with small variations. The small variations might turn a movement you've struggled to feel, to one you love. I'm not saying you have to love the movement but you should love the feeling after the reps are done.
As with any new or unfamiliar movement, slow is the key. We always discuss how we weren't trained to crawl or walk. We learned it at a young age by just watching what everyone around us was doing. We weren't worried about what clothes we are wearing to the gym, the work drama, or your grocery list. All we focused on was feeling movement, balance, stability, and control.
Whether it's movement or knowledge our brains work the same way. You don't read an entire study guide one day before finals because it's the best way to learn. You spend weeks learning about a topic to understand the concepts and vision. Movement is the same way. Slow is key.
Why do I want to know this?
I think we all have looked at the workout at least once in our lives and said "No I can't do this movement, or that one, so I'll skip the gym today." It usually stems from not understanding how you or the coaches are able to get you through the scheduled workout. If you understand the adaptations you can make, the more likely you will stay consistent with your gym routine. If you are like me, I get cranky when I don't work out for a few days. Then it gets harder to come to the gym once we are out of a routine as we filled that time slot with something else. Bottom line, always show up to the gym.
We can increase the difficulty of the movement too. Though we never hear "it's too easy" some of us like to have a more strength based workout than an endurance based one. We'll adapt the reps, weights, and time frame as needed. We do believe in a solid foundation for movement so an Advanced Movement Session might be best for you.
So let's get started with two movements that we can adapt- the squat and press.
The list of squats is endless, back squat, front squat, overhead, tempo, 1 1/4 squats, bulgarian split squats, Front foot elevated, rear foot elevated, banded, eccentric, jump squats, goblet, kettlebell, single arm dumbbell, box squats, barbell squats, etc. See what I mean. It took me 30 seconds to come up with 16 examples of squats we can use and adapt.
Let's list adaptations for the press- strict press, push press, push jerk, single arm DB press, 90 degree press, eccentric press, Single arm press while holding a DB in the farmer's carry position, alternating DB presses, top to top presses, barbell, kettlebell, Incline, decline, single leg opposite arm presses, etc.
How do I choose what to do?
Trial and error. It's that simple. Try one and ask yourself do I feel more muscles working? Do I feel the muscles your coach asked to use? It this better or worse than what I used to do? Once you find one that makes your body work harder stick with it!
We are hear to help you choose just schedule a 30 minute session with one of us. We can provide lots of feedback and recommendations. Nadine and I prescribe movements ahead of class or on the fly. We can give a suitable version but we can't feel YOUR movement. Sometimes it takes the body 30-40+ reps to build the mind muscle connection. The body may take 3000 repetitions to create a subconscious movement pattern. So sure we can give you some adaptations on the fly, but for it to be the most effective, having one of us give you cues is best.
Our classes are set up to allow the time to build the repetitions of these movements. One way is through tempo and steady state workouts. These are the days you can focus on the feeling. You might notice the tempo work in our REBUiLDs, it's there for this purpose.
It all comes down to being open to new variations of movements. Be humble when you move. There's a time and place to win the workout/race/competition/etc. This should only happen a couple times a month or year depending on what your "test" is. Understand you aren't going to improve or fix anything overnight. As a coach we want you to succeed. We want to pass our knowledge on so you can adapt those movements before class or during a workout as easily as possible. Just as you can feel when your body is getting warm and you need to take a jacket off, we should be able to do the same with adapting movements to make our body move properly.
"There are no bad movements, just more efficient ones."