One Simple Exercise to Help Clear the Active Straight Leg Raise

The pelvic tilt is one of the most basic, low-level exercises you can do in any position.  Simply taking the pelvis through a series of anterior and posterior tilts in multiple positions can add a tremendous value to your warm-ups.  I’ve seen this exercise drastically reduce back pain, open up the hips a little, and teach people how to control their pelvis and lumbar spine.

Pelvic-Tilt

If you’re stuck with some of your clients, check the pelvic tilt and see if they have the ability to control the pelvis as they take it through anterior and posterior tilts.  They should be able to naturally tilt their pelvis forward and back without much effort.  If there isn’t hardly any movement, this is no good.  Also, if they CAN do it, we want to observe the effort level.  We’ll see a lot of people that can take the hips through both forward and backward tilting.  However, when they go through the posterior tilt portion, they’ll do a little “shake and bake.”  The hips/lumbar spine may shake a little and you’ll notice that it’s a little challenging for them to control the movement…so the movement is there…it’s just hard to control.

 

Simply adding these into warm-ups, rehearsing during active recovery time, and sneaking them in periodically can have tremendous value.  Try them in prone, supine, quadruped, kneeling, sitting, and standing.  In each one of those positions, we’re looking for the ability to maintain proper breathing and the ability to do a series of pelvic tilts under control.  If you’re not able to maintain a normal breathing pattern and have the ability to control your pelvis, lumbar spine, and rib cage (pelvic tilting), than you’re not going to progress to the highest levels in that position.  You’re body may be able to do training in that position, but if breathing and low level posture is difficult or altered, you’re simply surviving the exercise and not truly adapting.

 

Start checking this with your clients and you’ll be surprised at how many people have issues with this.  If you can retrain their brains and give them the awareness to control the pelvic tilt, they’re going to see the benefits.  Give it a shot!

 

SUPINE PELVIC TILT

PRONE PELVIC TILT

QUADRUPED PELVIC TILTS

Breathing Like A Baby.

Have you ever watched a baby breathe?

 

They are “Buddha belly breathers”. You will see their bellies go up and down, up and down, as they use their diaphragm to fill their little lungs all the way up. And while we may think of the lungs as doing all the work, it is actually the diaphragm that is your primary breathing muscle.

 

Diaphragm

 

The diaphragm is a thin wide sheet of muscle that separates the rib cage from the abdomen. It is dome shaped at rest, but when it contracts it flattens out significantly. When this happens the organs below it have to go somewhere, so they push down and out, which is why good diaphragmatic breathing causes your belly, sides, and back to expand. In conjunction with the pelvic floor (which is why your guts can only go down so far) a stable “core” is created. When the diaphragm and pelvic floor are lined up on top of each other, with the viscera pushing out in all directions, your core is working as it should, and the more power, strength and injury resilience you will possess.

 

But have you ever seen a baby scream? We probably focus on all the noise they are making, but take a look at how they are breathing, just don’t wait too long, or they really get wound up!

 

Do you see what’s happening? No more Buddha belly. Now the muscles of the chest, neck and shoulders are doing all the work. These muscles are activated during times of stress, when we get kicked into “fight or flight” mode. We breathe shallower, faster, with our shoulders up in our ears instead of relaxed. This is not a good place to be. Change that diaper already!

 

Well as you are no doubt aware, babies aren’t the only ones who stress out. So many of the clients who walk through our doors live in a chronic stress state. Work, home, pour nutrition, lack of sleep – they all contribute. Because of this they have forgotten how to breathe correctly, with the diaphragm. Instead they are constantly in “stress breathing” mode, and they are suffering for it. Forward head posture, poor thoracic mobility, and neck and shoulder pain. Many times when you talk to such clients they will tell you that their neck is always “tight”, they know they have a bad habit of carrying their shoulders up high, they go for frequent massage; we hear those stories more and more. Think about it. If you are breathing and/or carrying yourself that way all the time, that means those muscles are in some level of contraction all the time – no wonder they are tired and sore!

beautiful young sportswoman has a pain in her shoulder

More often than not, those same clients will score a “1” on their shoulder mobility screen. When that happens, it’s time to dig in and do your breakouts  to find out why. While there can be a number of reasons, AC impingement among them, often times we find it can be a matter of teaching them to restore good breathing patterns that makes all the difference.

 

Now I suspect some of you may be thinking – “Teach people to breathe, are you crazy? They will never go for it.” And I won’t lie (although I am crazy), there is much education and persistence that will be needed here. It amazes me that we still struggle to get grown men and women to be still and quiet long enough to focus on “low level” things like this. We don’t lay around and do breathing for 10 minute stretches, but a couple minutes of focused work in this area can make all the difference.

 

My favorite way to start retraining “Buddha belly breathing” is with crocodile breathing. In crocodile breathing you lie face down on the floor with your forehead resting on the back of your hands. Inhale through the nose, and focus breathing into your belly. By laying face down you are creating feedback; we say “the floor is the front of the core”, and by giving the belly something to push against, it makes it easier to breathe into IMG_0241the back and sides. Get hands on with your clients here; by putting your hands on their low back and then sides, you can ask them to “breathe into my hands”, which gives a targeted focus. Some will get it right away, those who don’t are usually still not breathing down low. Make sure their shoulders are relaxed and down; even lying down many people are not aware they are in the “stress position”.

 

From crocodile breathing you can work on the same thing in the supine position, and then move to more challenging breathing work, such as 3-month breathing progressions, cat/cow with breathing, and kneeling holds with breathing.

 

Don’t be shy about rescreening Shoulder Mobility. It’s high on the FMS hierarchy for a reason. Oftentimes clearing up SM, particularly if breathing retraining helped, will result in a whole host of other dysfunction being cleared up as well. That’s because posture will improve, the ability to create intra-abdominal pressure and therefore stability can improve as well. All this makes for a better moving, stronger and ultimately happier client. That is what we all want.

 

And it’s all because you breathe like a baby.

 

How cool is that?

 

Dean Carlson

Corrective Exercise: The Antibiotic for Dysfunctional Movement

Have you ever gotten sick and been prescribed an antibiotic to clear up the infection or bug you may have? Of course you have. I don’t think the concept of using an antibiotic is foreign to anyone, so it makes for a great analogy with corrective exercise. If you want to be successful at clearing dysfunctional movement and enhancing performance, getting your clients to do a little homework is almost a necessity. Not many trainers Jared's Camera 495or therapist I know have the luxury of seeing their clients on a daily basis, so to improve results, teaching your clients a couple things to do on their own can go a long way.

 

About a year ago, I came up with a great analogy that has really helped reinforce the importance of doing some minimal work to help clear up general, foundational movement. Like I said previously, in order to enhance our results, we’re going to need our clients doing a little extra reinforcement on their own. When I’m explaining the corrective exercise/s to clients, I’ll usually bring up the antibiotic analogy. Since I’ve started using this analogy, I’ve seen an increase in compliance. I think relating something new (corrective exercise or specific warm-ups) to something their familiar with (taking an antibiotic) helps them understand a little better…and with a better understanding comes an increase in adherence.

 

If you know anything about antibiotics, you should know that when you’re prescribed an antibiotic, you usually have to take it a few times a day for a set number of days, or until your prescription is gone. Even if you start to feel a little better within the first day, you’ll still take the prescription until it’s gone. The consistency of taking your medications helps your body heal. Corrective exercise is no different. Both mobility and motor control issues can take some time to clear up, and honestly it varies from individual to individual, so improving consistency is one of the most important things you can do. Their lifestyle and other non-gym related activities are more than likely a leading culprit to the way they move, so the more you can intervene and put in some reinforcements the better.

 

So, if you’re having any issues with compliance with your clients, I’d suggest using this analogy. The ability to relate this new concept to something they’re familiar with will help enhance your results while making your clients and prospects much happier. Clients and prospects are always happy when they understand things and feel comfortable. If you consistently talk over their head and fail to understand how to relate things to things they’re familiar with, you’re probably going to have issues with compliance. Hope this analogy helps improve your clients’ adherence to your programming and helps you get some serious results. As always, I’d love to hear any questions you guys have in the comments below.

Breaking down the T-Spine

Have you ever struggled with shoulder mobility issues…either with yourself, or with some of your clients? If so, the thoracic spine should be the first place to check. When we see limitations within shoulder mobility, one of the first things we need to do is to screen out the T-Spine. This will give us the information to help guide our programming. I’m going to write a different program and choose different exercises based upon my findings, so this additional information can come in to be extremely valuable when you’re developing a program.

 

When I’m looking at the T-Spine, I want to see a few different motions and see what it can and can’t do. I’m going to check to see how well you can flex your T-Spine and go into a flexion pattern. I’m also going to address extension and see how well the T-Spine tolerates extension patterns. Finally, I’m going to see how well the T-Spine rotates. The combination of flexion, extension, and rotation give you a complete snapshot of what’s going on with the spine. The screens I’m going to show you below will help you breakdown the T-spine and dial in your upper body programming.

 

 

In the videos, I talk about the range of motion you should be able to see within the spine. First things first…we need to find out if we’re dealing with a mobility issue, or a stability issue. If we find limitations, we’re going to address either the mobility or stability problem that’s limiting the spine to move well. Review the videos above to find out more about how to identify if it’s a true mobility issue, or if the limitation is coming from a stability or motor control issue. These findings will help guide your programming. Check out the videos below to see how we address both mobility and stability. These are a few of our favorite exercises and drills to help improve the way the T-spine moves:

 

Mobility:

Foam Roll TSpine

Tennis Ball TSpine

Bench TSpine Ext.

Assisted Lumbar Locked Reachbacks

Stability:

Prone T Spine Ext.

What’s That Back There?

Upper Rolling Prone to Supine

Quadruped Reachbacks

Kneeling Rotations

 

Getting the Most out of Your Medicine Balls

Medicine balls are one of my absolute favorite training tools out there. I use them all the time, and I use them with just about everyone. Since the medicine ball is one of our most popular training tools we use in the gym, understanding a thing or two about them comes in handy…especially if you’re training groups or have minimal equipment to choose from.

 

Size Doesn’t Matter

If you’re training for general fitness and not looking for any specific speed adaptations, choosing the ball size is simple…It Doesn’t Really Matter. Using some basic physics equations, you’ll quickly be able to see that we can get the same power output with two different size balls. Let’s look at a quick example:

 

Power = Work / Time

Work = Force x Distance

Power Equation

I’m going to make up a quick scenario to help explain:

John uses a 10lb. medicine ball to do some overhead slams, and Will does the exact same exercise as John…only he’s using a 5lb. ball instead. John and Will are about the same height, weight, and pretty similar in strength. So, if John and Will are using different size medicine balls, are they both able to develop the same amount of power?

The answer is YES!

 

Let’s do the math real quick.

Since we need to know what Work is to determine Power outputs, we’ll start there.

 

John

Force = 10lb. medicine ball

Distance = Let’s say the ball travels 5 feet while doing the exercise

10 x 5 = 50

So…Work = 50

 

Power = Work (50) / Time

Let’s say the medicine ball slam took 1 second to complete

Power = 50 / 1

Power Output = 50

 

Will

Force = 5lb. medicine ball

Distance = 5 feet

5 x 5 = 25

So…Work = 25

 

Power = 25 / Time

Let’s say the medicine ball slam took half the time since the weight is cut in half, so .5 seconds

Power = 25 / .5

Power Output = 50

Even though John and Will are using different size medicine balls, they’re still able to generate the same power output with this exercise. So, if you’re working with groups, encourage your participants to grab different size medicine balls as they go through each round. If they used a 10lb ball the first round, have them switch to a smaller ball and encourage them to move the ball quicker.

 

Choosing the Right Ball

Medicine balls come in a variety of shapes and sizes. I definitely have a favorite, but the two common types of balls I use on a regular basis are:

 

Dynamax or Perform Better Padded Medicine Balls

 

PB Med Ball

 

These medicine balls have less rebound and are softer to the touch. Not only are these medicine balls softer to the touch, the larger size typically makes them easier to handle. This comes in great if you’re using medicine balls for partner exercises. The softer they are and easier to catch…the better.

 

Non-Padded Medicine Balls

If you take away the padding, you’ll typically get a ball that has lots of rebound. These medicine balls are great for long tosses into a brick wall, or they also help improve the speed of the rebound effect. If you’re dealing with a coordinated individual, this quick rebound can come in handy to promote a completely different training effect over what a padded ball can do.

 

Most of our clients use the padded balls above. However, I’ll specifically give some people a non-padded ball and work on tempo slams to give them a different training stimulus.

 

PB Med Balls 2

 

Slam Balls

These are another great option for the less coordinated individual. Since they are filled with sand, they will immediately die when they hit the floor. There will be little to no rebound, so if you are working with someone that has poor reactive abilities, this ball may be a good option for them. They’ll still be able to generate a lot of power with these balls, however, they won’t have to worry about the skill of catching a rebound. Slam balls are great, but they do require some mobility to pick up from the ground each time. If you’re having a tough time keeping good form to return the ball, simply try doing more kneeling medicine ball work with these. This will eliminate the repetitive bending of the spine or poor squatting mechanics to get the ball each time.

PB Slam Ball

If you have any questions about how to best utilize a medicine ball in group training, I’d love to hear it. Also, I’d love to hear some of your favorite medicine ball drills for group training. Feel free to post in the comments section below…I’d love to help or quite possibly get some cool ideas from you.

3 Tips to Become a Better Large Group Training Coach IMMEDIATELY

Over the past year, I’ve really been focusing on team development and trying to help the coaches at our gym continue to get better. I have no idea how many new coaches and interns I’ve helped coach up, but I can definitely say that it’s more than I can count on my fingers and toes. During our internship and new hire process, I always work on having new coaches work on three things specifically. These three things can be done by anybody, and they can be done immediately. You don’t have to get smarter, learn anything about form and technique, or take any time whatsoever to implement these three tips, and if you do…you’ll immediately become a better, more inspiring coach.

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  1. Project Your Voice – If you’re reading this article, I’m pretty confident you know exactly what I’m talking about. Whether you’re in the position to be training new coaches, or you simply think back to your first 10-20 group sessions you’ve ever coached, being quiet and timid is pretty darn common…especially if you’re having your supervisor or mentor sitting in the back scrutinizing your every move.

 

Being able to project your voice not only helps improve communication during the session, it also helps give the coach a sense of confidence that is noticeable to the clients. I’ve been coaching groups for a long time now, and being loud has become second nature. After you start to practice vocalizing and projecting your voice, the group sessions will have a new sense of energy, and the clients will know they have a leader helping guide the way. I can’t stress the importance of this. Get loud or get out! If you can’t project your voice, you won’t cut it at our gym. If being loud terrifies you, I’d recommend sticking to personal training.

 

  1. Be Conscious of Your Body Language – Believe it or not, what you say while coaching doesn’t matter all that much. The actual words that flap out of your jaw while rambling during the session aren’t even comprehended by a vast majority of the people that are training hard. Communication consists of three main components: body language, tone of voice, and actual spoken words.

 

The words you actually say during any conversation only account for 7% of how the message will be interpreted. I’m willing to go out on a limb and guesstimate that percentage is less than 5% if you’re in the middle of a training session. The other 93% come from body language and tone of voice. 93%!!! Body language makes up 55% and tone of voice helps make up the remaining 38%. If you’re playing by the numbers, improving body language should be of the upmost importance. If you can enhance your body language and project your voice, you’ve just became a much more effective communicator and coach. Don’t put your hands in your pockets. Don’t cross your arms while coaching or talking to clients. This is a very closed off position and not very welcoming. Smile regularly. Use hand gestures and be a little animated. These are only a few things I want to see from all of our coaches. Work on body language and improve your skills in coaching with very little effort.

 

  1. Minimize the Quiet Time – Nothing kills the environment in a group training session more than quiet time. If the coach isn’t being loud or they’re not saying much throughout, the energy in the room can drop immediately. That cannot happen under any circumstance. A major component of the group-training environment is the high energy and competitiveness it provides. If the coach is continuously talking and making him/herself recognized, the session simply has more value. Your clients will work harder, the environment is just more fun, and your business will start to grow.

 

Girl making the sign of silence. woman with silence sign pop art illustration

Remember the percentages from above. It’s not really about what you say…it’s more about HOW you say it. I constantly talk throughout each session. If I’m not specifically coaching a client one-on-one for a brief period of time, I’m constantly saying something. So, I’m either fixing form or speaking to the group the entire time. The only time I shut the hell up is when I’m personally coaching somebody. It’s not really cool to yell in someone’s face, so I hold that for when I’m moving between stations and clients that need the adjustments.

 

If you have the systems in place to make a group training session that is replicable, understanding these three things will help you put out a better product, or session. If you’re using the Smart Group Training System currently, you should know exactly what I’m talking about. The SGT System has helped us put together an amazing training program that any new coach or intern can start to have major success with., very quickly. Even with our high standards, we’re able to put together pretty solid coaches within 5-6 weeks. The system takes care of the workout, so our new coaches need to learn how to run the system, which is extremely easy, and learn these three tips above.

 

If you haven’t checked out The Smart Group Training System, be sure to grab a copy today. The system we’ve created over the past 5 years has helped us tremendously and I’m confident it will help you as well. Check out the SGT System today!

The System Logo

How to Improve Stride Length and Gait Patterns with Simple Exercises

The vast majority of the people that come in to our gym for the first time can barely touch their toes or even simply raise their leg off the ground without compensating.  This is a pretty big deal, if you ask me.  Think about it…An Active Straight Leg Raise, as shown in the picture below, is simply a normal gait pattern of walking, only done on the ground.  Putting someone on the ground eliminates the need for stability since we gain that extra stability or support from the floor. If  you can’t do it on the floor, you’re probably not going to be able to do it while you’re on your feet.

leg

A normal straight leg raise should be done actively to somewhere around 70°,  or passively to somewhere around 80°.  If someone starts compensating before that, you can rest assured they’re going to have a limited gait pattern and have a tough time separating reciprocal hip flexion/extension.  Improving stride length is not only a way to make athletes faster and more efficient, it’s also a way to help every individual stay healthy and pain free.  We need to be able to flex and extend our hips in an alternating pattern without compensation, so I want to show you a couple of simple ways you can start improving gait pattern and stride length with minimal equipment.  These are very simple, but extremely effective, so if you’re working on improving your straight leg raise, enhancing your stride length, or making your gait pattern fluid and efficient, give these exercises a shot.

 

BAND LEG LOWERING

KB BENT KNEE LEG LOWERING W/ ROTATION

LEG LOWERING 2

These are just three examples I’ve pulled from our B3 bundle.  With this bundle, we’ve incorporated simple exercises that require minimal equipment and produce a MAJOR bang for your buck.  If you’re strapped for cash and can’t buy a gym full of fancy equipment, you can still get amazing results by incorporating some of the exercises from our B3 bundle.  We’ll help improve your movement, get you strong, and provide you with some workouts that you can do using nothing more than your own body weight, a resistance band, and a kettlebell.  It doesn’t take a ton of equipment to design a killer program, so check it out if you’d like to see more.  It’s on sale this week (November 3-6, 2015), so grab your copy by Friday and save $50.

sgt

 

FMS Systems Case Study

After reading Steve’s latest article, I felt compelled to elaborate a little more and to show you guys what we’re currently working on to improve our results. I’m going to explain a current client we have, what issues came up, and our solutions to addressing what we found.

The article I’m referring to is on the Functional Movement SYSTEMS. The FMS is more than just a movement screen. Their entire organization is based around creating “Standard Operating Procedures” designed to improve movement, both in terms of communication and practical application. They’ve done an amazing job at creating IF/THEN scenarios, creating flow charts telling you where to go, and creating solutions based upon individual findings.

There are countless variables that come into play when you’re working with a human being, but the Functional Movement Systems have helped narrow down the process and give you WAY more information to work with. A skilled fitness professional, strength coach, or therapist is always going to get more out of the system. However, since we’ve got systems in place, our younger and more experienced coaches can now replicate what the skilled professional is doing…to a certain extent. Essentially, using these systems will help narrow the gap between the best-of-the-best. We’re still learning a ton on a daily basis, and using these systems within our business has proven to be our most valuable asset. Teaching these systems to our trainers has allowed us to get amazing results without having to do all the work ourselves. Let me show you an example of how we used the Functional Movement SYSTEM (combination of FMS and Y Balance) to work with one of our clients recently.

Here’s a quick recap of what’s going on with Toni. One of our clients, Toni, recently complained of mild, acute back pain. Occasionally her low back would hurt after a long day on her feet, lack of activity, and sometimes from her workout. She really couldn’t pinpoint anything that was directly related to her low back pain, so our first action step is to set up a movement screen to see what’s going on. This not only allows us to look at her movement patterns, but it’s also a great session to set aside some time to talk to her about what’s going on in her life and get lifestyle issues that may be relating to the pain. Win/Win. So that’s what we did…we set up the initial session and started screening.

Here is what her screen looked like:

 

FMS Case Study

After taking Toni through the initial FMS, we found her only red light or dysfunctional pattern to be the push up. She’s had this issue for awhile now, but she also used to have a rotary stability dysfunction but recently cleared the pattern. After taking her through the screen, I still wasn’t convinced she had adequate stability. We already found out that her Trunk Stability Push Up was dysfunctional, but I wanted to find out more. So, I decided to run a couple quick breakouts and a Y-Balance Test with her. I am definitely no expert with the Y-Balance Test yet, but I’m getting some interesting information and seeing a ton of value.

As Steve said in his previous article, The Functional Movement Screen has a bias towards mobility. Stability is addressed, but mobility and basic motor control are the main drivers behind the screen. Adding the Y-Balance Test to the equation allows the Functional Movement Systems to exploit both areas…Mobility with the FMS and stability with the Y-Balance Test. In my short experience with the Y-Balance Test, I can see a ton of value moving forward.

The Y-Balance Test allows us to narrow down stability or motor control issues to a specific quadrant or quadrants. Just like the Functional Movement Screen, there are certain criteria that must be met. If you find a dysfunction, simply mark it and move on. After doing the test with Toni, we found two specific quadrants to be of concern. Her upper left quadrant and her lower left quadrant. Basically, her left side didn’t function like the right. There was a pretty obvious asymmetry, and the Y-Balance Test exploited that.

 

Jared_Quadrants

Now that we have results from both the FMS and Y-Balance Test, it’s time to start to use that information for her programming. Here is the selection we gave her for correctives:

Lower Rolling (left side only) – This was one of the breakout screens we did prior to the Y-Balance Test. We found an asymmetry here on both upper and lower rolls to the left. The Y-Balance Test confirmed the rolling breakout.

 

Upper Rolling (left side only)

 

Stability Ball Rockback w/ Arm Lift (raise right arm only)

 

 

 

Half Turkish Get-Up (bell in right hand)

The only other thing I’d like to note with Toni was how it affected her program. You can see the correctives we did with her, but her programming was also affected slightly as well. Since she’s a group client, we went through the group program we’re currently in and made some minor changes. I had her eliminate most, if not all, bilateral work and started to exploit that asymmetry with her program. For example, one of the programmed exercises was a progression of Goblet Squats or KB Front Squat, a bilateral squatting exercise. All I did with her was switch it from doing the KB Goblet or Front Squat to an Offset Front Squat, doing more on that left side we found to be dysfunctional.

All in all, I think that was a solid hour spent with one of our clients. I was able to find a major asymmetry, dial in her corrective strategy, and make minor changes to her program to help her improve. I’ll re-screen her within a few weeks and see what happens.

That’s the kind of SYSTEM I’m talking about. The Functional Movement Systems have helped us dial in our programming and getting better results with our clients. We’ve taken what works for us in our gym, created a system around it, and made a process easy to follow with our coaches and trainers. Smart Group Training: The System will help you learn how to use a system like this within your gym. If you want more information and want help dialing in your programming like that, check out SGT: The System today!

 

P.S. – SGT: The System just launched this week and is currently on sale. Pick up a copy before midnight Friday, August 14th and you’ll be able to save $100.

 

FMS – The S Stands for Systems

FMS is More Than a Screen

I recently attended the Perform Better Summit, and once again it was great. After each seminar or workshop I always try to think of the one biggest takeaway that I got from that particular event. After this summit I was most excited about how the FMS team is starting to talk more about the system.

I think we all the know the FMS as the Functional Movement Screen, but what most people don’t realize is that the FMS screen is part of a bigger FMS. Functional Movement Systems.

The FMS screen is just one part of a bigger system including the SFMA, Y Balance Test, and FCS. Let me quickly explain each one of these integral parts of the system.

Functional Movement Screen (FMS) – The FMS is the foundation screen in which the rest of the system was created. The FMS is your pre participation screen to see what your clients should and shouldn’t be doing. For the most part, the FMS should be done with people who are NOT in pain going into the screen. The goal of the FMS is to find any painful or dysfunctional movement patterns in order to make sure you don’t make things worse with a fitness or training program. There are different breakout screens for each of the movements in the FMS if you want to dig deeper into finding out how to quickly fix a compensatory pattern. The FMS is not a tool used to diagnose pain. That is what the SFMA is for.

Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) – The SFMA is an assessment system used by clinicians to dig deeper when client are in pain. When a trainer finds pain on the FMS it is great to have someone on the same page to talk with to be able to effectively help your clients. The FMS and SFMA compliment each other well as part of a bigger system. When a client has a SFMA clinician and an FMS trainer you can bet they are in good hands.

Y Balance Test (YBT) – I originally learned about the Y Balance Test quite a few years ago, but never really dug too deep into using it. Honestly, I said that I don’t want to use something that required another kit. That was a stubborn way to think, because the Y Balance is definitely worth the price of the kit. The biggest knock on the FMS is that it’s not comprehensive enough. Most people who say that don’t fully understand the screen, but in some ways those people are correct. Gray said over the weekend to think of the FMS as more of the mobility test and the YBT as more of the stability test. After doing just a few Y Balance Tests in the last week, I can already tell this information is the missing link for those few people who score satisfactory on the screen, but you can tell still need work. There’s not much more I can say about it at this time because I’m still a rookie, but you can bet I’ll be mastering the YBT in the near future.

Fundamental Capacity Screen (FCS) – The newest addition to the system as a whole is the FCS. This is more of your performance testing when needed. Once your clients are pain free, have cleared the FMS, and have acceptable Y Balance Scores, the FCS screen comes into play. This is honestly brand new stuff, and the company is still setting the standards, but I think this is a great compliment to the system. With the addition of the FCS, you have a screening and placement system from people that are broken down and in pain with the SFMA, all the way up to high performers with the FCS.

Those are quick explanations that really don’t do the entire system much justice. I highly recommend checking out functionalmovement.com and look into taking a course to get certified. That way you can start using a system with your practice, because things start to become clearer and easier the better the systems you use.

 

 

 

– Steve Long

 

PS – If you are thinking of becoming FMS Certified and want to do the online study course we have a great deal for you. Due to our great relationship with FMS we have secured a 10% discount for you on the FMS HSC. Just use coupon code SGT10 at checkout for the special SGT discount.

Here is a link to the FMS Home Study Course http://functionalmovement.com/store/fms_home_study_course

Putting the PERSONAL in Group Personal Training

Justin Yule, owner of Chanhassen Fitness Revolution and Smart Group Training Advisory Board Member, gives us an insight to their client management system and how they personalize the experience for each member, and literally walks us through the process.  Justin was one of the first people using the Smart Group Training system and he’s been one of the driving forces to help push the system along.  He’s taken our system, made it unique to his own business, and he’s had tremendous success because of it.

 

Watch the video below to see how Justin’s using Smart Group Training within his gym.  He’s definitely done a good job of making group training an individualized experience.  We’re proud to have Justin on our Advisory Board and he truly embodies our motto: “Putting the PERSONAL in Group Personal Training.”  Hopefully Justin can help give you a pointer or two on personalizing the group training experience.