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 or 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.