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.

Breaking Out the Rotary Stability Screen

With our next breakout we are moving on the Stability Pod with the Rotary Stability Screen. I’ve definitely seen this screen scored incorrectly quite a bit, so even if you are not new to the FMS I highly recommend clicking the link below to watch a quick video on performing and scoring the Rotary Stability Screen.

Smart Group Training – Rotary Stability Performing and Scoring the FMS

So why do we use the rotary stability screen anyway? Why should you care if your client can do a bird dog over a board?

The rotary stability screen is the first of two screens in the FMS that check core function. We use the rotary stability screen to check “inner core” or “soft core” function and we use the trunk stability push up to check “outer core” or “hard core” function. The inner core is more of the reflexive core that requires subconscious timing and is the core that is rarely specifically trained in the gym. You can’t train your inner core with sit-ups, crunches, or planks. It needs to be reflexive and subtle.

So what do we do when someone scores a 1 on the Rotary Stability Screen on the FMS? What are we looking for? How should we break it out?

One thing to keep in mind when someone scores a 1 on the Rotary Stability is the FMS Hierarchy. It is important to note that if someone has a 1 on the Active Straight Leg Raise or the Shoulder Mobility screens, you are in the wrong place trying to work on the Rotary Stability screen. We want to get the mobility issues off of the table before working on this pattern so make sure that is the case before proceeding. So technically, the first two breakouts for the Rotary Stability screen are the Active Straight Leg Raise and the Shoulder Mobility screen on the FMS. The only mobility issues that should affect the Rotary Stability screen are:

The ability to extend the hip: This is covered in ASLR

The ability to flex the shoulder: This is covered in SM

The ability to touch the elbow to the knee: This should be covered if you have 2’s on both the ASLR and SM. If they have the mobility to pass the ASLR and they have the mobility to pass the SM but can’t touch the knee to the elbow in quadruped its most likely not a mobility issue, chances are it’s a stability issue, and we would be in the perfect place to start correcting the core. Sometimes it’s possible that the stomach is too large to touch the knee to the elbow as well, but this should be very rare.

So we should be in a place at this point where mobility is not an issue and we are deciding how to correct the Rotary Stability dysfunction. From here I will look at a few things

Breathing

Supine Breathing

Crocodile Breathing

Quadruped Breathing

Depending if the breathing needs work I will give them breathing exercises in the position that they are struggling with. You can see examples of those breathing corrections below in the breathing track.

From there I will look at their rolling patterns. I want to look at all four rolls to see what they can and can’t do and in the also determine which roll needs the most work.

Rolling

Lower Rolling

Upper Rolling


 

So here’s how it all works. If they can’t breath they go to the breathing track. If they can’t roll we go to the rolling track, and if they can roll perfectly in all patterns they go to the quadruped track.

 

Breathing Track

Supine Breathing

Crocodile Breathing

Quadruped Breathing

 

Rolling Track

Lower Rolling

Upper Rolling

 

Quadruped Track

Bubblegum Farts (Stability Ball Rockback)

Bird Dog Arms

Bird Dog Legs

Bird Dog

Bird Dog Hold

 

Once we get the pattern corrected and have symmetrical 2’s on the Rotary Stability Screen you want to incorporate that stability in some functional patterns such as:

 

One Leg Elevated Push Up (one leg elevated, one leg on floor)

½ Kneeling Chops and Lifts

Offset Deadlifts, Squats, and Carries

This is the strategy I use to dig deeper into Rotary Stability 1’s and get people’s cores working in synergy with their extremities. I hope this gives you a better understanding of the Rotary Stability Screen and what to do when someone has dysfunction in that pattern.

Hard and Soft: A New Way at Looking at the FMS

If you’ve been following Smart Group Training for any time whatsoever, I’m sure you already know we’re all about the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) and the results it can deliver in your training programs.  We use it on a daily basis at our gym and we’ve had a TON of success by using this screening tool.  Honestly, without the screen, I’m not even sure where I’d begin with developing an individualized program anymore.  I hate being reliant on a tool, but the FMS is one tool I don’t mind hanging my hat on.

There are several reasons why I love the FMS, and the improved communication is towards the top of that list.  If I’m trying to discuss a training program with another professional, using the FMS’s scoring criteria drastically helps create an understanding of what’s going on with an individual.  If we’re talking and you’re able to tell me a client of yours has a 1/1 on the Active Straight Leg Raise and has another pair of 1’s on the Rotary Stability screen, I’m going to have a much better idea of what’s going on with that person. For those of you unfamiliar with the scoring criteria of the FMS, it’s pretty simple.  All the movements are scored somewhere between a zero through a three.

0 = Pain with the movement

1 = Major Limitations and Dysfunction with the Movement Pattern

2 = Acceptable Movement Pattern.  Performed w/ some compensation.

3 = Perfect Movement Pattern.  Zero compensations present.

Understanding the scoring criteria is the first thing you need to do when it comes to the FMS.  I’m not here to go over what’s a one, two, or three with this article.  We have that covered in our Performing and Scoring the FMS section on our blog.  You can find out how to score the FMS here. However, I do want to discuss the clients that score a one on any given movement pattern.

Since my return from the Perform Better Functional Training Summit in Chicago this last June, I see at the people scoring 1’s on the screen in a whole new way.  Charlie Weingroff, a huge believer in the FMS, helped paint a picture in my head that makes perfect sense.  During his presentation, he talked about something he called hard and soft.  If someone scores a one on the movement screen, he wants to know if the score is hard or soft.

Hard or Soft?  What the hell does that even mean?

Let me explain by giving an example.

John and Jane are new clients coming in to work with you.  You performed the FMS and found that both of these individuals have a pair of one’s on the Active Straight Leg Raise.  Sweet.  You found the weakest link…now what?

If you’re using the FMS and having great success, I’m sure you’re well aware that there are breakout screens/assessments that can help identify why the dysfunction is there in the first place. After performing these breakouts, you can usually find out if the dysfunction is a true mobility issue, or if the problem lies in stability or motor control.

Let’s get back to John and Jane.

John got a pair of 1’s on his straight leg raise.  After doing the breakouts, we found out that mobility was his issue.  He had a dysfunctional straight leg raise, so we had him try to touch his toes while standing…he couldn’t.  He then could not touch his toes while sitting on the floor.  It looked identical to the standing toe touch.  Finally, we checked his passive straight leg raise by doing a simple “hamstring stretch” only to find out that passive versus active were identical as well.

This is what we would call a hard 1 on the Active Straight Leg Raise.  If you’re a hard 1 on the screen, this simply means there is something going on in the body that is preventing full range of motion or inhibiting the movement pattern.  It could be one, or a combination, of multiple factors leading to the mobility issue like: soft tissue restrictions, trigger points, scar tissue, bony restrictions, and structure of your joint capsules.  Some of these things can be changed, while others are never going to change without surgery.    The important thing to know is that there is something going on in the body that’s limiting the pattern.    When you get a hard 1 as a trainer, a good physical therapist or chiropractor can be your greatest friend.

 

Now let’s look at Jane.

Remember, Jane also scored a pair of 1’s on the Active Straight Leg Raise.  Being that both her and John had the same weakest link, we did the same breakouts we did w/ John.  However, the results were different…

John wasn’t able to touch his toes, standing or seated.  Jane, on the other hand, could.  She was able to touch her toes both standing and seated.  When we checked John’s straight leg raise passively, it was the same as his active straight leg raise.  When we checked Jane’s, it was substantially different.  She was able to go another 20-30 degrees passively.

After doing these simple breakouts, we were able to find out that Jane is what we classify a soft 1 on the Active Straight Leg Raise.  She’s still a 1 on the screen, but her training and corrective strategies are going to be different than John’s.  If we’re working with John, we’re going to need to address the tissue restrictions and joint limitations before training.  Maybe we can’t change something.  Maybe John has a spike in his leg that he has to get surgery on (true story).  Cool.  We just need to know this because now we can program around that.   If we’re working with Jane, we may take a different approach.  With Jane, she has the freedom of her joints and body to move in the way we’re looking for.  She just doesn’t have the stability or motor control to translate that into good movement.

We’re in the process of building out a section on the blog that covers these breakouts in depth.  You can check out the breakouts and determine if someone is a hard 1 or a soft 1 on the screen.  Understanding this truly helps separate yourself from the rest of the pack and will dramatically help improve your results.

Check out the one we did on the Active Straight Leg Raise here.

Hope this helps!  It’s been pure gold for me!