“Red Lighting” Exercises In Group Fitness and Sports Training

Red Lighting exercises is one of the most important aspects of Smart Group Training.  Doing screens or assesments, giving people corrective exercises, and better programing are great, but none of that makes a difference at all if people are doing exercises that causing them more harm than good or reversing all of the good you did with your corrective exercises.

So what exactly is “Red Lighting”?  

It’s very simple. Red Lighting exercises means ensuring that your group training clients don’t do exercises they should’t be doing. Pretty easy concept in theory, but how do you make sure it is happening?

So how do you incorporate proper Red Lighting into your group training? 

First things first, you have to make sure you have properly screened the client.  We use the FMS screen because it’s easy to run in a group and sets a standard that we can use to make sure we are properly progressing and red lighting our clients.

Second you have to have a system to make sure you know what limitation your clients have when you are training them in a group.  In some situations you will know all of your clients and you will know what they should and shouldn’t be doing by heart, but what happens when you get over 100-200+ clients with multiple trainers working with the same people?  You need a system, and the FMS and Smart Group Training can help you develop your system.  In fact, just use ours!

What we do

Like I mentioned above, the FMS screen is the first thing we do.  Each person is screened on intake before doing anything.  With the FMS screen, we find the major limitations that each client may have and relate those back to training.  From there we we have a Red Light Poster in our studio that we made which has each movement and some examples of exercises that are red lighted for people with 1’s on that part of the FMS screen.  We decided recently to take that a step further and color code each movement in the screen.  If the client scores a 1 on any of the movements they receive a colored bracelet that corresponds to that movement.  Each exercise listed for that day has a color next to it if it’s red lighted and if you have that color bracelet you do the alternate or corrective exercise instead.  This really makes it easy for the trainers to know if the clients have any 1’s on the FMS screen, by quickly glancing at their wrist.

Here’s an easy example…..

A client scores a 1 on the shoulder mobility screen

They receive a yellow bracelet

Tall kneeling shoulder press is a selected exercise in the group training session

Tall kneeling shoulder press has a yellow square next to it on the workout card indicating its Red Lighted for Shoulder Mobility 1’s

The client does a shoulder mobility corrective like reach backs or wall slides during the time for shoulder press

All that they have to do is look at their wrist to see what is Red Lighted and the trainers can quickly see if they made a mistake or were sneaky

That’s a pretty good summary of how to Red Light certain exercises in group training.  If you have any questions about Red Lighting please feel free to post in the comments section and we will be glad to help!