I’m getting back in the saddle here slowly, but surely. Just battling a case of pneumonia, but all is good. I’m Hulk smashing that right out of my lungs! Speaking of Hulk smash I got to see The Avengers which was absolutely filled with mind blowing special effects and super cool heroes and not those cheesy ass Twilight vampires that sparkle in sunlight. No, this was balls out 2 hours and 23 minutes of fist pumping action that would get you in the mood to throw around some weight. You’ve got to see it if you haven’t already just like the rest of this article. Keep reading or else…
Some Of My Coaching Cue Improvements…
One of the biggest things I’ve been working to improve on lately is the importance of utilizing the power of touch! Yes, when I want to get my point across with students when trying to get them to get the correct “set up” in the technical part of a lift or exercise I’ll put my boot in their rear. Just kidding, not literally. All joking aside I do like to use specific cues that involve both words and touch in order for them to get what I’m explaining.
The thing I’ve learned over the years is that when involving the art of strength training and certain strength training strategies it all comes down to learning by doing or by feel! This kinesthetic sense of learning is how us humans get better and better at mastering a certain technique or skill. It’s just like the pitcher that spends hours throwing a baseball, the guitarist that spends hours playing Stairway to Heaven, or the sniper that spends hours shooting the target. These skills are mastered by achieving a certain feel and understanding through hours and hours of practice.
So how do I help this along with the power of touch? Well putting boots to asses is one way (;-)), but the day to day method that I like to fall back on is by utilizing certain commands and touching cues. For instance, if I’m trying to get a newbie to maintain a neutral spine during the act of a deadlift I’ll cue him or her to not look down at the ground. Remember that the body will follow the head so by looking down the first thing the spine will tend to do with most is round and break out of the neutral position. This cue for the individual to look up in most cases will set the neutral position for their spine. This is what smart strength training is all about.
Ok Brandon so what do you mean by touch? Well, in terms of utilizing touch let’s say that I’m trying to explain the importance of maintaining the external rotation of the shoulders. A lot of the times I’ll have the individual(s) place their hands by their side facing forward (supinated like the anatomical chart) and I’ll place my fingers right between their shoulder blades. By placing my fingers in between their scapula they can feel what I mean by keeping the shoulders in a secure position along with protecting their spine during certain lifts. That simple touch with a lot of folks will get me the desired posture. Not everyone, but most.
Touching cues such as this are extremely valuable in helping people to learn about what they need to be doing in order to understand the execution of certain drills. By utilizing the act of touching people get a better kinesthetic sense as to what muscles they should be manipulating within the technique and confines of certain strength training movements. Relax here, tighten this, move that kind of cues along with initiating the proper feel will usually cause the lightbulb to go off when working with folks on certain things.
Smart strength training boils down to proper form and seamless execution, period. This is where the benefits truly come from in strength training programs. By incorporating more of these cues during various strength training movements I have been able to more readily accelerate the progress of many athletes and participants all in the name of strength training and conditioning!
All in all, if you need a boot to your a*s then I can certainly provide one in Avenger like fashion (btw you’ve got to see that movie).
If you need that extra push then you need to look at getting a copy of my ebook Better Than Steroids!
This can provide you with all the practical advice for getting you started on a smart strength training and conditioning program without having to worry about any BS additives! Also, if you enjoy following the blog and you happen to be a Kindle user then this is your lucky day! The blog is now available on Amazon for all of you Kindle users. Sign up today! Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart.