[SOS: SHINY OBJECT SYNDROME]
Personal Training is booming. Accompanying this is the enormous amount of Instagram influencers and “experts”. As coaches, we are overloaded with new information, trends and hypes by the week. The cooler and stranger the exercise, the more likes, and the more people want to try it.
One thing never seems to turn any heads however: the basics.
Human movement consists of a few basic patterns: the squat, hinge, press, pull, sprint/run, carry, rotation and counter rotation (as also stated by Dan John and David Whitley and later modified by the StrongFirst crew). 99% of all exercises fit into one of these patterns. And for good reason: they should be the staple of any training program looking to get you fit and healthy.
Here comes the tricky part:
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
Nobody, regular person nor top athlete, should ever advance to a difficult exercise without having mastered the basics of these movement patterns. Doing a 1-legged explosive cable overhead press might be challenging, but is it really optimizing your performance in the press? Or is it taking away from it? If you can’t do a correct regular press and the 1-legged stance and explosiveness are making it harder for you to focus on the actual press, then why would you do that? It would leave you with suboptimal performance on both the balance, explosion and the press part.
Fellow coaches reading this, be aware of the trap of looking cool on Instagram. The basics are invaluable. Trading them too early for a cooler but less effective variation will leave your client impressed, but without results to show for it. A difficult exercise will not always equate to improved performance. Prioritise your client’s performance over getting 5 new followers on Instagram.
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