The other day I posted a video clip on instagram.
It got a huge response.
I was taken aback by the conversation that has ensued on the back of something so simple.
So what was it?
Well it was a simple demonstration of an exercise which we’d regressed to make it suitable to the man performing it.
A demonstration of fitting an exercises to the person, not fitting the person to the exercise.
Which is one of my central guiding rules of training people.
Many instructors simply give their clients the exercises they just learned, or the ones they’r doing at the moment themselves, or the cool stuff.
Hell, I’ve been guilty of that myself.
But those who’ve been around a while, those who have a bit of experience or common sense, well they don’t.
Good instructors and good coaches look at the person in front of them. They select the exercises according to the person in front of them. They progress or regress the exercise according to the person in front of them. They recognise that not everyone can perform the same exercise in the same way.
The clip in question showed the deck squat.
Here’s an old video of me talking about the deck squat in case you’re unfamiliar with it:
As you can see it’s a drill that requires mobility and agility to perform. Which is both why I like it and why many struggle with it.
Done for reps, it’s as fatiguing as the Burpee but with higher abdominal recruitment and fewer moving part to go wrong.
So for a lot of people the potential value of the exercise is quite high.
Unless you are top heavy or just plain old tight.
So does this exclude you from the drill?
Possibly, or we could adjust the way the drill is performed, which is what we did for amateur golfist Colin:
The Deck Squat is an excellent conditioning exercise but requires a high degree of mobility. Mobility that Colin here, like many, has yet to acheive. So does this exclude him from the benefits of the exercise? No, we simply raise the floor up behind him. We adapt the exercise to the athlete, we don’t adapt the athlete to the exercise. #wgfamily #decksquat #squat #core #conditioning #mobility #endurance #adaptability #irishfitfam #dublin2
A video posted by Dave Hedges (@dave_hedges) on Jul 20, 2016 at 8:10am PDT
And he had a ball doing it!
Which when you consider the stress he’s under in his job, having a bit of fun is kind of important.
So this short post is starting to turn into a long post, so lets wrap it up with some take home points.
1: Almost every exercise can be adjusted to suit the individual, as long as it is safe.
2: Some exercises are simply a no no for certain people, regardless of how much you adjust it.
3: If you’re struggling with an exercise, but really want to be able to do it, break it into components.
The Deck squat as an example has: – A squat – requiring hip and ankle mobility. – A reverse crunch / spinal rock section, well there’s you answer – A hamstring flexibility / hip flexion requirement.
Do all those points sound like good things to work on individually?
Damn right they do.
So why not work on them.
Right, wrap up time.
Dave Hedges www.WG-Fit.com