Fitness and Health

4 Exercise Ideas for Beginner Clients You Can Suggest After Fitness and Health School

June 28, 2019

Young woman exercising sit-ups with assistance of female friend in gym.

When working with beginner clients in the fitness industry, it’s important to use exercises that set a strong foundation of confidence, technique, and enjoyment, while keeping your clients safe. You may be their first introduction to exercise, or they may have come to you after feeling uncomfortable, alienated, or discouraged when trying to exercise on their own. Each individual has different preferences, so it’s important to have some alternatives in mind to give them variety and adapt to all tastes and skill levels.

Read on for a few ideas that you can suggest to beginners to have them sweating with a smile!

Target the Transverse Abdominis in Beginner Clients for Core Stability

Core training is essential for posture, stability, mobility, and resistance to injury. Many beginners make the mistake of training only the rectus abdominis, or the superficial, “6-pack” muscles, with exercises like curl-ups and leg raises. Not only are these isolated exercises alone unlikely to produce a 6-pack, but they also neglect a more important area for strength training.

As you may know from your anatomy training in fitness consultant courses, the transverse abdominis is the deepest, most crucial layer of abdominal muscles. It provides spinal stability in the thoracic region, pelvic stability, and allows for functional movements, like squatting and pushing. To target the transverse abdominis, planks and hollow holds are most effective. These are isometric, or static, exercises, so they require less range of motion (ROM) and coordination—great for beginners.

Sportswoman doing plank exercises with assistance of her personal trainer.

Planks are excellent for targeting the transverse abdominis, giving clients core stability

Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises for ADLs After Fitness and Health School

Open kinetic chain exercises allow the distal part of a limb (a hand or foot) to move freely in space, for example in a bicep curl or a leg extension. Closed kinetic chain exercises have distal parts of limbs fixed against a floor, wall or other point. These exercises recruit more joints and muscles and are more applicable to a client’s Activities of Daily Life (ADLs).

Beginner clients should be doing closed chain exercises, as there are less shearing forces at the joints than with open chain. They promote joint stability and are functional (applying to daily movements) as opposed to sport-specific. Foundational exercises like bodyweight squats or wall push-ups will help clients learn and perfect techniques that will apply to progressions in their programs as they gain strength and coordination.

Young african american man doing squat exercise at group fitness training, sporty black guy focused on self-improvement working out with diverse active people in gym studio during routine session

The bodyweight squat is a closed chain kinetic exercise that leaves feet fixed to the floor

Grads of Fitness Consultant Courses Can Be Creative with Cardio

Beginner clients should generally be doing cardio within a 55%-64% range of their Heart Rate Max. You of course can’t expect a beginner to be sprinting along an obstacle course the first day they train. Walking, swimming, stationary biking, and other gentler activities will allow them to elevate their heart rate without getting injured, burnt out, or discouraged.

Hill walking uses incline to add resistance to cardio, getting a client to the desired intensity without increasing speed. For clients who are new to exercise, having them walk with resistance is a great way to start. This can be done outside, or indoors on a treadmill with an incline option. This is also a safe way to teach clients how to use a treadmill.

Slow Dynamic Stretching Will Improve a Client’s Technique and ADLs

Flexibility training is often neglected by people who work out without professional guidance. You may know even before starting fitness and health school  that it is a crucial part of fitness and helps with ROM, mobility, posture, and bloodflow, affecting clients both in and out of the gym. Dynamic (moving) stretching is safer than static stretching when a client isn’t warmed up.

Beginner clients should be stretching 4-7 days a week and multiple times throughout their day. Slow dynamic stretching can be used both during warm-up and cool-down, and is gentler than regular dynamic stretching (by using a 4-6 second count instead of a 1-2 second count).

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