Whether They Are 8 or 80
In fitness, it’s important to always be evolving, whether you’re a trainer or managing a facility. Offering clients new and innovative ways to improve overall health and conditioning not only adds value to what you offer, it keeps clients engaged and interested. Adding new training techniques depends on many factors; for example, the overall conditioning and limitations of your client(s). There are, however, two training techniques that all clients, regardless of fitness level, can benefit from: Non-Dominant Side Training and Rotational Movement Training.
Non-Dominant Side Training
In most cases, the dominant side of the body works overtime to compensate for the deficiencies of the non-dominant side during everyday life and especially when performing athletic movements. This causes you to bleed power, speed, and increase the risk of injury.
Non-Dominant Side Training focuses on improving these deficiencies by enhancing the strength, coordination, and balance of the non-dominant side to improve overall output.
It really comes down to simple math. For example, if you perform at 80 percent on your dominant side and 40 percent on your non-dominant side, your combined performance is at 60 percent. If you boost your non-dominant side to 70 percent and raise your dominant side to a 95 percent, you will be performing at 82.5 percent, enhancing your body’s overall performance. And as an added bonus, the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and vice versa. Thus, improving non-dominant side capacity will also result in better balance in the brain and improved mental function.
An easy way initially to employ non-dominant side training is to use the “compare and contrast principle,” which mimics the movement patterns performed on the dominant side to build similar strength, coordination, and balance on the non-dominant side.
Start with having your client throw a tennis ball or another similar object against a wall with their dominant hand, and then have them try to duplicate the same movement pattern, range of motion, and rotation with their non-dominant side. Perform two reps with the dominant hand (to ingrain the movement pattern) and five reps with the non-dominant hand afterwards. Continue to build up to 20 reps each hand, eventually working your way up to weighted or more complex exercises using the same principle.
For other non-dominant side exercises try these: http://ow.ly/4nohGb.
Rotational Movement Training
As you know, the body rotates in all planes of motion on a daily basis to some degree (either through multi-joint articulation or around its central axis). When you intensify this rotation during athletic pursuits, everything gets amplified. If you have deficiencies or inefficiencies in everyday basic rotational movements, they will only become more compounded and exposed during high demand physical activity.
This is where Rotational Movement Training comes into play. At its core, Rotational Movement Training improves the key elements needed to enhance rotational movement patterns in everyday life and athletics including: global balance, rotation and counter rotation, foundational core strength, sequencing of multi-joint movements and overall body integration.
To begin employing Rotational Movement Training with your clients try integrating simple rotational body weight movements which focus on range of motion and balance, either during their dynamic warm ups or recovery sets. Range of motion and balance (center of gravity over base of support) during rotational movements are the essential building blocks for improving rotational movement efficiency in everyday life and athletics.
For other rotational movement exercises, try these: http://ow.ly/4nohyK.
By implementing these two training techniques you will increase strength, mobility, balance, core strength, coordination, and integrate both sides of your clients’ body.
Marty Shannon is the CEO at WeckMethod. He works with elite trainers and designs programs for a variety of products including the Rotational Movement Training (RMT) Club and BOSU Elite to enhance athletic performance and functional strength. You can contact him at 619-222-2604 or visit WeckMethod at www.weckmethod.com to learn more.