Year: 2021

three people exercising in park

Small-group training: A sample program for fitness professionals

The pandemic has meant many of us have been working out alone in the comfort and safety of our own homes. When restrictions begin to ease will we run back to our old fitness classes, or will we be seeking smaller group sessions? Working out in a smaller group may allow some to feel more comfortable following the pandemic restrictions and may help create more of a community team spirit amongst participants. In this post, adapted from Keli Roberts’ A Professional’s Guide to Small-Group Personal Training, we take a look at a sample partner programme for you to implement in your small-group training. Why partner or team training? One of the main advantages of partner and team training in a small-group setting is that it provides an excellent opportunity to build community and accountability in a more social environment. Participants develop bonds and become accountable to each other as well as to the group as a whole. This helps build consistency in attendance and makes it easier for trainers to retain clients. It can also …

man powerlifting

What are the best supplements for powerlifters?

Diet is an important part of any athlete’s regime, proving the fuel required to perform. However diet alone may not always be able to provide everything you need, this may be due to a deficiency you have or the fact that some nutrition you may not be able to take in. That’s where supplements come in. In this article we explore the most beneficial supplements for powerlifters, adapted from Dan Austin and Bryan Mann’s second edition of Powerlifting. Before taking supplements Before taking a supplement, it’s important to check a couple of things. First, if you are competing as a powerlifter see if your organization allows its competitors to use the supplement. For example, some organizations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) test for pseudoephedrine, but others do not. Someone competing in a meet sanctioned by this organization who takes a cold medicine that contains pseudoephedrine may test positive. Another thing to check is the reputability of the company that makes the supplement. In many instances athletes have tested positive for banned substances simply …

13 exercises to help treat non-specific low back pain

More than 80 percent of people will experience low back pain at some point in their lifetime. This post, adapted from Brian Richey’s Back Exercise: Stabilize, Mobilize and Reduce Pain explores what non-specific low back pain is, what causes it and the exercises you can perform to treat it. What is non-specific low back pain? Non-specific low back pain is defined as low back pain that is not attributable to a recognisable, known specific pathology (e.g. infection, tumor, osteoporosis, lumbar spine fracture, structural deformity, inflammatory disorder, radicular syndrome, or cauda equina syndrome). In other words, there’s no specific source causing the pain – it could be caused by a number of different factors. Despite being so common, the number of people who don’t go to the doctor when they suffer from low back pain outnumber those who do go to the doctor by two to one.  Low back pain affects men and women, young and old. Low back pain can be acute (less than 6 weeks), subacute (6 to 12 weeks), and chronic (more than 12 weeks). In only about …

How to choose the right strength training exercises for athletes

As a coach choosing the right strength training exercises for athletes can be a daunting task with so many options out there: free weights, exercise machines, isometrics, uphill ambulation with an additional load, drop jumps, self-resistance exercises, and so on. In this post, adapted from Science and Practice of Strength Training, we explore the various classes of exercises used for strength enhancement for both beginning and qualified athletes. Classification First, let’s start by exploring the different classes of strength training exercises. Exercises used for strength training are typically classified according to the change in muscle length. They may be static, or isometric, which literally means “constant length,” or dynamic, a category further divided into exercises with concentric, eccentric, or reversible muscle action. Dynamic exercises are also sometimes labeled isotonic (from iso, meaning “constant,” and tonic, meaning “tension”). The underlying assumption is that the muscle produces an unvarying amount of tension while shortening as it overcomes a constant resistance. This is not the case for intact muscles. If external resistance (weight lifted) is constant, the tension exerted by a muscle varies during shortening because of …

What is the coaching communication loop and how can you use it?

As a coach, how we communicate with our athletes is key. What we say, how we say it and when we say it can all influence a player’s performance. In this post we explore the coaching communication loop, examining what a coach should say before, during and after an athlete moves, adapted from Nick Winkelman’s The Language of Coaching. Coaching Communication Loop While the beginning and end of each training session allows for preplanned messaging, the middle requires an adaptable yet repeatable pattern of communication that can be molded to the learning needs of the athlete. To achieve this balance of structure and flexibility, it is important that coaches have a communication model that can circle the movement, providing guidance on what to say before, possibly during, and after an athlete moves. Recognising the necessity and utility of such a model, Nick Winkelman conceptualized the coaching communication loop in The Language of Coaching, which simply calls attention to the five most important coaching moments surrounding each rep or set of a movement. These five moments, represented …

How to be successful in online sport communication

As a sport enthusiast or professional the main way you engage with sport organisations and their content is likely online. Whether that be following your favourite team and sports stars on social media, browsing sport organisations’ websites or listening to their podcasts. The ways in which users want and expect to consume sport content is vast. That’s why before engaging in the numerous channels of online communication, sport organisations must consider the various factors which influence it and the essential components for success. In this post we explore said factors, adapted from Strategic Sport Communication.  Model for online sport communication Conceptualised by Kim Miloch of Texas Woman’s University, the Model for Online Sport Communication (MOSC) addresses the key factors which influence online sport communication and the elements required to be successful. The model takes into account all aspects of an organisation’s online communication including its social media, mobile apps and digital video content. The MOSC highlights seven factors which it sees to be most pertinent:  Individuals’ level of involvement with the respective sport entity Individuals’ …

Grassroots football: Insights from a volunteer football coach

Pictured above Volunteer Coach Tony Page with the Beckwithshaw Saints Junior Boys Football Club. In this post we speak to Tony Page, Volunteer Football Coach for Beckwithshaw Saints Junior Football Club. For the past 3 years Tony has coached the under 13 boys team, which Human Kinetics now proudly sponsor.  We wanted to catch up with Tony to find out more about his experiences and insights as a volunteer football coach.  How did you get into coaching? My son, Oli, began playing for Beckwithshaw Saints. At training most parents stood politely in the parent zone. However I couldn’t stand still and used to prowl around the pitches intent on learning and inwardly critiquing what was going on!  It was clear there was an unofficial A team and a B team. Oli was in the B team due to his late start into football and this team received much less attention from the pre-existing coaches. I took a keen interest from the side-lines, and whilst I didn’t for one minute assume I could do better, I …

How to achieve attention and focus in dance via online channels

In this post author of Attention and Focus in Dance, Clare Guss-West, writes about how to achieve attention and focus in dance when teaching or learning dance via online platforms. Many dancers and teachers are facing the prospect of further restrictive measures and moving into 2021 continuing to dance and learn through virtual means. In 2020 we all demonstrated tremendous adaptability and creativity, quickly developing new technological and presentational skills in order to adapt to the circumstances. For some dancing publics even, advantages were experienced as dance became more accessible and more dance-per-week than ever became possible. Let’s not fool ourselves however, dancing with a screen is a great resource to have in extremis, however in terms of our ability to attend to the learning material – it’s a very different experience. As dancers first and foremost we need to be patient with ourselves and try to understand the attentional frustrations that we are experiencing. Dancing with a screen is the equivalent of suffering sudden ‘sensorial impairment’ overnight. Live in the dance studio, we learn by taking …