If you’ve followed me for… pretty much any length of time, you know that I tend to prioritize quality movement before most other things. That’s why I’ve been releasing one video a day on various exercises for the last 239 days and counting.
So I care about good technique. It’s not always the answer, but biomechanics is interesting to me.
Some clients, though, come in with blatant disregard for technique. This is commonly the recovering Crossfitter or college athlete. They don’t feel like they’ve done a workout unless they’re lying in a puddle of sweat by the end of it. They might do 2 hour workouts for fun. They’re usually addicted to the burn.
This one is hard because, in my opinion, you help more when you try to help less. It’s like dating: if you reallllly like someone (a.k.a. they are hot), it never happens. Part of that is our negativity bias, but you also don’t want to sound like too much of a know-it-all.
I have learned to say less. I want them to do all the talking if possible. Partly because I don’t like talking. But mostly because listening is where the magic happens. They will tell you everything you (they?) need to know.
I just try to ask leading questions and be on their team. If I knew what they knew, thought what they thought, and believed what they believed, what state would I be in? What goals would I find realistic? What habits would I be interested in changing?
This works for general goal setting, but I have to tell you that this alone doesn’t do much other than help them stay in the gym rather than backpedaling. The people who see the most results are the ones who are just embarrassed by their body, their health, and their actions.
I’m looking for a flush scapula on the rib cage. If I see it coming off of the rib cage in any area, then I want to fix it. The only other situation where this doesn’t work is when someone is substituting scapular elevation for protraction.
Scapular winging is likely when the rib cage is wide. When you look down on it from above, it looks more like a rectangle and less like a circle. This makes it difficult for the scaps to swing around because they have to make a sharp turn.
Why do humans get ulcers? It’s a bit of a dated topic at this point. Robert Sapolsky’s renown book “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers” came out 25 years ago. The simple points of stress are pretty well understood, especially in health and fitness.