The Role of Exercise in Stress Management

Life can be a constant challenge full of daily hurdles. Everyone has their own struggles. No one is immune from stress. While some stresses can actually lead to positive action, stress can be an absolute killer to us physically, mentally, and spiritually. It’s very easy to not want to move or exercise when feeling this constant negative tension. However, this is exactly what we must all do to reverse the adverse effects of stress: exercise. And, as fitness professionals, it’s vital to teach and provide proper guidance to our clients to move even when not with us. So, what’s the proper vernacular that the fitness professional should reiterate to their clients about stress and exercise? Moreover, how does the fitness professional inspire their clients to move especially when not in their company?  How does the need become greater than the want?

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X-Push Up

Foremost, how vital is proper push-up progression?

As I have written happily time after time — most clients can benefit from properly progressing their push-up because appropriate push-up progression provides: core stabilization, improved posture, increased power, extra endurance, stronger stability in your joints, more strength in their upper and lower body, increased muscle mass, and fat loss.

Additionally, mastering push-ups in terms of Stabilization, then Strength, to then graduate to Power is fundamental in achieving optimal core stabilization and movement muscles while building lean muscle by engaging the correct muscles. These phases cannot be skipped and shouldn’t be progressed until each phase is truly mastered especially while using any equipment. In other words, a client should first progress accordingly using their own body weight before the usage of a bosu, stability ball or another piece of equipment.

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Fit Pros, How To Properly Progress Your Client’s Push-Up?

The push-up is iconic. It remains a symbol of strength and a constant staple in most workout routines today. Yet, many fitness professionals aren’t sure how to properly progress the push-up. For example, many of them have used the bosu, stability ball, dumbbells, an incline bench, and other tools to create challenging push-up exercises for their clients. While these pieces of equipment can surely pose as an experiment for your clients — there’s a more efficient method to push-up progression that doesn’t even need usage of any apparatus.

Most clients can benefit from properly progressing their push-up because appropriate push-up progression provides: core stabilization, improved posture, increased power, extra endurance, stronger stability in your joints, more strength in their upper and lower body, increased muscle mass, and fat loss.

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“How much personal information should I be sharing with my clients? Where does the line get drawn of personal vs professional?”

I’ll be honest – I have a group of my clientele that I consider to be my family. I genuinely love and care very deeply for these people. My wife and I invited these clients to our wedding. We wanted to spend the most important day of our life with them. Furthermore, we have been invited to their special occasions amongst spending quality time with them socially on the weekends. This kind of relationship takes quality time to build and is based solely upon trust. This trust has grown and continues to grow more powerful during each of our sessions together.

Personally, I pride myself on running a personal training and health company with the number one goal to always help my clients become happier and healthier physically and mentally. It’s this mentality that I always strive to help them create a better version of themselves. While personal training is indeed very “personal,” inadvertently you should never cross a line or become unprofessional. This behavior only leads to inappropriate tension and awkwardness, which doesn’t help the client progress to reach their goals. So, how did I go from training a first-time client into developing a bond in which they would become family while keeping it professional?

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What health trend do you think has been a positive one that you would like to stick around?

While there are plenty of new, reinvented, and even old fitness trends that are all competing to be the best, fastest, and most beneficial to get the fitness professional and their clients in shape, there’s one that holds truer than all of the others – Body-Weight Training!

So, why body-weight training? 

Enclosed below are three points to further state why body weight training is so effective:

Back To The Basics – To start, body-weight training can be a great tool to help the fitness professional learn about their clients’ movement patterns. You could make the argument that if someone isn’t able to perform stabilization, strength, and power movements using their own body correctly, then they shouldn’t progress into using equipment.

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The 60 Staggered Push-up Challenge to Enhance Your Body in 30 Days

Are you looking for a new challenge to get in better shape for the warmer months?

Then why not attempt the 60 Staggered Push-up Challenge to enhance your body today? 

The Staggered Push-up:

This is an advanced exercise since it incorporates more core, shoulder, and triceps stability than the Traditional Push-up, and therefore, this push-up assimilates more strength in your rotator cuffs. Moreover, the “staggered” position of your hands will help in creating more overall strength when performing other push-ups that otherwise start with your hands shoulder-width apart. The Staggered Push-up builds lean muscle in the primary movers of this exercise which are the: anterior and medial deltoid muscles, pectoralis major and pectorals minor muscles, triceps, and gluteus maximus muscle. This push-up can be considered a “moveable plank” since the core is utilized for strength just as much as the upper body is during performance. Correct staggered push-ups should be performed with the upper body, torso, and lower body moving as one unit. 

Starting Position: 

Begin with your arms in a traditional push-up position, but then stagger your hands by moving one upwards about six inches (away from the shoulder), and the other downwards (towards your waist) about six inches, keeping them shoulder-width apart. Your legs are locked, knees and feet are together with your heels up and your body weight forward on your hands, all of which create a more challenging core workout.

To Perform: 

Once you rise up from one push-up, continue to execute the next repetition while keeping your core in the neutral spinal position. The optimal goal is to have your gentle nose touch the floor with every repetition. The elbow that is forward should be bent at 90-degrees while your rear elbow is bent at 40-degrees.

The 60 Staggered Push-up Challenge to Enhance Your Body in 30 Days

Tips: 

Particularly while performing this push-up, it’s vital to maintain the neutral spinal position (top of your shoulders, mid-back, and gluteus maximus muscles are all perfectly aligned together) for engaging optimal core movement muscles. Most importantly, this positioning in your spine encourages more overall strength for your body when performing movement patterns and helps develop optimal posture. Additionally, actively engaging your gluteus maximus muscles helps perform this push-up more easily. It’s crucial that the gluteus maximus muscles are strong because when they are weak, various compensations can occur in the body. Compensations can lead to the over-stressing of certain muscles, which can result in strain or injury. Specifically, muscular imbalances in the pelvis can prevent you from performing and maintaining the neutral spinal position during Staggered Push-ups. Stronger gluteus maximus muscles help prevent muscular imbalances that can occur in the pelvis. 

If you were to give one tip for a client who is unmotivated what would it be?

Working out can be difficult. It can be challenging to find time because of work, kids, your spouse, and/or other commitments. When you seem to have time to exercise – you may be rushed and lack the energy to perform a workout to the best of your capability. Yes, working out has the potential to NOT be fun. I guess that’s why they call it “working out” and not “hanging out.” However, as they say in life, perspective is everything. We as human beings WILL make time to do what we want to do, although, how do we find the motivation to exercise especially when there can be a million reasons not to workout? What are the magic words I could give someone to reenergize their love for exercise? Additionally, what’s the one tip that I would give an unmotivated client to reach their fitness goal?

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What is the best cardio to get clients’ heart rate up during a session?

Ah, cardio. We all know it’s important to do. Some of your clients may even fear cardio just as much as you or any other trainer does. However, cardio doesn’t have to be unexciting, tedious, or even dreadful for your clients to reach their fitness goals. While there’s no “best” cardio exercise for your client to perform, the better choice would be choosing an exercise that your client can perform based upon their fitness levels with correct form. There are a multitude of creative cardio methods to create fun, challenging, and effective workouts for your clients during your sessions together.

Enclosed below are three different methods to get your client’s heart rates up while hopefully keeping a smile on their faces…

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How do I find out what motivates my clients the most?

Ah, motivation. Depending on whom you talk to, motivation can be one of the finest tools for achieving success or just a downright intimidating word that prevents anyone from achieving their goals. It’s vital for the fitness professional to remember that every decision we make starts within ourselves and where our mindset currently resides. Motivation is found in what inspires us.

Creating and maintaining motivation for our clients can be challenging, therefore, I have designed this three-step “R” system that will help guide you in helping your client achieve the most success possible while they remain motivated throughout.

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What are the top 3 things I should do outside of face-to-face training that will keep my clients happy and raving about my services?

Whether you’re a fitness professional who has just started with a new client or have been training the same client for multiple years, providing top-notch service will always separate you apart from others. Impeccable service is not only crucial to obtaining new business but is the necessary foundation that every fitness professional needs to abide in retaining the clientele that you already have.

So, how do you separate yourself from the rest of a competitive field of fitness professionals? One word — integrity. There’s no faking integrity since your clients are intelligent enough to know if someone doesn’t genuinely care about their well-being or is even being dishonest with them. Integrity is what your client witnesses and feels emotional with you on a personal level. Besides tremendous service in the trainer/client session, you must go even further to truly produce excellent service.

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