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August 2012

Three Exercises That Double as Homework Assignments Between Sessions

 

Now that it’s warmer outside, your clients don’t need to rely on a gym membership to get a good workout. Summer makes for longer days and a greater opportunity for them to do quick workouts outdoors, either on the weekends or after they get home from the office. 

Ask your client about the features they have in their neighborhood courtyard, park or even a nearby parking garage. You can help them build a circuit workout that suits their fitness needs by using the equipment that is accessible.

Start with these three basic exercises you can encourage clients to complete in between your personal training sessions, courtesy of ACE Exercise Physiologist Pete McCall.

1. Stair runs—Encourage your clients to run their local high school stadium steps, use the stairs of a parking garage or visit their favorite two-story city landmark. 

2. Step-ups—Use small walls or benches outside the home for this move. Start by placing the right foot on a platform, aligning the knee over the second toe. Then push off with the left leg to raise the body onto the platform, ending with that foot alongside the right foot. Step backward to place the left foot on the ground in its starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.

3. Modified pull-ups—Instruct your clients to find a handrail that is about waist-high, ensuring it will support their weight. Grab the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder-width, overhand grip and slide under the bar. Extend the legs out in front with the weight on the heels. Start with arms fully extended, then exhale and pull the torso up by bending the elbows. The upper chest or neck should almost touch the bottom of the bar. Inhale and lower the torso until the arms are fully extended. To lessen the challenge, bend the knees and draw the feet in closer.

Encourage your clients to gradually incorporate these three exercises into their off-training days for a few weeks. Once they’ve mastered the movements, they can use them to sculpt a challenging circuit.

For lower-intensity workouts, encourage your clients to try the following routine:

  • Run up a flight or two of stairs five times for speed, rotating with walks down
  • Perform nine to 12 step-ups on each leg
  • Complete eight to 12 pull-ups on a railing

Higher-intensity interval trainers can add eight to 12 triangle push-ups, completing the entire circuit three times through without taking rest breaks between exercises, and limiting periods of rest between each circuit to 60 to 90 seconds.       

To learn how you can determine the appropriate intensity levels for your clients, explore the ACE Integrated Fitness Training® (ACE IFT®) model in our workshop, August 18–19 in Seattle, Wash., Kansas City, Mo., Richmond, Va., and Burlington, N.C. This two-day event covers how to deliver assessments, develop rapport with clients and apply appropriate strategies to achieve long-term behavior change. Register today!

 


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