As most of you know, I've grown up with a background in dance - ballet, tap, modern/jazz, freestyle/street dance and most recently acrobatics. Dance has always looked at ensuring safe practice whether you're new to the hobby or a seasoned athlete, and rightly so... dancers bodies go through A LOT. However, it's becoming more and more apparent to me now as a Strength and Conditioning Coach, the importance of sharing my understanding of technique with my clients; the movements that they complete must be done safely in order to be able to replicate these things in everyday life.
I do pride myself on ensuring that technique is taught properly to my clients, and as a trainer think that good technique can make the difference between a long-term client who sees steady and continuous progress, compared to a short-term client who just wants a quick fix. (If you start training with me, then you're in it for the long run!) The occasional nit-picking through some of our exercise sessions are my best way of ensuring safe practice, with little to no injuries across your lifetime of fitness.
I also try to explain my reasoning behind some movements whether we're working in class or as a 1-2-1, so that you know why you're completing a certain exercise. This way, you can replicate these exercises more safely in your own time - after all, knowledge is power, and power gives us the understanding to create the greatest versions of ourselves . When a client starts to understand a movement in more detail, levels of motivation can increase since they will have less worry of whether to not they're doing the right thing. In turn, higher levels of motivation create a better feeling of commitment to their programme and clients will start to see more results - even for the things they don't realise are possible!
Additionally, ensuring to use a good technique during exercise sessions and in every day life can help with better muscle engagement. Sometimes we may have a slight weakness that can be fixed simply by learning to use the correct muscles, for example; a women who has been through childbirth may suffer from a sore or weak back - this is most often due to the fact the bones have naturally softened from changes in hormones and the fact the abdominal muscles will have stretched. By learning proper technique for exercises (when the time is right and you are safe to do so), a women can soon learn to eradicate some/all of the back pain by finding out how to properly engage the abdominals again, as well as safely strengthening across the back.
I love being able to see when the light switches in one of my clients eyes as to how they've been able to achieve new things... we've been focusing even more on safe technique practices that will help to fulfil a long-term healthy lifestyle, with as little risk of injury as possible. I've seen some of my clients run faster or jump higher, whilst others are now lifting heavier and working through classes they never imagined they'd work through! It's taken their patience and determination to maintain fitness sessions (especially through lockdown, dare I say that dreaded word!) but all those little goals that they once wanted to achieve are falling into place... safely and surely their understanding for good technique is what has got them there, and they'll be working now for years to come knowing that they'll continue to achieve the healthy, balanced lifestyle that they've been looking for.
As with everything, injury cannot always be completely avoided - you could be walking down the street and suffer from a twisted ankle and muscle strain around the area. However, good technique can help to lessen this risk due to being able to understand what feels right or wrong when we move. Dance has given me a fairly rounded view of how to work on certain movements and exercises, so whilst I am still learning newer moves and methods for proper technique, I am able to share my knowledge and experience with others.