It goes without saying, coaching correct form and technique is an absolute must as a fitness professional. It’s not uncommon to witness (esp in personal training sessions) in gyms, parks, etc. poor form within various modalities (from TRX to bodyweight exercises to sports, boxing, etc.). Before I go into specific examples why it’s important to teach good technique, I’d like to address poor technique and its effects, as this should be the primary motivation for coaching correct form...
Poor Technique & Injury: Many overuse injuries are attributed to repetitive, poorly executed actions. This can cause excessive pressure on certain joints, tendons, muscles which can contribute to an injury. Over time symptoms of injuries caused by poor or incorrect technique will be exacerbated and could lead to a more serious long term damage.
Effects of Bad Technique on Performance: Injuries are not the only by-product of incorrect movement patterns; performance levels will also decrease. Poor technique will prevent optimum strength, power output and speed in the particular movement, eventually leading to a lack of desired results.
4 Benefits of Always Coaching Correct Technique…
Builds Trust: If you are (as you should be) focused on a client’s form at all times, this will provide re-assurance and trust in your ability and skill to coach correctly, safely and that you are knowledgable enough to coach the movement patterns that you have programmed.
Progression: You can’t expect someone who is consistently performing an exercise or sport with poor or incorrect form to improve. Whether it’s strength training, boxing, running, etc. over time a lack of improvement, development of skill and overall physical progress is definitely not a basis for a long term relationship between coach & athlete.
Results: Good, solid form will yield faster results, whether you are coaching a deadlift or a jab, it’s crucial as a coach to care that your client is trains with correct form, learning about how to move correctly to ensure the full physical benefits of the training safely. Good form does not only just make you look good in the gym, it creates full potential to gain full the effects from each exercise.
Reputation: The way your athletes / clients look when they train, reflects directly on you as a trainer. Take the following scenario… Coach A & Coach B are both training clients in the same gym, they have both been training their respective clients for 12 months. Coach A’s client is performing a squat terribly and has has no clue on how to modify and isn’t being coached or taught how to correct it. Coach B’s client is squatting heavy barbell sets with perfect form while Coach B monitors, studies, enthusiastically and genuinely encourages, motivates and coaches etc. etc. Meanwhile a new member of the gym who’s goal is to get stronger, but isn’t sure how to go about looks on in the background, you get the picture! Client A struggles for confidence and is still confused and frustrated why she has no shape to her ass and her knees hurt! While client B has confidence through the roof, successful career and is often complemented on how lean & strong she looks and how good she looks in her dress on a Saturday night.
Summary: As a fitness professional, your own safety and longevity is equally as important. With the Box ’N Burn Academy courses we go into detail on not only how to punch correctly and teach correct boxing technique, but how to hold mitts with effective technique too in order to safely teach boxing fitness, with the goal of minimal physical impact to you as a trainer. We also go into specifics on coaching effectively, professionalism and more.
Coaching is challenging, not everyone will have good form, it takes time! Not everyone you work with will be physically capable, coachable, able or even willing to learn and progress, but I believe if you have a constant commitment to teaching human movement the correct way and staying educated on what is correct, then even the most challenging clients with will eventually see the value in your approach. It’s about gaining the respect and trust for the goals you are working towards achieving for them.
Stay motivated, stay educated, keep your passion for progressing all types of people and you will succeed.