Believe or not, the last day of a conference is typically my favorite. Although mental and physical exhaustion has fully set in, there is often one more final ‘a-ha’ moment just waiting right around the corner. One that makes you glad you stayed all the way through that last session.
When Chuck Wolf asked the attendees in his lecture (Movement Training for Special Populations) “How many of your clients have back problems, knee injuries or hip replacements?” almost everyone in the room raised their hands. As discussions evolved, Wolf demonstrated ways exercises could be broken down to their most essential movements. With back, knee and shoulder being the top three most common areas for injuries, it seems likely to come across a client who isn’t plagued with some type of debilitating issue. How do you modify a squat if your client has little-to-no dorsi flexion?
During Hayley Hollander’s session Smart Programming for Peri- and Postmenopausal Women, there was no shortage of intelligent questions. Attendees were actively looking for ways to effectively train clients experiencing mood changes, bone loss, weight gain and decreased energy levels. “Clients on hormonal therapy still need to train their metabolic engine,” she said. “While medicine can combat perimenopausal symptoms, physiological changes are still occurring in the body.” To think, women between the ages of 40-60 are increasingly seeking the help of fitness professionals. It makes sense to want to further understand the acute variables that impact their exercise prescription.
Sitting through these sessions, it became apparent that more and more personal trainers are having to reconsider their approaches due to clients’ limitations. It got me thinking--are ‘special populations’ becoming the norm? If so, is this changing or expanding the scope of our practice as fitness professionals?
It’s amazing the amount of science that exists that supports exercise prescriptions and fitness practices. Yet, I still feel like there is so much we need to learn about the human body. A-ha!