Going back to the basics with your training can improve your client’s results. Strong foundations are essential for fitness. Especially when working with beginners, keep the program simple.

Starting With Simple Moves 

I personally love my beginner/inexperienced clients as this gives me and the client a clean slate to start with. I find it clients appreciate the journey more when they learn the basics of exercising. Before adding too much variety I touch all bases on “beginner” type moves during the first several weeks of training.

modified push up

My client (s) and I focus on upper body movements, such as pushups, overhead presses, and or bicep curls. In addition to this, I incorporate basic core and lower body movements, such as crunches, sit-ups, planks, body squats, and lunges.

Finally, in terms of cardio, that is kept simple as well with a brisk or fast-paced walk, easy jog, and jumping jacks. Performing the moves correctly is also key. This brings us to using proper form.

Using Proper Form

Once a client has the simple moves down, focus on properly executing those moves. Especially before adding resistance or performing more complex moves.

Pushups, for example, aren’t just a chest move, they also help to strengthen the supporting muscles associated with the move such as the abdominals, the shoulders, the glutes, and the quads.

For the beginner client, he or she can perform this classic move with their knees planted on the floor, their back as straight as possible, and their hands under their chest, flared out slightly beyond shoulder-width apart.

I urge my clients not to go too low on the eccentric part of the move but rather form an “L” or 90-degree angle at the elbow and then returning to the upright position. As your client’s strength increases they can work to perform a standard push-up with their body elongated and just their hands and toes supporting their body weight. Apply the same principle of bringing the elbow joint to at least a 90-degree angle (or an “L”) and then returning to the starting position. 

Clients appreciate it when I have them perform simple moves. This gives them the sense that my expertise is not just catered to the seasoned fitness enthusiast but anybody looking to get and stay fit; from the beginner to the advanced clientele.

How do you keep your programs basic and effective?