Students often ask me for specific exercises to help with issues like shoulder pain or flattening their stomach. The problem is that the human musculature is a complex system of multi-directional muscles. One or even two exercises cannot possibly make real body shape or pain-relief changes. To reflect the reality of the complexity of the human body and offer real changes—a systematic approach of going through all the related muscle groups needs to be adopted. For shoulder pain, we need to offer a sequence of exercises that cover the full range of motion of the shoulder. For flattening the stomach, a series of top three stretching and strengthening are necessary because the stomach is actually the front part of the top three.
Clients are programmed through the media, to look for the top 3 or 4 exercises to change their lives! Essentrics is not the type of fitness program that suggests that there are easy solutions to complex problems.
Single exercises will not deliver the results that people are looking for. A few exercises done incorrectly will only lead to disappointment and a disrespect of Essentrics. This is why we have to resist giving clients a couple of simple exercises when they ask for them.
Instead, we must explain to them the logic of working the full musculature of their problem area with a sequence of exercises and encourage then to do the correct sequencing. These sequences can take a short 5 to 10 minutes, but they will make a difference as long as the client has been instructed exactly how to do them. This brings up the next problem of correct tension and speed.
Remember that exercises are only a fraction of the solution; it is how they do those exercises that really counts. So often, people injure themselves doing exercises incorrectly—too fast or too forcefully. The effectiveness of Essentrics is much more about “how” clients do the exercises than about the actual exercises themselves.
As an Essentrics instructor, you know that the techniques are more important than the actual exercises—be sure to take the time to show your clients how to do the sequences. I recommend that you either offer a private training session to teach them the correct sequencing or direct them to suitable YouTube clips that will give them short sequences to follow.
Both of these reasons are why I am so reluctant to recommend exercises without making sure that they do full range of motion and understand the appropriate techniques to safely do those exercises. When you are advising clients, you will have to take all those points under consideration as well.
Try not to let your clients force you into giving them one or two exercises as a takeaway to do every day. You are doing your clients an injustice. Explain to them how their body works and convince them to do a full range of motion sequence that you show them. People are always looking for simple cookie-cutter solutions in fitness, but the human body isn’t a robot. It needs a more sophisticated approach then a one-exercise fits all answer—you can offer them that solution by using Essentrics correctly.
What’s been going on this summer with Essentrics?
Try finding the beat in the following songs. Start at the beginning and count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 all the way through. You will notice that the beat repeats itself and every time you get back to the 1 you will be at the beginning of the next phrase. Try to practice this with the songs you use for plies, side leg lifts, side to side lunges, arms and anything else with a beat. It will make it much easier to count and it will be much easier for your class to follow.
Warm up: Can’t feel my face – The Weeknd Joanne Manderson, Level 2
Kicks: The Avenur – Fade out Lines Sahra Esmonde-White, Founder
Side Lunges: The Dog Days are Over – Florence + the Machine Gail Garceau, Level 3
What are your short/long-term goals in terms of teaching Essentrics?
I have recently achieved what was, until now, my main goal: becoming Level 4 certified! What I would truly love now, based on my Essentrics training and physical rehabilitation background, would be to work with up and coming athletes (cheerleaders, skaters, dancers, etc.) by joining their trainers and using Essentrics to prepare their bodies in an even more complete way.
J’ai tout récemment complété ma certification en obtenant mon Niveau 4 d’instructeur. C’était mon objectif depuis le tout début de ma formation. Maintenant, j’aimerais combiner ma passion pour Essentrics et ma formation en réadaptation physique pour travailler avec des athlètes en devenir (cheerleaders, patineurs, danseurs, etc). En me joignant à leur équipe d’entraîneurs, je leur montrer comment Essentrics peut préparer leurs corps de façon encore plus complète.
Favourite trademark songs?
I Can Fly // Lana Del Rey
To Build A Home // The Cinematic Orchestra
Wild Horses // Alicia Keys (Unplugged)
What is your favourite PCW?
As eager as I was at first to span out and try many different PCWs—PCW1 remains one of my favorites. I often go back and use it to add-on and modify into variations for different classes.
Pendant mes premières 30 heures d’enseignement, j’avais si hâte de découvrir d’autres PCW par contre encore aujourd’hui, le PCW1 demeure un de mes favoris. Je me sers souvent de la routine pour faire des ajouts et modifications et créer des variations pour différentes classes.