Coaching Warm-ups

August 20, 2008

No, this is not about getting “warmed up” to coach…

But one thing that I have noticed increasingly over the course of the summer is that as strength coaches, we tend to spend a lot of our time with exercise instruction, especially with new clients, but this exercise instruction tends to be focused within the client’s actual session.

What about the warm-up?

Now, with new clients we will show them the warm-up because there are often some drills that they haven’t heard of before, but after that spotting and observing squats and benches seem to become our main priority. I do understand though that we can only observe/critique/correct one person at a time. My thoughts just seem to be, if trainees go through the warm-up drills with crappy form, why don’t we worry about it the same as them doing one of their main exercises with less than perfect form? Does having external load all of a sudden make it a priority to correct and when no weights are involved “we can just let them be”? 

It doesn’t make much sense to me to warm-up with crappy form then focus on good form only during the day’s main exercises.

With all that said, this is not to say that every warm-up drill/exercise needs to be coaching intensive. Jumping jacks for instance don’t need to be, but if your warm-up includes bodyweight squats, this would require a little more attention to how it is executed.

If attention isn’t paid to their bodyweight squat technique, something like this usually occurs:

After doing so many poor bodyweight squats in their warm-ups, we then get frustrated and wonder why they can’t execute a proper squat once we formally teach it when they’re added into their program for the first time months later.

…just my 2 cents (in rant form I think :P)



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