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Using Bio-mechanics to Minimize Injury and Maximize Performance

a personal fitness trainer guiding her client

As aspiring personal trainers undergo certification courses, they gain a lot of theoretical knowledge and practical insights along the way. While you may have had a firm foundation, to begin with, you’ll be able to construct a lot of new concepts and insights atop, each of which pertain to the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of fitness training.

As you pursue your certification, make sure you get a good grasp on the importance of minimizing injury and maximizing performance using bio-mechanics. As you learn these techniques, you’ll be able to effectively teach and demonstrate them to your clients. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics. Continue reading.

1. Maintain Proper Form

Optimal athletic performance requires proper form. As a personal trainer, you can significantly reduce the risk of injury and further optimize your performance if you correct your posture and overall form.

As you exercise, you will be required to move your body in different positions. Whether you’re performing sitting, standing, lying, or squatting exercises, ensure proper spine alignment at all times.

Your lower back should always be flat or have a slight curve. It’s important to note that this is the natural shape of your spine and it should be retained no matter how intense or rigorous the training gets. Make sure you impart this insight to your clients.

2. Ensure Joint Alignment

While ensuring spine alignment is important, it’s not enough. Make sure your joints are also aligned to reduce tension and increase your range of motion. With less stress applied to the joints, the risk of injury will decrease. You’ll reduce the chances of damaging the delicate musculoskeletal structures surrounding the joints.

Recommended Read: What Does the COVID-19 Delta Variant Mean for Fitness Professionals and Facility Operators?

3.Become a Certified Personal Trainer

a certified personal trainer coaching her client

We’ve highlighted the two primary rules of bio-mechanics for fitness trainers. Unfortunately, these only scratch the surface. In order to provide optimal fitness training classes to your clients, you should have a good grasp of the theoretical and practical underpinnings of fitness training. As you take a deeper dive into bio-mechanics and ergonomics, you’ll understand how you can help optimize performance and minimize the risk of training as you guide your clients.

If you’re interested in becoming a personal trainer, explore our personal fitness trainer certification courses. At W.I.T.S., we’re committed to helping aspiring personal trainers become certified and turn their passion into a rewarding job. We offer group exercise instructor certification, personal trainer certifications, and more. We also offer the only in-person practical skill weekly labs to master the form and function of the exercises while mastering the soft skills of talking clients through the safe process for results.

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What Does the COVID-19 Delta Variant Mean for Fitness Professionals and Facility Operators?

By Joseph Giandonato, MBA, MS, CSCS
Faculty Member
World Instructor Training Schools

The murmuring of cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant has sounded the alarms of multiple public health agencies throughout the US in recent days. As of Tuesday, July 20th, the Delta variant represents 83% of new COVID-19 cases — which since the middle of July has averaged 32,837 new cases per day nationwide. Additionally, hospitalizations in that same span are up 35% from the week prior according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Delta variant’s ascension comes at a time as many of us are finally settling back to the settings in which were most comfortable working with our clients, athletes, and students.

Let’s first dispel some falsehoods about the Delta variant and provide fitness professionals and facility operators suggestions on how to remain open in light of its recent proliferation.

1. The Delta variant is more dangerous than COVID-19. FALSE.

Variants are mutations of a virus and festooned nomenclature, in this case Greek alphabet characters to differentiate them from the original virus (COVID-19 Alpha) and other forms. A hallmark of the Delta variant are pronounced spike proteins which make it easier to penetrate cells and gain entry into angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) which are found within the cells of the skin, smooth muscles, bronchial tract, and sebaceous and eccrine glands. Delta variant is highly transmissible and potentially more contagious than COVID-19 but no more dangerous.

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What All Personal Trainers Should Know About Weight Loss

weight loss

If you are a certified personal trainer from a reputable training school, you might be aware of the tips and tricks involved in helping people drop down a few extra stones to get back to a healthier lifestyle. You must also be aware of the struggles that obese people face daily and the suffering that they have to face at the hands of society’s cruelty.

But if you are leading a personal health trainer program to make a difference in someone’s life, we advise you to go through the following article and keep these in mind during work hours.

1. Obese People Are Not Lazy

Contrary to how obese people are usually portrayed, obesity is not the result of laziness in most cases. In fact, it is a chronic condition that needs to be dealt with sensitivity and patience. Having a biased perception against people suffering from obesity can demotivate them and end up causing more harm than any good.

2. Weight Loss Might Be Harmful

Obese people who try to follow a very rigorous weight loss routine can end up causing very serious complications to their health. That is why we insist on getting help from someone who has personal fitness trainer certification and knows exactly what to add and subtract from a client’s lifestyle to help them shed weight without compromising on immunity.

3. Exercise Is Useful, but Upgrades to the Menu Are Necessary as Well

You could be making your client go through the best exercise routine, but you won’t achieve the desired results until you make some upgrades to their kitchen routine. And to make them as effective as you can, you will have to ensure that these are fun upgrades and not things that the client dreads or runs away from instead of embracing happily.

Obesity might have become a rising problem in today’s world, but with enough patience, coaching, and a little understanding, you can not only help someone build their confidence but also improve their lives by making them become a healthier, more active version of themselves.

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Increased Physical Activity Can Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

by Joe Giandonato, MBA, MS, CSCS

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Health Awareness Month

Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of a monoclonal antibody that targets amyloid beta, a chief constituent of amyloid plaque that is implicated in neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. Though preliminary reports suggest hope in treating the devastating disease which has robbed 6 million living Americans of their dignity and independence, the drug’s approval has been vehemently debated on the grounds of spurious initial clinical trial data validating its potential efficacy. (more…)

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Improve Mental Health through Physical Activity

By Joe Giandonato, MBA, MS, CSCS

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five U.S. adults (52 million Americans) is grappling with mental illness per the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services aimed at addressing quality and availability of treatment and rehabilitative services related to substance abuse and mental illnesses.

The convergence of public health, economic, and societal crises in 2020 served as a watershed moment that inequality and disparities in resources exist, but more harrowingly that our country is panged by an illness significantly more widespread than COVID-19 and perhaps less reported than the common cold. (more…)

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An Update From The Director of Curriculum

Greetings everyone! I hope this update finds you well. As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we are grateful for your dedication and perseverance to both your education and your clients. Fortunately, the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter each day, as more people become vaccinated and case counts decrease. Most states have begun to ease restrictions and fitness facilities across the US are re-opening their doors to eager people who are looking to shed their own personal “Covid-19” weight gain.

At W.I.T.S., we always aim to provide up-to-date and relevant educational programming for our students and post-pandemic life will provide us with a unique opportunity to introduce our newest certification program: Medical Fitness Specialist. This program will focus on identifying, programming for, and training clients with a multitude of chronic conditions, ranging from anxiety through cancer.

According to the CDC, nearly 6 in 10 Americans are currently living with a chronic condition and nearly 4 in 10 Americans are living with more than one chronic condition. We can also expect this number to increase in the coming months/years as a result of Covid-19 “long haulers” and the number of people newly diagnosed with conditions such as anxiety or depression increase. A key component in training these unique individuals is understanding the unique challenges and opportunities they present and this certification course will do just that!


Learn More About the Medical Fitness Specialist Certification


Medical Fitness Specialist Certification is a 30-CEC course that will spend equal parts studying core content (lecture-based) and learning hands-on approaches to training these unique clients (practical-based). When learning about each condition, students will learn about:

  • Basic pathophysiology
  • Common medications and interactions
  • Effects of exercise response and training
  • Recommendations for exercise training
  • Exercise program recommendations

We are extremely excited to offer this course and our developers are working diligently to get this course completed as quickly as possible while maintaining the educational standard you’ve come to expect from our coursework. Stay tuned for its release in May 2021!


Learn More About the Medical Fitness Specialist Certification


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Medical Fitness Specialist Certification – Prepare for the Future

Author – Pamela G. Huenink, MS, EP-C

Are most of your clients healthy with no underlying conditions? Most likely no. In fact, the majority of your clients probably have at least one risk factor that puts them at a higher level for complications and restrictions with normal physical activity and exercise.

The increase in the incidence of disease has risen astronomically over the past 15-20 years. Many factors have played into this, such as a decrease in daily movement (usually because of the use of technology), increased portions sizes, bad health and wellness choices and even the lack of nutrition in our consumable whole foods. This has taken the previous fitness field as we know it and started to push it into a new direction: medical fitness.

A classic personal trainer certification teaches you the basics to assess, program and progress workouts for what we are told is the average client, but that healthy person is no longer the average client. So how do you prepare yourself as a personal trainer in this new developing area of medical fitness?

We all know that if we could take the effects of exercise on the human body and put it into a pill form, there would be no need for half of the jobs in the medical and fitness world.

The American College of Sports Medicine has long used the phrase Exercise is Medicine (EIM). Their EIM global health initiative “encourages physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans and to refer patients to evidence-based exercise programs and qualified exercise professionals. EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity promotes optimal health and is integral in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions.”

World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.) has always been committed to providing the most up-to-date training for our personal trainers. Their new Advanced Medical Fitness course is bringing the medical fitness world to your doorstep and giving you the skills necessary to work with the new average client who may suffer from one of many underlying health conditions. This course will give you the knowledge to work with these clients and take referred patients from medical professionals looking to incorporate activity into their patient’s daily life. Your knowledge from this class can also protect you legally due to your ability to provide an increased safe workout environment.


Learn more about the Medical Fitness Specialist Certification


The following topics will be covered in depth in this course:

  • Exercise Is Medicine in Chronic Care
  • Basic Physical Activity and Exercise Recommendations for Persons With Chronic Conditions
  • Art of Clinical Exercise Programming
  • Art of Exercise Medicine: Counseling and Socioecological Factors
  • Approach to the Common Chronic Conditions
  • Chronic Conditions Strongly Associated With Physical Inactivity
  • Chronic Conditions Very Strongly Associated With Tobacco
  • Cancer, Significant Sequelae Related to Common Chronic Conditions
  • Depression and Anxiety Disorders

Prepare yourself for the future with this Medical Fitness Specialist Level I Certification that puts you a very large step above the rest of personal trainers! The MFS Level II Certification with more in-depth coverage of disease and chronic conditions will be available in the Fall of 2021.


Learn more about the Medical Fitness Specialist Certification


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What does Dosha have to do with Exercise?

As a personal trainer, you will hear all kinds of excuses from people as to why they can’t lose weight, gain muscle with weight training, or stick to a workout plan. And sometimes your response will be an internal eye roll along with the thought, “here we go again!” But hold on a second because sometimes their excuse is actually valid.

Ayurveda is the traditional Hindu system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and believes that energy systems called doshas govern physiological activity. There are three doshas – Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. We encompass all three systems but usually have one predominate system and sometimes a close secondary. For example, I am a Pitta with a Vata secondary.

The cool thing is that as trainers, we can use someone’s dosha to guide their nutrition and workout programs. As it relates to exercise, most trainers that love working out with weights are Pitta body types. It makes sense because a Pitta Dosha needs to pump some iron to be healthy. A Pitta is like a Mesomorph – they build muscle easily. However, if you are training a Vata body type (think Ectomorph) and you start overloading them too quickly (or in some cases, at all), they can start to feel sick, get injured, feel discouraged and quit.

Here is a breakdown of body types and the best type of exercise for them. A Vata needs more zen-like exercise to be healthy – yoga, tai chi, brisk walking, biking, martial arts, and dancing. A Pitta does well with weight training, circuit training, biking, hiking, swimming, tennis, climbing, and skiing. A Kapha (Endomorph) needs to work up a good sweat and does well with aerobic activity such as brisk walking, jogging, running (if their joints are healthy and they don’t have too much extra weight on them), spinning, dancing, circuit training, and rowing.


Browse these courses on sport and exercise nutrition.


As I mentioned before, most people will have a primary and a secondary. You may think the primary is easy to discern based on their body type, but this may not always be accurate. You may think someone who is carrying a lot of extra weight is a Kapha, but if they were thin children and only gained the weight later in life, they could be a Vata or a Pitta who just needs to lose some weight. A true Kapha will be those people who say they have always had trouble with their weight, even as young children. You may think that someone extremely thin is a Vata but could possibly be someone with an eating disorder and that someone muscular is a Pitta but could possibly be taking steroids. It is always best to have them take a dosha quiz.

If you figure out your clients’ doshas, you can tailor a workout that will excite them, get them results without injury, and keep them motivated. Using myself as an example again, I love to be in the weight room, and I thrive with that style of workout. However, having a Vata secondary, I know that my Pitta can become imbalanced which leads me to being highly driven with an energy level that can sometimes be way out of balance. In order to balance that high energy, I need to add some Vata elements into my routine so I have a balance of Pittas. I do this by regularly taking slow, meditative nature walks and taking an occasional yoga or dance class.

Check out a video I did on this subject at www.rhondahuff.com, Videos, Chapter D and you can find a cool Dosha worksheet that you can use with your clients in my book, Healthy Living From A To Z: The Guide To Finding Who You Really Are & Feeding Who You Were Created To Be which can be purchased on the website or, along with my first book, The Addictive Personal Trainer: The Client-Centered Approach That Keeps Them Coming Back For More at www.Amazon.com/author/rhuff.


Browse these courses on sport and exercise nutrition.


Bio:

Rhonda is currently working on a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and is an Exercise Physiologist with a BS in Fitness-Wellness and an MEd in Education. She is a certified personal trainer, a board-certified holistic health and nutrition coach, a master neurolinguistic programming and hypnosis practitioner, an advanced Frequency Specific Microcurrent practitioner, a published author, a motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur. Rhonda currently resides in Atlanta, GA, but also calls NYC, NC and VA home. Learn more about Rhonda and her work at www.rhondahuff.com.

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Pooling it Together: Benefits of Aquatic Exercise

By Joe Giandonato, MBA, MS, CSCS

Among the numerous exercise modalities studied, practiced, and employed within the fitness industry, aquatic exercise / pool exercises and the cadre of benefits it boasts, is often overlooked by fitness professionals.

According to a 2013 report furnished by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association entitled “Sports, Fitness, and Leisure Activities Topline Participation”, 9,177 people out of 42,365 respondents or 22%, indicated participation within aquatic exercise at least one time in the past year. Per the IHRSA 2018 Health Club Consumer Report, a biennially conducted survey, showed an increased participation rate of 5% in aquatic exercise.

The utility of aquatic exercise and its far reaching health and performance boosting benefits, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to rage on in conjunction with the onset of flu season in geographic locales throughout the United States and the rest of the world, should be given closer consideration for acceptance within a comprehensive fitness program. (more…)

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Prevent Groin Pulls with These Exercises

By Joe Giandonato, MBA, MS, CSCS

Injuries of the groin muscles, or adductor muscles complex, are one of the most problematic issues in a number of sports. According to a 2007 report featured in the Sports Medicine Journal, groin injuries are most common in field sports such as rugby, soccer and ice hockey [1]. Groin overuse injuries are also relatively common in other field sports such as football and lacrosse.

The report identified core weakness as a possible underlying cause in groin pain in athletes & groin injuries, as coactivation, or simultaneous firing of the core musculature and adductors must occur during the athletic movements the adductors generate.

The adductor complex is a composed of an assemblage of muscles layered on top of one another, cordoning the inner thighs. They balance the pelvis during gait and as mentioned earlier, contribute to athletic movements, which include twisting, turning, and pivoting, they are also key players in pelvic stability, such as activities of daily living which include climbing stairs and picking up objects. (more…)