One of the principal areas of concern for exercise professionals is assessing, recognizing and explaining disease risk factors and other physiological variables for clients. From these evaluations and with the collaboration of medical professionals, personal trainers have a unique yet challenging opportunity to guide and encourage clients to make behavioral and lifestyle changes. This issue’s column serves as an informative resource for identifying the many “numbers” involved in clinical, fitness and health parameters.
Have you ever visualized yourself winning a race, completing a physical feat or attaining a performance goal—and it happened? There are numerous anecdotal stories and testimonials about recreational enthusiasts and competitive athletes using imagery to achieve some type of physical objective. However, what does the research conclude as to the effectiveness of imagery? More specifically, how can fitness professionals aid their students and clients in employing imagery to positively affect physical and performance outcomes?
When you were young, you probably heard the jingle “The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone; the thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone; the hip bone’s connected to the back bone . . .” That ditty could go on for some time, since there are 206 bones in the human body—from the large, thick femur that spans the length of your thigh to the tiny, thin stapes, a stirrup-shaped bone that transmits sound inside your ear. Your skull alone has 22 bones (no wonder my mother keeps telling me I have a hard head!).
IDEA presenter Chuck Wolf, MS, director of Human Motion Associates in Orlando, Florida, believes current methods for addressing thoracic kyphosis (aka upper-cross syndrome) may be missing a crucial element. “Historically, the fitness industry has addressed the kyphotic client by stretching the pectorals, abdominals, hip flexors and shoulder complex while strengthening the rhomboids, trapezius and erector spinae musculature,” says Wolf. “This approach, though prudent, looks at the symptoms and not the cause of the problem.”
Improving Functional Abilities in Older Adults
Which are the most effective training programs for your mature clients, and how can you best assess their current level of functional ability?
By Cody Sipe, MS
The number of people now approaching middle age in America is simply astonishing--and unprecedented in history. It is anticipated that the U.S. population of adults over the age of 65...
The arm (upper limb) rotates medially and laterally about a vertical axis (through the long axis of the humerus). This motion is produced by contraction of the rotator muscles along with other muscles of the upper limb.
TThe multiarticular complex of the shoulder gives rise to the dynamic movement potential of the arm at the glenohumeral joint. If it were not for the physiological necessity of the scapulo-thoracic “joint” (discussed in the previous Fine Anatomy column, “The Shoulder Girdle,” IDEA Personal Trainer, October 2003, p.36) and its role during abduction or flexion of the upper limb to elevate, rotate, tilt and swivel, the elementary movements of the arm would be greatly limited.
Proper screening and risk stratification of clients who are starting exercise programs is important for promoting exercise safety and preventing adverse events during exercise. Personal fitness trainers (PFTs) must be able to utilize the proper tools and understand the information gathered from the preexercise screening. Components of this screening include the health history questionnaire (HHQ); physical activity readiness questionnaire (PAR-Q); risk stratification; and informed consent.