Clarification: I am working with her on the standard body weight exercises, some dumbbell exercises (light weights), aerobic exercise, nutrition, weight loss, etc. and she’s doing very well. However, due to her lack of coordination, I am trying to incorporate new twists so she doesn’t get bored and continues to improve. Any ideas would be helpful! Thank you!
That’s great for your client to go through this for a better life.
You could try doing alternate bicep curls, then one side at a time, etc. with all the exercises until she becomes more coordinated. Incorporating dance steps for cardio should help, too. How is she with jumping jacks or skipping? That could be a good practice move, as well. These are all simple enough to start with, for now. Jump rope will do the trick, also, just start without the rope for now.
Take care and enjoy watching your client make improvements.
Hi Alissa. That’s wonderful that you’re looking for different ways to continue to motivate and challenge your client. I’ve worked with a lot of overweight clients (one who lost over 125 pounds!). One thing that I try to do is NOT baby my client simply because they are overweight – my overweight clients have come to truly appreciate that (as a matter of fact, just this past Saturday one such client said “the reason that I keep renewing sessions with you is that you challenge me…you make me work…”). Several years ago I wrote an article on this subject and would be happy to share it with you if you want to send me an email offline (I can’t attach the article to this Answer).
In any event, the long and short of it is “challenge your overweight client!” If you do this safely, in logical progression, and within their own personal capabilities you will find that your client will not be bored, will rise to the challenge and will come to appreciate not only being challenged and not coddled, but also gain confidence in their own abilities.
The KEY is to work within your client’s physical capabilities, while at the same time still challenging them!
I hope that this helps.
One does not need to be coordinated to walk or ride an exercise bike, both very appropriate activities for overweight clients. However, I would ask first; what are your client’s goals? Is she worried about her lack of coordination? I would not start an overweight client with any type of jumping until she had a basic level of fitness. Is she getting bored or are you? I have found that I am usually the one bored, not my client. Coordination does improve with practice; even basic patterns. If it is a concern, start very very simply so she does not get frustrated, dance may be too complicated. If she has the technique mastered you can combine bicep curls with squats, or have her do different types of walks; front, backwards, sideways. I have also found that overweight people who have been sedentary are very much out of touch with their bodies: Make sure you tell her which muscle group you are working, and where she should feel each exercise to increase body awareness.
Sometimes it helps to actually do the exercise along with your client or have them look in a mirror.
Be patient and pay attention to “over correcting” her.
Stay with basic moves: Begin with one move then slowly add another once she is proficient with the basic move. If she can’t do all of them together, back off and start again, she will eventually “get it”!!
it is important that your client always feels successful, and if you want to add challenges, make sure they are just within grasp. For example, when performing a seated exercise, have her sit on a ball. Then ask her to lift one leg while doing the exercise. This does not require coordination but a fair amount of core stability. I have also added dyna disc to familiar exercises or had clients stand on one leg.
Some people have a hard time with coordination (just watch otherwise fit people on the dance floor or in an aerobics class). They are okay the way they are.