Most personal trainers have come across a client who arrives at each session in a state of stress and disarray. If this is not dealt with appropriately, it can derail your programming plans.

Here are some stress reduction strategies from fellow fitness professionals, courtesy of IDEA Answers on IDEA FitnessConnect.

  • “I use Pilates in every session with every client no matter what their goal. If the client is excessively stressed, we start and finish every session with mat work to concentrate on breath control while centering the body with precise and flowing movements utilizing all of the Pilates principles. Oftentimes, just gaining control over their breathing empowers them to tackle the process of believing in themselves enough to revisit the situation with a renewed sense of control.”

    —Anita Ennis, ACE-certified

  • “I actually have a client who is a handful in this department. I put a heart rate monitor on her, sit her down in the corner, mark a spot on the wall and tell her to breath deeply, focus on the spot and not think about anything until I can see her heart rate drop to a level I feel marks her as relaxed. It is easy to see when she thinks about things, as her heart rate will jump up over 10 beats per minute. I remind her to stop thinking and focus on her breathing. When she is calmed down and in the moment we start to train.”

    —Shawn Fears, ACE-certified

  • “I am religious about beginning my sessions with foam rolling. During this time I have my clients decompress physically and mentally. As I guide them through the release techniques, they share their day and their stressors. Inevitably as they begin to tense up again I cue them to breathe deeply to relax their bodies to achieve release of the muscle. It also serves as an emotional release because they are subconsciously releasing the stressor as they breathe deeply to complete the foam rolling.”

    —LaTasha Barnes

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