Don’t be Camera Shy
If you are like me, explaining things via text can be difficult. Important bits of information can be lost in communication if the message is misinterpreted. This is amplified when trying to give instructions to clients who need explanations or form breakdowns and technique cues. For one thing, the coach is not actually seeing the movement to give precise feedback. A great way to communicate with clients and athletes is to utilize technology that we all have access to: the ability to record video.
Benefits to recording training
Not only does recording video allow for your coach to view your session, it also gives the lifter a third-person viewpoint to review technique as well as a secondary training log. You may ask, “what do you mean a training log?” A properly-kept training log will include notes about how you felt that day and any changes you (or coach) made during the session. With video, you can see:
your ACTUAL setup (not just how it felt)
if it changed (intentionally or not) between subsequent reps or sets
if it was different then the week prior
how you handled the weight that week
how much weight you lifted
All of theses variables will aid you in strength and movement progressions weather you are an athlete or lifting for enjoyment.
Lost in Translation
A common movement cue that gets lost in translation is hip hinging to squat. Describing how to hip hinge can be difficult, especially for clients who may have never hip hinged properly before. A very basic explanation of hip hinging found on Google: “A hip hinge is a movement (flexion and extension) through the hip joint, keeping a neutral spine and the knees slightly flexed”. If you are not sure if you hip hinge well, that explanation isn’t much help. Here is my attempt to explain a hip hinge: “A hip hinge is a movement where your spine and hips move together through a front to back motion with no exaggerated flexing or arching of the spine.” Now although that is a different way of describing a hip hinge, it still may mean nothing to someone who is not sure they are hip hinging properly. Here is a video with a little more information (explaining flexion and extension) but following my previous text description of a hip hinge:
Putting it Together
Once you get over being camera shy, video will be the quickest way to get more accurate feedback from your coach who may not be able to aid you in person. There will be less breakdown in communication, visual aspects of movement can be discussed and seen paired with text decreasing frustration as a client. Now focus can be re-directed to implementing cues and getting stronger rather than deciphering what someone is trying to say. So get those camera stands, make the ugliest lifting face you can, and get strong.