If you have ever taken a fitness class, had a personal trainer, or watch a fitness video, you have probably heard the trainer giving you cues on how to perform the given exercise. These cues vary from simple, basic cues to complicated, metaphoric concepts. Most times these cues work, but there are the days when every client gives you a blank look at whatever you are saying to describe a squat.

Here is my humorous take on common cues that I use everyday as a trainer. Some days I really wish I could say these to a client, when they are giving me those blank stares….

Butt Back/Sitting in a chair: I assume that your sit down like the majority of the people I know do and don’t just throw yourself onto furniture. I assume that you let your butt move back towards the chair before you sit down. So do that! Squats are like sitting in a chair! Stop hurting your knees by trying to sit down on your feet!

Belt up/Balls Up: Tilt your pelvis up? No, not like that…. Ummmm…. Nuts up? Oh, now you understand!

90/90: Bending each leg till there is a 90 degree angle at the knee, like every lunge you should be doing. I do assume you passed basic math, and here is it’s real world application!

Strong Core: I mean use your abs! Feel them working! It also means have good posture, if you are standing. So stop slouching while I do this demo!

Engaged abs: Say hello to your transverse abdominals! They are the ones that want to be doing the work! So stop using your back/legs/neck as abs and let your abs do their job! (Yes, some people use their neck muscles as abs. It is not a good thing!)

Turn your Gluts ON: Your Glut Max? Yes, your big butt muscle. I want you to contract it! Squeeze your cheeks together like you are trying to hold a million dollar bill between them! Don’t let it go! And why are you looking at me funny and laughing?

Shoulders Away from your ears: Get those shoulders down! It’s not time to be a desk jockey and it is time to give your traps a break! Stop tensing up! Relax!

Athletic Stance: Feet shoulder width apart, slightly staggered. A stance that isn’t to push you over in. Though I am assuming you played volleyball, softball, or ultimate Frisbee, as these are good position for these sports. Not a great position for diving, gymnastics, shot put or curling.

Butt Down: Typically used while doing planks or push-ups, when they look more like Downward Dog then a plank. So get your butt down, turn on those abs, and stop trying to cheat your way out of a good workout!

Eyes Up: Stop looking at the floor. It will still be there if you don’t look at it. Please direct your eyes to the weight and/or body part I am asking you to so you can stop straining your neck!

Any of these sound familiar?
Happy Training!

-SB

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