Specific adaptation to imposed demands
At a Group Fitness Day a few years ago, I discussed the SAID (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands) principle. This is when the body becomes familiar and comfortable with performing a task in a specific manner, like a squat. We get injured when the body performs a squat in an unfamiliar way (depending on what life throws at us). We could discuss this at length from a client’s point of view, but I am more interested in the group fitness instructor. In 30 years of teaching and presenting, I have heard about more injuries, and physiological issues from instructors than any of the thousands of clients t have taught. This includes me. Yep, I am one of the countless instructors injured due to the occupation.
So, riddle me this, Batman…
If an instructor performs the exercise with good technique and execution in a way that would avoid injury, how is it that we are getting injured?! It doesn’t make sense. The whole point of good technique is that you can perform the exercise repeatedly without getting hurt. Right?
This takes me back to the point I made earlier, the SAID principle. The issue is that doing the same thing the same way every time (regardless of perfect form) can lead to injury. The body needs to get more variation frequently to create resilience. We back ourselves on functional strength, the ability to handle any task life throws us. Functional movement. Then why are we insisting on making our participants squat with ‘feet shoulder width apart’ all the time?? We have to look at instructors to see what the long-term effects of lack of variety will do to the human body.
Diversity of movement
This is why I now change it up in a healthy way, always suggesting a variation in feet position for squats, for example, and always having variety in my weekly classes. Diversity of movement is essential to your physical well-being. Thus, if you incorporate a large arsenal of motion within your workouts, your health and fitness could be more robust. Consider these reasons for using more variation in your exercise routine:
- You won’t get bored
- You will experience more significant results from each workout
- You will avoid injury
Time to mix it up, my friends 🙂