During our CFSC courses we frequently teach kinesthetic cueing techniques. Kinesthetic cueing makes life easier for both the coach and the client.
How many times has an athlete failed to understand the posturing you describe when deadlifting, hinging or planking?
Too many coaches waste their breath verbally cueing things that their clients do not understand. Why not save you and your client the frustration and set both of you up for success with physically driven cues?
Kinesthetic cueing creates “Self-Limiting” exercise, meaning it demands mindfulness and engagement with the task at hand. You can either do it or you can’t but there is no going through the motions.
To further explain I’ll let Gray Cook interject for a moment:
“SELF-LIMITING EXERCISE DEMANDS MINDFULNESS AND AN AWARENESS OF MOVEMENT, ALIGNMENT, BALANCE AND CONTROL. IN SELF-LIMITING EXERCISE, A PERSON CANNOT JUST POP ON THE HEADPHONES AND WALK OR RUN ON THE TREADMILL, FINGERING THE PLAYLIST OR WATCHING THE NEWS ON A WELL-PLACED MONITOR. SELF-LIMITING EXERCISE DEMANDS ENGAGEMENT.
THE CLEAREST EXAMPLE OF SELF-LIMITING EXERCISE IS BAREFOOT RUNNING. WHILE RUNNING BAREFOOT, THE FIRST RUNNERS CONNECTED WITH THE SENSORY INFORMATION IN THE SOLES OF THEIR FEET.”
The use of simple tools and some clever thinking can be the difference between a confused athlete and a masterful one. Rather than attempting to explain a posture to an athlete that has no context we should strive to provide kinesthetic cues that will provide tactile feedback to the athlete.
One cue we use frequently is the dowel rod on the spine to coach any movement where we wish to see static spinal alignment. While in prone, quadruped or when hinging a stick can be a very effective tool to maintain alignment between the head, thoracic spine and sacrum.
Cueing like this this fixes small, mindless mistakes and helps clients improve physical awareness. The goal in any training session it to create conditions that demand engagement and put the athlete in position to execute successfully.