Learning the language of fitness

Mon Nov 7, 2011 10:21am EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fire your glutes, relax your traps, lengthen your spine, engage your core.

If the instructions are confusing, you're not alone.

Experts say fitness is about action, not words and fitness jargon sprinkled too liberally through a workout can confuse the client.

"The terms are important if a client wants to know them," said Josh Stolz, a senior trainer at an Equinox fitness center in New York City. "Understanding how the body moves, which muscles move you in which direction, and the exercises associated with them, is really the key."

Stolz said trainers can get too wrapped up in using anatomical terms to impress clients.

"In America we like to shorten everything: tris and bis instead of triceps and biceps, quads and hams instead of quadriceps and hamstrings," he said.

Often a touch is worth a thousand abbreviated words.

"I'm very tactile when I train. So if a client can't activate a muscle, I'll actually rub it so they feel what I' m talking about," he said. "If I'm trying to get someone's rhomboids (upper back muscles) to fire, I'll just poke underneath the shoulder blades."   Continued...

<p>The wheels of an indoor bicycle are seen spinning at a SoulCycle class at their Union Square location in New York April 13, 2011. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>