This weekend, I was privileged enough to speak at the “Train Like a Girl” seminar in Lexington, Kentucky. Molly Galbraith and Jim Laird of J&M Strength and Conditioning ran an amazing seminar, and both the presenters and attendees were top notch.
Whenever I leave a seminar like this, I like to take time to reflect not only on what I learned, but how to improve my own teaching and coaching. After working with most of the 75 attendees this weekend, here are three key points I think we should focus on when we train female clients and athletes.
#1 – Learn to Exhale
This was a big takeaway, and one we constantly try to reinforce at IFAST.
Look, we all know that when we’re anxious or stressed out, we should take a deep breath. But here’s where most people go wrong…
They take this huge, gulping breath of air in – but never get it back out!
After working with clients and athletes for years, along with all the ladies this weekend, it’s obvious we don’t know how to exhale.
An easy way to work on this is to focus on not only the exhale when you breathe, but the pause as well.
- Take a big breath in through the nose. It should take 3-5 seconds.
- Exhale fully through the mouth. It should take twice as long to inhale as it did to exhale.
- Pause before inhaling again. If possible, hold your air out for 3-5 seconds. Yes, it will feel like you’re going to pass out, but it will improve with time.
There are tons of ways you can do this – flat on your back, feet elevated, crocodile breathing, etc. Find out which one works best for you and do it one to two times daily.
#2 – Stability is Critical
I’m a little biased here as this was my topic of choice, but stability is critical regardless of your goals.
Want to stay healthy and injury-free? Better learn to stabilize your body effectively.
Want to get stronger? More explosive and athletic? Yep, stability is important here, too.
If you look at the joint-by-joint approach to training, key ares for stability include:
- The feet,
- The knees,
- The core and lower back, and
- The shoulder blades.
We put a heavy emphasis on these areas at the seminar. Most importantly, it’s not just having stability – it’s getting stability the right way. After all, you can arch your lower back really hard to create stability, but this is far from optimal.
#3 – Love YOUR Body
If I can play pop-psychologist for a moment, this is something really important to think about.
I spent the weekend around 75+ women who are serious about improving their body and taking it to the next level.
Yet, I still saw a lot of body image issues, or ladies uncomfortable in their own skin.
During Molly Galbraith’s presentation, she made a great point:
“If you want long, lean muscles, you should’ve picked different parents.”
Look we’re all a little different and unique.
I have a big butt and lower legs, and I’m a little pastier than the average bro.
When I was younger, that was awkward because I didn’t look like everyone else.
But then I realized that being premium white isn’t such a bad thing, and that those big legs are really good at lifting heavy things and putting them back down.
At the end of the day, you can do all kinds of things to improve the shape and function of your body. But you can’t change certain things like your limb lengths, where you store fat, etc.
Learn to love your body, and build the best body that you can.
The Train Like a Girl seminar was a huge success, and I was honored to be a part of it.
If you’d like to learn how we train our ladies here at IFAST, please give us a call at 317.578.0998, or e-mail us at [email protected] and set-up an initial consultation. We’d love the opportunity to work with you!
All the best