Tweak Your AMT® Workout
Tweak Your AMT® Workout
by Jeff Groh, Precor Master Coach, ACE Medical Exercise Specialist, ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist and Gray Institute Fellow
The AMT® with Open Stride™ is loaded with movement variations to personalize the movement experience of your clients in addition to keeping their workouts fresh! Let’s look inward as we enhance your ability to develop AMT workouts with simple body position adjustments to help keep each movement primed in 3D!
Tweak 101: Knee Alignment
Regardless of which position tweak you decide to attempt with your client, be mindful of his or her knee position relative to the feet and hips. From a movement efficiency perspective, the knees function optimally when remaining in-line with the feet and hips relative to external and internal forces. The take away communication here is to preserve alignment through the legs versus improper form, while avoiding variations that cause discomfort and contribute to imbalances in your clients.
Tweak 102: Foot Position
During most upright activities, the structure and function of the foot is designed to rapidly adapt to various ground surfaces upon impact, then quickly become rigid enough to engage larger muscle groups while propelling the full weight of the body into the intended direction. Let’s get started by appreciating the connection between the feet and pedals with a focus on body mechanics.
Have your client begin with a simple step stride while holding the rodeo grips. As they press their feet into the pedals, have them focus on the bottoms of the feet. Is the pressure the same on each foot or does your client sense a difference?
Next, try having your client vary the pressure of the feet into the pedals:
- The person you are working with should consciously press into his or her heels to focus more on the posterior hip muscles.
- Instruct your client to press into the balls of the feet to focus on the quadriceps and calf muscles.
- Lastly, have your client prove to themselves that they are the master and commander of proper knee alignment by instructing them to press through the mid-foot without over collapsing the arches of the feet. Remember that appropriate knee alignment is a function of good foot and hip mechanics.
1. Instruct your client to position his or her feet wide against the outside of the pedals. Have them engage the outside of their hips and raise the arches of the feet to keep the knees from diving inward.
2. Have your client position their feet narrow against the inside of the pedals. Be aware that the knees may want to move away from the midline here and make the necessary adjustments as necessary. You may want to have your client visualize a straight line running from the middle of his or her hop, through the knee, and down to the middle of the ankle.
3. Guide your clients in positioning their feet all the way forward (a) into the pedals or all the way back (b) into the pedals. Both of these variations present a challenge when attempting the “drop down” or “Up Down” variations as described in the AMT Team Fit HIIT program.
4. Instruct your client to position the feet with a slight external rotation. Once again, maintain good alignment by controlling the arches of the feet. Also, avoid contact between your client’s knees and any of the AMT components.
5. Have your client position the feet with a slight internal rotation.
6. Instruct your client to position the feet so that they both point slightly off center (a) in one direction (one foot turned in, and one foot turned out). These variations are great for high resistance backward pedaling at a stepping or jogging stride. For an intensity boost, have your client drop down while holding the rodeo grips (b) and visualize pulling a heavy sled up hill for a few seconds. Coach them to dig deep and change to the other side for round two!
7. Pedal slide with weight shift: Instruct your client to slide and maintain one pedal forward then have them shift their weight forward and back as if hopping from the front foot to the back foot (foot position remaining on pedals throughout). Have your client attempt 30-seconds with the right foot forward then 30- seconds with the left foot forward. Have your client stay tall in their posture during these options and alter hand grip for another challenge.
Train for Movement
These simple position tweaks are designed to provide light multi-planar stimulation to the entire kinetic chain. Although unconventional, when done appropriately these movements can help prepare the joints for real world activities such as walking around a corner or rapidly changing directions during sports.
As with any movement, be sure to have your client stop if they feel pain or discomfort during any of the movement variations listed above. Focus on finding the specific tweaks that foster pain free motion.