NASM CPT Podcast

NASM-CPT Podcast: Exercise Technique & Training Instruction – Part II

National Academy of Sports Medicine
National Academy of Sports Medicine
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Rick Richey explores the second half of this two-part series, reviewing this key domain of CPT-7.
The NASM Master Instructor breaks down the techniques and inner workings of core training, balance training, SAQ training, resistance training, and much more.
This “NASM-CPT Podcast” will teach you vital fitness principles and help you train to win!

Rick Richey is a NASM-CPT, CES, PES, and Master Trainer.

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Rick Richey:
Hello and welcome to the NASM CPT podcast. My name is Rick Richey. And today we are continuing on with our focus on the testing domains for the CPT seven, we are in domain five. Our earlier podcast was part one where we covered exercise techniques. But we also went in through the exercise techniques. We talked about flexibility training concepts, we talked about cardio respiratory training concepts, we talked about integrated trainings, chapters 13 1415. Well, here today and this is part two and and note that domain 520 4% of your total examination comes from this particular domain. So it is heavily weighted more heavily than any other individual domain, one exercise technique, and today we're going to focus on oil and exercise concept. So today we're going to focus a little bit more on the rest of those domains. We're going to talk about core training, we're going to talk about balanced training, we'll touch on plyometric and essay cue or speed, agility, quickness training, we'll also get into resistance training concepts. And that will close out our topics for today. So that's talking about what we're going to talk about. So now let's actually talk about it. Let's get into a core talking about core, we've got several different things about the core that we want to focus on, we want to focus on core stability, core endurance, and core strength, and the individual's ability to maintain a given position, adequately stabilizing the spine with the extremities moving that's good, since our core stabilization, core endurance the ability to control the motion of the spine over a given and longer period of time. And then core strength, the ability to control motion through the spine. So let's look at some of the musculature and talk about muscles of the spine there are some what we refer to as a local muscles and global muscles. Now, local muscles we think of primarily as stabilizers and global muscles primarily as mobilizers. So some of the local muscles would be muscles like the rotator ease, the multifidus muscle, the transverse abdominus, or the weight belt, the internal weight belt, the diaphragm, the diaphragm, speak from your diaphragm, pelvic floor muscles, so the muscles that close off the exits, and then the quadratus lumborum, which is a stabilizing muscle, a local muscle in the core, we can move on into the global muscles global muscles like the rectus abdominus, the ABS that we commonly think of that's rectus abdominus, external abdominal obliques, internal abdominal obliques, the erector spinae, and the latissimus dorsi. Our global muscles of the spine also included in that are the iliacus. And the so as sometimes they smoosh them together and they call it the ilio.


So as global muscles of the core, we want to create core stabilization. Remember that core stabilization is important for us to give to maintain a given position, adequately stabilizing the spine and the extremities while the extremities are moving. So core stability is important. Core endurance is important. Again, core endurance to control the motion of the spine over a given longer duration. And core strength, the ability to control the motion of the spine as it moves, flexes, extends lateral flexes and rotates or doesn't rotate anti rotational maintaining stability to keep any of those movements from happening.

Alright, let's look at some of the importance of properly training the core muscles. There's scientific rationale for core training one it helps to optimize posture. We want to optimize our posture but also it helps us with our performance. So when we look at optimizing posture during performance, enhancing our core stabilization and our core strength during performance, whether that's drawing in whether it's abdominal bracing, what whatever it is, is creating stiffness in our core that creates a strong center for the appendages to move from.

The importance of properly training core muscles is also vital for injury resistance, creating results. And then the core is oftentimes part of a rehabilitation program. So even if somebody, let's say, has a sprained ankle, and they're doing rehab on the ankle, oftentimes their ankle rehab will include core exercises because of how the core is involved in supporting the extremities.

Alright, let's move it. Let's move into a couple of concepts. There's abdominal drawing in and abdominal bracing. So there's a drawing in maneuver, and bracing, and I did an episode on drawing in vs bracing. A while back, so you can look that up on the episode I also wrote a significant portion on this for the corrective exercise textbook. So if you move into this, and took corrective exercise from this, which I hope you do, I think it's a great progression after the CPT, the corrective exercise specialist, there's a nice write up on drawing in and abdominal bracing that I put in there, but let's talk about it as a brief overview. Drawing in drawing in is when you suck in your belly button, you pull in the region just below the navel, suck it in towards the spine, and maintain the cervical spine in a neutral position to actually all of your spine just trying to maintain the neutral position, maintain a neutral spine, the normal curves of the spine during core training helps you improve posture helps improve muscular balance and improve stabilization. So sucking in the belly button to create stabilization. At the core. Again, this is done through the activation of what we refer to as the body's internal weight belt. And there's a lot of information about it. There is a lot of scientific study that's gone on about it. And drawing in is great for stabilizing the spine. But so is abdominal bracing. abdominal bracing is contracting the global abdominals. And making it tight just or making the muscle tight. And try not to move. If somebody pushes you push, you're trying not to move, you're bracing your core making all the muscles around your abs tight. I used to give this as an example, I used to be like pretend like somebody got punched in the stomach and you make your muscles and your abs really tight. And then I realized not everybody grew up maybe with siblings like me, and they had no idea what to do if somebody were to punch them in the stomach. So I stopped using that when in general and now I only use it to say I don't use it, which is weird. So tightening the core of the abdominals like the rectus abdominus, the obliques making all of these muscles an isometric contraction, just like you would do with your biceps you do with the muscles of your core that is abdominal bracing. So what are the benefits of both of those stabilizing the core. So drawing in and abdominal bracing, both supportive in that process, and it's not pick and choose one or the other, it's progressive started focusing generally with the drawing in because that helps with some of the smaller local muscles, and then adding in the the bracing, which focuses more on the global muscles being tight. Alright, core training progressions, you can start with stabilization. So stabilizing the spine with no movement of your trunk, you do things like floor marching and floor bridges. And then you can move on to dynamic e centric and concentric movements of the spine through a full range of motion like floor crunches, or you can do back extensions, and then move into dynamically stabilizing and generating force at explosive speeds. So now you're doing a medicine ball, rotational chest pass or a medicine ball soccer throw, you're using your abdominal muscles, but you're using it to help produce speed. So that's a progression, stabilization of the core, no movement of the spine, and then working through concentrate e centric movements of the spine, and then working through those movements at explosive speeds.

Alright, let's move on to balance training chapter 17 balanced training, balanced training, center of gravity over your base of support that is balanced training, because central concepts and balanced training is just going to be an overview being having your center of gravity located over your base of support. Now there are some mechanisms of balance. But one of the first and main ones are going to be vision. So vision actually allows us to maintain balance, and or, and a lack of vision to challenge our bank balance. So if you stand on one leg and close your eyes, that's certainly a challenge. Also light or dark environments that can challenge or help support your balance. Also, there are some times you stand on one leg and there's a lot of movement going on in the background that can throw off your balance. 


You're like Hey, stop moving. I'm trying to pick up spot on the floor focus, right? Because that allows us our vision to support our balance. vestibular focus, vestibular focus. So, you know, turning your head from side to side challenges your vestibular focus Looking ahead, while rotating the trunk, right and left can challenge your vestibular mechanisms of balance. And then there's the somatosensory sensory, which is your actual mechanical receptors in your body. So challenging balancing surfaces. So you might move from a stable surface to an unstable surface. And that challenges your balance mechanism, you might have shoes on versus bare feet. And that changes the mechanism of balance. But all three of these intersect, and they work together, and a three point Venn diagram to help you focus on balance.

So what's the rationale for balanced training? One is performance, right, so to increase your better performance, and that better performance might be walking from bedroom, to the bathroom to the living room to the kitchen. So activities of daily living, injury prevention, balance, it supports our ability to prevent injury and helps to create some dynamic stabilization on a single leg, and then also helps us in support the rehabilitation process. I've told the story before. But my dad once as he started to lose his balance, he was taking the garbage out. And they've got these municipally provided garbage cans on rollers. And then we have a little hill or he has a little hill and I haven't lived there in 20 plus years. But he took the garbage cans out and he put it on the side of the street. And then he turned around to go back down the hill. And he said he'd said, Rick, my balance has gotten so bad that I didn't feel comfortable walking down the hill without the garbage can. So he took the garbage can. And he walked back down the hill with the garbage can just to feel comfortable that he can make it back down that hill. All right, no, that is a challenge. A lot of times we don't focus or we don't work on our balance until we lose our balance. And sometimes when we lose our balance, we don't work on it. Because we think oh, well, we've already lost it. So there's no reason trying to gain it back. I say, start working it now and start focusing on it. Now it can help support performance, injury prevention, rehabilitation, and longevity.

What are some guidelines for balanced training? Well, I guess first of all, you look at your exercise selection, Is it safe? Are you using a progressive system? Which means are you doing an easier exercise and progressing them to a more challenging exercise, because you can't just throw somebody into an exercise they can't do? Because if they can't do it, they're not benefiting from it, get them in an exercise they can do and progress from there. And then use of equipment, how is equipment going to be used? You might look at some additional variables and we'll talk about equipment just a moment, right, but variables, what are some of the variables? What plane of motion? Are you going to move in while balancing?

Are there going to be perturbations or disturbances? Will somebody have a band in your hands? Are you going to be doing rose? Will somebody be shaking some tubing while you're holding on to it? What are the lower body progressions, I'll walk you through some doing two legs on a stable environment would probably be your start. And if that's too challenging, seated, right you might need to be Sam that might see sitting might be the safest, most unstable environment that some people can do. But from a standing position two legs on a stable surface, and then practice doing single legs on a stable surface. And then progress and you can do two legs on an unstable surface. Like Like a some type of squishy pad, a stretching pad, an air filled disc, two legs unstable and then single leg unstable and can you with that additional challenge or that perturbation, those disturbances of balance Can you maintain that balance and good alignment. So it's not just about did I not fall down but were you able to maintain good position while standing on that single leg. So let's address the five kinetic chain checkpoints and that good position that we're talking about one first the feet should be pointed straight ahead to the knees should be in line with a second and third toe. Three hips should be level and in a neutral position for shoulders in a neutral position. Five head should also be in a neutral position.


Working on that stabilizing that focusing on maintaining alignment. while balancing. Very good. All right, that's a good overview of balance let's move into plyometric or reactive training chapter 18 overview. So what is plyometric training? plyometric training is about increasing your rate of force production. It's about doing something called the stretch shortening cycle. And NSM has something they refer to as the integrated performance paradigm, which is like the stretch shortening cycle, but expresses the value of course stabilization and neuromuscular stabilization. So the stretch shortening cycle. So for instance, when we jump, we lower we drop down quickly, and not necessarily very deep, but it's a quick short drop, right before we jump right back up. So I drop and then I jump, that is a stretch shortening cycle. So what we do is that we, when we drop into the squat, we stretch muscles really quickly. Well, what happens when we stretch muscles quickly? Well, our reflexive response is to tighten those muscles. Well, if I get a reflex of muscle tightening, and then I use conscious jump to also tighten those muscles, we can get higher. But the integrated performance paradigm says Yes, that is true, it is the stretch shortening cycle. But if you have poor core stabilization, or neuromuscular stabilization, balance, it's controlling your body upon landing or dropping. If you have poor control there, then you're not going to be able to reduce force or produce force very well. So that is a central. Those are some central themes. For plyometric training, there are three phases of the plyometric exercise. There's the E centric phase, the amateur isation phase and the concentrate phase. The East centric phase is the stored elastic energy. That's the one we dropped down into that squat and the muscle stretch and we store elastic energy. If there's muscle spindle stimulation, we've stretched the muscle spindle, the muscle spindles get stretched quickly and it goes oh, I'm going to contract the muscle and the stretch of the agonist muscle. So now those muscles are stretched, the muscle spindle is stimulated, we've stored elastic energy. And the reason why we have to jump immediately after we drop down is because if we drop down and then we hold 2345 and then try to jump, you're not going to get nearly as high. Why because that stored elastic energy dissipates, you no longer have stored elastic energy, that energy is dissipated as heat, it was not immediately used, we want to convert that stored elastic energy into kinetic energy. So we want to focus on the ad motorisation phase, the amateur is ation phases, the time between the E centric and the con centric phases, the time between the drop and the jump. So the E centric phase where storing that elastic energy muscle spindle activation, agonist, muscle stretch, and then minimizing the amortization phase, the time between that drop down into the squat and the concentric jump. What is the concentric phase, the concentrate phase is the jumping phase. It's the elastic energy being released. It enhances force production. It is the shortening of the agonist muscles, forcing us into that jump e centric amortization. And con centric e centric is the dropping down into the squat. concentric is the jumping up out of that squat jump. The amortization phase is the phase that we spend in between those two, the higher the jump, usually the shorter the amortization phase. Very good. Let's go into chapter 19. Overview speed, agility and quickness training as a cue, speed the ability of the body
to move in one direction as fast as possible.


Alright, how fast can you move in one direction. That is speed is the product of two components, your stride rate, the number of strides over time, and your stride length the distance covered by each stride. Now it doesn't mean that you're going to run faster just because you make your stride length longer. At some point your stride length becomes so long that you do nothing but create braking forces when you're for your front foot hits the ground. But the combination of how fast you move and how long your stride length is, is going to help give us a definition or product of speed. Sprint mechanics now there's frontside mechanics, and we got to look at proper alignment of the lead leg of the pelvis. That's going to include things like dorsi flexion, knee flexion, hip flexion and trying to maintain a neutral pelvis and then there's backside mechanics proper alignment of the rear leg pelvis, which is going to include plantar flexion. knee extension hip extension, which we refer to as triple extension, and then still maintaining a neutral pelvis in sprinting.

So what's agility? agility is the ability to start, stop and change direction while maintaining postural control. It is going from acceleration to deceleration, how fast can you start, stop and change direction, that is agility, what's quickness? quickness is the ability to react and change body position with maximal force production. quickness involves assessing different types of stimuli. It is a response to visual, auditory and kinesthetic cues in the environment. So I always think about boxers being how quick that they are especially excellent defensive fighters, that buy them somebody throws a punch, when somebody throws a punch, the boxer who's really good can move their head, avoid the punch, but the person throwing the punch can't change the direction of their punch. So the quickness allows a very good boxer with very good head movement to minimize them being hit. That's quickness, that's, that's being very aware of visual auditory kinesthetic cues and the environment and the ability to react react to those with changes in your body position at maximal force. Alright, Chapter 20. So the last one we focused on today, this is going to be resistance training concepts. And we're going to focus our attention right now on the principle of adaptation, which is a function of the general adaptation syndrome. And the principle of specificity, sometimes referred to as the said principle specific adaptations to impose demands. But first, let's talk about general adaptation syndrome. It's the method in which the body responds and adapts to stress. There are three stages and the general adaptation syndrome or a gas model. First is the alarm reaction, the alarm reaction might be something like the first time somebody exercises and their body is set.

So sore, that's an alarm reaction. But usually, what happens is that the next time they exercise that same exercise the same amount of volume, the next time they do that, once they've healed, but not too long, since they last encountered it, resistance development. So there's their alarm reaction, number one, number two, the next stage is resistance development, to the start to resist the alarm reaction, they start to get a little more comfortable with the movement. And then that last one is moving to the point of exhaustion. So number three, exhausting the muscles, the general adaptation syndrome is getting these three different components in their alarm reaction, develop resistance development, and exhaustion. Then there's the said principle specific adaptations to impose demands, it means that your body will specifically adapt to the demands that you impose on it. So it's interesting because we have the OP t model, which sets us up very clearly for the adaptations we're looking for, because each level and each phase of the OP t model tells you what the goal is that if you do this, this is the adaptation you will get you will get stability training, this way, strength training this way, power training this way. So you are then given variables to train that, that produce those outcomes. So in types of specificity under the said principle, there are three things there's metal, mechanical, neuromuscular, and metabolic. Mechanical would be the weight and movement placed on the body. So that's mechanical specificity. neuromuscular specificity is the speed of the contraction and the exercise selection. And then the last one, metabolic is the energy demand placed on the body. All of those have a specificity to them, that will focus more on any of those individual outcomes. And we can then go into it, we can focus on stabilization, the body's ability to provide optimal dynamic joint support and to maintain correct posture during movement.

Muscular endurance might be another specific adaptation that people are looking to get muscular endurance, the ability to produce and maintain force production for prolonged periods of time. Do you have the endurance to do something for a prolonged period of time that is an adaptation that you make?

Look for other adaptations and muscular hypertrophy, the enlargement of skeletal muscle fibers which are focused on throughout the model, but a major focus throughout and what we refer to as muscular development versus strength training. So strength training is the ability of the neuromuscular system to produce internal tension to overcome an external load.

Strength training, the ability of the neuromuscular system to produce internal tension to overcome an external load. What is power, then, power is force times velocity, or work divided by time. So how much weight how much you move that weight divided by how fast you can get that done. So power is force times velocity your work divided by time that is your formula for power. Alright, let's say we're going to hit up the acute variables. Again, acute just means not chronic, it's not something you stay and do all the time and only so the acute variables that variables that can change short term will be things like repetitions, sets, intensity, repetition, tempo, rest intervals, volume, frequency, duration, your exercise selection, and exercise order, all of those things can be modified. And each modification creates a very different permutation to your outcomes, even if you did everything the same. And then all you did was change the order in which you did the exact same exercises, the permutations would change for your body.

Well, there resistance training systems, and this is just an overview of what those systems look like. resistance training systems can include warmup set, single set, multiple sets, pyramid sets, super sets, complex training, drop sets, giant sets, rest, pause, circuit training, peripheral heart action, split routine vertical loading, horizontal loading, these are all resistance training systems that you can use through the OPC model. So the model allows for a lot of things, it just gives a nice little outline, to structure your selection of exercise, your type of exercise, your goals that you're trying to get out of what is what are your adaptations you're looking to achieve, and base that on the PT model, but then you can implement these resistance training systems into that so you can do vertical load, you can do horizontal load circuit training, you can do rest pause, which I like unit peripheral heart action, upper body, lower body, upper body, lower body, back and forth, pyramid setting, drop setting, all of these things and your resistance programming.

But I think a big takeaway should be focused on is safety. Safety is the most important objective for a certified personal trainer. Your job as a personal trainer, make sure the environment safe dumbbells on the floor kettlebell on the floor, barbell paperclip, I don't know make sure your floor area is clean that it's safe. That is your responsibility to ensure the safe area for your clients working ensure proper equipment setup, you should be familiar with the exercise equipment that you're working on. And you should not take anybody to equipment that you do not feel comfortable setting up.

Correct spotting techniques. This is something industry wide I don't know if we focus on enough is correct spotting techniques, how to support somebody while you spot them. And I would love to see more continuing education, education content coming out of correct spotting techniques, so that trainers can keep their clients as safe as possible. Not only that, but trainers can be safe. I've seen some awful spotting techniques from personal trainers. And I think if anybody is going to die, it's the spotter in this. So take care of yourself and your client. And then also note that some exercises are not to be spotted by a person that sometimes the best exercise the best spotting technique you can do is teach them how to drop a weight so that they and and everybody else are safe.

Always monitor their exercise as part of safety monitor, watch them be there with them. proper breathing techniques can be very helpful. So support our clients with those as well. Alright, that is it for today. Thank you so much for tuning in and going through our domain five exercise technique and training instruction. This is part two, so if you haven't listened to part one, make sure you go back and listen to part one. Through this. We've covered chapters 13 through 20 at a really high level, a really high level. We didn't get down deep and into the weeds on any of them.

But it is a lot of content and it will support you if you're studying for your CPT seven. So I hope that you found this valuable for those of you who are already certified. I also hope you found it valuable. I hope you listen to it and you're like, Oh, yeah, yeah, I should think about that with my client today. I should focus on that with my client. So with that being said, thanks so much. You've got questions for me reach out Instagram at Dr. dot Rick Richey, shoot me a message or you can email me Rick Thank you so much. This has been the ZASM CPT podcast.


The Author

National Academy of Sports Medicine

National Academy of Sports Medicine

Since 1987 the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has been the global leader in delivering evidence-based certifications and advanced specializations to health and fitness professionals. Our products and services are scientifically and clinically proven. They are revered and utilized by leading brands and programs around the world and have launched thousands of successful careers.


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