Back in 5th grade I was a cheerleader. Shh. It’s our little secret, ok? I went to a very small Catholic school and we had a basketball team. I remember one of our cheers went “Be progressive. Be, be progressive…” along with the rhythmic clapping and foot stomping, of course. We were so cool in our Annunciation sweaters, with the sleeves pulled up three quarters, pom poms on our white sneakers, and a big A stitched onto our fronts.
Now that I am done taking a stroll down memory lane, let’s talk about the benefit of progressive thinking, shall we? First, a definition, with the help of a Google search.
Progressive: adjective /prəˈgresiv/
- Happening or developing gradually or in stages; proceeding step by step
- (of a disease or ailment) Increasing in severity of extent–progressive liver failure
- Engaging in or constituting forward motion (of a group, person, or idea)
- Favoring or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas
- Favoring or promoting change or innovation
There was more to the definition, but I stuck to the particular descriptions that support our discussion here, today.
I think progression is a term anyone teaching fitness, or practicing an active lifestyle should be focused on all the time.
In a culture where fitness is always marketed in an aggressive, “look how hard this is” manner, I always gravitate to the true professionals who are focusing on safety over fancy tricks, and longevity over instant mistook feelings of success.
Magazines, exercise videos, and most group fitness instructors and personal trainers are guilty of what is considered, to me, to be the number one cardinal sin: setting the average population up for eventual failure, burn out, and worse of all, injury, because they completely overstep the most important focus in fitness. Foundation.
It’s like expecting a baby to walk before they have even learned to roll over.
So for the next couple weeks, I am introducing my Progression segment, “Be Progressive”.
Each week we will focus on a different exercise. I will show you how-to videos for a particular exercise starting with the most modified variation and then systematically progressing to the most difficult one.
The point in doing this, is to see all the different levels one should go through before moving on to the harder variations, which are usually the ones we see in magazines or which trainers give to clients to “challenge” them and make them feel they have a lot of work to do.
A challenging exercise is only beneficial if you have passed the prior physical benchmarks to prepare you for that challenge. Otherwise you will be progressively moving toward injury, like in definition #2, as shown above. At the least, even if you don’t get injured, you definitely won’t be getting the results you are working so hard to attain.
This week’s progression exercise is plank. Start with the easiest level, and until you can do that variation perfectly, do not move on to the next one.
To see the how-to videos, and read a little more about it, hop on over to my Real [Fit] Life page!
If you have any exercises you would like me to focus on in the upcoming weeks, please be sure to make a request!
For more from Jeannine Trimboli check out Real [Fit] Life right here!