Most clients and/or athletes that come to a private gym with prior experience are most likely going to have some type of pain stemming from an old injury or bad, repetitive movement. In my own experience, this has usually been the case with clients coming from recreational or competitive sports as well as those who spend a lot of time working out under some intense training program. This is why a working knowledge of some basic rehabilitative movement is necessary in any coach’s tool box. Throwing people right into a generalized program without deference to their initial capabilities is not an optimal approach for program efficacy.
A lot of gyms employ various methods to lessen or mask pain prior to or after the training bout. However, the cause of that pain is usually in the movement and can often get overlooked, which allows the pain to become chronic. A generalized program, especially in large group settings can contribute to this by making everyone feel as if they have to be up to speed with everyone else despite their knee buckling or arm falling off.
Every client and athlete I have worked with has needed some type of basic corrective/rehabilitative exercise to get them up to speed with the actual training. Joint and muscle pain are all part of the process but their degree should not be to the extent that inhibits training at the appropriate levels necessary to reach specific goals. It’s the boring, tedious movements that no one really likes to do, but without them an individual can only get so far.
These are three focal points of a sound assessment of movement. Everyone looking to improve their strength and overall movement should have good command of all three and be able to adapt them over time. Establishing (training) stability ensures that the muscles and joints can remain in the proper positions to support the stress being placed on them as well as move loads properly (1). Mobility ensures that the body can get into those stable positions by allowing joints to be aligned properly under load through the lengthening and shortening of muscles, tendons, and ligaments (i.e., range of motion). Finally, coordination of muscles and limbs through repetition of good movement patterns reinforces proper tempo, application of force/power, and training habits (i.e., neuromuscular adaptation). These provide the foundation for strength development.
1) Dick, F. W. Sports Training Principles: An Introduction to Sports Science, 6th Edition. London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014. Print.