We all know what it’s like to reach the plateau. Unfortunately, as a personal trainer we all occasionally come across clients who expect constant results, who want them now. Perhaps your clients are starting to plateau and aren’t seeing the improvements they expect; perhaps they’ve hired you because they’ve started to plateau and are looking for new exercises moving forward. Either way, here are 3 machines for your clients to avoid, and exercises to graduate to instead.

Leg Extensions

The problem with this machine is that your legs weren’t designed to lift weight by being straightened. If your clients have weak knees you won’t be doing them any favours by letting them use the leg extension machine. Instead, getting your clients working on step-ups, lunges, squats and even deadlifts are much more beneficial if they want to see results from their leg days.

Behind-the-Head Lateral Pulldowns

For some reason there’s always someone at the gym who believes that once you’ve mastered the lateral pulldowns you need to graduate to behind-the-head pulldowns. I have always told my clients to avoid this exercise like the plague, and for a good reason – there is absolutely nothing sensible about this move. The risk of injury is extremely high, and there’s nothing quite like a neck injury to ruin your day.

Truth be told, you shouldn’t avoid this machine entirely – lateral pulldowns are fantastic for toning the back muscles, and when you engage your abs you can really maximise the benefit of this machine. Just remember that you behind-the-head pulldowns can seriously injure your clients, and they need to be warned off this idea before they see others doing it.

The Smith Machine

A favourite to be sure – this machine is designed to be your spotter when you don’t have a human to hand. However, when you do have a human to hand as your clients do, there’s absolutely no excuse for using this machine. Adding extra weight to a machine which already puts extra stress on your lower back is not going to help your clients break through their plateau – all it will do is cause unnecessary, avoidable injuries.

If you’re looking to work your client’s glutes, quads and hamstrings properly, tell them to start on the weighted lunges and squats. Unlike with the Smith Machine which keeps everything nice and stable, these exercises have the added benefit of working the core. A pair of win-win exercises to be sure.

Following this advice will help your clients break through their plateau without too much struggle, and will help keep your client retention at an all-time time high. If you have any questions about how to help your clients break through their plateau, or if you’re looking to take your next step as a personal trainer, make sure you call us today on 0800 689 1346.