Coaches: Please stop calling alternative movements “easier”

It’s become commonplace in gym classes, for coaches, to offer alternatives for certain moves. Perhaps, the move is a box jump or a chin up or Bulgarian split squats. Sometimes, they will say “here is the easier version.”

Coaches: Please stop calling these alternative movements “easier”.

Whether a move is easier or not is not relevant. There are factors such as mobility, injuries, head space, and many other factors. Doing an alternative move is not always easier. It may seem easier to a person who is used to doing box jumps to do broad jumps instead. But, for someone who has less hip mobility, shorter limbs, who’s not used to jumping with both feet off the ground at once, it’s not “easier”. Also, if that person will get a better workout doing a move that they can actually do, than trying to do something that they are not able to, and therefore, not “moving” as much, then that is not “easier”.

There is no need to diminish an alternate move. They are simple options in a banquet of options for overall fitness.

Just call them alternatives. Option A, B or C. One individual may do option A one day and option C the next. It’s all good as long as they are aware of what is good for them in that moment. Try to remove “easier” from your vocabulary in the gym. Encourage your participants in whatever option they choose.

Are you a coach? What do you think? Are you a participant who considers alternative moves? What do you think?

Nicole P. likes her coffee and her options in fitness.

2 thoughts on “Coaches: Please stop calling alternative movements “easier”

  1. In circus it is rarely safe to jump straight into the deep end on any move. Almost all moves/tricks will require progressions to build strength, body stability, and good form before doing something in its full expression. A good instructor will see alternative moves as the best way to build a safe and solid foundation. Plus not every body can or wants to get to the full move – there is still plenty of value in building the base foundation!

  2. I was provoked by this piece (in a good way)–I see how there’s a part of me (the participant part) who is quite addicted to “easier” and “harder” and falls often into compare and despair. Then there’s the “coach” part of me who really loves Renee’s wording possibility from circus–not just offering alternatives, but alternative approaches for each person to do their full expression of the movement that day. I feel how warm that can.

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