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  • Writer's pictureOzzy

Gym lingo explained

What are you talking about coach?


You will hear us instructors and PT’s say various phrases in the gym or in classes and as things move along you may be wondering what exactly that meant. So, I thought I would use my first blog post to explain what some of these terms mean and how they can help improve not only your training but also help to prevent injuries.


So, let us start with the most common phrase you will hear us say.

Keep a neutral spine/Keep your back straight/Don’t forget posture’


At first it may appear obvious as to what this means, “I mean come on its keeping the back straight Ozzy” *rolls eyes at me*. Well, it’s not quite that simple and it is one of the most important habits to develop while working out. It is also one of the most prevalent issues we see in the gym and the root of so many avoidable injury.


To keep the spine neutral, you need to stand up straight, feet shoulder width apart, roll the shoulders back so they are positioned over the hips, pull your chin back (by lifting the top of the head) keep the core engaged and allow the knees to bend slightly (flex the knees) You will now find your posture to be more upright, locked in place and stable. This will allow you to perform any standing exercise, such as bicep curl, military press, squat etc safely and reduce the risk of injury to the back, neck, and shoulders.


Flex the knees

What this means is to allow the knees to bend slightly. What this does is create a kind of suspension system when performing upright load bearing exercises. If your knees are locked out (knees pulled back tight) there is no spring in the legs, so the weight pushes down directly into the joint. Injuries that occur due to locked out legs range from ruptured or prolapsed discs in the back, damaged cartilage, joint wear, torn ligaments/muscles/tendons, sprains and even splinter shin and compound fractures. So again, like keeping the back straight, it is vital that you keep the knees flexed.

Prone, supinated, hammer grip


The first two terms, prone and supinated not only relate to grips but also lying postures when performing floor work.


- Prone in terms of posture means laying on your front, in terms of grip or hand position means Palm facing the floor.


- Supinated means laying on your back, in terms of grip or hand position means palms up.


- Hammer is primarily a hand position and means to hold your hands palm facing, or like holding a hammer. It is sometimes referred to as a Neutral Grip


Engage your Core/Keep the Core engaged

You will hear us say this as much as ‘Keep the back straight’ but it is just as important as the latter. Engaging the core means to keep the abdominal muscles contracted, this in conjunction with a neutral spine keeps the trunk locked into a solid position. By keeping the core engaged it helps prevent injuries and prevents the body from swaying or compressing when performing standing load baring exercises. It also prevents unwanted bending and twisting when performing floor work or body weight exercises.


Working at a RPE of……..

RPE stands for ‘The Rate of Perceived Exertion’. Normally rated from 0 to 10, where 0 is sitting on the sofa watching Netflix and munching a biscuit and 10 being running as fast as you can up a near vertical hill side. We use this as a gauge to see how hard you feel you are working and to work out roughly where you are in various target Zones.

So, for example if we say, ‘Today we ae going to be working from 3 through to 7 or 8 in this session’ You can expect to a warmup at 3, heart rate is rising but not that challenging. Mid working level 5, Working harder but easily manageable for a prolonged period and then a more intense section 7/8, working at close to peak level, hard work and not sustainable for prolonged periods.


The ZONES these would relate to are 3=Warm up, 5=Fat burn zone and 7=Cardio, 8 and above is Peak. Another way to zone them would be Warm Up, Anaerobic, Aerobic and Peak/intense.


This covers many of the most used terms, there are several others that crop up from time to time however and far too many to post here so if we say something you are not sure of, just ask, that is what we are here for and we are more than happy to explain them.


Until next time.

Keep safe and keep smiling

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