An instructor’s ability to adapt skills for different needs is at the heart of teaching. This is particularly important in strength training and conditioning. Through my own teaching experience, I have outlined several ways to modify or intensify a movement. Since some instructors use different terminology, I'll first define some terms.
To modify a movement is to make it more accessible. This is important for helping students find success with new skills and exercises. The concept of scaffolding fits in this category.
To intensify a movement is to make it more challenging. This is key to overcoming plateaus in training and hitting new strength goals.
Each item in this list can used to either modify (make easier) or intensify (make harder) a movement.
I'm sure there are other ways to modify movement, so I'd love to hear from you. What ways have you tried to modify or challenge movements for yourself or your students? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Julianna Hane traded life on a cotton farm to become a dancer and aerialist. She holds an MFA in Modern Dance, and is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst and Pilates Instructor. Julianna is also the Director of Training at Born to Fly Teacher Programs and Support, and wrote the Aerial Teacher's Handbook.
Our authors include our Master Teacher Trainers as well as Born to Fly™ Certified Teachers.