Coaching Methods: Making Cues More Effective


The role of personal trainers goes way beyond simply prescribing a workout to clients; it involves guiding them through long term progress with periodisation from the macro view as well as progressing them in the very short term within individual workouts from the micro view.

One of the main parts of this short term guidance is the ability for trainers to deliver cues. Proper cueing not only helps the effectiveness of the workout but also aids the client’s understanding of their own body and exercise. This article will explore how trainers can optimise cue delivery for better outcomes.

How to Improve your Cues as a Personal Trainer

Clarity and Focus

The foundation of effective personal training lies in the clarity and precision of instruction. Clear, concise cues help clients focus on just the main elements of each exercise, minimising distractions and confusion. 

Having a more focused approach enables clients to perform movements with greater precision, which, in turn, maximises the exercise effectiveness. When a trainer articulates instructions in a more succinct way, it eliminates guesswork, allowing the client to concentrate fully on executing the movement correctly.

Focusing on Quality with Minimal Cueing

While detailed guidance is vital for high quality personal training, there is also a lot of value in simplicity. Overloading clients with excessive cues can lead to an overload in information and hinder their ability to move naturally. 

As a PT, you should aim to offer fewer, better chosen cues, providing clients with the space to develop their own movement patterns. This autonomy boosts proprioception, aka the body’s ability to perceive its position and movement in space, as well as kinesthetic awareness, which are vital for mastering any physical activity. 

As clients discover their rhythm and movements, they will naturally improve their quality and efficiency of execution.

The Benefits of Strategic Cueing

Effective cueing also involves knowing when to step back and allow clients to challenge themselves. By not overwhelming clients with continuous instructions, PTs can encourage them to explore and push their boundaries. This freedom provides personal trainers with the opportunity to observe and tailor their coaching strategies more effectively. Attentive listening and observation enable trainers to intervene only when necessary, making each intervention more impactful and targeted.

Why think about Constraints Over Cues?

Having a philosophy where constraints are utilised more frequently than cues can lead to improvements in how clients respond to training. By setting smart and strategic constraints, personal trainers can reduce the need for frequent cueing, which encourages clients to engage more deeply with the exercise and discover solutions independently. 

This approach not only streamlines the learning process but also improves the client’s engagement and interest in their training regimen. They will generally improve more due to finding understanding within exercises more so than if they relied purely on cues.


In conclusion, cueing in personal training should focus on clarity of instruction, being strategic on when to cue, and think about reducing the overall amount of information carried in their cues. Taking these points into account will improve the transfer of helpful information whilst also challenging clients to find understanding in movement by themselves! These are all concepts that we teach at the PFCA. For more, be sure to check out our level 3 personal trainer course