7 Personal Trainer Body Language Tips

personal trainer body language tips

Using appropriate body language in personal training sessions is a huge part of building client rapport and ultimately being a successful PT.

That’s why we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to personal trainer body language, with 7 tips you can apply to your own sessions!

Before we get started, why not advance your fitness career by becoming a Level 4 personal trainer with OriGym? Enquire today, or download our free course prospectus here for more information about our full range of fitness courses.

Personal Trainer Body Language Tip #1- Be Open

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As a personal trainer, your body language should always be open. But what exactly do we mean by open body language? 

Some ways you can demonstrate open body language are:

  • Not crossing your arms
  • Having your palms face up when you are gesturing with your hands
  • Nodding
  • Uncrossing your legs when sitting down
  • Having your body facing the person you are addressing

Ultimately, having open body language demonstrates that they have your full attention.  

Clients will respond positively if they feel your body language as a personal trainer is open rather than defensive. This means that your client will be able to get maximum results in sessions with you- and is more likely to keep returning to your sessions!

Open body language is also crucial because it shows active listening. In other words, it demonstrates to your client that you are fully listening to them and attentive to their needs- which is one of the main roles and responsibilities of a personal trainer

Personal Trainer Body Language Tip #2- Always Be Present And Focused When Training Your Clients

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Being fully present and focused on your client is a crucial part of having good body language for personal trainers. 

In other words, your eyes should be on your clients at all times, and your body facing towards them. 

In terms of safety, if you’re not watching how your clients are practising certain exercises, they could perform an exercise with bad form and injure themselves. 

Secondly, being on your phone or continually looking at your surroundings gives your client the impression that you aren’t interested in supporting them. This is of course not going to help you build a good rapport with your client, and will be demotivating for them!

Some ways you can demonstrate being present through your body language are:

  • Put your phone away- unless you are using it to time reps or are running a specific PT app
  • Avoid looking around or chatting with other trainers
  • Focus on them when they are performing an exercise

Remember that your clients are paying you to provide them with a service, so your body language should convey that! 

The likelihood is that they have your undivided attention and that you really care about them, they’re far more likely to return for another session. 

Personal Trainer Body Language Tip #3- Project Your Voice 

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As well as your physical movements and positions, an equally important element of body language is the voice. 

It is therefore important to project your voice when you are taking a personal training session. You shouldn’t shout at your clients, but there should be no doubt that your client has heard you!

The obvious reason is that if you give instructions too quietly, your client will have to ask you to repeat them multiple times, which will disrupt the flow of the session and create an awkward atmosphere. 

Projecting your voice is an important personal trainer communication skill as it demonstrates confidence and shows you are in control of the session. This will make your client trust you and help them feel comfortable around you- which will in turn help them perform better! 

Projecting your voice also helps you build rapport and have a conversation with your clients. 

Gyms can often be noisy environments or if you’re running personal training sessions outdoors, there can sometimes be traffic or background noise. Projecting your voice can therefore help to combat this! 

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Personal Trainer Body Language Tip #4- Make Eye Contact With Your Clients

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Eye contact is important in almost all interactions, so is an essential part of personal trainer body language. 

Having good eye contact demonstrates that you are an active listener- which is one of the main things that makes a good personal trainer

By maintaining eye contact with your clients when you are talking, your client is going to feel genuinely heard and validated. This will make them more inclined to keep training with you!

Eye contact is also a good way to demonstrate confidence. Think of it this way - if you were receiving instructions or advice from someone who didn’t make eye contact with you, would you be inclined to listen or take them seriously? 

Again, this positions you as an expert personal trainer, building a good client-trainer rapport and making your client trust you.

Personal Trainer Body Language Tip #5- Demonstrate Exercises

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Another good way to demonstrate good body language as a personal trainer is to always perform demonstrations. In other words, physically show clients the exercises you are giving them.

After all, having someone to visually demonstrate exercises for you is one of the main benefits of having a personal trainer.

This is because it positions you as the expert, again proving to your clients that you know what you’re talking about and helping them trust you as their trainer.

When you demonstrate exercises, clients will be able to watch, learn and repeat them far more accurately than if they completed them based solely on verbal instructions. 

This means that your client is more likely to perform the exercise with correct form. This not only means that they will feel the benefits of the exercise more, but also makes them less likely to injure themselves! 

Personal Trainer Body Language Tip #6- Smile!

body language personal training

It may sound obvious, but smiling is an often overlooked aspect of having good body language as a personal trainer. 

A smile puts people at ease, which is crucial in an intimate environment such as personal training. 

Remember that many clients may feel nervous about the sessions- whether that’s because they’ve never had a PT before or are exercising for the first time after an injury.

But by greeting them with a reassuring smile, you’ll instantly help them relax and feel comfortable with you.

Smiling is a natural way to release endorphins and reduce stress, meaning that both you and your client will leave the session feeling uplifted and positive. 

It’s also infectious; if someone is smiling at you, how can you not mirror their body language? So if you smile, your client is more likely to smile too and subsequently form a positive view of training with you!

A genuine smile also proves that you are likeable, friendly and approachable. This will all help increase your client retention rates, as someone is more likely to come back to a PT who they have a positive relationship with. 

Personal Trainer Body Language Tip #7- Dress Appropriately For Your Sessions

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You may not have thought it, but dressing appropriately is an important part of having good personal trainer body language. 

If it’s your first time working with a new client, this will likely be the first time they see you in person. So the way you dress creates a good first impression and sets the tone for the rest of your sessions!

Plus, if you are a PT who works in a gym, how you dress will play a role in how clients perceive you and the gym. 

Dressing appropriately shows professionalism and credibility, meaning your clients are much more likely to take you seriously and actively listen to your advice if you look the part.

So, what should you wear to convey good body language as a personal trainer? Here are some ideas of the kinds of things that are appropriate for a general PT session:

  • Exercise Shorts
  • Exercise Leggings or Tights 
  • Comfortable Joggers 
  • Well Fitted T-Shirt
  • Compression Gear 
  • Comfortable Workout Shoes

Check out our guide to how a personal trainer should dress for more tips and ideas for what to wear! 

Before You Go!

So, we hope you now have a better idea of the kind of body language personal trainers should adopt with clients!

Feeling inspired? Enquire today about OriGym’s Level 4 personal training course and take your career to the next level! You can also browse our full range of courses by downloading our free course prospectus here


Enhance your career prospects with OriGym's Level 4 personal training course

Enquire today to take the next step in your personal training career!

Written by Lucy Jones

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

With a combined English Literature & Spanish degree, Lucy is both a fitness and culture enthusiast. With previous experience spanning higher education, recruitment and publishing industries, Lucy has a passion for both excellent customer service and attention to detail. As well as a keen runner and swimmer, her favourite form of exercise is dancing and a stint of travelling a few years ago allowed her to indulge in an authentic tango class from Argentina's resident experts! 

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