Volt's Top 5 Favorite Uses for Movement Swaps

One of our favorite new Volt features released this year is—hands down—the Movement Swap function. This tool was created based on feedback from our Volt Family coaches, who wanted more flexibility in their training programs. We love the simplicity of the Movement Swap: it lets coaches swap out any movement for another in the same category (i.e., double-leg push), so any changes won’t diminish the effectiveness of the training program. There is also a function that “unlocks” all movements across all categories for coaches who have CSCS certifications through the NSCA!

There are myriad different ways to utilize Movement Swap to optimize your Volt program to meet your needs. Here are our 5 favorite uses for the Movement Swap (so far!):

1. Equipment 

No lat pulldown machine? No problem! Every weight room is uniquely equipped, and there may be some prescribed exercises in your Volt program that use equipment your weight room doesn’t have. Simply use Movement Swap to take care of any substitutions you need to make—whether you need pull-ups to replace lat pulldowns, or RDLs to replace glute-ham developer raises! Just be sure to mark “Always” when you hit swap, so Volt makes your movement sub every time the same exercise appears in your year-long program.

2. Preference

Don’t like hang high pulls? Want to see deadlifts appear more frequently in your program? With Movement Swap, you can edit your program to your unique preferences! While we recommend keeping your swaps within the same category (i.e., not choosing a deadlift to replace a medicine ball core exercise), CSCS-certified coaches can make adjustments across categories. Sticking to the same movement category ensures that your program is balanced in terms of movement patterns, so as not to alter your program’s effectiveness or put your athletes at risk for overuse injuries.

NOTE: While you can swap out the three Volt base lifts (hang clean, back squat, and bench press) for other movements, you cannot currently use other movements to calibrate your Volt program. So use caution when swapping these three movements, as they are still necessary for keeping your Strength Numbers accurate.

3. Injury

Got a player who’s coming off an injury, but has been cleared for strength training? You can use Movement Swap to adjust his or her program accordingly! Volt always advocates working closely with the team doctor or athletic training staff to create the best rehabilitation plan for injured athletes, and the Movement Swap tool allows for more options when it comes to getting an athlete back up to speed. First, create a unique program for your rehabbing player using the same seed program as the rest of your team (i.e., “Kate’s ACL Rehab Program”). Then, using Movement Swap, sub out any contraindicated exercises that you and your athlete’s physician feel the athlete isn’t ready for. Kate may need to swap loaded squats for band lateral walks, for example, until she is ready to progress. This way, athletes can continue their training with minimal interruption to their program.

4. Movement Regressions

Each athlete is unique, and some athletes may need more help developing certain movement patterns than others. The Movement Swap function can give athletes who need technique work more time to develop proper movement patterns. Maybe you have some athletes who are struggling to learn proper technique in the hang clean? You can use Movement Swap to insert movement regressions in each week of your training block: a DB hang high pull in week 1, a BB hang high pull in week 2, and the full movement, BB hang clean, in week 3. The same goes for the back squat (band squat / DB goblet front squat / BB box squat / BB back squat), bench press / DB pause floor press / BB pause floor press / DB bench press / BB bench press), or any movement for which some athletes may need a regression. Simply mark “This Week Only” when inserting movement regressions, so athletes can work up to a more difficult movement the following week (or whenever they are ready).

5. Sport Specificity

If your team is training on Volt’s All-Around Athlete plan (common for coaches who use Volt for their entire school rather than just one team), you can utilize Movement Swap to make your program more specific to a particular sport. For example, for your baseball team, you can swap in more rotator cuff injury mitigation exercises (like a band external rotation) for shoulder health. Or for your cross country team, you can include more hip- and glute-focused exercises (like SB leg curls or band single-leg hip abduction) to address any overuse risks from repetitive running. Medicine ball throws may be more specific for volleyball than split jumps, and rotational throws might be more helpful for golfers than box jumps—the sky is the limit!

Every sport has its own specific metabolic and biomechanical needs, which is why Volt prides itself on creating programs that cater specifically to the needs of each sport. But in the event that you only have access to the All-Around Athlete program, the Movement Swap tool can help you make adjustments to tailor the program to different sports.

Have any other creative uses for the Movement Swap function that we’ve missed? Hit us up in the comments section below!

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Christye Estes, CSCS, is one of the regular contributors to the Volt blog. She is an NSCA-certified strength coach and a Sport Performance Specialist at Volt.
Learn more about Christye and read her other posts | @CoachChristye