Progression & Regression Applied - part 1

Progression and regression is about analyzing, planning, and practicing. It can be a tricky thing to wrap your head around. But in trying, you can take your physical practice to another level and get more out of the time you’re already spending on yoga and movement. So, before we all go bananas after the summer 'to get in shape' why not embrace a few thoughts on progression and regression?

In this series I will cover:

  • What progression & regression means

  • Why you should care

  • And how to proceed


Progression Defined

One way to define progression is “the act of moving forward or advancing toward a specific goal” (Kraemer, 2009). Regression would be the opposite. When it comes to discussing progression and regression, there are a few key concepts to cover:

Specificity - What you should practice.

Progressive Overload - How much you should practice to get a certain result and how much (or little) you can practice without increasing your risk of getting injured.

Variation - How you can optimize your practice. The difference between health and performance.

Periodization - Why you should plan your hard work and rest.

Trainable Characteristics

There are a lot of characteristics that you can take into account for your movement training; speed, strength, power, balance, coordination, hypertrophy, local muscle endurance, jumping activity, flexibility, motor performance and so on (Kraemer, 2009).

Factors to consider when analyzing and planning your practice in body weight training (like yoga asana) are gravity, muscle action, internal and external loads, volume, frequency, duration, ROM, exercise selection, exercise order/sequencing, surface, sensory input and more (Everett et al, 2010 & Hamill et al, 2015).

Initial Training Status

Your initial training status plays an important role in the analysis and planning of progression and regression (Kraemer, 2009).

So the first task I’d like to give you is to analyze your current state.

  • What do you practice?

  • How many repetitions of every movement?

  • How often and how long do you practice?


What does this mean?

Movement has many layers. If you want your practice to be more efficient, it's worth considering progression and regression. Your initial training status is key.

Stay tuned for more on this topic!


Everett T., Kell, C. (2010). Human movement : an introductory text. 6th ed.: Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier

Hamill J., Knutzen K., Derrick T R. (2015). Biomechanical basis of human movement. 4. ed., North American Ed: Philadelphia, Pa.: Wolters Kluwer Health, cop.

Kraemer et al. (2009). American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Progression models in resistance training for healthy adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Mar;41(3):687-708. DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181915670.

MovementSara Hoy