Online Training Camera Tips

14th April 2020

Training online has been a bit of a shift for all of us lately...

Of course the social interaction is not quite what it used to be in the gym... However a lot of people are finding that online training actually allows the coach to do their job very effectively. 

The one hurdle to your coach being able to 'coach' you is how your camera is set up

Firstly, we recommend you use a laptop over a smartphone if you have the choice. It's a better screen for seeing what's going on and the ability to tilt the camera up and down (by tilting your screen) is super handy

Let's explore a few simple rules to get your camera setup dialled-in so that you can have the best possible training experience

Rule #1: Avoid Contrast

Contrast simply refers to having your camera pointed at both something bright and something dark. Your camera doesn't know what to do with this and it ends up making you into a silhouette. Nobody can coach a silhouette.

The trick is to not point you camera at a bright background - like a window, or an outdoor area, or the sun. Instead, find a different angle where the background is lit more evenly

Shooting towards a bright window makes you hard to see

Shooting parallel, or away from the window makes you look GREAT!

Rule #2: Elevate Your Camera

The obvious place to put your camera is generally on the floor, however it's not a good angle for you (sorry to be the one to break that to you). If it's the only choice available then so be it, however if you can, get your camera off the floor and onto something around waist to shoulder height. The perspective will be much more neutral. You can use a bench, a table, or even better, a small inexpensive smartphone tripod

Low angle camera throws out your proportions

Camera slightly elevated makes proportions more balanced

Rule #3: Choose a Nice Frame

By frame we're talking about how you actually position what the lens is looking at. Obviously we want the lens to see YOU, but we want to do it in a way that allows the coach to see you moving
If your camera is pointed up too high then it won't see you when you're on the ground. Similarly, if it's pointed down to low, it won't be able to see what is happening when you're standing. The trick is to find a good middle ground. Remember that moving your camera away from you will enable you to get the best of both worlds. And of course, frame it so that you are right in the middle of the shot

"Hey coach how does my push up look?"

"Hey Joey - your push ups are really coming along."

Rule #4: Declutter Your Space

This is a kind of a common sense one, but still worth mentioning. The less 'stuff' you can have in your space the better. It will not only allow your coach to see you better but it will also make your training space clear and safe to move freely within.

Clutter makes it hard to focus on what's important

Clear space makes the coaching process efficient!

Beyond that, here's a few extra tips:

- If you don't have the space to apply these rules, and need to point your camera into a window with hot sun streaming through it, positioned on the floor, and at a wonky angle that makes it virtually impossible to see you - we will take it. Something is better than nothing : )

- In this digital age it makes a lot of sense to have your own small, cheap smartphone tripod (if you're using your phone for workouts that is). There's a bunch of options on Ebay and Amazon and you won't have to spend much

- If you're training in the dark, its really handy if you can still be illuminated somehow so we can see you

- If you must point your camera into a window, close the blinds and block out the sun as best you can

- A laptop makes a much better companion for an online workout than does a smartphone. The screen is larger, enabling you to see more, and you can sit it on a bench very easily and tilt the camera up and down with ease.

Thanks friend, I hope that helps you get a little more out of your online training experience


PS. Not a member of Jungle Brothers and are in need of somewhere to train? Contact us here and let's have a chat

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