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18Sep/10Off

World’s Greatest Stretch

  1. This is a three-part stretch. Begin by lunging forward, with your front foot flat on the ground and on the toes of your back foot. With your knees bent, squat down until your knee is almost touching the ground. Keep your torso erect, and hold this position for 10-20 seconds.
  2. Now, place the arm on the same side as your front leg on the ground, with the elbow next to the foot. Your other hand should be placed on the ground, parallel to your lead leg, to help support you during this portion of the stretch.
  3. After 10-20 seconds, place your hands on either side of your front foot. Raise the toes of the front foot off of the ground, and straighten your leg. You may need to reposition your rear leg to do so. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and then repeat the entire sequence for the other side.
Filed under: Hamstrings Comments Off
17Sep/10Off

Seated Glute

  1. In a seated position with your knees bent, cross one ankle over the opposite knee. Your partner will stand behind you. Now, lean forward as your partner braces your shoulders with their hands. This will be your starting position.
  2. Attempt to push your torso back for 10-20 seconds, as your partner prevents any actual movement of your torso.
  3. Now relax your muscles as your partner increases the stretch by gently pushing your torso forward for 10-20 seconds.
Filed under: Glutes Comments Off
16Sep/10Off

Weighted Ball Hyperextension

  1. To begin, lie down on an exercise ball with your torso pressing against the ball and parallel to the floor. The ball of your feet should be pressed against the floor to help keep you balanced. Place a weighted plate under your chin or behind your neck. This is the starting position.
  2. Slowly raise your torso up by bending at the waist and lower back. Remember to exhale during this movement.
  3. Hold the contraction on your lower back for a second and lower your torso back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions prescribed in your program.

Caution: If you are new to this exercise, it is best to perform this exercise without any weights until you develop good form.

Variations: You can use a regular hyperextension bench also or perform on a flat bench with someone holding your legs.

Filed under: Lower Back Comments Off
15Sep/10Off

Wide-Grip Rear Pull-Up

  1. Grab the pull-up bar with the palms facing forward using a wide grip.
  2. As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar, bring your torso forward and head so that there is an imaginary line from the pull-up bar to the back of your neck. This is your starting position.
  3. Pull your torso up until the bar is near the back of your neck. To do this, draw the shoulders and upper arms down and back while slightly leaning your head forward. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the full contracted position. The upper torso should remain stationary as it moves through space and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work other than hold the bar.
  4. After a second on the contracted position, start to inhale and slowly lower your torso back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched.
  5. Repeat this motion for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Caution: The behind the neck variation can be hard on the rotator cuff due to the hyperextension created by bringing the bar behind the neck. Therefore if you have rotator cuff issues, use the pull-up to front version instead.

Variations:

  • If you are new at this exercise and do not have the strength to perform it, use a chin assist machine if available. These machines use weight to help you push your bodyweight.
  • Otherwise, a spotter holding your legs can help.
Filed under: Lats Comments Off
14Sep/10Off

Weighted Bench Dip

  1. For this exercise you will need to place a bench behind your back and another one in front of you. With the benches perpendicular to your body, hold on to one bench on its edge with the hands close to your body, separated at shoulder width. Your arms should be fully extended.
  2. The legs will be extended forward on top of the other bench. Your legs should be parallel to the floor while your torso is to be perpendicular to the floor. Have your partner place the dumbbell on your lap. Note: This exercise is best performed with a partner as placing the weight on your lap can be challenging and cause injury without assistance. This will be your starting position.
  3. Slowly lower your body as you inhale by bending at the elbows until you lower yourself far enough to where there is an angle slightly smaller than 90 degrees between the upper arm and the forearm. Tip: Keep the elbows as close as possible throughout the movement. Forearms should always be pointing down.
  4. Using your triceps to bring your torso up again, lift yourself back to the starting position while exhaling.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Caution: By placing your legs on top of another flat bench in front of you, the exercise becomes more challenging. It is best to attempt this exercise without any weights at first in order to get used to the movements required for good form. If that variation also becomes easy, then you can have a partner place plates on top of your lap. Make sure that in this case the partner ensures that the weights stay there throughout the movement.

Filed under: Triceps Comments Off
13Sep/10Off

Standing Soleus And Achilles Stretch

  1. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, one foot slightly in front of the other.
  2. Bend both knees, keeping your back heel on the floor. Switch sides.
Filed under: Calves Comments Off
8Sep/10Off

Wide Stance Barbell Squat

  1. This exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes. To begin, first set the bar on a rack that best matches your height. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step under the bar and place the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck) across it.
  2. Hold on to the bar using both arms at each side and lift it off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.
  3. Step away from the rack and position your legs using a wider-than-shoulder-width stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head up at all times as looking down will get you off balance, and also maintain a straight back. This will be your starting position.
  4. Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees (which is the point in which the upper legs are below parallel to the floor). Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knees should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that is perpendicular to the front. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
  5. Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel of your foot as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Caution: This is not an exercise to be taken lightly. If you have back issues, substitute it with the dumbbell squat variation or a leg press instead. If you have a healthy back, ensure perfect form and never slouch the back forward as this can cause back injury. Be cautious as well with the weight used; in case of doubt, use less weight rather than more. The squat is a very safe exercise but only if performed properly.

Variations:

As previously mentioned, there are various stances that can be used depending on what you want to emphasize.

You can also place a small block under the heels if you lack ankle flexibility.

Dumbbells can be used as well for resistance by holding them to your sides. The use of wrist wraps is a necessity due to the amount of weights used. I find this an excellent variation when my lower back begins to act up after many weeks of regular barbell squats. (Note: For wide stance dumbbell squats you will have to hold the dumbbells in between your legs as opposed to both sides in order to be able to distance your legs sufficiently).

Another way to perform these is by using a weight belt and attaching weights to it in between the legs. This variation is referred to as weight belt squats which need to be performed with the legs placed on two well secured, raised but separated platforms that allow the weights to go up and down in the middle. This exercise is an excellent choice for people with lower back problems.

Filed under: Quads Comments Off
7Sep/10Off

Weighted Sit-Ups – With Bands

  1. Start out by strapping the bands around the base of the decline bench. Place the handles towards the inside of the decline bench so that when lying down, you can reach for both of them.
  2. Position your legs through the decline machine until they are secured. Now reach for the exercise bands with both hands. Use a pronated (palms forward) grip to grasp the handles. Position them near your collar bone and rotate your wrist to a neutral grip (palms facing the torso). Note: Your arms should remain stationary throughout the exercise. This is the starting position.
  3. Move your torso upward until your upper body is perpendicular to the floor while exhaling. Hold the contraction for a second and lower your upper body back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variations: You can also use a stationary post and wrap the exercise band around it to perform this exercise. Simply lie down on the floor and use the same techniques as described above except this time you will not be on a decline bench. Note: If you are going to perform the exercise in this manner, it is best to have a partner hold your feet down.

Filed under: Abs Comments Off
7Sep/10Off

Wrist Roller

  1. To begin, stand straight up grabbing a wrist roller using a pronated grip (palms facing down). Your feet should be shoulder width apart.
  2. Slowly lift both arms until they are fully extended and parallel to the floor in front of you. Note: Make sure the rope is not wrapped around the roller. Your entire body should be stationary except for the forearms. This is the starting position.
  3. Rotate one wrist at a time in an upward motion to bring the weight up to the bar by rolling the rope around the roller.
  4. Once the weight has reached the bar, slowly begin to lower the weight back down by rotating the wrist in a downward motion until the weight reaches the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the prescribed amount of repetitions in your program.
Filed under: Forearm Comments Off
6Sep/10Off

Zottman Preacher Curl

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and place your upper arms on top of the preacher bench or the incline bench. The dumbbells should be held at shoulder height and the elbows should be flexed. Hold the dumbbells with the palms of your hands facing down. This will be your starting position.
  2. As you breathe in, slowly lower the dumbbells keeping the palms down until your upper arm is extended and your biceps are fully stretched.
  3. Now rotate your wrists once you are at the bottom of the movement so that the palms of the hands are facing up.
  4. As you exhale, use your biceps to curl the weights up until they are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder height. Again, remember that to ensure full contraction you need to bring that small finger higher than the thumb.
  5. Squeeze the biceps hard for a second at the contracted position and rotate your wrists so that the palms are facing down again.
  6. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Filed under: Biceps Comments Off