Exercise of the Week!: Chest Supported Rows

I feel that any good training program will have exercises to not only help you obtain that physique you are dreaming about, but also will have exercises that will help things such as posture.
We, as a society, do way too many things that can make our shoulders round and give us poor posture.

Here is an exercise I love to have in my training to help fight that poor posture and give my back the definition I really want to have.

As you can see here I am using a machine that is used specifically for this exercise, but you do not need this to do the exercise. You can just as easily use a incline bench and dumbbells to do the exercise.

A couple “Do’s” for doing a chest supported row…

  1. Always make sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together as you row.
  2. Keep you abs tight. It can be easy to let the rest of your body “slack” while doing these because you are being supported, but don’t let it. Keep your abs and butt tight to help keep your lower back safe.
  3. Control the weight as you lower it back to starting position.

A couple of “Don’ts”…

  1. Don’t cheat the rep. Meaning, make sure you bring the weight all the way up to your chest and then completely straighten your arms at the bottom.
  2. Don’t use momentum. It can be very easy to jerk the weight as you row to get the rep in. Make sure every rep you are using your strength.

Hope you give these a try and let me know how you like them! πŸ™‚

 

 

Exercise of the Week!: Hex Deadlifts

This is probably one of my favorite exercises (I know I say that a lot LOL) when it comes to deadlifts and targeting those glutes and hamstrings.

To do the Hex Deadlift….

  1. Make sure your feet are hip-width apart.
  2. Fold at the hips, pushing your butt back as far as you can. You should feel a nice stretch in the glute and hamstrings while doing this.
  3. Have a slight bend in the knees.
  4. Keep your back nice and straight with your head aligned. Meaning, don’t look too far up and don’t tuck your chin into to your chest.
  5. Grab the bar by the handles and stand up!

A couple of things to watch out for, aka…don’t do! πŸ˜‰

  1. Don’t squat down to get the bar. It’s your glutes and hamstrings that should be doing most, if not all, of the work. Have enough bend in the knees to get the bar, but not so much where you are squating.
  2. Watch for rounding of the back, or making it look like a “rainbow”. If you are not working with someone, or a gym partner to watch you, I like to record a couple of reps to make sure I am doing the exercise correctly.
  3. YOUR BACK SHOULD NOT “FEEL IT” OR HURT!! If your back is getting tired or it is starting to hurt, stop what you are doing and reset yourself. You might be using your back to lift the bar and not your legs.

I do think these are a great exercise for people just starting off with learning deadlifts. For most, it is a more natural movement because it’s like picking up two suitcases, which most people have done before. I also like them a lot because you don’t need to use a lot of weight, at least starting out, to feel the exercise.

Plus…they build GREAT butts!!! πŸ™‚

Exercise of the Week!: Barbell Bent Over Rows

Barbell bent over rowsΒ are one of those exercises that I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with.
I love them because they really work my back and help with my posture. (I tend to slouch…working on it though!) As a society we do way too many things in front of us.

Driving, working on the computer, eating, etc.

Doing all of this can make our shoulders come forward and ruin our posture.

These can help with that!

But I “hate” them (use that term lightly) because, well….they’re hard!

I do make sure I have these bad-boys in every training program I do. Whether I’m using a barbell, or in some cases, dumbbells.

You can either use a barbell, dumbbells, Kettlebells or even bands.

If you are going to use band, loop the band under your feet to make “handles” and pull up.

No matter what you are using as your tool, the movement is still the same though.

A couple things you want to keep in mind while doing these…

  1. Keep your abs tight! This will help protect your back.
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you row. Don’t make your arms do the work, make your upper back do the work. Squeezing the shoulder blades together at the top of each rep will help with that.
  3. Keep your elbows tight to your body, don’t let them flare out.

There you have it! A great exercise to not only help build a beautiful and strong back, but also one that helps with your posture!
If you are interested in more of what I am doing, make sure you fill out the form below to sign up for my newsletter that will be going out shortly! I’m going to be putting a lot of great info in it to show you exactly HOW I’m getting my results!!

Exercise of the Week!: Barbell Hip Bridges

If you have followed this blog for awhile, you know I am all about the exercises that work the booty. πŸ™‚
And this is absolutely one of my favorites!

Barbell Hip Bridges, or as some call “hip thrusts”.

If you can’t use a barbell, due to not having access to one or it’s too heavy right now, don’t worry! You can use dumbbells or even just your own body weight!

Main key to remember here is to keep your abdominal area and glutes tight through out the whole movement.

Hope you try these out and love them as much as I do! πŸ™‚

Exercise of the Week: Skull Crushers!

Now, most people wouldn’t want to have anything to do with an exercise that is called “skull crusher” but I promise you, they are great!
I am not a big fan of single body part exercises, but these are one of those exercises that I feel are great for the arms.

And with it being summer and the tank tops are coming out, I want to make sure I pay special attention to my arms.

Couple things you want to pay attention to while doing these…

  1. You don’t need to go heavy on the weights. Your triceps are small muscles compared to a muscle such as the quad or hamstring.
  2. Make sure you keep your lower back tight against the bench. Don’t let it arch as you’re doing the movement.
  3. Keep your elbows in. Meaning, do not let them flare out as you bring the weights towards your head or back up to starting position.

Hope you give these a try and love them as much as I do!

And make sure you sign up for my newsletter that I will be sending out very shortly! Lots of great information that I will not be putting on my blog!

Exercise of the Week!: Kettlebell Swings!!!

I’ve been working with Kettlebells since 2001 and no matter what goal I am trying to work towards, I always make sure I incorporate Kettlebell swings into my programming.
Why?

Well one, I absolutely LOVE them!

Two, they are a full body exercise like no other and gets your heart rate up quickly.

And lastly, if all you have is 10-20 minutes, you can get a great workout in!

Try these in your next workout. I promise you won’t be disappointed! πŸ™‚
If you want more info like this before anyone, make sure you fill out the form below. I will be starting to put out a newsletter within the next couple of weeks that will have a TON more information than what I put on my blog. You won’t want to miss out!

Exercise of the Week: Reverse Lunges

The reverse lunge is one of those exercises that I have a huge Love/Hate relationship with.
I LOVE them because they really shape the thigh and butt region.

But I HATE them because they are killer!

And when you add some dumbbells to them…..WHOA! Watch out!

Here is a quick video of the exercise. For this, just so the video wouldn’t be too long, I am only showing you the reverse lunges on one side. You would repeat the exercise on the other side.

Some of the big things you want to make sure you watch out for while doing this exercise…

  1. Make sure to keep the front foot flat on the floor. Do not let the heel come up while you are stepping back or stepping forward to starting position.
  2. Keep your chest tall and proud. Meaning, do not lean over as you are taking a step back.
  3. Make sure to stand up tall after coming forward every time.

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!! πŸ™‚

Exercise of the Week!: Renegade Rows

I’ve decided to start putting up an “Exercise of the Week”.
I’ll be honest, I am horrible at trying to remember to video some of the exercises during my workouts. Mainly because I get into a “zone” and forget.

But I’m going to make it a point to record some of my favorite exercises I do while training.

Here is the first one….Renegade Row.

 

I love the renegade row because it hits a lot of big muscle groups at one time.

Some of the biggest things to remember…

  1. Make sure your body is in a complete plank. Don’t let your hips sag or sway side to side while rowing.
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blade at the top of the row.
  3. If using the dumbbells is too much for right now, go with out them! Keep the same great form, but just lift your palms up and elbows towards the ceiling.

Like I said, this is a great whole body exercise.

So have fun with them next time you train!