Happy Saturday all, I'm sure many of you will be passing this over while you enjoy that morning cup of coffee. For those that take the time to stop and read this quickie, thanks for doing so and I hope you enjoy.
We all know that balance is important in life in general, let alone in things like recovering from a lower body injury. Many of us have struggled with gaining balance and stability after such an injury. With those, usually comes a ton of physical therapy and retraining of the movements you lost. Unfortunately most people lean way too heavily on things like, unstable surface training, to regain and/or maintain balance and stability. Unstable surface has a place in PT, that's OK, it's the rest of the professionals out there leaning on similar training that I'm sure can do better. As a side note, the bosu ball is one of my mortal enemies. If you in fact find me working out of a facility that has a boss ball in it, just assume I’ve been taken against my will and that I need to be rescued.
Here are three exercises that you will see way better results from, in terms of improved balance and stability, as opposed to continuing to smash your nose into a brick wall with “unstable surface” training.
Single Leg Standing Battle Ropes: Definitely jacked this from someone, might have been Ingrid Marcum. In either case, it’s easy, grab yourself a rope and stand on one leg. You can do side to side like I’m doing, you can use two ropes and do that too, or you can do your regular rope waves that your use to. In either case, your joints are going to be worked to keep you from falling on your backside. Did I mention it works everything untestable surface claims it’s doing.
Single Leg RDL Switches: Again, not my own idea, I’ve forgotten where I’ve sniped this from, sorry. Anyway, assuming you’ve mastered a Single Leg or 1-leg RDL, this next progression is going to challenge that stability. Perform a 1-Leg RDL, I like to keep the KB in the opposite hand of my standing leg. At the bottom of said RDL, pass the KB between your hands, back and forth, then stand up. I’ve also seen variations where the exercise is to hold that bottom position and pass the KB back and forth a number of times. In either case, the toughest part, besides not tumbling over, will be to keep your hips still.
Standing Clamshells: Pretty sure this one I said Matt Ibrahim do? Maybe I’m misremembering, in either case, again, not an exercise that’s my brain child. This one obviously is targeting those side bum muscles, but still you have to work to not eat the floor. Start in an athletic stance, pick a foot off the ground and abduct those legs, working on squeezing those outer backside muscles. You will be wobbly so take your time.
These aren't the only three I would use, but they are the ones that have found their ways in to more programs than other so that's why I chose them to share with you.
Find these and more in No Pain Train-Online Training grab your spot today. deadline in this Monday December 17th!
I got some fun stuff for everyone to sink into today, hopefully everyone enjoys it and finds it worth a bit of their time to go through.
Above is one of my favorite memes in recent times, yes it’s funny but there’s certainly some truth to it. If you’re like me, the thought of doing your finisher (conditioning), you kind of dread it. Yes even coaches and trainers aren’t necessarily looking forward to parts (sometimes all) of their workouts, people say cardio and I say cardi-no, don't lie, you at least chuckled.
All that said, I know that this is what I need to work on the most. No I’m not talking about going for runs for miles on end, trust me that’s not really worth the toll, especially if you’re akin to me and weren’t exactly born to run. I sprint if anything in terms of that.
Here are 4 finishers that even I’ve managed to do with some regular consistency, and I find work well for my clients, for some of you, they probably look familiar.
To explain what this is, simple, you give an allotted time to complete however many exercises as many times as you can (example GB Squats x8, Inverted Rows x10, Suitcase Carry x10 yards/side, as many times through for 8 minutes). I like to use this for a couple reasons-
Reason 1; is to build work capacity, simply put, literally how much movement can you do in a given amount of time. If someone has a lower than average work capacity, and is more often winded during their workout, I’ll either keep the time to around 8 minutes, or I’ll make it fairly easy movements for a slightly longer amount of time. As they get better I’ll add more complex and challenging movements and/or extend the time.
Reason 2; I’ll use this is to get some extra volume in for a particular exercise. If a client has a goal concerting their squat, their chin-up, their pushup or anything like that, you can be they’ll find such a movement in a density set at the end of a workout.
Conditioning with the upper body gets a little over looked. I love doing battle ropes same day as a big upper body lift. Really gets clients to push the limits of that half of the body. I generally try to keep the work/rest with battle ropes to 1:2 work rest ratio. The maximum work time I’ll give is around 15-20 seconds, that’s something that both myself and my good friend Mike, find is the maximum someone can do battle ropes work without their intensity withering away. Then it becomes a full body thing, and that’s not really great.
Air Dyne/ Spin Bike
Many of you know by now that my knees and I aren’t always friends. Getting on a bike as opposed to a treadmill or pounding the pavement, lets us live more harmoniously. Most clients start out with something like a 1:3 work-rest ratio and I build them into something closer to 1:1. For a challenge something like a tabata, 20s:10s work-rest, is certainly one I’d consider throwing at some of my more advanced clients.
A complex is taking an implement; KB, barbell, dumbbell, sandbag or whatever your pleasure is, and doing multiple exercises in a row without setting it down. I find myself using a lot of kettlebell complexes, typically 3-5 movements involved with each. The limiting factor in terms of what weight you can do is basically down to, what is your weakest exercise in said complex. For 90% of people that ends up being any sort of overhead press variation. Giving 60s to rest between each round, I’ll typically program between 3-6 rounds, 6 is reserved for the slightly more advanced clients. Ranging between 5-8 reps for each exercise, it takes more out of you than you realizes after that 2nd round, so my advice is to be a bit conservative with the weight.
Honorable mentions for this list include ladders & reverse ladders, metcon circuits (not my favorite name for them, but everyone gets the idea), and sled pushes.
If you're looking for a way to spice up your conditioning, hopefully these give you an idea. Have a good day everyone, got out there and get after it!
Don't forget to get your spot in No Pain Train- Online Training, closes December 18th and I promise you it's worth every bit of your time to at least check out. It can be for you or someone you know that is tired of living in chronic pain and wants to take control of their health and their life.
We all know that one of the most important movement patterns that needs needs needs, did I say needs? Yes, needs to be included in a training program, not to say the others aren’t important, but I’d say it’s the one that gets forgotten by those that aren’t quite in the know.
With that, most of us can agree that one of the best exercise for this movement pattern is the deadlift, in some variation. Most coaches will nod their heads with the next point, many clients are either intimidated or even refuse to do a deadlift. Well damn what do we do, just pass over it? Hell no, we’re all smarter than that, we get the hinge pattern done somehow!
For those that may be fresh out of ideas and what to do for this pattern instead, here’s some ideas, I tried to list them in some order of progression;
(Note; if you feel any of these in your back either ask for help with technique or try going back to another progression)
This is the most basic of hinges, push those heels into the ground and track crack an acorn between your glutes.
The next step up, pick 1 foot off the ground, push the remaining heel on the ground and squeeze that glute.
Goat Belly Swing
Made popular by the one and only Dan John, put the bottom of the KB against your stomach, relax the knees and push those hips back.
Similar to the goat belly, put a heavy-isa band around your waist, push those hips back, stand up and squeeze those glutes hard.
Cable/Band Pull Through
One step further from the hinge, hold the handles taut, don’t actively reach through your legs with your arms.
Keep the shoulders on the bench, don’t arch through your back, keep your chin tucked. This can also be done on a bench, especially since most gyms don’t have an actual hip thrust machine.
1-Leg Hip Thrust
These suck, no way around it, but when they suck a little less, you know you’ve gotten better. Remember to push that heel into the floor, most people wind up on their forefoot or toes.
Leg Curls (Ball or Slider)
The slider variation of this makes your hammies SCREAM! If you find that you can’t keep everything in line through out the movement, try just doing the extension part slowly, then dropping your butt to reset first.
The arms should NOT be doing loads of lifting, they should be holding the bell, the hips do the lifting.
Squeeze the handles/bars real hard to keep those shoulders locked in, don’t go down beyond the point where your back starts to round (usually around knee caps to mid shin).
Hopefully those of you that might be a little scared of deadlifts (come on), but also try these so you don’t neglect those posterior chain muscles. You need that group to be super strong in order to stay health and continue to see progress.
That's what I got for you all today, everyone have a happy and safe Thanksgiving. Don't forget that 'getting after it' bit though!
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS