Archive for the ‘Exercise Technique’ Category

How to Squat

Monday, July 20th, 2015

How to Perform Squats

SquattingThere are many different lifts that a weightlifter can do to increase their strength, speed, and power. All kind of weightlifting is great for your body, but I prefer to not waste time in the gym lifting with tunnel vision, going from machine to machine and seeing little results from my hard work.

Instead, I would rather do 3-4 exercises with maximal intensity to wipe out my whole body in order to reap a maximal anabolic effect. The most well known and most dreaded of these exercises is the squat.

Rules to remember when squatting:

  • Keep the lower back straight and mostly flat; do not round your back!
  • Keep knees pointing out slightly, do not let them creep inwards as you push yourself up.
  • The bar should rest on upper trap muscles and the rear heads of the shoulders.
  • Push from your glutes (butt), not your knees; your hips should raise first and everything else should raise with them.
  • Fill your stomach with air before descending and keep it tight with your chest out while pushing up.
  • Push up with your eyes focused 30-45 degrees above normal eye level.
  • Try to keep your knees behind your toes to avoid injury.

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How to Perform the Pallof Press

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

The problem with most rotational movements is that they produce shearing forces on your lumbar spine. One of the foundations of biomechanics is that you don’t place your spine into a simultaneous state of rotation, flexion, and side bending, and you especially don’t add an external load.

Pallof Press

This eliminates a number of popular abdominal exercises such as dumbbell side bends and the twisting abdominal machine. Exercises like the Russian twist should be performed with care, making sure that the trunk is flexed rather than the spine.

There is a quick and easy solution to the inherent problems with twisting exercises – don’t twist.

Enter: The Pallof Press!

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Top 6 Ab Training Mistakes

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Want thick, dense abs that stand out like a washboard? Want a ripped midsection with veins and shredded striations? No? How about this: Want to look good naked?

Well, you will never achieve any of those goals if you train your abs once a week with three sets of crunches for 100 reps, or if you eat like a horse. Avoid these 6 common abdominal training mistakes and your abs will dial in. Whether you are a bodybuilder, an athlete, or a novice, chances are you are making several of these mistakes in your training right now. Take heed!

Female and Male Abs
A great example of male and female abs gone right.

The Top 6 Abdominal Training Mistakes

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Top 6 Arm Training Mistakes

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Want big arms? Want lean, shredded arms? Then don’t make any of these arm training mistakes. Here are 6 great arm training tips for bodybuilders, fitness athletes, sports athletes, and newbies alike. Forget the myths, stop the mistakes, and train your arms proper!

Arm Training Mistakes

The Top 6 Arm Training Mistakes

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Top 6 Shoulder Training Mistakes

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Having great shoulders really makes you appear sleek and powerful. However, chest and back training does not suffice when attempting to build spectacular shoulders. You must train the shoulders directly, intensely, and often. Be attentive of these 6 common mistakes that people make when training shoulders.

Shoulder Training Mistakes

The Top 6 Shoulder Training Mistakes

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Top 6 Chest Training Mistakes

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Your chest is a large and complicated muscle. Considering its size you would think it would be easy to stimulate growth. Do some flat bench, another secondary movement, and your chest starts growing. Unfortunately the pecs are a much more muscle group area than that. In fact it is downright complex.

Training the pectoralis is a major puzzle to most bodybuilders, thinking a couple sets of bench press is all it takes, or going to the other extreme by dedicating a full day to 20 sets of different bench press variations. In this piece we would like to expose the answer to this puzzle by discussing the six most prevalent chest training errors and then providing tips to avoid them.

Read carefully; you will be surprised how many mistakes you are likely making.

Chest Training Mistakes

The Top 6 Chest Training Mistakes

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Top 6 Back Training Mistakes

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Do you limit yourself by avoiding horizontal or vertical back movements? Did you know that your traps and lower back also need to be strengthened? Are you stuck on lat pull downs as your main back exercise? Can’t do a pull up?

Tsk, tsk, tsk…

Avoid these 6 common back training mistakes and you will have a much better chance of looking like Atlas and performing like an Olympian.

Back Training Mistakes

The Top 6 Back Training Mistakes

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The Top 5 Best Grip Training Exercises

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

gripGrip training: it has to be the most ignored type of training in gyms all over the World. Seriously, how often will you see someone working on their grip in the gym? Almost never, right? No one really seems to care. How much you bench press is all that really matters anyways – which is sarcasm, if you didn’t catch the drift.

While grip training does not really have much of an impact on how much you can lift, it still can be important. A lot of people use straps as an excuse not to work on their grip. I mean you can deadlift 600 lbs with straps, so why would you work on grip? Well, if you are ever planning on entering some type of powerlifting competition, then you will not be allowed to use them.

How to Develop a Strong Grip

The only way to make sure you get a more effective grip is to just work on your forearms with grip training. This can be done with any type of forearm exercises really. When you are doing deadlifts, you should try to never progress without straps.

It may be a pain in the ass not being able to bust past a plateau because your grip keeps giving out, but that is why you have to keep working on it! Don’t be that guy who can deadlift 500 lbs with straps but can only deadlift 3 plates without them.

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5 Squatting Mistakes

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

How NOT to Squat

Chick Squatting
8-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman said it best: “shut up and squat.” [1] After all, there’s nothing better for building lower body mass. Squats force you to use numerous stabilizing muscles and exhaust hamstrings, quads, and glutes.

To get the most out of squats, however, they must be executed with correct form. Avoiding these common squat mistakes will take both your performance and physique to the next level.

Mistake #1: Not Engaging Your Core

The core is the body’s center of gravity and is where movement originates. [2]If you have a weak core, it will be much harder to keep the weight stable. It also places you at a greater risk for hip or lower back injury.
To properly engage your core when performing a squat, concentrate on sucking your belly button towards your spine. A strong core will be able to maintain this posture throughout the exercise. If you have a weak core, using a weight belt around the waist protects the spine and keeps you from relaxing the core.

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The Importance of Proper Form in Crossfit

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Crossfit WomenIf you are the type of person who enjoys physical fitness, then you’ve no doubt tried several different types of exercise, from basics like jogging, cycling, and swimming, to instructional classes in yoga, Pilates, and step aerobics, to workout DVDs for P90X or Insanity. But if you’re looking for an up-and-coming exercise regimen that is going to continue to challenge you for a while, then perhaps Crossfit should be on your radar.

The only real caveat with this intense form of exercise is that it is all too easy to injure yourself if you’re not careful. Since you are pushing yourself to your physical limits with timed circuits that require you to fit as many reps into the allotted time as possible, you’ll find that you tire long before you’re through. So it’s not only important to know your limits, but also to observe proper form in every exercise. Here’s why.

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