When training, it is important to know the basic exercise movements. The categories listed
down below are the platform exercises to a traditional, conventional, nuts and bolts
exercise program. Some of these exercises are considered more dangerous and high risk
than others. Take for instance the Olympic and Power Movements, even if you do these
exercises right, many people will develop some arthritis, spinal and hip flexor issues, and
possible chronic injuries over years of training. This is due to repetitive movements that put
the body in major stress, biomechanical imbalances, origin and insertion points of muscles,
bones, ligaments, and tendons, etc. We break these movements down into:
Static Stretching Dynamic Stretching Minor Stretching
Movements: Olympic Power
Lower Body: Major Movements Minor Movements
Upper Body: Major Movements Minor Movements
Core Training Movement Descriptions
Are to be held without movement for 5 to 10 seconds to warm up or cooling down muscles
and joints before engaging in weightlifting, resistance training, or other forms of rigorous
activity. Research shows that the static stretches are also beneficial to increasing one's
range of motion and should be held for at least 45 seconds at each particular site.
Quadriceps Stretch - Simply Lunge and hold the position for 5 seconds, do opposite side
as well. Alternative: Stand upright on 1 leg and grab your foot with the hand on the same
side, have your foot dorsiflexed and hold for 5 seconds.
Hamstring Stretch - Stick out one leg dorsiflexed, having a slight bend in the knee, torso
leaned forward with the shoulders back, hold for 5 seconds, then switch sides.
Gluteal Stretch - Lying Supine: Bring and hold down one knee, bent, to the midline of your
chest, push behind leg with the opposite knee, hold for 30 seconds. This stretch is
excellent for rehabilitating any low back pain and sciatica/piriformis. Standing: Put up one
leg, heel inverted medially, lean into it with the torso, shoulders back.
External Hip Stretch - Lie down supine, follow the same directions as Glute Stretch, then
shift your knee that is toward the midline of your chest to the opposite it came from, hold it
down for a minimum of 15 seconds, then alternate sides. This stretch is excellent for
rehabilitating any low back pain and sciatica.
Inner Thigh Stretch (Abductor Longus) - Stand upright, at least feet shoulder width apart,
with hips pushed forward and bodyweight shifted to the heel of the foot of the abductor
longus muscle of the leg you are stretching, you will lean with the upper body slightly to the
Calf Stretch - Torso leaned forward, shoulders back. one foot forward, one foot back, while
stretching the back foot; keep the bodyweight on the back heel, having a slight bend in the
knee for 5 seconds, then switch sides.
Chest Stretch - Elongate your arm to the height of your shoulder on the same side, having
your body upright. Put your hand palm facing away, placed on a sturdy object, and counter
stretch yourself away arm, hold for 5 seconds, then switch sides. Do not stretch too far
Bicep Stretch - Same as chest stretch.
Shoulder Stretch - Same as chest stretch.
Rear Shoulder Stretch - Stand feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent, position one arm
across the body, just below the height of the opposite shoulder, then take your other arm
and cuff the arm in tight to your body, using a 90 degree bend from wrist to shoulder.
Spinal Column Stretch - Position your feet close together, in front of a sturdy bar, sink your
body down as your round your back, grab the bar and roll your spine up and down, slowly,
stretching each single vertebrae of the spine. You can also do it sideways to focus more
on one side at a time.
Triceps Stretch - Stand upright, feet shoulder width apart, raise one arm up and bend it,
grab the elbow of the arm which is raised up with the opposite hand and bring it to the
midline of the body, hold for 5 seconds, then switch opposite sides. Alternative: You may
also lean forward on a sturdy bar, with your arm raised up and lean forward on your elbow,
hold 5 seconds and switch other side.
Dynamic Stretching - Is very important to loosening up joints when preparing to train you
muscles and joints in activities that require speed, agility, or anything fast paced and
dynamic. This is due to the muscle spindle stretch shortening cycle and the joints ability to
loosen up when warmed up dynamically. Such movements as, front leg swings, straight leg
raises, arms swings, shoulder circles, rapid firing of hip abduction and adduction, butt
kickers, quad pulls, knee hugs, 3 way lateral lunges, cross leg quadriceps grabs, rapid
bounds, skip series, etc.. These dynamic stretches may also be used for warming up
before and after weight training.
Back Leg Swing Front Leg Swing
Hip Abduction Knee Lifts
Straight Leg Raise
Neck - Roll the neck from one side down to the chest to the opposite side, repeat 3 times.
Be sure to not roll the neck backwards and only move the neck where it is pain free.
Trapezius - Shrug the shoulders to the front, upwards, and roll to the back trying to touch
one lat to the other, repeat 5 times.
Ankles - Circumduct your foot for circles to the right five times, then switch direction, do the
same for the other foot.
Wrists - Circumduct your hand for circles to the right five times, then switch directions, do
the same for the other hand.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, aka P.N.F. stretches, are partner assisted
stretches, that use Hold, Contract, Relax methods of stretching. Most P.N.F. stretches
stretch the legs. A typical stretch is you apply to your client for 5 to 10 seconds under
decent tension, next have your client try to contract the area being stretch (as the trainer:
hold the tension without allowing much movement), then relax the muscles under tension
for 5 or 10 seconds. Afterwards, repeat the same P.N.F. technique to go deeper & deeper
into the muscles in the same stretch, for advanced flexibility and rehab for your client. 35
Snatch - Standing feet hip/shoulder width apart, toes pointed out slightly, grabbing the
olympic bar/dumbbells with a pronated grip, elbows width apart, squatting down low, with
the shoulders slightly retracted, outside the knees: first pull the bar up using your
trapezoids, scoop the bar and dip down having the bar just above the knees, shoulders
slightly ahead of the bar and retracted, keeping the knees behind the toes of the feet,
having the weight on the heels, keeping the bar as close to the shins, then extend your
hips fast, pulling the bar up; at the same time (with a slight mini jump) a second time using
trapezoids; as the bar glides up on the body, dip down underneath the bar with your upper
body, and catch the bar overhead, with: the arms fully extended, a tight torso, having the
bar just a tad behind the head in a neutral, feet flat on the floor (slightly wider) or in a
lunge position, body-weight over middle of feet. Muscles Trained: Glutes, Quadriceps,
Hamstrings, Calves, Back, Shoulders, & Arms. 1 - Start, 2 - First Pull, 3 - Scoop, 4 -
Second Pull, 5 - Catch
Start/1st Pull Scoop
2nd Pull Catch
Power Clean - Standing feet hip/shoulder width apart, toes pointed out slightly, grabbing
the olympic bar/dumbbells with a pronated grip, shoulder width apart (or slightly more).
Squat down low, with the shoulders slightly retracted, outside the knees: first pull the bar
up using your trapezoids, scoop the bar and dip down having the bar just above the knees,
shoulders slightly ahead of the bar and retracted, keeping the knees behind the toes of
the feet, having the weight on the heels, keeping the bar as close to the shins, then extend
your hips fast, pulling the bar up; at the same time (with a slight mini jump) a second 36
time using trapezoids; as the bar glides up on the body, dip down underneath the bar with
your upper body, and pull your body under the bar (by a quick arm and hand rotation as
the bar glides on your body ) to catch it in a quarter squat stance. The feet should contact
the floor again after mini jump in a slightly wider stance. Catch the bar at your shoulders
and clavicles, having: head & neck neutral, hyper-extended wrists, elbows flexed, arms
parallel to floor, flat back or slight arch, feet flat, body-weight over middle of feet. Muscles
Trained: Glutes, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Calves, Back, & Shoulders.
Starting 2nd Pull
Hang Clean - The hang clean is similar to the power clean; with a couple differences. The
hang clean's starting position is at the scoop (of the snatch/power clean), since there is
less movement upon pulling the bar up once versus twice (in the power clean), more
muscular effort is required since there is less time for the lifter to pull the bar up with. Thus
being said, the lifter must make sure to capitalize on the rapid hip extension and shrugging
of the shoulders, using the trapezoids to properly pull the bar up dynamically with proper
form. Muscles Trained: Glutes, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Calves, Back, & Shoulders.
Push Jerk - Begin standing upright, feet hip width apart, toes pointing slightly outward or
forward, grabbing the bar with a pronated grip shoulder width apart. Then dip down flexing
hips and knees (the dip should not exceed a quarter squat position nor 10% of the lifter's
height), after reaching your low point, immediately: extend the hips, knees, & ankles to
press the bar overhead. In the push and jerk, when the bar is pressed over head, no
muscular force should be exerted by the shoulders to continue pressing the bar overhead.
At the finish point, catch the bar with the shoulders & arms fully extended, with the hips and
knees flexed slightly (usually in a quarter squat stance). The goal of the catch is to reach
the lower body's lowest position at the same time, when the bar reaches its maximal height.
Catch the bar: elbows extended fully, tight torso, head neutral, feet flat, bar just behind
head, feet slighter wider than beginning stance upon landing, body weight over the middle
of the feet. Muscles Trained: Glutes, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Calves, Back, Shoulders, &
Push Press - Is similar to the push and jerk in the starting and dip positions. Once the bar
is drived up, make sure to only give enough power to drive the bar up one-third to half the
distance overhead. Muscularly use your shoulders & arm muscles to exert pushing force in
driving up the bar for the remainder of the push press. Catch the bar: elbows extended
fully, tight torso, head neutral, feet flat, bar just behind head, feet slighter wider than
beginning stance upon landing, body weight over the middle of the feet, stand fully erect to
gain balance of bodyweight and bar. Muscles Trained: Glutes, Quadriceps, Hamstrings,
Calves, Back, Shoulders, & Arms.
Squat - The squat is by far the exercise that promotes the most muscular growth, raising
the hormones the most. It is also the most injurious exercise as most fitness professionals
would agree. For pure anabolic muscular development, performing the squat with a bar will
yield fast results, though for most body types, it is a high risk for injury. Using dumbbells or
cables is a much safer route, in performing this exercise, and will allow for good muscular
Beginning Stance: Stand upright, feet a little wider than shoulder width apart, glutes back,
knees slightly bent, toes pointed out slightly with knees tracking in the same direction as
the toes, shoulders retracted, chest out, keeping your body really tight. Grab the bar either
in a high bar position or low bar position. Low bar position: Have the bar lay on top of the
posterior deltoids at the middle of the trapezius (This position is much safer on the spine
than the high bar position, since the bar lays on the trapezius muscles instead of the base
of the neck). High bar position: Have the bar placed above the posterior deltoids at the
neck's base. Make sure to have a pronated grip, gripping slightly wider than shoulder width
apart, with the wrists directly above and parallel to the elbows.
Downward Phase: Inhale throughout the downward phase of the squat, being sure to push
glutes out (hip flexion), as if to stick your butt out (like sitting in a chair), while maintaining
shoulder retracted, body tight, and having the knees track in the same direction and
behind the toes (to prevent knees injuries). It is very important to have the knees before
the toes when squatting. Stop the downward motion once one of the following occur: 1 -
Thighs are parallel to floor, 2 - Back begins to flex forward, 3 - Heels raise up, off the floor.
The ROM of the squat is dependant of the lower body joint & spinal flexibility.
Upward Phase: During the upward phase; forcefully exhale, pushing off the heels, keeping
shoulders retracted, head at 30-45 degrees looking up, chest pushed out, extending hips
(hip extension), knees tracked in line with toes. Perform the upward phase until the hips
and knees are fully extended, squeeze glutes at the top, and re-rack your weight or allow
the spotter to re-rack the weight.
Spotters: When spotting the squat, have 2 spotters; one at each end. Cup your hands
underneath the bar within 4 inches of the end of each bar. Be sure to stand upright and
help with the lift off in the starting position. During the downward phase; bend hips and
knees keeping torso erect and hands just underneath the bar. Upon ascending, extend
hips and knees, with an erect torso, keeping hands cupped just below the bar and help
re-rack if needed. Be sure to time your client's rest breaks and follow the rest period with
the goals your client is pursuing. Muscles Trained: Glutes, Quadriceps, Hamstrings,
Isometrically Upper-Body, & Core.
Variations of Squat: Front Squat, Box Squat, Sumo Squat, Hack Squat (machine),
Dumbbell/Cable Squat, Stability Ball Squat, Wall Squat
Deadlift - will induce much muscular development and strengthens mostly the posterior
chain muscles of the body. The deadlift is also a high risk injury exercise to be performed
with the bar for most body types.
Beginning Stance: Stand with feet hip width to shoulder width apart, knees tracked in line
with and behind toes, toes slightly pointed outward. Squat down with the hips lower than
the shoulders; use a pronated grip (or use an alternated grip when performing maximal
lifts) shoulder width or a little wider, back flat, keep your body tight.
Upward Phase: Keep your weight on your heels to mid-foot; push off them, extending your
hips and knees, maintaining your back flat, torso tight. Don't allow the hips to rise faster
than the shoulders, keeping the shoulders over the bar and gliding the bar on the
shins/legs. When the bar rises past the knees, extend the hips fully (or with a slight
hyperextension in the hips) and squeeze glutes at the top, keeping elbows fully extended
throughout the entire ROM. Exhale on the upward phase.
Downward Phase: Flex the hips and knees, gliding the bar downward very close on the
legs in a slow controlled manner. Maintain a tight torso, back flat, having the elbows fully
extended; pointing out at the sides, shoulders minimally ahead or in line with the bar,
keeping the head neutral. Touch plates on the ground, and immediately proceed for the
upward phase for the next repetition (not pausing). Muscles Trained: Glutes, Quadriceps,
Hamstrings, Isometrically Upper-Body, & Core.
Variations: Romanian Deadlift, Sumo Deadlift
Beginning Upward Erect Stand
Flat Bench Press - Is a great exercise to promote muscular upper body strength/power.
The biggest worry of the bench press is injuring shoulders. It is very important to retract
the shoulders during the entire ROM to minimize collateral damage to the rotary cuff
muscles. When the shoulders are retracted the pectoralis major and minor muscle fibers
are trained at a much higher intensity and number; thus inducing a higher muscular
recruitment of fast twitch fibers contracting. You want to do this, because the chest
muscles are much bigger and stronger and thus will lead to you getting injured less and
becoming stronger faster.
Beginning: Lie down at a five point stance. 1 - Head Neutral, 2 - Shoulders Retracted, 3 -
Low Back Arched, 4 - Glutes on the Bench, 5 - Feet tucked back with heels pushing down
on the floor (either off the floor or just on the floor). Keep your body tight. Grab the bar
slightly wider than shoulder width apart, pronated, with the wrists in vertical alignment to
the elbows, which are directly underneath the bar. Have your spotters lift the bar,
positioning the bar directly above the nipple line of the chest, while you have the bar
gripped. Using spotters for the lift off, will allow the shoulders, less wear and tear.
Descending Phase: Inhale, allowing your elbows to bend down past your torso, keeping the
bar directly in vertical alignment with the nipples of the chest. Have your forearms
perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another, keep your body tight, back
arched, shoulders retracted, heels pushed on ground. Touch the chest.
Upward Phase: Exhale, pressing the bar upward, keeping your 5 point stance, extending
the elbows but not locked out at the top. Repeat until your set is complete and allow the
spotters to re-rack the weight; reassuring proper safety to your shoulders.
Spotters: The most important aspect of the bench press for the spotters to attend to is the
lift off and re-racking of the weight. Have 2 spotters; one at each end. Cup your hands
underneath the bar within 4 inches of the end of each bar. Keep your body erect, flexing
hips and knees if need be, and cupping the bar; lift the bar up and re-rack the bar if your
client cannot lift the weight anymore. Muscles Trained: Chest, Shoulders, Back, Triceps, &
Variations: Incline Bench Press, Decline Bench Press, Dumbbell Presses: Flat, Incline,
Decline, Machine Vertical Chest Press, Smith Machine, Bench Press: Flat, Incline, Decline
Close to Nipple Line Upward
Smith Machine - Front Views
Lower Body - Major Movements
Squats - Refer to Squat listed in the Power Exercises, read all the variations.
Lunges - Stand feet hip width apart, shoulder back, body upright, head neutral. Take a big
step forward with the left foot, having your weight on the heel and mid-foot of the left foot.
On the right foot, have it in plantar flexion. Keep your torso upright, shoulders back,
looking straight ahead. Allow your body to bend down, having your right knee just above
the floor, hips straight. Push off the left foot to elevate the body back up and repeat this
same movement on the opposite side and feet. Muscles Trained: Glutes, Quadriceps,
Hamstrings, Hip Flexors, & Calves.
Leg Press - Sit down in the Leg Press Machine. Position the feet hip width to shoulder
width apart. Having the feet closer together will generally work the quadriceps more, while
keeping them farther apart will train the overall leg more, incorporating more of the glutes
& hamstrings. Push off with your feet to press the plate up and turn the hand release to
allow descending movement on the foot plate. Then inhale and descend the foot plate
slowly, bending your legs, the deeper you allow the descent, the more the glutes are
trained generally. Once you've reached full descent push the plate upward in a controlled
manner, faster than the descent, using more of the quadriceps, and once you've reached
the top, keep a slight bend in the knees and do not fully lock the legs. Repeat for your
desired number of repetitions to perform. Muscles Trained: Glutes, Quadriceps,
Hamstrings, & Core.
Romanian Deadlifts - Stand with feet hip width or a little wider, toes straight or slightly
pointed outward. Grip the bar with hands supinated, shoulders retracted, glutes back,
slight bend in the knees. During the ascent keep the lower body still and extend the hips to
an upright position, at the top lean back and squeeze the glutes. On the descent keep the
lower body in the same posture as you lower your torso to a 45 degree angle, keeping
your shoulders retracted and body tight. Feel the movement train your whole posterior
chain of your body: Glutes, Hams, Low Back, Back, Rear Deltoids, Calves, and Core. This
exercise innervates roughly 60% of the body's muscle fibers and you'll feel it the next day.
Muscles Trained: Glutes, Hamstrings, & Spine.
Lower Body - Minor Movements
Leg Extensions - Trains predominately the Quadriceps. Sit and adjust machine so that
your knees are just past the cushion you are sitting on, having your feet tucked behind the
foot lever, keeping your heels flexed. Prepare, take an inhale, exhale as you lift up the foot
lever, flexing your quadriceps throughout the full range of motion. Once your reach a full
leg extension, allow for the descend slowly, once you tap at the bottom, repeat upward,
and repeat the cycle for your desired repetition. The leg extension is made for shaping and
working your quadriceps, you do not need to load heavy weight to perform this exercise as
it can be too hard on the knees (due to the distance between the arc and lever from knees
to ankles and plane of motion being horizontal). Muscles Trained: Quadriceps.
Leg Curls - There are 2 types of leg curl machines; we provide the pictures for the seated
leg curl, which is the newer machine version of the leg curl. There is also the lying leg curl.
In each separate machine, the leg movement is the same. The leg curl predominately
trains the hamstring, also known as the spinter's muscle. Generally to be biomechanically
balanced and symmetrical, the hamstring should be 75% as strong as your quadriceps. On
the leg curl you sit down or lie down and perform a knee flexion. You begin with your knees
almost fully extended horizontally and do just the opposite of the leg extension. Contract
your hams by flexing your knee flexion and bringing your ankles towards and behind your
glutes, make sure to have your heels fully dorsi-flexed throughout the ROM of the entire
exercise to get the most muscle fiber contraction for the hamstrings. Once you've bent the
knees all you can, allow the knees to return to a horizontal position in a controlled manner.
When you reach the top, keep a slight bend in the knees to not fully hyperextend the
knees, and perform the same movement for your desired repetitions to achieve. Again,
generally this is not one of the movements where you load insane amounts of weights (to
prevent a higher likeliness of injury), throughout the ROM provide your own isometric
contraction by passionately squeezing your hams on your own as well. Muscles Trained:
External Hip Machine - Picture not provided. Simply sit down in a hip abductor hip adductor
machine with your knees bent and feet placed on the foot bars. Extend or adduct your hips
outward, go outward to the extent you can, pause, and allow for the machine to return
inward in a slow and controlled manner. One may choose to lean forward keeping your
shoulders back if you choose. This is a great exercise and you'll feel it later in each step
you take later in your hip adductors.
Inner Thighs - Lying Adductor Longus Flexion - You do not need a machine for this
exercise. In order to train this muscle correctly, you need to either sit or stand with your
legs fully elongated; with your quadriceps flexed, heel dorsi-flexed, thus allowing for the
adductor longus to be fully contracted. Lie down and raise your leg up, reach the top, hold
for a moment and return downward, tap the floor and repeat. You may use ankle weight to
increase the intensity. This exercise is extremely important to muscularly balance the inside
strength of your leg. Otherwise, you can lead yourself to a more vulnerable to injuries such
as groin pull, knees problems, etc... Most other leg movements do not provide a proper
training for the inside of your leg, abductor longus muscles. Optional Standing Adductor
Movement - You may also use a ankle footstrap and cable pulley for straight legged hip
abductions movements to strengthen your adductor longus (inner thigh muscles). Muscles
Trained: Adductor Longus.
Calf Machine - The machine movement trains the gastrocnemius and soleus. The
gastrocnemius is the prime muscle that is used in the calf for most movements and is most
important to be trained for calf strength. On the seated calf machine, sit down torso erect,
upright, have the balls of your feet on the foot lever, leaving your mid-foot and heels
hanging off. Then lift up and press the weight up plantar flexing your foot, pause at the top,
and allow your foot to descend and dorsiflex in a slow controlled manner. Repeat
movement to your desired repetition and intensity range. Muscles Trained: Gastrocnemius
Upper Body - Major Movements
Bench Press - Refer to Bench Press listed in Power Exercises, read all the variations.
Butterflys - Sit down in Butterfly Machine. Adjust seat so that the elbows are in line with the
shoulders when positioning the elbows behind the elbow pads. It's optional if you want to
retract your shoulder blades for a harder hit to the pecs. Take an inhale, prepare and
exhale press the pads on the elbows and abduct the arms to the midline of the chest,
squeezing the pecs, pause when you tap both together. Then allow the pads to return
back, while inhaling, once the pads reach near or at 180 degree line with the shoulders
stop and repeat for next repetition. The pads should mechanically stop well before the 180
line with the shoulders. The butterfly machine for trains the circumference of the Pectoralis
Major, and is good for shaping. Muscles Trained: Chest, Shoulders, & Scapulae.
Cross-Overs - This exercise uses cables and trains predominately the chest and
shoulders. The rest of the body isometrically gets a workout by staying tight throughout the
movement. Either stand or drop to your knees, keep your torso upright, grip one arm
cables on each hand. Elongate your arms keeping a slight bend in the elbow to prevent
against shoulder injury (if your shoulder is acting up then put more of a bend in the elbow
when performing the Cross-Overs). Simply move the arms up and together, touching as
you exhale. Then bring them out wide again to their respective sides as you inhale.
Continue to repeat movements to your desired repetition range. This movement will help to
platform your chest more upright. Muscles Trained: Chest, Shoulders, & Scapulae.
Variations: Cross-Overs: descending, midline, Perform with: dumbbells, bands, resistance
Bent-Over Row - This is another exercise that trains much of your posterior chain muscles.
Training predominately the Back, you will also exhibit muscular contraction in your Low
Back, Glutes, Hamstrings, Biceps, Rear Deltoids, Trapezius, Calves, and isometric
contractions throughout your whole body. Begin feet hip width apart, bring torso forward at
no more than a 45 degree angle in relation to your hips and lower body, sticking your
glutes out with a slight bend in your knees.. Have your shoulders retracted, grip the bar
underhand or overhand, shoulder-width part. When elongating arms, inhale and keep a
slight bend in the elbows upon full decent in a slow and controlled manner. When
performing arm flexion maintain tight posture and tap your belly button, pause and
elongate performing your desired number of repetitions. When pulling hands out on the
bar your back will be trained more intense, or pushing hands inward your chest muscles
will get a workout. Muscles Trained: Back, Glutes, Hamstrings, Shoulders, & Biceps.
Variations: All types of rows: Hammer strength, dumbbell, seated row, cables, bands, lat
Seated Row - Sit down, upright torso, shoulder retracted, gripping your bar supinated,
neutral, or pronated to your liking. In the cable machine row used below, position your legs
ahead with feet on the foot stops, be sure to dig your heels into the foot stops to help with
your pull. Inhale to prepare, then exhale while simultaneously rowing your bar, inducing an
back and arm flexion. Have the bar tap your body between your sternum and belly button,
pause and inhale as you allow your arms to elongate in a slow and controlled manner,
eccentrically, at the end keep a slight bend in your arms to prevent hyperextending your
elbows. Continue to perform your desired repetition range. Muscles trained: Back, Glutes,
Hamstrings, Shoulders, & Biceps.
Pull-Ups - Jump up and grab bar. Position hands according to your preference: a wide grip
will make the back wider, a close grip will make the back thicker and a slightly wider than
shoulder width grip will keep your back in relative proportion. Grabbing the bar with hands
supinated will train your biceps more, grabbing pronated trains your back more and
grabbing with hands horizontal will train your back and biceps. For the purposes of this
explanation we will use the pronated grip. Pull yourself up as you exhale, at least until the
top of your head reaches the height of the bar. Pause at the top, then allow your arms to
elongate as you inhale on the way down. Once your shoulders pass your elbows on the
descent, you will be training your biceps much more. Variations: Lat Pulldown, Alternate
Machine Pulldowns, Smith Machine Pulldowns.
Lat Pulldown - Do exactly the same as the Pull Up, above, in addition, retract your shoulder
blades throughout the entire ROM to train your back muscles harder, keeping your torso
upright, tight, with a slight bend backwards, no more than 30 degrees. Place knees
underneath knee pads and dig heels on the floor for extra tightness and efficiency of
maximal lift ability. Muscles Trained: Back, Rear Shoulders, & Biceps.
Pullover - This exercise trains the back, chest, arms and glutes too. Down below we
illustrate 2 types of pullover; one using the bar and the other using a dumbbell. Using the
bar, simply lie on the bench, heels pushing to the floor, arch in the back, grabbing the bar
a little wider than shoulder width, keeping the elbows and wrists in vertical alignment,
position the bar ahead and horizontal to the head, then exhale as your press the bar just
above the head, keeping the elbows and wrists fixed. Bring the bar in front of you and
down above the bottom of the pecs. Inhale and return to the starting position, continue to
perform to your desired repetition range.
When using a dumbbell, cup the dumbbell with your palms upward facing the ceiling. Keep
the plate of the dumbbell facing the ceiling, keeping it level throughout the entire ROM.
You can lie on the bench again, or like the picture below train the hips and just allow the
bench to support your upper back. In this approach you will pop the hips upward when you
press the dumbbell up and towards the chest in the same manner as you moved the bar in
the bar pullover. Follow the same directions as when doing the bar pullover as the
dumbbell as far as movement and breathing are concerned. Muscles Trained: Back,
Chest, Core, & Scapulae.
Starting Overhead Pullover
Starting Overhead Pullover
Reverse Hyperextensions - Set yourself in platform, leaned over, heels behind roller, with
the pad ending directly where your hips begin (If you want to train your hamstrings instead,
position your hips above the pad). Have your shoulder retracted, take in inhale as you
allow torso in a controlled manner to descend, continue downward until your torso has
reached 45 degrees below the pad, then exhale as you return upward, exerting force on
your low back to return upward. Repeat to your desired repetition range. Muscles Trained:
Low Back, Glutes, Hamstrings, & Core.
Starting Halfway Down Completely Down
Shoulder Press - Stand feet hip to shoulder width apart, toes pointed out to the sides
slightly, slight bend in the knees, torso upright. Grab the bar/dumbbells with hands
shoulder width apart or a little wider. Bring the bar/dumbbells to your clavicle, take an
inhale prepare, then exhale as you press the weight vertically upward; either slightly
behind the head (as in the push press/push & jerk) or straight overhead or slightly in front
of your head (usually safer on the rotary cuff muscles). For extra safety, when you reach
the top, keep a slight bend in the elbows, pause, then inhale as you allow the bar/
dumbbells to return in front of your clavicle in a slow controlled manner. Repeat for your
desired number of repetitions to be performed. Muscles Trained: Shoulders & Core.
Variations: Machine Shoulder Press, Band Shoulder Press
Lying Triceps Press - Lie down on a flat bench or decline, position heels to the floor, head
neutral, hands pronated, grab the bar with just 2 thumbs distance from each other to train
the triceps heads at a harder intensity. Position your elbow in line with or just behind the
shoulder joint, have your wrist horizontally in line with your elbows in starting position. Then
prepare and take an inhale, exhale as you press the weight up and away until you reach
your hands nearly vertical to your elbows and shoulders, pause, inhale return to starting
position in a slow and controlled manner. Perform your desired repetition range. Muscles
Trained: Triceps, Scapulae, & Core.
Starting Upward Press
Triceps Full Extension
Triceps Rope Pushdown - Stand feet hip width apart, torso upright, and leaned slightly
forward, grab your ropes using a neutral hand grip. Take an inhale prepare, and exhale
push down the ropes out and to the side until the elbows are nearly locked, pause, inhale
while returning the ropes just above the sternum and repeat for your desired repetition
range. Muscles Trained: Triceps.
Starting Triceps Extension
Straight Barbell Curls - Stand feet hip width apart, shoulders back slightly, gripping the bar
supinated, hands spread shoulder width apart, with a slight bend in the elbow. The wider
you grip the bar, the more you will train your medial bicep head. The narrower you grip the
bar, the more you will train outer bicep head. Take an inhale prepare, exhale and begin
pulling the bar up and close to your body, up to the upper chest, once you've reached the
area where your biceps are hardly working to pull the bar up, pause. Then inhale and
eccentrically elongate your arms in a slow and controlled manner, at the bottom keep a
slight bend in the elbows. Repeat to your desired repetition range. Muscles Trained:
Biceps. Variations: Dumbbell Bicep Curls, Incline Bicep Curls, Machine Bicep Curl, Cable
Curls Band/Tube Bicep Curls, Grips: Supine, Prone, Neutral.
Starting Biceps Flexion Top Point
Starting Biceps Flexion Top Point
Preacher Curls - Sit down on the bench, lean over, drape your arms on top of the pad as
you grip the preacher bar with a supine grip. Take an inhale prepare, exhale and bicep
curl the preacher bar toward your upper chest. Once you've reached the area where the
biceps are hardly working to pull the bar up, pause. Then inhale and eccentrically elongate
your arms in a slow and controlled manner at the bottom, keeping a slight bend in the
elbows. Repeat to your desired repetition range. Muscles Trained: Biceps.
Starting Up & Down Movements
Forearm Curls - Simply stand or sit, upright. Grip a bar, dumbbell or other device and
rotate wrist upward and downward. You can also grip using a neutral grip. This exercise
you can be creative with. Note: The forearms are already trained with many other upper
body movements, secondarily. Isolating and training the forearm muscles regularly can
cause premature arthritis, due to the wrist having so many small bones. Muscles Trained:
Forearm Flexion Forearm Extension
Wrist Extension Wrist Flexion
Core Training: Rectus & Transverse Abdominals
Lying Decline Crunch - Lie down on a decline bench, the more decline the more intense
ROM your rectus and transverse abdominals are going to be trained. Position your feet
and heels underneath and through the foot pockets. Take an inhale prepare, and exhale
flex your core and rise torso up, reach until your core can no longer raise, take a moment
and flex extra hard, then inhale and return down slowly in a controlled manner, lightly tap
the bench with your shoulders and repeat for your desired repetition range. Muscles
Trained: Transverse & Rectus Abdominals.
Rope Crunches - Kneel on the floor, glutes rested over calves, grab the rope attachment,
in a neutral grip. Have your torso upright, take an inhale prepare, exhale and flex and use
your midsection to crunch your torso downward until your nose reaches the 3 inches from
the floor, pause, flex even harder, maintaining your arms upward, then inhale as you return
your torso to an upright position, glutes rested over calves. Muscles Trained: Rectus &
Starting Rope Crunch
Finish - Rectus Flexion
Trunk Rotation - Stand feet shoulder width apart or a little wider. Take your outside arm
and grab the handle, then take your inside hand and grip the handle, having your arms
elongated, standing upright, slight bend in the knees, glutes back, staying on the balls of
your feet (plantar flexion). Take an inhale prepare, exhale as you rotate your arms across
your torso, tightening and flexing your midsection. Once you reach the opposite side where
you can reach no further, pause, inhale and retrieve the arms in the opposite direction in a
slow and controlled manner, keeping your arms elongated, until you reach your beginning
position. Repeat for to perform for your desired repetition range. Muscles Trained: Rectus
Abs, Transverse Abs, Psoas, Isometrically: Chest, Shoulders, Scapulae, Back, & Legs.
Starting Half Rotation
Starting Hip Flexion Hip Extension
Starting Knee Flexion
Full Knee Extension
Starting - Dorsi Flexion Plantar Flexion
Starting Chest Contraction
Starting Upward Phase
Maximal Upward Phase
Beginning Back Flexion
Starting - Arms Elongated Back Flexion
Starting Back Flexion Full Back Flexion
Starting Bicep Flexion Full Bicep Flexion