Blog Archives

Because You Can Never Know Too Much

The moment you think you know everything, you are in trouble.

Because you can never know everything and the second you stop learning, you will be left behind.

That is why I’m constantly looking for things to enhance my training and workout routines. I always want to be learning and growing to make my workouts better and more efficient.

I mean…Why wouldn’t you want to be better?

Why wouldn’t you want to be more efficient or find something that works and makes your life even easier?

I would!

Here are some great exercises and tips to help you continue learning and growing this week!

1. Here are 10 Suspension Trainer Exercises to work your entire body. These exercises are all core focused and many of them will strengthen your backside. So if you are having neck, shoulder, back or hip problems, you need to try these suspension trainer moves.

suspension-trainer-exercises

2.I think one of the hardest areas of our body to work when we don’t really have any equipment is our back. Here are 5 Equipment-Free Bodyweight Back Exercises. All of these are must-do moves if you sit at a desk all day and want to remain injury free!

equpiment-free-back-exercises

3. The Deadlift is one of my favorite moves because it works your entire posterior chain, which, let’s face it, we all need to work because we sit way too much during the day. And the thing I love about deadlifts is there are a ton of variations to work your back and legs in different ways! Check out these deadlift variations.

deadlift-variations

4. Often when people want to work their core, they turn to crunches. And crunches can be “fun” but really, in general, they are pretty useless. This 30-Minute Core Workout, works the big muscles of your core and gets your heart beating to really burn some calories and create a strong core. It includes some of our favorite moves like the Turkish Get Up, Crawl with Pull Through and Sidewinders.

core-workout

5. If you’ve upped your mileage this summer or are training for a race, you need to make sure to take care of your body so you don’t get injured. These dynamic stretches for runners will help improve your mobility so that you stay injury free. These are quick and easy to do right before your run!

stretches for runners

6. Can you tell I’ve been very focused on upper back, shoulder and neck pain recently!?! Maybe because it is such a common problem since too many people sit hunched over a computer all day and then try to go workout without doing anything to first improve their posture (aka stretch and activate). Here are 5 great foam rolling moves you should be doing if you have a desk job.

foam rolling moves for upper back, neck and shoulder pain

7. And finally here are 25 Core Training Exercises. They are broken down by equipment so that you have bodyweight, slider, sandbag, and resistance band exercises.

core-training-exercises

What have you researched and learned recently to make you better? How are you constantly changing and growing?

A Great Glute Workout

I LOVE glute workouts. And I think that glute training is an ESSENTIAL part of any good workout routine, which is why I love writing about glute training every other day it seems.

Below are a couple of articles about glute training and a great glute workout.

Mini Bands are a one of my favorite tools to use to activate your glutes. They are cheap, easy to use anywhere and can work your butt from every angle. Here are 10 Great Mini Band Moves.

I also love glute bridges and all the different bridge variations. Here is a post on the basic glute bridge and another on the bridge and curl.

Below is a great workout using both the mini bands and a couple of my favorite glute bridge variations!

Get Great Glutes Workout

WARM UP (This link is a great leg warm up!)
Roll out and Stretch:
Calves/Shins
Quads
Hamstrings
Glutes/Hips

ACTIVATION

Complete 2 rounds of the circuit below.

CIRCUIT:
10 steps each way Mini Band Side Shuffle
20 steps each way Monster Steps

WORKOUT

Complete 3-5 rounds of the first exercise and then of each following superset. Rest up to 1 minute between rounds and up to 2 minutes between supersets.

EXERCISE #1:
5-15 reps Hip Thruster

SUPERSET #2:
8-12 reps per side Single Leg Deadlifts
15-20 reps Glute Bridge and Curl

SUPERSET #3:
8-12 reps per side Lateral Step Ups
15-20 reps Reverse Hypers

COOL DOWN
Roll out and Stretch:
Calves/Shins
Quads
Hamstrings
Glutes/Hips

EXERCISE DESCRIPTIONS:
Mini Band Side Shuffle and Monster Walks – Click here for a full breakdown of the moves with pictures.

mini bands
Hip Thruster – Set up a bench so that it won’t move as you bridge up onto it. Take a barbell and put some padding around it. Place your upper back on the bench and sit your butt on the ground with your legs out straight. Place the barbell over your hips and plant your feet firmly on the ground and close to your butt. Drive up through your heels and your upper back on the bench. Squeeze your glutes and press your hips up as high as possible, driving the barbell up and off the ground. Hold a second or two at the top and then lower back down and repeat. Do not hyperextend your back at the top. Keep your belly button pulled in toward your spine and really squeeze your glutes at the top. Beginners will want to progress up to the barbell variation. Beginners may need two boxes to start or even start with a bridge on the ground. To do the two boxes, they will place their upper back on one and their heels on the other. Bring your butt up off the ground, driving through your heels on the box and your upper back. Bridge up into a nice straight line, squeezing your glutes and then lower your butt back down almost to the ground. Repeat, holding just a second or two at the top. To advance that move while still not using a barbell, do a single leg variation. Once you feel comfortable with the single leg variation, attempt a very light weight hip thruster. 

hip thruster
Single Leg Deadlift – Stand on one foot with the knee of that standing leg slightly bent. Hinge over at your hips, sweeping the other leg back toward the wall behind you. Pretend you are driving the heel of that foot straight into the wall behind you. Lean forward with your upper body as you hinge forward, keeping the back nice and flat. Make sure that as you hinge, you are sitting into the heel of your standing leg. Do not lean forward and come up onto your toes. To stand back up, drive through the heel of your standing leg and squeeze your glute at the top. Try not to tap the other foot down at all or at least not till you are fulling standing. Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other leg. To make the move harder, do a 3-5 count lower down toward the ground. Take 3-5 seconds to hinge over and then push straight back up. If that is still easy, then add a little bit of weight.

SLDL
Lateral Step Ups – The higher the bench or box you use, the harder this move will be. Do not use a box that is too high. If you have to push off the foot on the ground or if you really lean forward to propel yourself up, the box is too high. Stand with the box next to your right side. Place your right foot on top of it without rotating toward the box. Drive up through the heel of the foot on the box until you are standing on the box. Drive the left knee up as you lift up onto the box. Then step back down and repeat. Keep your chest up as you drive up. Do not lean forward or let your heel on top of the box come up. Complete all reps on one side before switching. Challenge yourself first with a higher box and then with weight. If one box is too high and the other is too low, you can add weight and use the lower box to make the step ups harder.
Glute Bridge and Curl – For a complete guide to the bridge and curl, click here.

towel hamstring curl
Reverse Hypers – Lie face down on a table, bench or box. Make sure your hips are right at the edge. Hold on to something in front of you if you want. Keep your upper body relaxed. Squeeze your legs together and point your toes out. Lift your legs to basically parallel to the ground, keeping your legs straight. Do not hyperextend your back and lift way higher than parallel. You do not want to feel this in your low back. Hold for 2-5 seconds and then lower down. Keep your core tight and really squeeze your glutes as you lift.

hyper

Home Workouts – 10 Moves You Can Do With An Ikea Table

So yesterday when Ryan and I were doing some foam rolling stuff, I used a table for a couple of the moves.

It was just our little $10 Ikea table, but it was amazingly sturdy considering I put it together…Although that may be better than if Ryan put it together…Sorry Ryan…But it’s true…

Anyway, when I used the table, Ryan said to me, “I wonder if you could do a full body workout with just that table?”

My answer, “You totally could!”

Here are 10 moves you can do with just a cheap little Ikea side table! Love you Ikea! 🙂 (The moves are in no particular order)

1. Decline or Incline Push ups – You can make the push up easier or more advanced using the table. To make the push up easier, put your hands on the table and then perform the push up from your knees or toes. Doing the push up from your knees will make it easier than from your toes. To advance the push up, put your toes on top of the table.incline push up

2. Balance Lunges – The balance lunge is a great leg move to do if you don’t have weights. Place your back foot up on the table and hop your front foot out so you are in a nice wide stance. Then lunge down, dropping your back knee toward the ground. Really sit back into the lunge. Make sure you aren’t going forward and that your front knee is not going past your toe. You should feel a nice stretch in the front of the leg that is back when doing this move.

bulgarian split squat

3. Single Leg Squats – This table is a great way for beginners especially to start working on their pistol squats. It is also a great way to really correct imbalances since you are working legs individually. If the table is too low for you at the beginning, start with a two-leg squat to bench. Then progress to one leg. Beginners can completely sit down on the table. As you advance, try to only barely tap the table with your butt before standing up. Do not rely on sitting on the bench to stand back up.

single leg squat
4. Incline or Decline Climbers – These aren’t mountain climbers. With climbers you are working your shoulders and triceps. Beginners should start in a plank position with their forearms on the table. Next climb up one hand at a time until you are at the top of a push up position. Then climb back down to complete the rep. Advanced exercisers should do this move with their feet elevated on the table instead.

decline climbers

incline climber
5. Glute Bridge off table – A great way to advance the glute bridge is by putting your feet up on the table. You can do either a double leg glute bridge, which is a bit easier, or a single leg bridge, which is a bit more difficult. Start by lying on the ground with your heels on the table. Your butt should be close to the table. Arms are bent to 90 with elbows driving into the ground. Squeeze the glutes and drive through the heels, lifting your hips as high as you can in the air. Keep your core tight and glutes squeezed. You should not feel this in your low back. To make the move even more beneficial, hold each rep at the top for 2-5 seconds.

single leg glute bridge
6. Handstands – Handstands are a great upper body move. Using the table you can either do a beginner handstand hold or you can make the move more advanced by adding in a push up. To do the hold, place your feet on top of the table. Walk your hands back a bit and push your butt up towards the ceiling. Push off your toes to get as vertical as possible, creating a nice straight line from your hands, up your arms and core to your tailbone. If this is easy, add the push up in while holding this position. Drop your head down to the ground and then lift back up.

handstand push up
7. Plank Holds – Plank holds are a great overall core move and the table can be used to make the move easier and more difficult. Beginners can hold front and side planks with their hands on the table and feet on the ground while advanced lifters can have their feet on the table and hands on the ground.

decline plank
8. Lying Bat Wings – One of my favorite moves is scapular wall holds. When playing with the table, I realized you could do the same hold while lying face down on the table. Lie down with your chest on the table. Bend your arms to 90 degrees and then pinch your shoulder blades down and back. Try to bring them together you are pinching back so hard. Hold that move. Beginners can hold for 30 seconds. Advanced can hold for up to a minute. If you want to make it even more challenging, you could add weight to each hand…even if it is just in the form of a book.

lying bat wing
9. Reverse Hypers – A great move for the glutes and hamstrings and most easily done with a piece of equipment; HOWEVER, using a table is a PERFECT way to do reverse hypers at home. Lie face down on the table. Make sure your hips are right at the edge. Squeeze your legs together and lift your legs to basically parallel to the ground. Hold for 2-5 seconds and lower. You can do reverse hypers with either bent or straight legs. Both have their benefits. You should not feel either though in your low back. Keep the core tight and really squeeze the glutes.

hyper
10. Dips – One of the most common home exercise moves, dips can’t be ignored. Place your hands behind you on the table with finger tips hanging over the side. Beginners can bend their legs while more advanced exercisers can keep their legs straight. Drop your butt as close to the ground as possible, bending your arms to 90 degrees and keeping your back and butt close to the table. You could even make the dips harder by doing two push ups followed by two dips for 3-5 rounds. Talk about a way to smoke your triceps….

dips off bench

If you like these moves and have enjoyed other Man Bicep posts, I suggest you head over to my new site Redefining Strength for a sneak peek and a few great workout freebies, including a COMPLETE FOAM ROLLING VIDEO LIBRARY!

P.S. Thank you Ryan for an amazing post idea!

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