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Pull Ups, Rows, Squats and Booty Building

Over the last few weeks, I’ve written some great posts on Redefining Strength covering the differences between Inverted Rows and Pull Ups as well as posts on Squat Variations and workouts to build and strengthen your glutes.

Here are some quick summaries of the articles as well as links if you are looking for something fun to read this weekend to help you change up your workouts next week! (Or well “fun” if you happen to be a fitness nerd haha)

1. Booty Burners – So I’m OBSESSED with glute activation and strengthening and toning your glutes. Weird? Maybe. But I personally believe they are the reason many of us suffer from pain and the reason many of us can’t lift as much as we would like. I also think “Heck yea..Who doesn’t want a freaking amazing ass!?!”


Anyway, I love glute work. And I think it is super important. Active glutes are strong glutes. They are sexy glutes. And they help make sure that the correct muscles are working so that muscles that can’t handle the load, like your hips and low back, don’t take over and get injured.

That is why I created Booty Burner Workouts. These workouts activate, strength and tone your glutes. And the best part is they are quick and easy and you can do them easily at home.

So if you happen to like working those butt cheeks, check out this Booty Burner Workout post.

2. The Pull Up vs. The Inverted Row – I was talking to a new trainer about pulling and pushing in different planes of motion and we got into discussing the difference between Horizontal Pulls and Vertical Pulls. This lead to us discussing the differences between Pull Ups (vertical pull) and Inverted Rows (horizontal pull).

the pull up vs. the inverted row

But not only did we discuss the differences. We also discussed how Inverted Rows can be used to build your Pull Ups even though they are a horizontal pull instead of a vertical pull.

Click here for more information about each move and some fun Inverted Row and Pull Up Variations!

3. Squat Variations – Squats are a great compound exercise to work your legs and core. But as much as even I love heavy barbell back squats, they can get a bit boring. Plus sometimes you have specific things/muscles you want to target, but you don’t necessarily want to skip your squat day.

That is why it is important to mix up the type of squat you do.


Want to work your core more? Try a front-loaded squat.

Want to build core stability? Try a unilaterally loaded squat.

Want to correct imbalances, work each leg independently and even improve your balance and core strength? Try a Single Leg Squat.

Want to target your inner thighs more? Want to target your glutes more? Want to get your heart rate up?


Here are 30 Squat Variations to check out.

Hope everyone had a great week!

Do you use any of these moves? What are your workout plans for next week!?!

Post vacation workouts

Riding 17 miles and going for a long run weren’t enough to keep me from struggling through my first two workouts after a nice long, relaxing vacation.

Nope. Those first two workouts back always suck.

You don’t feel as strong AND you feel way more sore than you should the next day.

Yesterday, I decided to push through a back and chest workout. Why bench is definitely not my favorite thing, the worst exercises were definitely the decline push ups, TRX back flyes and decline climbers.

Barbell Flat Bench 5 sets of 3 reps
paired with
Pull ups 5 sets of 5

Decline Push Ups 3 sets of 15
paired with
1 arm dumbbell row 3 sets of 10 each side

DB Chest Flyes 3 sets of 10
paired with
TRX Back Flyes 3 sets of 10

Decline climbers 3 sets of 10
supersetted with
Front to side raises 3 sets of 10
TRX Inverted Rows 3 sets of 10

Tricep pushdown 3 sets of 15
paired with
Isolated Bicep curl 3 sets of 10 each side

Cable curl 3 sets of 15
paired with
Ab roller 3 sets of 10

So after yesterday I definitely wanted to avoid upper body today. So instead we murdered our legs.

Heavy Back Squats 5 sets of 3

Conventional Deadlift 5 sets of 10
paired with
Box Jumps 5 sets of 10

Cocktail Lunges 3 sets of 5 each side
paired with
KB Single Leg Squats 3 sets of 8 each side

Romanian Deadlift 3 sets of 10
paired with
Sumo Squat 3 sets of 10

And to finish the workout we did plank holds (front plank, side planks and glute bridges).

All in all two very intense first workouts back. Hey might as well dive right back into it right!?!

Push Ups and Pilates

We were determined to conquer “The Impossible.” What is “The Impossible” you ask?

It is a ridiculously hard push up designed by Tony Horton. To perform The Impossible, you must have a yoga ball and a medicine ball. You must balance your hands on one medicine ball with your feet up on the yoga ball.

I discovered The Impossible the other day while I was reading The Great Fitness Experiment. Charlotte and her gym buddies decided to attempt it. I must give them kudos…a few bruises and multiple attempts later, they did accomplish a few reps of The Impossible.

Which of course presented a challenge to me. If they could do it, then I had to too! Plus, it fit right into our Push Up Craze! How could I turn down an opportunity to do a crazy push up!?!

So today we set about attempting The Impossible. I have our attempts (and our eventual success) on tape!

People usually say something is easier than it looks…this push up is not one of those things! Anyway, I’ll post the video as soon as I’ve put some awesome music behind it! 🙂

After we attempted The Impossible, we did a nice heavy squat and pull up day (with some shoulders) before heading out to Pilates. The squats (after 2 hours of spin yesterday) weren’t easy today. Actually they sucked.

And pull ups…not my best day BUT I’m still happy with 30 unassisted pull ups. AND Candy has set a new PR with 7 unassisted pull ups!!! YAY for Beast Jr.!!

Tired but happy, we then headed over to BodyScapes Brookline for our first Pilates session on the reformer machines. (A BIG shout out to all of our peeps over at Brookline…SEND US PUSH UP PICTURES!!!!).

Anyway, Mike set us up with a session with Devona (who is AMAZING!). We did a variety of different moves on the machines. Devona complimented us on our strength…DUH!…we are Man Bicepers! 😉

BUT she also pointed out how freaking tight we both are! 😦 I’m ashamed to admit it…but it’s true…My shoulders are SUPER SUPER tight and Candy’s hamstrings…WOAH! haha

She pushed and pulled but  most of the time we didn’t budge. We may be strong, but our flexibility definitely needs some work!

So starting Monday…flexibility will be a new priority of the Man Bicep sisters!

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