Tag Archive | "warm up"

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Back to the Basics for Greater Size and Strength Gains

People lift for a variety of reasons whether it’s to increase mass, strength, power or some other factor. And the way they go about achieving these desired outcomes is the source of debate across internet forums. Everything from ideal training splits, sets, reps, and even rest intervals are sources of debate. Despite these differences in details, one underlying principle unites these lifters, an understanding that programming matters. Poorly designed programming can leave you in a suboptimal state, which will impact your ability to reach your goals, or worse leave you susceptible to injury.

One concept that lifters should take into account when assessing their program is that they’re addressing the following fundamental movement patterns:

Hinge
Squat
Push
Pull
Lunge
Carry

While you don’t have to incorporate each movement pattern into all of your workouts, it would be wise to assess whether you’re performing a sufficient amount of each movement at some point over the course of your training program. Failure to address each movement pattern can lead to muscle imbalances and a higher susceptibility to injury down the line. In addition to that, because the muscles operate as groups, if you have a weakness somewhere in your “chain”, your overall strength goals will suffer.


WATCH: WORKOUTS YOU’VE NEVER TRIED>>

Incline Barbell Bench Press

Lifters may overlook one of the fundamental movement patterns for a variety of reasons. Often times lifters choose to abandon an entire movement because they experience discomfort performing a specific exercise. Exercises make up movement patterns, but they’re not the stand alone movement pattern. If a certain exercise gives you trouble for whatever reason rather than abandoning exercises from that movement find ways to incorporate other user friendly exercises from that movement pattern.

Another common reason is tunnel vision on improving a specific lift when designing a program. While specificity and overload are necessities for training progress, you don’t want to totally neglect the other movements.

SEE ALSO: 6 Tricks to Improve Your Posture

Lastly, some lifters do make an effort to address each of these movements in their programs but it might not be in a balanced fashion. We have a tendency to gravitate towards movements we excel at rather than ones we have more difficulty with. In addition to this, we have to consider what movements/postures we utilize throughout the course of our day not just in a gym. This is why it’s common for many trainers as an example to recommend 2:1 pull to push ratios to provide some balance from slouching in front of a computer for 8 hours. Some ways you could go about evaluating your program is comparing strength ratios across movements, total reps performed of each movement or an honest assessment of movement quality for each movement.

landmine front squat

Here are some strategies to ensure you address any of the fundamental movement patterns that you might be underutilizing in your program.

Hinge
Squat
Push
Pull
Lunge
Carry

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Back to the Basics for Greater Size and Strength Gains

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8 Minutes to a Gorgeous Upper Body

The key to rocking shoulder-baring sweaters and blouses this season is pairing them with a strong, toned upper body.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to speed hours in the gym to achieve an eye-catching upper body.

What you need is a challenging workout—one that cranks up the intensity on your muscles and eliminates every last ounce of flab. Enter Tabata training, also known as the four-minute fat-burning workout.

There’s a reason this type of high-intensity interval training is the go-to when you want to shed pounds and tone up fast—it works.

 GETTING STARTED

A Tabata workout (not including warm up and cool down) involves performing 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of active recovery. You repeat this cycle eight times, for a total of four minutes of very short, intense bursts of exercise.

In this particular workout, you’ll complete two Tabatas, for a total of eight minutes of high-intensity intervals.

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8 Minutes to a Gorgeous Upper Body

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Morgan Lake Q & A

Ahead of the 2017 World Championships in Athletics, we spoke with GB athlete Morgan Lake on how she’s balancing personal life and training

Health&Fitness: You turned 20 last week – how does an athlete celebrate her birthday?

Morgan Lake: Probably quite different to how other people celebrate their birthday. I had a full day of training and then went out for a meal with my family and friends. Quite a chilled one – but still nice.

H&F: Looking back at last year, what was it like to have made the Olympic final in Rio?

ML: It was amazing. I didn’t really expect anything from it. My biggest aim last year was to make the games and so finding out I’d made the final after qualification was more than I ever could have hoped for.

H&F: How do you cram in the training for all of the different events for the heptathlon?

ML: It’s definitely hard to programme it all. There are seven events to train for [high jump, 100 metre hurdles, shot put, 200 metres, javelin, long jump and 800 metres] and you’ve also got to have strength and conditioning as well. It is hard – I usually do about three events a day, maybe four. So training twice a day and then Sunday is a rest day. I also have to fit in studies and try to have a social life. I try and use every hour of the day. It’s not as hectic sounds, and I’ve got into a routine now where I know what I’m doing.

H&F: Away from athletics, what are your interests?

ML: I enjoy being with my friends. When I’m training I’m on my own quite a lot of the time so I don’t really have much time to relax and watch movies, listen to music. Just normal stuff.

H&F: How important to your performance is your diet?

ML: It’s very important. I’m realising that more and more, especially for my energy levels. We have a British Athletics sports nutritionist who we can go to at any time, which is really helpful.

H&F: What power foods and drinks do you use for energy?

ML: I use Red Bull – I used it a lot even before I became an athlete. I use it in training, before competitions, during competitions. During training I will have a sugar-free Red Bull, and then I use the normal kind for competitions.

H&F: What gym moves do you find work best for your overall fitness?

ML: I love core workouts. I don’t really have much time to do them at the moment but I’ll try and squeeze them in at the end of my gym sessions.

H&F: What are the expectations moving up from a successful junior athlete to a senior athlete?

ML: I’ve always had a teen title to my name and now I’m not a junior anymore. It is a bit of a jump and I’ve got to make sure I transition well. I have a long career in the sport so I’m just trying not to rush it.

We tried it!

H&F’s Hally Houldsworth tested out her high jump skills at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre with Morgan Lake and former Olympic Gold medallist Jason Gardener.

‘Beginning with a warm-up, Megan explains how important stretching is to her daily routine – she starts her day with an hour warm-up before training even begins. Cutting that back to roughly 10 minutes, our high jump session begins.

As the session unfolds, we learn that technique plays a huge part when it comes to this event. There are many components that affect your overall performance in various ways. For example, pushing hard off one leg and driving with the other gives you greater height over the pole, as does beginning the jump at a certain distance from it (which is relative to your height). ‘Jumping too close or too far away will cause you to knock it down’, Morgan explains.

Taking four large strides for my run-up and building up as much speed as I can in that time, I begin to understand that I must concentrate on using all the parts of my body in my jump. As I push hard off the ground with my left foot I drive my right knee and right arm up into the air. This pulls me up before I can arch my back and tilt to the right to bend over the pole, flicking my legs up as soon as my back has crossed it so as not to bring it down during my landing.

My various attempts at the event are recorded and Morgan watches them over, offering feedback and encouragement as she does: pointing out the importance of using my arms and engaging my core.

The session proves a valuable experience in understanding the thought process of an athlete – particularly when learning how they overcome obstacles such as mental blocks, and how the psychology of their sport allows them to push past this not only during training, but also in a competitive environment.’

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Morgan Lake Q&A

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Train and gain! with this dumbbell workout

Here’s how strength training can get you a better bikini body…

More and more women are strength training when they hit the gym, but if you’re still not convinced, then you could be missing out on some serious benefits.

Whether you’re using the TRX, doing a kettlebell class or using a pair of dumbbells in your HIIT circuit – you are strength training! It’s not all about weightlifting belts, clouds of chalk and groaning as loud as you can – though, that’s all welcome, too! It is, however, about using weights that truly challenge you, promoting muscle growth that in turn elevates your fat burn. The result is a leaner you, with a higher metabolic rate throughout the day.

‘It’s estimated that for every half a kilo of lean muscle you gain, your body will burn 35-50 extra calories each day just to maintain it,’ explains John Shepherd, author of new book Strength Training for Women. ‘Regular cardio exercisers may lose weight but end up with a body that lacks tone and holds fat around key “problem” areas, such as the abdomen and hips.’ But those aren’t the only benefits you’ll experience – that’s just the beginning.

‘Resistance training will also boost your hormones,’ explains John. Basically, the more you pick up the weights, the more your levels of growth hormone are elevated. Why is this desirable? Well, along with playing a vital role in shedding fat, growth hormone also helps to slow the effects of ageing, according to John. Who wouldn’t want that? As we age we also experience a higher risk of osteoporosis, and strength training is an effective way of combating this. Not only do weights build muscle but they strengthen your bones, too, which is ideal for overall health as well as preventing injury.

Strength training also challenges your body in all different planes of motion, boosting its ability to master complex moves – especially ones that’ll help you in everyday life. We’re talking lifting, carrying, picking things up – that’s why it’s considered functional fitness.

Don’t know where to start? John’s book is a great place, but if you want a taster, check out this workout he put together. It’s suitable for all levels, targeting the whole body using compound exercises. ‘These moves work numerous joints,’ explains John, ‘making them more functional and calorie-burning.’ Always use weights that prove difficult in the final reps of each set without compromising form – but if you’re new to weights, start out light and focus on building strength and technique. Everyone should add weights each month to encourage progress.

HOW TO DO IT

Always warm up before and cool down after this workout. Do each of the two workouts once a week, leaving at least 48 hours between each.

Workout 1: Metabolic and hormonal booster

Perform 3 x 10 reps of each move. Take enough recovery to allow for each set to be completed optimally.

Workout 2: Pyramid with body shaping fast-twitch fibre emphasis

Perform 8 reps using a light weight, 6 using a medium weight, then 2 x 4 reps using a heavy weight.

Workout 1

 Rear foot elevated split squat

Areas trained: glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves

Technique

  1. Holding dumbbells by each side, stand in front of a bench and place the toes of your rear foot on it. Hop your standing leg forward and place your foot flat on the floor. This is your starting position.
  2. Keeping your trunk upright and looking straight ahead, bend your front leg to lower your body to the ground. Lower until your thigh is approximately  parallel to the ground. 
  3. Push back up strongly and repeat. Perform the allotted reps on one side, and then the other to complete a full set.

Seated shoulder press

Areas trained: shoulders, triceps

Technique

  1. Sit on a bench holding dumbbells in front of your shoulders.
  2. Press the dumbbells up to the ceiling, bringing them close together at the top of the movement.
  3. Lower under control and repeat.

Single-arm kettlebell swing

Areas trained: quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, back, shoulders

Technique

  1. Take hold of the kettlebell in one hand with your knuckles facing away from you. Stand with your feet just beyond shoulder-width apart. Let the kettlebell hang down at arm-length in front of your body and let it drop down and through your legs.
  2. Move with the fall of the kettlebell and let your bottom move backwards and torso incline forwards with knees soft. As the momentum of the weight begins to stall and go in the other direction, ‘snap’ your hips to impart more momentum onto the kettlebell to drive it up again.
  3. Let the weight fall back down and repeat. Perform the allotted reps on both sides to complete a set.

Plié squat

Areas trained: glutes, hips, hamstrings, quads, calves

Technique 

  1. Holding the dumbbells with your knuckles facing away from you in front of your hips, stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width and turned out, making sure that your feet and knees are similarly angled.
  2. Bend your legs to plié and then extend them to stand back up and repeat.

 

Workout 2

Clean

Areas trained: back, shoulders, glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves

Technique

  1. Take hold of a barbell from the floor with your knuckles facing forwards and hands just further than shoulder-width apart. Keep your heels on the floor, arms extended and head up.
  2. Drive up to lift the bar from the floor, keeping your shoulders over it and your knees bent.
  3. As the bar approaches hip-level, drive your hips forwards and now pull on the bar with your arms. As you do this, switch your grip from overhand to underhand and ‘catch’ the bar in a racked position on the front of your shoulders.
  4. Keeping your back flat, control the bar down to the floor, bending your knees and folding forwards, first to your thighs and then to the floor.

Squat

Areas trained: glutes, quads, hamstrings, back

Technique

  1. Support a barbell across the fleshy rear part of your shoulders (avoiding contact with your top vertebrae). Pull the bar down onto your shoulders to
  2. fix it in place. Keep your head up and maintain the natural curve of your spine.
  3. Bend your knees to lower the weight as far as your flexibility allows. Keep your knees behind your toes as you go.
  4. Push through your heels to stand up and repeat.

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Time Saver Workout: Mini Spartan Madness

WORKOUT BY: Luis Buron, Spartan SGX Coach

 In this workout we’re simulating a Reebok Spartan Race. The mix of running in place and stepups imitate running and climbing uneven terrain and the moves mimic Spartan Race obstacles (as noted in parentheses). The workout finishes with Spartan signature penalty, burpees, and we go for 2 min. because an unpredictable challenge that you weren’t planning for is what we’re all about.
 1 minute: Run in Place
  • 30 seconds: Dead Hang (Rope Climb)
  • 1 minute: Stepup
  • 30 seconds: Box Jump (Wall Climb)
  • 1 minute: Run in place
  • 30 seconds: High Pushup Hold (Z Wall)
  • 1 minute: Stepup
  • 30 second: Body Row (Inverted Wall)
  • 1 minute: Run in place
  • 30 seconds: Hollow Hold (Slip Wall)
  • 1 minute: Stepup
  • 30 seconds: KB Deadlift (Bucket Carry)
  • 1 minute: Run in place
  • 30 seconds: Jumping Pullup (Hercules Hoist)
  • 1 minute: Stepup
  • 30 seconds: Kettlebell Swing (Atlas Carry)
  • 1 minute: Run in place
  • 30 seconds: Active Hang (Multi Rig)
  • 1 minute: Stepup
  • 30 seconds: Lunge (Sandbag Carry)
  • 1 minute: Run in place
  • 30 seconds: Bear Crawl (Barb Wire Crawl)
  • 1 minute: Stepup
  • 30 seconds: Broad Jump (Fire Jump)
  • 2 minutes: Burpee

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Time Saver Workout: Mini Spartan Maddness

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Calum Von Moger’s Armed And Ready Workout

Vital Stats

I’m not interested in looking like today’s bodybuilders. I prefer the classic physiques of guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dave Draper, and Franco Columbu. They had incredible symmetry, great proportions, and amazing overall development. Those are guys I want to look like—but maybe just a little bit better.

In this workout, I’m going to hit arms with an old-school approach to help you build a set of Golden Age guns, from tall biceps peaks to dense, horseshoe triceps. We’re going to put on mass and carve out shape. Our goal isn’t just size. We’re going to build size, aesthetics, proportion, and balance.

I thrive on pushing myself to that next level—breaking past plateaus and goals I’ve set and adding on the reps. If I have it in me, I’ll keep going. You’re not going to grow if you don’t push yourself to the next level. If you want to see results, you have to kick up your training.

Integrate this workout into your program once or twice each week to keep your arms growing.

Calum von Moger’s “Armed And Ready” Workout
Watch The Video – 13:43

This workout is a simple, six-exercise breakdown: three exercises for your biceps and three exercises for your triceps. Start out with higher reps of 12-15 to warm the muscles up, and then taper your reps to the muscle-building range of 6-12 reps for 4-5 sets. Heavy weight and ample volume will ensure a killer pump.

I like to add mass with compound movements and carve with isolation exercises. Start with the compound moves—they’re the best way to work on the mass and the size of your arms—and finish with isolation exercises for detail, cuts, and that added pop.

Calum’s Pro Tips

Barbell Curl

I didn’t have a gym membership until I was 18 or 19 years old. All we had was a barbell, some weights, and some dumbbells. All I knew were barbell curls. Today, they’re still one of my favorite exercises.

I think barbell curls are a great exercise to start an arms workout because you have to employ coordination and balance. There’s no isolation and no machine to rely on, which helps you develop core and overall strength.

“I think barbell curls are a great exercise to start an arms workout because you have to employ coordination and balance.”

Preacher Curl

Concentrate on good form—elbows tight to the pad, no swinging, no momentum&Mdash;and a great stretch on the preacher curl. At the top of this isolation exercise, remember to squeeze your biceps as hard as possible for the ultimate pump.

Stay focused. Just going through the motion won’t get you the physiques of classic bodybuilding champs. Build your mind-muscle connection. Doing so will give you more control and a lasting pump you can feel.

Don’t be afraid to play around with your grip to help hit your biceps from different angles.

Concentration Curls

I like to finish my biceps with the concentration curl. It’s a great isolation exercise that will stretch your biceps and help build high peaks. I like to do them while standing for the added resistance.

When it comes to the concentration curl, contract with as much force as possible, but remember to control the eccentric (lowering) part of the movement. You never want to swing down or simply drop the dumbbell.

French Press (EZ-Bar Skullcrusher)

Keep your elbows as close to your body as possible, and keep them fixed once you get the weight up. I like to bring the bar to my forehead to get a bigger stretch out of my triceps. Explode on the way up and stay controlled on the way down.

French Press

Don’t always feel like you have to stick to a specific number of sets and reps. You may use any workout template as a guideline, but once in a while you have to break the rules and go beyond your “assigned number.” Challenge yourself and grow!

Seated Triceps Press

To really hammer the long head of your triceps, you need to get your arms over your head. Maintain control as you lower the dumbbell behind your head, go down as far as you can to get a really good stretch, and extend all the way at the top. You want the last few reps on your final set to leave you completely gassed.

Dip

Dips are a great finishing exercise. Your triceps are already fatigued, and dips give them that extra, final push. Increase the intensity as needed by increasing the rep count and limiting your rest period.

Attack as many reps as you possibly can, no matter how tired you are.

Calum’s Golden Rule

Not sure if you’re training arms hard enough? Take this test: At the end of your workout, try and touch your shoulders. If your biceps are so pumped up you can’t reach them, you’ve done your job well. If you easily get a hand on each deltoid, you need to keep pushing.

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Calum Von Moger’s Armed And Ready Workout

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Break Through Plateauing Results by Training Smarter

Stuck in a rut? If you exercise regularly but can’t figure out how to smash plateaus, you’re in the right place. This plan, by IFBB fitness pro Fiona Harris, will trim inches off your thighs, tone and sculpt your arms, perk up your glute-ham tie-in, and create definition like your Insta-idol @NicoleMWilkins.

By manipulating variables such as intensity and frequency and incorporating different training techniques—like heavy/low-rep and light/high-frequency body-part splits, plus cardio, HIIT, and plyometrics—you WILL keep your body progressing right to the top.

RECOMMENDED WORKOUT WEEKLY SPLIT

  • DAY 1: Lower-Body Workout 1, Heavy Weights; 35 minutes steady-state cardio
  • DAY 2: Chest/Shoulders, StepMill HIIT Cardio
  • DAY 3: Plyometric Whole-Body Workout, Rower HIIT Cardio
  • DAY 4: Rest
  • DAY 5: Lower-Body Workout 2, High Volume; 35 minutes steady-state cardio
  • DAY 6: Back/Arms, Treadmill HIIT Cardio
  • DAY 7: Rest

Harris recommends one day of heavy lifting and one day of higher volume, as well as pairing plyo with traditional lower-body moves. Mixing high-rep training and plyometrics with heavy lifting helps provide a new stimulus to muscles.

Lower Body

Workout 1 (Heavy Weights)

  • Leg Extensions: 1½ reps (1 rep from full flexion to full extension, then ½ rep to halfway down, then up to full flexion); 1 warmup set; 7 sets of 12–15 reps.
  • Barbell back squat: 5 sets of 8–12 reps.
  • Leg press: Narrow stance (feet/ knees together) 4 sets of 10–12 reps.
  • Hack squat: Wide stance, toes pointed out, 4 sets of 8–12 reps.
  • Lying hamstring curl: 1½ reps; 4 sets of 8–12 reps.
  • Barbell hip thruster: 4 sets of 10–12 reps.
  • *Rest 45-60 seconds betweetn sets

Workout 2 (High Volume)

  • Leg extension superset with pop squat:** 1 warmup set; 4 sets of 12–15 reps/20 reps
  • Smith machine sumo squat with pulse: 4 sets of 15 reps.
  • DB reverse lunge to curtsy squat: 4 sets of 12–15 reps per leg.
  • Single-leg cable hamstring-curl superset with bent-knee kickback: 3 sets of 15 reps/15 reps.
  • Abductor machine superset with side-walking squat with resistance band: 4 sets of 15 reps/10–12 reps each direction.
  • DB walking lunge: 3 sets of 20 reps per leg.
  • *Rest 30–45 seconds between sets
  • **Superset: Do one set of each move with no rest in between sets.

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Break Through Plateauing Results by Training Smarter

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The Best Full Shoulder Workout Routine

Just about every Muscle & Fitness reader knows that to build cannonball delts, you need to start with heavy presses followed by an isolation exercise for each of the three deltoid heads. Astute readers even cycle the order in which they train each deltoid head from one workout to the next, knowing that the move that comes first will be trained harder as energy levels and focus are higher earlier in the workout.

This workout takes that training philosophy one step further for hardcore gains. After a pair of compound moves, you’’ll do two shoulder exercises back-to-back for the targeted deltoid head (Shoulder Workout No. 1 focuses on the front head, Workout No. 2 the middle and Workout No. 3 the rear delt head). The first of the “focused delt” moves is done just slightly heavier than what you may be accustomed to for three sets of eight reps, followed by a machine move where you just have to push a weight, not balance it,— for that same delt head. You’’ll also be doing drop sets on each set of the machine move.

Finish off with exercises for each of the remaining delt heads done for straight sets, and don’’t forget to rotate workouts next time you train shoulders. Pretty soon, we’’ll have to start writing even more advanced programs for you. Trust us, we will!

 WORKOUT Front Delt

EXERCISE 1

SMITH MACHINE OVERHEAD PRESS

You’ll need: Smith Machine, Bench How to

Smith Machine Overhead Press thumbnail
3sets
15, 10, 6reps
rest
Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.

EXERCISE 2

DUMBBELL UPRIGHT ROW

You’ll need: Dumbbells How to

Dumbbell Upright Row thumbnail
3sets
10reps
rest

EXERCISE 3

DUMBBELL FRONT RAISE

You’ll need: Dumbbells How to

Front Raise thumbnail
3sets
8reps
rest

EXERCISE 4

ONE-ARM MACHINE FRONT RAISE

exercise image placeholder
3sets
10/8reps
rest
Train the second move for the targeted delt head with drop sets. After reaching muscle failure, quickly reduce the weight.

EXERCISE 5

SEATED LATERAL RAISE

You’ll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to

Seated Lateral Raise thumbnail
2sets
10reps
rest

EXERCISE 6

SINGLE-ARM STANDING CABLE REVERSE FLYEYou’ll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, D-Handle Attachment How to

Single-Arm Standing Cable Reverse Flye thumbnail
2sets
10reps
rest

WORKOUT 2Middle Delt

EXERCISE 1

SEATED DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS

You’ll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press thumbnail
3sets
15, 10, 6reps
rest
Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.

EXERCISE 2

SMITH MACHINE OVERHEAD PRESS

You’ll need: Smith Machine, Bench How to

Smith Machine Overhead Press thumbnail
3sets
10reps
rest

EXERCISE 3

DUMBBELL LATERAL RAISE

You’ll need: Dumbbells How to

Dumbbell Lateral Raise thumbnail
3sets
8reps
rest

EXERCISE 4

MACHINE LATERAL RAISE

exercise image placeholder
3sets
10/8reps
rest
Train the second move for the targeted delt head with drop sets. After reaching muscle failure, quickly reduce the weight.

EXERCISE 5

BENT-OVER CABLE LATERAL RAISE

exercise image placeholder
2sets
10reps
rest

EXERCISE 6

DUMBBELL FRONT RAISE

You’ll need: Dumbbells How to

Front Raise thumbnail
2sets
10reps
rest

WORKOUT 3Rear Delt

EXERCISE 1

DUMBBELL FRONT RAISE

You’ll need: Dumbbells How to

Front Raise thumbnail
3sets
15, 10, 6reps
rest
Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.

EXERCISE 2

ARNOLD PRESS

You’ll need: Dumbbells How to

Arnold Press thumbnail
3sets
10reps
rest

EXERCISE 3

BENT-OVER LATERAL RAISE

You’ll need: Dumbbells How to

Bent-Over Lateral Raise thumbnail
3sets
8reps
rest

EXERCISE 4

REVERSE PEC DECK FLYE

exercise image placeholder
3sets
10/8reps
rest
Train the second move for the targeted delt head with drop sets. After reaching muscle failure, quickly reduce the weight.

EXERCISE 5

FRONT CABLE RAISE

exercise image placeholder

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The Best Full Shoulder Workout Routine

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Iron Is A Girl’s Best Friend

Vital Stats

When I first picked up weights a few years ago, maximal lifting wasn’t even on my radar. I ran around in circles with my 10-pound dumbbells, completely unaware that I was missing out on an entire world of fitness.

In the world of 1RM strength, you set specific goals and work for weeks or months to inch closer to them. You push your body to its limits to achieve a triumph that only lasts a couple of seconds. But you also get rewarded with a rush unlike anything else. It’s a great world to be a part of, and it’s changed the entire way I view health and fitness.

I wouldn’t say I’m an expert on heavy lifting—yet. But I’ve still learned some important lessons along the way, and I’m confident you’ll find them just as helpful as I did. If you’re looking to find your numbers or move them up into uncharted territory, here are five rules you need to take to heart.

1 Train Systematically

If you’re currently training in the 10-20 rep range and have limited experience with anything less—think 3-8 difficult reps—then you aren’t ready for a 1RM test. Attempting a max test when you’re mentally and physically unprepared is a bad idea. You’re just setting yourself up for failure.

I highly suggest using a program that trains specifically for the kind of intensity you’ll find in a 1RM test. I used Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 system successfully for several months before getting a more personalized powerlifting training program from the Strength Guys. Trust me, proper programming makes all the difference both in terms of performance and safety. Squatting 3 reps at 85 percent 1RM is an entirely different ballgame than doing 15 reps on the leg press. Programs like 5/3/1, the Westside System, or Stronglifts 5×5 will prepare you for the intensity that lies ahead.

If you’re unsure of your max or haven’t yet had the chance to test it, I suggest using a 1RM calculator initially. Just enter your best lift, and it does the work for you. The heavier the weight and the lower the number of reps, the more accurate the calculator is. For example, 200 pounds for 5 reps is more accurate than 150 pounds for 9 reps. Nothing is as accurate as actually getting under the bar and testing your 1RM—preferably with some supervision from somebody who’s done it many times—but, these calculators can give you a sufficient idea of what your max should be. You’ll need that number in order for the percentage-based training of strength programs to be effective.

2 Learn How To Get in the Right Headspace

Testing your 1RM requires a serious amount of intensity and concentration. You won’t be frolicking in the land of unicorns, bunnies, and rainbows here. To be honest, testing your 1RM sucks. It usually hurts physically, and it always challenges your body’s idea of what is “possible.” Putting that kind of stress on your body is more than just a physical trial, though. It’s a mental one, too. Before you step up to a barbell to try for your max lift, you need to be a master of these three skills:

Focus

If you find your mind in 35 different places and none of them are at the gym with the bar, it’s not the day to test your max. There may be no such thing as the perfect day, but there are optimal conditions that give you a shot at hitting your best numbers. You want to be present and composed with mental clarity. Your focus should be on one thing and one thing only: moving that heavy weight.

Bench Press
Visualization

Visualize yourself easily pulling your deadlift max. Then see yourself adding some more weight and pulling again with ease. Picture your bench max going up without a hitch. Visualizing not only gives your confidence a much needed boost before you tackle your lift, but it can also actually improve motor performance, making your 1RM attempt a major success.

Jamming Out

Not everybody needs music in order to get into a PR headspace, but for many of us, it’s crucial. Listening to music during a training session has been proven to improve performance; it can also be a great boost of motivation when you’re aiming to venture into uncharted waters. Some people like screamo heavy metal to get their blood pumping, and others prefer electronic music, jazz, or film soundtracks to help calm their mind and set the scene for an epic triumph. Whatever works for you, do it!

3 Embrace The Routine

Everyone has their own way of getting ready for a max. Some people do a specific number of warm-up sets, and some people listen to a particular playlist or eat a particular meal. Find a routine that works for you and stick with it. For people who haven’t yet had the chance to take a 1RM, this is what I suggest the first time around:

Warm up

An extensive warm-up process is essential to get an accurate 1RM and prevent injury. I start with some basic mobility work, taking my joints through a full range of motion, and then I move to my warm-up sets.

Get heavy slowly

Opinions vary about which rep scheme to use as you work up to a heavy weight. Your program or coach might have a specific way of doing this; if so, follow it. Here’s the routine that I like to follow when testing my max or going for a PR.

  • Bar x 10
  • 50% x 5
  • 60% x 3
  • 70% x 2
  • 80% x 1
  • 90% x 1
  • 95% x 1
  • 1RM attempt

High reps don’t have a place on max day. I want to know that I can push or pull heavy weight, which is why I perform several sets of a single rep as I get closer to my max. Each of these reps boosts my confidence and prepares me mentally and physically for the pinnacle lift.

No matter how you choose to arrange your warm-up sets, they should fully prepare your muscles, joints, and central nervous system for the lift ahead. I always leave at least 2-3 minutes of rest between my warm-sets, and then I give myself an extra minute or two as I get closer to my max attempt.

“High reps don’t have a place on max day. I want to know that I can push or pull heavy weight.”

4 Find a spotter

I like to train alone. If you see me in the gym, my headphones are usually in, my hat is down low, and I have a leave-me-alone-until-I’m-done look on my face. On max day, it’s a different story. It’s crucial that you have someone spotting your bench max, unless getting pinned under a barbell sounds like your idea of a good time.

Utilizing a spotter on squat max testing isn’t always necessary, particularly if you squat in a rack with safety bars. If I’m testing my squat, I generally use the safety bars for warm-up sets and then grab the most experienced lifter I can find to spot me for my max attempt. Pulling a random spotter off the gym floor isn’t something that I mind doing, but if this is something you’re uncomfortable doing, bring a friend you trust to put your nerves at ease. And maybe have them read up on the rules of spotting first.

There’s no way to spot a deadlift physically, since you either pull the bar off the ground or you don’t. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invite a mental or emotional spotter along for the ride. If you feel like having someone yell “light weight!” in a Ronnie Coleman voice would help you move a heavy weight, then by all means make sure they’re there!

5 Make Your PR A Lift Like Any Other

The time has come. You’ve been training for this moment for months. You’ve done your warm-up sets, you’re focused and ready, and now it’s go time. All of your prior training has led you to this moment. Scary, right?

“I’m nervous, I’m pumped, I’m motivated, and I want to do something I’ve never done before.”

I’m always a mixed bag of emotions right before my lift, but I think that’s what carries me through and gives me the best possible lift. I’m nervous, I’m pumped, I’m motivated, and I want to do something I’ve never done before. Somewhere in that mess of emotions, I usually just say “Enough! I’m ready to do this,” and then I go for it.

Aside from this inevitable dialog, though, the mechanics of a max attempt should be the same as all the other lifts you practiced up until this point. This isn’t the time to do a quarter-rep or forget to engage your lats when you deadlift. As you visualize your lift, you should be taking note of form and remembering all your normal cues. A max lift where you injure yourself in the process doesn’t count in my book.

After your initial attempt is complete, step back and assess. How do you feel? How did the lift go? Are you ready for more, or did it take everything out of you? I like to keep going until I either miss a lift or know there’s no logical way I can get that weight back up. But many people will stop after one, and that’s fine.

If you feel like you’re ready to conquer another max attempt, I suggest giving yourself 7-10 minutes of rest before you step up to the bar again. Add no more than 5-10 pounds to the bar; don’t get greedy. Even if you leave that second or third max attempt unrealized, you should feel damn good about what you accomplish!

6 Don’t Overthink It

I’m often guilty of beating myself up after the fact. Did I eat too much? Too little? Could I have done another rep? Should I have done more weight? We all do it. When you’re completely invested in something—like so many of us in the world of health and fitness are—you want to be perfect.

But when you’re waging war against big numbers and percentages, there’s nothing to be gained by harboring regrets. Nagging doubts and questions can take over your brain and prevent you from improving, but just as importantly, they can keep you from enjoying an important victory.

The best possible advice I can give you is to let go. At no time is that more crucial than during and after your 1RM attempt. If you walk up to the bar wondering if you’re going to miss, or questioning your preparation, or revisiting the failed lifts of the past, you’ve already lost. You just have to go for it.

You’re ready. It’s time to believe in yourself. Pick up that weight and show the bar who’s boss.

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Iron Is A Girl’s Best Friend

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Iron Is A Girl’s Best Friend

<div id="DPG" webReader="126.131470308"><div class="side-bar" webReader="-16.5731707317"><div class="c10"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/al-kavadlo-vital-stats.jpg"/></div><h3 class="article-title c11">Vital Stats</h3><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/AlKavadlo/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Bodyspace"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/bodyspace-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c12"/></a><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/AlKavadlocom-Were-working-out/205151489148" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Facebook"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/facebook-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c13"/></a><a href="https://twitter.com/AlKavadlo" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Twitter"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/twitter-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c13"/></a><a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/alkavadlo" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="YouTube"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/youtube-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c13"/></a><p><strong>Name:</strong> Al Kavadlo, CSCS<br /><strong>Location:</strong> New York, NY<br /><strong>Occupation:</strong> Trainer, author, lead instructor of Progressive Calisthenics Certification<br /><strong>Website:</strong> <a href="www.alkavadlo.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">alkavadlo.com</a></p></div><p>It's become a common cliché that bodyweight athletes don't have strong legs. Look at the comments on any YouTube clip showcasing advanced calisthenics, and you're bound to see someone hating on the lack of lower-body development. A number of coaches also insist that it's impossible to build a strong, powerful lower body without external weights.</p><p>Balderdash, I say! Bodyweight exercises alone can make you every bit as strong as can barbells and dumbbells. You just need to push yourself and get a little creative.</p><p>While newcomers need to spend some time honing their bodyweight squats and lunges, it usually doesn't take long for these basic exercises to max out on their strength benefits. Once this occurs, however, adding weight is not the only solution; you can continue to build strength by simply progressing to more difficult bodyweight exercises, like I discuss in my book <a href="http://www.dragondoor.com/b69/?apid=4e8cb1ea167b0" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Pushing The Limits</a>.</p><p>Ultimately, I recommend working up to single-leg movements like the <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/pistol-perfect-one-legged-squats-and-beyond.html" target="_blank">pistol squat</a> to get the most out of calisthenics leg training. However, these types of advanced movements may remain out of reach until you've built more strength. As an intermediate step, jump training can add a challenge to your lower-body workouts without the need for weights or equipment. And even if you're well-versed in pistol squats, some of these simple exercises may offer you a new challenge and a welcomed change of pace.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c14">1 Jump Squat</h3>
</p><p>A jump squat is like a regular bodyweight squat, except instead of simply standing up at the top of your range of motion, you jump as high as you can, lifting your knees toward your chest at the top. You can do them jumping in place or up onto an object.</p><p>Though your legs obviously do most of the work, jump squats are a full-body exercise, so use your arms to generate momentum. Remember to stay light on your feet and avoid landing with your knees locked. Keep your joints relaxed and do your best to absorb the impact as gently as possible.</p><p>Try to go directly from one jump into the next, taking advantage of the elasticity of your muscles and their stretch reflex. If you're not able to do this at first, however, just reset and take a few seconds between reps as needed.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/jump-training-the-4-move-no-equipment-leg-workout-1.jpg" width="560" height="593" border="0"/><p>"Though your legs obviously do most of the work, jump squats are a full-body exercise, so use your arms to generate momentum."</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c14">2 Broad Jump</h3>
</p><p>Another fun plyometric squat variant, the broad jump is essentially the same as the jump squat except you jump forward, not upward. You still want to lift your legs high as you jump, however; this will help you clear more distance. Leaving your legs dangling isn't as aerodynamic. You'll need a lot of space to practice broad jumps; I recommend a park or field.</p><p>Again, try to go from one rep right into the next, though feel free to take a few seconds between reps if you need to when starting out.</p><img class="float-right c15" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/jump-training-the-4-move-no-equipment-leg-workout-2.jpg" width="276" height="377" border="0"/><p>"Lunges are one of my favorite leg exercises, but like anything else, they need to be progressed once they cease to be a challenge."</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c14">3 Jump Lunge</h3>
</p><p>Lunges are one of my favorite leg exercises, but like anything else, they need to be progressed once they cease to be a challenge.</p><p>Start out with a stationary jump lunge by lowering yourself down into a split squat and jumping up at the top, gently landing back into the bottom position with your knees bent. Do several in a row, and <em>then</em> switch legs.</p><p>When you get comfortable with those, the cycle lunge is a more advanced jump lunge worth trying. It starts out the same as the stationary jump lunge, but once you're in the air, you'll have to quickly switch your legs before landing. Continue to alternate legs with each rep, going from one right into the next. Feel free to swing your arms for momentum or keep them at your sides. It might take a little practice to land comfortably without losing your balance.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c14">4 Sprinting</h3>
</p><p>Though often overlooked, running is arguably the most natural and fundamental of all lower-body calisthenics exercises. Though most people associate running with long-distance cardio training, sprinting turns up the intensity to such a degree that the body's response is more like performing a heavy set of barbell squats than jogging a 10K. Yes, you can actually <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-best-cardio-for-preserving-mass.html" target="_blank">build strength and muscle through sprinting</a>!</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/jump-training-the-4-move-no-equipment-leg-workout-3.jpg" width="560" height="353" border="0"/><p>"The body's response to sprinting is more like performing a heavy set of barbell squats than jogging a 10K."</p><p>Remember that when you sprint, both of your feet are often in the air at the same time, so sprinting is pretty much a form of jump training. You can do sprints for time or for distance, but either way, keep them brief and intense for the most strength benefits.</p><p>Here's a simple routine that can be done anytime to help you find your footing in jump training.</p><div id="meal-plan-table" webReader="-14.96812749"><p>Perform all exercises consecutively, with 1-2 minutes rest between each set.</p><ul><li class="rowBgColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/649/Male/t/649_1.jpg" alt="Warm-Up" width="53" height="53"/><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/649/Male/t/649_2.jpg" alt="Warm-Up" width="53" height="53"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong>Warm-Up</strong><br />Light jogging or jumping jacks for around 5 minutes</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/108/Female/t/108_1.jpg" alt="Jump Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/108/Female/t/108_2.jpg" alt="Jump Squat" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('freehand-jump-squat')">Jump Squat</a></strong><br />2 sets of 10 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('standing-long-jump')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/831/Male/t/831_1.jpg" alt="Broad Jump" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('standing-long-jump')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/831/Male/t/831_2.jpg" alt="Broad Jump" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('standing-long-jump')">Broad Jump</a></strong><br />2 sets of 5 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('scissors-jump')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/813/Female/t/813_1.jpg" alt="Jump Lunge" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('scissors-jump')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/813/Female/t/813_2.jpg" alt="Jump Lunge" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('scissors-jump')">Jump Lunge</a></strong><br />2 sets of 10 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2012/sprints_115x53.jpg" alt="Sprints" width="115" height="53"/></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong>Sprints</strong><br />2 sets of 10 seconds</span></li>
</ul></div><p>There is no single strength building method that's guaranteed to work best for everybody. Weight training will forever have its place in strength and conditioning, but there will always be alternative options to help build athleticism outside of the traditional weight room setting. Bodyweight workouts are often the most practical means of getting a quick but effective workout when you've got a busy schedule and/or don't belong to a gym.</p><p>Give the workout above a shot. I promise it will leave your quads aching and your hamstrings hammered.</p><a href="http://www.dragondoor.com/b73/?apid=4e8cb1ea167b0" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/al-kavadlo-streetching-your-boundaries-book-banner.jpg" width="560" height="144" class="c18"/></a><br class="c19"/><h3 class="article-title">Recommended For You</h3><div class="c22" webReader="6.20408163265"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/pistol-perfect-one-legged-squats-and-beyond.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/pistol-squats-and-beyond-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c21" webReader="8.5306122449"><h4 class="c20"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/pistol-perfect-one-legged-squats-and-beyond.html">Pistol Perfect: One-Legged Squats And Beyond</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Pistol squats pop up all over the place, but that doesn't make this classic movement any easier. Commit, do the work, and let Al Kavadlo be your guide!</p></div></div><div class="c22" webReader="4.91048034934"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bodyweight-bust-four-bodyweight-training-myths-debunked.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/4-bodyweight-myths-debunked-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c21" webReader="6.04366812227"><h4 class="c20"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bodyweight-bust-four-bodyweight-training-myths-debunked.html">Bodyweight Bust! Four Bodyweight Training Myths Debunked</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Don't believe that high-level calisthenics are only for athletes who look a certain way. Everyone can benefit from the unique challenges that come with bodyweight training!</p></div></div><div class="c22" webReader="4.81463414634"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-best-cardio-for-preserving-mass.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/ask-the-muscle-prof-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c21" webReader="6.19024390244"><h4 class="c20"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-muscle-prof-best-cardio-for-preserving-mass.html">Ask The Muscle Prof: What's The Best Cardio For Preserving Mass?</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
You've heard the benefits of high-intensity cardio for weight loss, but you're concerned it'll cost you hard-earned muscle. Learn the truth!</p></div></div></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="37.5957446809"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="6.91304347826"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/al-kavadlo.html">Al Kavadlo, CSCS</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/al-kavadlo.html">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">Al Kavadlo, CSCS is one of the world's leading experts in bodyweight strength training and calisthenics.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/al-kavadlo.html"><img src="images/2013/writer-al-kavadlo-sig-new.jpg" alt=""/></a></div><div class="ata-view-all-articles-link"><ul class="bb-chevron-list bold-type"><li><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/al-kavadlo.html#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
</ul></div></div></div>

Jump Training: The 4-Move No Equipment Leg Workout

 

It’s become a common cliché that bodyweight athletes don’t have strong legs. Look at the comments on any YouTube clip showcasing advanced calisthenics, and you’re bound to see someone hating on the lack of lower-body development. A number of coaches also insist that it’s impossible to build a strong, powerful lower body without external weights.

Balderdash, I say! Bodyweight exercises alone can make you every bit as strong as can barbells and dumbbells. You just need to push yourself and get a little creative.

While newcomers need to spend some time honing their bodyweight squats and lunges, it usually doesn’t take long for these basic exercises to max out on their strength benefits. Once this occurs, however, adding weight is not the only solution; you can continue to build strength by simply progressing to more difficult bodyweight exercises, like I discuss in my book Pushing The Limits.

Ultimately, I recommend working up to single-leg movements like the pistol squat to get the most out of calisthenics leg training. However, these types of advanced movements may remain out of reach until you’ve built more strength. As an intermediate step, jump training can add a challenge to your lower-body workouts without the need for weights or equipment. And even if you’re well-versed in pistol squats, some of these simple exercises may offer you a new challenge and a welcomed change of pace.

1 Jump Squat

A jump squat is like a regular bodyweight squat, except instead of simply standing up at the top of your range of motion, you jump as high as you can, lifting your knees toward your chest at the top. You can do them jumping in place or up onto an object.

Though your legs obviously do most of the work, jump squats are a full-body exercise, so use your arms to generate momentum. Remember to stay light on your feet and avoid landing with your knees locked. Keep your joints relaxed and do your best to absorb the impact as gently as possible.

Try to go directly from one jump into the next, taking advantage of the elasticity of your muscles and their stretch reflex. If you’re not able to do this at first, however, just reset and take a few seconds between reps as needed.

“Though your legs obviously do most of the work, jump squats are a full-body exercise, so use your arms to generate momentum.”

2 Broad Jump

Another fun plyometric squat variant, the broad jump is essentially the same as the jump squat except you jump forward, not upward. You still want to lift your legs high as you jump, however; this will help you clear more distance. Leaving your legs dangling isn’t as aerodynamic. You’ll need a lot of space to practice broad jumps; I recommend a park or field.

Again, try to go from one rep right into the next, though feel free to take a few seconds between reps if you need to when starting out.

“Lunges are one of my favorite leg exercises, but like anything else, they need to be progressed once they cease to be a challenge.”

3 Jump Lunge

Lunges are one of my favorite leg exercises, but like anything else, they need to be progressed once they cease to be a challenge.

Start out with a stationary jump lunge by lowering yourself down into a split squat and jumping up at the top, gently landing back into the bottom position with your knees bent. Do several in a row, and then switch legs.

When you get comfortable with those, the cycle lunge is a more advanced jump lunge worth trying. It starts out the same as the stationary jump lunge, but once you’re in the air, you’ll have to quickly switch your legs before landing. Continue to alternate legs with each rep, going from one right into the next. Feel free to swing your arms for momentum or keep them at your sides. It might take a little practice to land comfortably without losing your balance.

4 Sprinting

Though often overlooked, running is arguably the most natural and fundamental of all lower-body calisthenics exercises. Though most people associate running with long-distance cardio training, sprinting turns up the intensity to such a degree that the body’s response is more like performing a heavy set of barbell squats than jogging a 10K. Yes, you can actually build strength and muscle through sprinting!

“The body’s response to sprinting is more like performing a heavy set of barbell squats than jogging a 10K.”

Remember that when you sprint, both of your feet are often in the air at the same time, so sprinting is pretty much a form of jump training. You can do sprints for time or for distance, but either way, keep them brief and intense for the most strength benefits.

Here’s a simple routine that can be done anytime to help you find your footing in jump training.

Perform all exercises consecutively, with 1-2 minutes rest between each set.

  • Warm-UpWarm-Up Warm-Up
    Light jogging or jumping jacks for around 5 minutes
  • Jump Squat Jump Squat Jump Squat
    2 sets of 10 reps
  • Broad Jump Broad Jump Broad Jump
    2 sets of 5 reps
  • Jump Lunge Jump Lunge Jump Lunge
    2 sets of 10 reps
  • Sprints Sprints
    2 sets of 10 seconds

There is no single strength building method that’s guaranteed to work best for everybody. Weight training will forever have its place in strength and conditioning, but there will always be alternative options to help build athleticism outside of the traditional weight room setting. Bodyweight workouts are often the most practical means of getting a quick but effective workout when you’ve got a busy schedule and/or don’t belong to a gym.

Give the workout above a shot. I promise it will leave your quads aching and your hamstrings hammered.

Recommended For You

Pistol Perfect: One-Legged Squats And Beyond

Pistol squats pop up all over the place, but that doesn’t make this classic movement any easier. Commit, do the work, and let Al Kavadlo be your guide!

Bodyweight Bust! Four Bodyweight Training Myths Debunked

Don’t believe that high-level calisthenics are only for athletes who look a certain way. Everyone can benefit from the unique challenges that come with bodyweight training!

Ask The Muscle Prof: What’s The Best Cardio For Preserving Mass?

You’ve heard the benefits of high-intensity cardio for weight loss, but you’re concerned it’ll cost you hard-earned muscle. Learn the truth!

About The Author

Al Kavadlo, CSCS is one of the world’s leading experts in bodyweight strength training and calisthenics.

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Jump Training: The 4-Move No Equipment Leg Workout

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Jump Training: The 4-Move No Equipment Leg Workout

Paige Hathaway

18 hours 54 minutes ago

What's the best way to burn fat you ask?

Mixing in HIIT training or plyo metrics to your lifting routine is the absolute best way (besides getting your diet in order) to burn fat and build muscle! Instead of resting in between sets.. add this move or moves similar! This will keep your heart rate up and core engaged! #hellosummerbody

This move: INCH WORM PUSH-UP BURPEES / 8-10 reps

Example of mixing this into your circuit:
Leg extension 12-15 reps
Leg press (quad focused feet positioning) 12-15 reps (normally you would rest here) but instead..
NO REST - INCH WORM PUSH-UP BURPEES / 8-10 reps
No rest and repeat x3-4
(your rest is basically you on the leg extension)
Music 🎶 American Teen #khalid

Paige Hathaway

1 day 3 hours ago

Midday/Preworkout snack Big Slice Apples
More importantly why I like this on the go pouch, is when I am moving around from shoot to shoot, meeting to meeting and gym session to gym session, #bigslice is the perfect snack to keep me going, when I need a quick boost. 😋🍎
............... Check them out #GNC #Sprouts #Wholefoods

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