Exercises you haven’t done but probably should, Part Two

couple_03

Ask anyone who’s been in the iron game that’s had any type of success and they’ll tell you, “stick to the basics and don’t try and reinvent the wheel.” I couldn’t agree more from a coach/competitor stand point. However, one needs to throw a wrench in their workouts in order to prevent or break through plateaus. Variation is a universal principle that, when applied correctly, can yield incredible results.

One of the most obvious and easiest ways to add variation is to incorporate different exercises into one’s program. Following the first installment in the series, here’s another list of recommended exercises that I’ve rarely seen used.

Band push-ups

Even though training with bands has been around for a while, and used successfully in conjunction with strength training and power lifting, most people who weight train have never been exposed to, let alone used, this outstanding tool.

The laws of physics dictate the specific characteristics of strength curves while performing exercises. The force of movement is more or less dependent on the joint angle during an exercise. For example, in the barbell squat, you may be able to quarter squat 500 pounds, but can only full squat, ass to the floor, 300 pounds. Another common example is the exercise I’m highlighting today: the band push-up. The force at the top of the movement is much greater than the force at the bottom.

Push-ups-with-bands

In a nutshell, bands work by applying more resistance where you’re strong and less where you’re weak. Bands accommodate that natural strength curve; this type of training is referred to as accommodating resistance. Researchers addressed strength curves in training as early as 1900 by putting a cam on selectorized machines. The cam on these machines is what accommodates the ability to apply force according to the strength curve. Nautilus equipment is a prime example of this type of equipment.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates. Also, sign up for our email list for weekly updates and check us out on Google+ as well.

Exercises you haven’t done but probably should

furci_workout

Ask anyone who’s been in the iron game that’s had any type of success and they’ll tell you, “stick to the basics and don’t try and reinvent the wheel.” I couldn’t agree more from a coach/competitor stand point. However, one needs to throw a wrench in their workouts in order to prevent or break through plateaus. Variation is a universal principle that, when applied correctly, can yield incredible results.

One of the most obvious and easiest ways to add variation is to incorporate different exercises to one’s program. The following is a list of exercises I have rarely seen used, but recommend in this first installment.

Smith machine ladder push-ups

A chest exercise most often used as a finishing exercise can be used toward the beginning of your program with the proper adjustments. For those who can perform push-ups easily and require more resistance, this can be accomplished by adding chains around your neck, putting a box or bench under your feet, and/or using tempo. Conversely, if performing push-ups is difficult, especially toward the end of the workout, start at a higher level on the smith machine.

One set is going to consist of three subsets, which essentially are drop sets. The higher you place the bar the lighter the load.

Furci_1

Start the exercise in a position where positive failure is achieved between eight and 12 reps. Notice the straight line from the shoulders to the hips to the feet. Try to maintain this position as much as possible throughout the exercise.

Raise the bar one level, and perform the second part of the set. The goal is to achieve six to eight reps to positive failure. If the load is too heavy to achieve the desired reps, go up two levels the next time.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Related Posts