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Movement

Movement of the Month: ViPR Lateral Bound with Single Leg Landing

By | Movement

With Coach Kennedy

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been exercising, we all go through various phases of expanding our knowledge of the human body and movement. What sort of phases?  For myself I’m always searching for new ways to integrate the human body. I love feeling powerful, strong, agile and endurant!  So, I’ll go through phases where I won’t touch a weight for weeks on end, yet I feel stronger then ever. I’ll go through other phases where I’ll spend all my time moving on the ground like an animal (called Animal Flow). And yes, I’ll even go through short periods where I won’t attend the gym for weeks at a time as I find the need to just connect through daily movement at home, walks, hikes and bike rides.

This is one of the reasons I love using a tool called the ViPR  (www.vipr.com).

Unlike any other tool (I may be biased here), it allows me to integrate all aspects of training for strength, power, agility, core, endurance, balance, proprioception, stability, mobility and mostly…just a load of fun! Yes, it can have real purpose and function, and be fun. Let’s also not forget the muscular coordination that has to take place, intra and inter, and the amount of caloric expenditure required.

Which brings me to the Movement of the Month:  ViPR Lateral bound with Single Leg Landing.

Strength comes in all forms, in this case function, agility and endurance. There is movement in all planes of motion, that’s functional from a human movement perspective. Then the ability to load, explode and land during direction change is all about agility! And lastly, you have to have endurance.

Power is the ability to take strength and add speed. Power is a KEY component driven from a solid core, which you need plenty of in this exercise. And a stable core means the ability to drive more force.

We also have proprioception and mobility. Watch the ankle, the hips and thoracic spine, and it’s easy to see that mobility is a requirement in order to complete this lateral bound movement safely and efficiently. And, when we combine all of these benefits they contribute to our body awareness. I want you for a moment to imagine the landing: quick to balance while this weighted tool moves along carrying its own kinetic energy that has to be controlled and absorbed by you. If you’re not aware of where you body is in space, you can see how this would create an issue performing this exercise.

Lastly, it’s fun and totally different from what we generally see. Which means clients enjoy it, they think it’s cool and they come back for more!

Exercise Execution:

Begin in your athletic stance: feet hip width apart, soft knees, core braced, shoulders set (elevate, protract, depress) while holding the ViPR with both hands in a neutral grip directly in front of you. Drive your hips slightly to the right (this will create a preload effect) then safely, but quickly, drive the hips back towards the left and land on your left leg while letting the ViPR follow along as you imagine driving the ViPR into the ground with the right hand. The moment you land on your left leg, absorb the energy through the upper leg then explode quickly to the right side, repeat and continue for the allotted time.

Watch the video for an exercise demonstration.

Exercise Protocol:

Perform for 30 seconds per round. Apply exercises based on your client’s fitness level.  In other words, regress and progress as required.

Not sure how?  Contact kennedy@coachkennedyonline.ca.

Special thanks to Rich Wigmore and Taylor Rawson, cofounders of RT Health Company, for allowing me to use their space for all of my videos and mentorship. Visit their website www.thealthcompany.com

About Coach Kennedy

Coach Kennedy (Kennedy Lodato) is a 27-year veteran of the fitness industry with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for teaching and running his CK Mentorships, CK Private Coaching sessions, and Fitness Educator of LIVE education to the fitness industry.

Before pursuing the role of Fitness Educator, he occupied the positions of Personal Trainer, Sport Conditioning Coach, and Personal Training Manager. Kennedy is a three-time recipient of the canfitpro PRO TRAINER of the year award, co-founder of the CFEA (Canadian Fitness Education Alliance), and master instructor for various industry companies including canfitpro and EBFA Global (Evidence Based Fitness Academy). For more information visit  www.KennedyLodato.com

Is It Too Late for a Summer Body?

By | Healthy Living, Movement

By Fyonna Vanderwerf, B.A, B.Sc, canfitpro PRO TRAINER

With 1,440 minutes every day until that first week of September, it’s never too late to get in shape and create some really great habits to keep as we move through 2019.

What is the biggest barrier? I can tell you right now, it’s the space between the ears on our head. It’s listening to that inner chatter that says you are not able to stick with a habit. That’s what goal setting is, planning a better you, whether it’s being able to say no to drinking too much at the backyard barbeque or deciding that it’s no longer exclusive territory of Michelle Obama to rock every sleeveless outfit she owns!

You have this in five steps. Note, I did not say ‘easy’ – nothing worth a change ever is, but I assure you sticking to these steps 90% of the time will get you to 90% of your success. That other 10% is up to that space in your head to do make up the difference.

What’s at stake here?

  1. A better mindset.
  2. A confidence that people see and feel around you that inspires them to try harder. That is the ultimate gift – the world gets a little extra help from you.
  3. A body that is stronger, more mobile, and less fearful.
  4. An ability to progress through change and make adjustments for long term results.
  5. The integrity and chutzpah that comes with achieving something you’ve worked hard on!

Ready?

  1. Journal

It makes you accountable, either by an app or in a book. It reminds you of your path. It is also an extra way to gain resilience in the brain to follow through. You’ve thought it, you’ve documented it and by writing it down daily you are keeping accountability to yourself. Journaling the night before for five minutes gives your brain a reboot so you begin with success the next day by absorbing ideas and intentions. A few ideas to reflect on daily: three successful parts of the day, three ways you are grateful, two areas to work on, and a yummy quote to keep you going.

Action step: Find a blank journal/ app to record and start.

  1. Feed the Mind

Now is the time to make that noggin work for YOU. Start manifesting your success by reading inspirational and motivational content. Books that have given me the mental focus to follow through on my goals (competing at Worlds for bodybuilding and placing third in an Ironman triathlon for my age group) are; The Champion’s Mind by Jim Afremow; Make Your Bed by William McRaven; and one of my most absolute favourites, Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. Not a reader? Try a podcast.

Action step: Google “motivating books” or find one in the library, online, book store, from a friend or co-worker.

  1. Find a Workout

I’ve had clients who wear their gym clothes to bed so when they wake up they are ready to go, with one less excuse. The challenge with finding that perfect workout is  the volume of ideas out there, along with every food plan known to the planet to shrink this, build that and eradicate that wiggly skin on your elbow. Listed below is a simple program using a dowel, broomstick or the floor. This program can be done as seen or elevated on a platform, if getting to the floor is not a fit. No gym required, just arms that want definition.

Execution

Each exercise is done in a circuit of 30-45 seconds each; repeat all exercises two to three times. Stay mindful of your breath.

Press Backs: Stand or sit, dowel behind your back. Find your power posture, shoulders down and back in set position, lift dowel and pulse to hit the triceps.

Triceps Dip and Taps: Posture tall, arms strong and steady, legs bent 90 degrees. Allow glutes to drop down, hinging begins at the elbow, engaging the triceps (Fig. 1). As you lift up, touch toes or knee with opposite hand while balancing (Fig. 2).

Do the other leg.

Repeat.

This is super functional and modifiable for many levels. It’s quite common to hold your breath while balancing.

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 2

Moving Planks: Assume the typical plank position, using knees or on toes.

Place weight on elbows under the shoulders.

Move forward and backward as if you were sawing.

This targets the shoulders and core.

Happy Canoes: Standing in a lunge, either shortened or full lunge, dowel out in front at shoulder height (Fig 3).

Turn and dip dowel as if it were a paddle (Fig. 4) and then dip to the opposite side (Fig. 5).

For added fun, do this as a moving lunge across the room. It’s definitely harder than it looks, but it works everything well.

 

Fig. 1

Fig. 3

Fig. 2

Fig. 4

Fig. 3

Fig. 5

Triangle Pushups: On the floor or elevated surface, on knees or toes, turn hands inwards so your thumbs and first fingers on each hand resemble the outline of a triangle – it could also be a bigger triangle for more stability.

Lower down, keeping elbows pointing out, as low as you can go.

Push hands into the floor to come back up.

Repeat.

This is a fun way to work the arms and shoulders as well as the chest.

Action Step: Try the program above, email me to let me know what you think or email me something that worked even better to rock the arms.

  1. Food and Friends to Nourish

Eight out of 10 things that go in our mouth should aim to fuel cells, muscles, growth systems and rest patterns. Think about food neither being good or bad – just what you can pull from it.

You spend 75% of your time with the same four to six people. How are they nourishing you? If they knew you were focused on getting healthier would they encourage you to bring healthier food to that barbeque or would they offer to have more selection? Surround yourself with people that root for you. Let them know you are making some changes and I’ll bet that some of them will jump on board that train to be a part of it.

Simple food strategies in the summer could include hydrating more – lime in water is a quencher on a dock as much as we pretend that gin and tonic is. Pick crunchy rice crackers, fruits and veggies over chips and Cheezies. Reduce those highly processed items and go simpler – a cleaner protein over a sausage or store bought burger.

Action Step: Read through that journal and see what 10 items you have chosen to eat.

  1. Control is Not Just for Janet Jackson

As busy multi-taskers, we all love to tackle everything. Guess what? You’d be better at what you do if you did less and delegated more so you could focus on your game changing skills. Ask yourself these three questions: what do you do the same, what do you do less of, and what do you let go of.

Action Step: Look at three habit patterns you have that are keeping you from being healthier or not as strong and see which ones fall into each question.

So there you have it, five strategies that can help make your summer fitness goals easier to reach, just in time!

About Fyonna Vanderwerf

Fyonna Vanderwerf is a canfitpro PRO TRAINER for PTS, HWL, FIS, and FMA. She lives and works in Muskoka, Ontario as a coach and fitness instructor, with over 50 certifications. She is a Grandmaster competitor in body building at the Provincial and World level in figure and fitness modeling. She runs a successful personal coaching business.

You can reach her at beefitfyonna@gmail.com or visit her website at Bee Fit With Fyonna.

Movement of the Month: DB Multi-Planar Hip Thrust with Swing Switch

By | Movement

Movement of the Month With Coach Kennedy

Summer brings along summer sports and many outdoor activities. Walking, running, hiking, mountain climbing, soccer, football, baseball, tennis, golf, and the list goes on, and on! One sure way to hinder your summer plans is an injury.  If you consider, for a moment, the strength and movement patterns required to perform the previously listed activities and sports, you quickly see how easy it is for injury to occur.

Multi-directional, multi-planar, quick explosive movements, while they carry many benefits, they also bring along the risk of injury just by their sheer nature.  For example, at some point or another, 80% of runners will experience an injury!

So, as fitness professionals, what can we do? For starters, train the body as an integrated unit as it was designed. We need to create strength as a whole unit, train the body in multi planes and directions, and integrate other aspects such as speed, power, balance and strength.

The DB Multi-Planar Hip Thrust W/ Swing Switching  is a great example of taking a fundamental movement (hip thrusting) and adding in a second plane (frontal), making it multi planar and multi-directional. This creates strength and tissue resilience in all directions. So, when asked to move in and out of different planes our bodies do so efficiently and effectively, with decreased chances of injury.

This exercise requires the ability to integrate from the ground up. It requires the coordination of many muscles and joints cohesively working together.  Some of the benefits include intra and intermuscular coordination, balance, agility, power, strength, endurance and stability. Remember, stability drives force and safety; the more stable we are, the more force we can generate safely. This is great for caloric expenditure and movement efficiency.

Lastly, it’s fun and totally different from what we generally see and perform. This means, as a trainer, it shows your ability to be different and think outside the box. And your client get to enjoy the benefits, as mentioned above, and the fun of moving!  Why does that matter? Because that means they stick to exercise, which is the prime directive.

Exercise Execution:

  • Begin by standing with feet hip width apart, soft knees, core braced, shoulders set (elevate, protract, depress) while holding a DB in your right hand.
  • Take a lateral lunge to your left and, without pausing, reverse your position back to the start while at the same time swinging the DB with the right hand up to shoulder height. (Remember that the swing comes from driving the HIPS forward. It’s hip hinging).
  • At this point, the DB is handed over to your left hand as you proceed into a right lateral lunge.
  • Repeat this process for the allotted time or reps.

Exercise Protocol:

I find that when performing movement based/ multi-planar exercises like this they work best based on time – generally 30 seconds per round. Yes, you can also count reps, if you like – generally 10-12 per side, depending on the goal.

Apply exercises based on your client’s fitness level.  In other words, regress and progress as required.

Not sure how?  Reach out anytime about this or anything fitness related: kennedy@coachkennedyonline.ca.

About Coach Kennedy

Coach Kennedy (Kennedy Lodato) is a 27-year veteran of the fitness industry with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for teaching and running his CK Mentorships, CK Private Coaching sessions, and Fitness Educator of LIVE education to the fitness industry.

Before pursuing the role of Fitness Educator, he occupied the positions of Personal Trainer, Sport Conditioning Coach, and Personal Training Manager. Kennedy is a three-time recipient of the canfitpro PRO TRAINER of the year award, co-founder of the CFEA (Canadian Fitness Education Alliance), and master instructor for various industry companies including canfitpro and EBFA Global (Evidence Based Fitness Academy). For more information visit  www.KennedyLodato.com

Pulling for Power™: Six Simple Steps to Total Pull-up Proficiency

By | Movement

By “SGT Ken®” Weichert

The US Marines Physical Fitness Test (PFT) utilizes the Pull-up exercise to effectively measure the grip strength and power of the back and arms muscles.

The love-hate relationship with the pull-up

I have always been a huge fan of the pull-up exercise, so much that I perform pull-ups nearly at every workout. I have noticed that people will either love the pull-up or hate it. If you have grown up performing the pull-up, you will more likely be able to perform the exercise as an adult. If you have never performed a pull-up and attempted to perform it for the first time as an adult, you may find the exercise extremely challenging to accomplish.

The good news about pull-up training for beginners

It is never too late to learn how to perform an exercise safely and effectively. Pulling for Power is a fitness program for the person that has never performed a pull-up, or has not performed many in the past and could benefit from a gradual approach.

As my Drill Sergeant said at Basic Combat Training (BCT), “To master this task we will need to perform the crawl, walk and run phases.”

Look at accomplishing this program through three primary parts: Progression, Variety and Precision. Gradually progress at a safe rate within your own fitness level and expertise, perform a variety of movements to help achieve optimum results from your workout, and strive to attain proper exercise form at all times.

Let’s get started!

STEP 1: WARM-UP

Calisthenics: Perform 4-6 minutes of calisthenics, such as running in-place, Side-Straddle-Hops “Jumping Jacks” or jumping rope in order to warm-up the body.

Dynamic stretching: Perform 2-4 minutes of dynamic flexibility exercises, such as Knee Lifts, Hip Stretches, Leg Lifts and Shoulder Rotations.

STEP 2: ASSISTED PULL-UPS

Assisted pull-up

Assisted pull-up

Equipment needed: A fixed horizontal bar that is 1” or up to 1-3/4” inches in diameter and securely positioned approximately 3-4 feet above the ground.

Primary muscles targeted: Latissimus Dorsi

Synergists: Brachialis, Brachioradialis, Teres Major, Deltoid (Posterior), Rhomboids, Levator Scapulae, Trapezius (lower, middle), Pectoralis Major (sternal), Pectoralis Minor

Dynamic stabilizers: Biceps Brachii, Triceps (long head)

Start: Sit underneath the pull-up bar. Grasp the bar tightly with your hands over or under the bar, arms shoulder-width apart and fully extended. Tighten your abdominal muscles and elevate your hips until your back and legs form a straight line. Adjust your foot position until your chest is aligned under the bar.

Actions: While keeping your abdominal muscles tight, slowly pull your body toward the bar by bending both elbows. Return to the start position and continue until your goal is reached. Exhale through your mouth as your pull your body upward and inhale through your nose while you return to the start position.

Warning: Try not to rock your body while performing Assisted Pull-ups. Swinging or kipping is when you use a forceful movement of the legs and hips at the start of the exercise in order to gain momentum. Sudden uncontrolled pitching actions with your body during the onset of the pull-up may prevent your stabilizers from protecting you from unwarranted strain or possible injury.

Basic: 1-3 repetitions

Intermediate: 4-8 repetitions

Advanced: 9-15 repetitions

Extreme: 16-24 repetitions

STEP 3: TRX REAR DELTOID ‘T’ FLY

TRX Rear Deltoid T Fly

Equipment needed: TRX

Start: Stand facing the anchor with your feet together, or up to 12 inches apart, holding the handles shoulder level, palms inward. Position your feet in front of your hands. Lean back and fully extend arms, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows. Note: A staggered stance may be used for added stability.

TRX Rear Deltoid T Fly

Actions: While keeping your abdominal muscles tight, squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull your arms out to the sides at shoulder level. Keep tension on the TRX and maintain alignment with your shoulders, hips and legs. Return to start position and continue until your goal is reached. Exhale through your mouth as your pull your body forward and inhale through your nose while you return to the start position.

Basic: 1-2 repetitions

Intermediate: 3-6 repetitions

Advanced: 7-12 repetitions

Extreme: 13–20 repetitions

Try our comprehensive TRX workout Operation Hang Time: Strength and Suspension Training for FREE!

STEP 4: TRX BACK ROW

TRX Back Row

TRX Back Row

Equipment needed: TRX

Start: Stand facing the anchor with your feet together, or up to 12 inches apart, holding the handles shoulder level, palms inward. Position your feet in front of your hands. Lean back and fully extend arms, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows. Note: A staggered stance may be used for added stability.

Actions: While keeping your abdominal muscles tight, pull your body toward the anchor by bending both elbows. Keep tension on the TRX and maintain alignment with your shoulders, hips and legs. Return to start position and continue until your goal is reached. Exhale through your mouth as your pull your body forward and inhale through your nose while you return to the start position.

Basic: 1-6 repetitions

Intermediate: 7-15 repetitions

Advanced: 16-25 repetitions

Extreme: 26-40 repetitions

Fit Tip: You can add a rotational variation with the arms by turning your palms upward as you perform the row.

Watch our 3-minute TRX workout Operation Fit for Duty: TRX Circuit Training Crash Course for FREE:

STEP 5: US MARINE CORPS PULL-UP

Pull-up

Pull-up

Equipment needed: A fixed horizontal bar that is 1” or up to 1-3/4” inches in diameter and securely positioned approximately 7.5 feet above the ground.

Start: The bar must be grasped with both palms facing forward or to the rear and arms fully extended beneath the bar. The legs may be positioned in a straight or bent position, but may not be raised above the waist.

Actions: A repetition is counted when you bend both elbows and raise your body with your arms until the chin is above the bar and lower your body until your arms are fully extended. Continue until your goal is reached. Exhale through your mouth as your pull your body upward and inhale through your nose while you return to the start position.

US Marine Corps pull-up standards of performance: US Marines are not permitted to rest their chins on the bar. The intent is to execute a complete vertical or dead-hang pull-up. There is often a modest amount of rocking movements that will occur as the pull-up is performed continuously. The intent is to avoid a pendulum-like motion that aids in the ability to execute the pull-up. Movements like whipping, kicking, kipping of the body or legs, or any leg movement used to assist in the vertical progression of the pull-up is not authorized. If observed, the repetition will not count.

STEP 6: COOL-DOWN

Dynamic or Static stretching: Perform 2-4 minutes of dynamic or static flexibility exercises.

STAMINA STOPWATCH

The Stamina Stopwatch includes the timing estimates for each set of the Champion’s Challenge (does not include the 6-min warm-up and 4-min cool-down).

Quick Fix: 1 full set of 4 rounds = approximately 20 minutes

Double Tap: 2 full sets of 4 rounds = approximately 40 minutes

Triple Threat: 3 full sets of 4 rounds = approximately 60 minutes

Author notes:

Always seek the advice and guidance of a qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have prior to commencing a fitness program. This article should not be relied on or substituted for professional medical diagnosis or treatment. The exercises presented are for suggestion only. Participate at your own risk. Stop if you feel faint or shortness of breath.

Additionally, the views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

REFERENCES

Office of the Commandant of the Marine Corps Marine Corps Physical Fitness Program. Marine Corps Order 6100.13 W/CH 1. Washington, DC, Department of Defense, 2008. Available at http://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Publications/MCO%206100.13%20W_CH%201.pdf; accessed May 13,2019.

Office of the Commandant of the Marine Corps Semper Fit Fitness and Health Promotion Policy. Marine Corps Order 1700.29. Washington, DC, Department of Defense, 2013. Available at http://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/MCO%201700_29.pdf; accessed May 13, 2019.

Office of the Commandant of the Marine Corps Marine Corps Physical Fitness and Combat Fitness Tests. Marine Corps Order 6100.13A C 469. Washington, DC, Department of Defense, 2018. Available at https://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Publications/MCO%206100.13A.pdf?ver=2018-01-23-094656-933; accessed May 13, 2019.

Remarks:

Come join us for the Boot Camp Instructor Certification Course at canfitpro 2019:

  • 14 August 2019, 8:00am-4:00pm, Session #105, canfitpro 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

We are ready to help you create clarity in your purpose so you can see the opportunity in your practice.

Feel free to reach out with any questions that you may have at sgtken@sgtken.com.

Hooah!

SGT KEN®

Want some free fitness tips before we see you at one of our events, go to Start Fitness Workouts.

About Sgt. Ken Weichert

SGT. Ken is an international speaker, six-time U.S. Army Soldier of the Year, and highly decorated combat veteran. He’s trained over 500,000 soldiers and civilians through Operation Fit to Fight, has written over 100 magazine articles, and created the fitness and health education website for the U.S. Army National Guard. Ken founded the START Fitness® boot camp program, has starred in several best-selling fitness videos, and was named canfitpro’s Best New Presenter (2011).

Breaking the Barriers to Build a Better Bench Press; World Class Technique by a World Champion

By | Movement

By Frances Manias and Jennifer Thompson

The bench press is perhaps one of the most technical lifts to master because it requires unique considerations and presents challenges to both the average strength training athlete and the powerlifter alike.

Beyond the obvious challenges of equipment – most gyms don’t offer the best possible equipment in which to practice and perfect the lift – the mythology surrounding the bench press makes this particular movement inherently difficult to teach.

When performing or coaching the bench press, be sure to identity the purpose of incorporating this movement/exercise in your programming: are you bench pressing for muscular development of the chest, shoulders and triceps, or are you looking to increase your 1 RM?

Also, when it comes to pressing for a competition bench press scenario, the rules of the specific federation/organization must be considered. As an example, both Jennifer and Frances compete within the IPF (International Powerlifting Federation), which requires the head to be on the bench, the feet to be planted on the floor, and the shoulders and buttocks to maintain contact with the bench. As well, the lift must be performed within the commands of the head judge, which include: a “start” command (elbows are locked out and the lifter is in control of the bar), a “press” command (bar is still on the chest) and a “rack” command (the bar is under control and then replaced on the rack after lock out).

Hence, one’s training must incorporate elements of the competition requirements in order to allow the lifter to gain specific proficiency within context of a competitive lift. The most important piece of this equation is often the pause portion of the bench press. It requires that the bar is both under control on the chest and the athlete is in the best possible position to press and lock out the barbell. In order for this to take place, the bench press training must allow the athlete to learn how to do this in the most efficient way possible.

Here are three keys to coaching the bench press to boost strength, power and, ultimately, efficiency in the movement:

Don’t Ignore the Setup

From grip width to creating a solid base of support with the body, from the ground and/or bench itself, the setup is foundational to the success of the bench press. Grip width of the barbell is perhaps the easiest technique modification with which to experiment. Start by measuring the distance from one end of the clavicle (acromion process) to the other.

The distance taken on the barbell between your first fingers – aka the grip width – should be twice the distance measured between your clavicles. For the average person this grip width will give them the biggest mechanical advantage when pressing.

Create the Best Possible Leverage Position

A key factor for a strong bench press is to create the best possible position for pressing by maximizing leverage. This includes: maximizing grip width while still maintaining optimal force production; decreasing the travel distance of the bar to the chest and back to full extension of the elbow flexors by optimizing bar path; and creating an arch.

The most common complaint or concern about leverage creation on the bench press is, “Won’t I hurt my back if I arch?” To which we reply, “The arch is relative to you creating the best possible body position in which to create leverage.” An arch (both a ‘vertical’ arch and a ‘top to bottom’ arch) has to be developed and nurtured, and can’t be at the expense of being able to implement the other techniques, like leg drive or optimal bar path.

This is a Full Body Exercise

Ultimately, between learning how to create tension (both on the bar, and with one’s body/breathing) and putting the concept of leg drive into the descent portion, and subsequent ascent of the barbell, one can experience the bench press quite radically different from a typical bench press. Both the drive of the legs (creating stability and tension on the descent of the bar) and the subsequent “throw” of the barbell in the initial press/ascent contribute greatly to the force production of the bench press. Learning how to consistently apply more than just the chest – or in many instances the anterior deltoid musculature – to include the legs, lats, chest, delts and triceps (think pinky squeeze to finish the lift) is the challenge.

Technique is only perfected with training. Knowing how to lift, how much to lift, how often to lift, along with the implementation of key accessory movements and exercises will be further discussed during the presentation at canfitpro 2019. Join in to learn more about Building a Better Bench Press!

Conclusion

To find out more about the perfect bench press and to take their sessions, catch Jennifer Thompson and Frances Manias at canfitpro2019!

Register for canfitpro 2019 now

About Jennifer Thompson and Frances Manias

Jennifer Thompson is the penultimate competitor. A ten-time International Powerlifting Champion, she is a current World Record Holder in the Bench Press and Total. With 64 World Records over 20 years of competitive powerlifting, Jennifer has a proven track record of continual improvement in the competitive powerlifting arena. Jennifer also has 21 years of teaching experience in the US school systems and she is the Head Coach of the Lincoln Charter High School Powerlifting Team.

 

Athlete, Coach, Mentor, Entrepreneur, Chief Strength Advocate: Frances Manias has taught, presented and preached within the fields of health, fitness, and wellness for over two decades. She’s represented Team Canada in Bodybuilding and Powerlifting multiple times. Through IronSisters.ca and IronSistersUSA.com, she is reaching women worldwide. Iron Sisters™ are women who are picking up their first barbell today and those that have been lifting for years – even when it wasn’t socially acceptable or encouraged. Young and older, experienced or not, our commonalities are such that “WE HAVE THE STRENGTH TO GO IT ALONE, BUT KNOW THAT SISTERHOOD IS BETTER.”

The Champion’s Challenge: Burn 300 Calories in 30 minutes

By | Movement

By “SGT Ken®” Weichert

“Your struggle today is your strength tomorrow.”

Our Little League Baseball team kneeled in front of me for some encouraging words after a difficult loss last Saturday. Some looked sad and others frustrated, but all were desperately seeking some sort of approval for the their extraordinary efforts during the game and guidance for the way ahead.

These 9-year-old boys experienced more than several strikeouts and missed catches today. This was a life learning experience for every player, as well as a moment for me as their Head Coach to strengthen their self-esteem and show them how to turn an obstacle into an opportunity.

I told them a short story about how I was on a Pop Warner football team that lost every game of the season, even though we had a young but already tremendously talented Deion Sanders on our starting lineup. The next season we won all but two games. The season after that, we were undefeated and won the championship.

We turned our setbacks into comebacks.

I continued, “There are two things that can happen to you when you face an obstacle of any kind, fall apart or bounce back.”

I paused and looked at them intently before asking, “When you bounce back, do you bounce back to where you were before.”

One player said profoundly, “No. You learn from what you face in life.”

“Exactly! What you go through, your GROW through. That’s resilience.”

“You can either let this game make you bitter…or better. Which will you choose?” I asked.

“BETTER!” They responded.

“Your parents and Coaches know that you all want to be great at this sport. Hear me when I say that being great does not mean to be better than anyone else – it means to be better than you used to be. Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. All we ask is that you do your best to be better every day.” I said.

“We suggest that you strengthen your sports-specific skills whenever and wherever you can, and not just at our practice sessions. Perform your exercises and technical drills 5-6 days a week because proper preparation provides peak performance. Make mobility and movement mastery a part of your life.” I said.

“The bottom line is that life does not give you what you want – it gives you what you deserve. And what you deserve, is what you work for and earn.”

“Yes, Coach!” They responded.

Pushing for Power with the World as Your Playground

Former National Football League (NFL) running back, Emmitt Smith, was known for performing quick and explosive workouts that required little or no use of exercise equipment. We can learn a lot from his example. His physical strength, power and endurance helped him lead the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl victories (1993, 1994 and 1996) and he is ranked #1 in the all-time rushing leader list with 18,355 yards.

Smith once said, “All men are created equal. Some work harder in preseason.”

Smith made mobility training and personal fitness a daily way of life. Wherever he felt like exercising, immediately became his power-building playground.

Whether you are stuck at work with little time to jump into the gym or at home with the kids safely asleep, perform the following fitness quick fix to win the war against unwanted weight gain:

CHAMPION’S CHALLENGE

 WARM-UP PHASE

 Calisthenics: Perform 4-6 minutes of calisthenics, such as running in-place, Side-Straddle-Hops “Jumping Jacks” or jumping rope in order to warm-up the body.

Dynamic stretching: Perform 2-4 minutes of dynamic flexibility exercises, such as Knee Lifts, Hip Stretches, Leg Lifts and Shoulder Rotations.

 WORKOUT PHASE, ROUND ONE

Squats

Primary Muscles Targeted: Gluteus Maximus, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius

 Start: Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward and hands at your sides.

Actions: Lower your body by bending both knees until you reach 90 degrees of knee flexion with your hips moving backward as if sitting on a chair. Maintain your weight directly over your heels or mid-foot. While you lower your body, raise your arms upward until level with your shoulders, palms facing inward. Return to the start position. Continue until your goal is reached. Inhale through your nose as you lower your body and exhale through your mouth as you return to the start position.

Basic: 10 repetitions

Intermediate: 20 repetitions

Advanced: 30 repetitions

Extreme: 40 repetitions, with a backpack or weight vest

Note: Advanced athletes may choose to hold a medicine ball, kettle bell, dumbbell, or any kind of light-medium weight in their hands while performing the exercise.

 Lunges (Split Squat)

 Primary Muscles Targeted: Gluteus Maximus, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius, hip flexors

 Start: Start with your left leg on the ground straight in front of you with your left knee slightly bent. Place your right leg straight behind you, balancing on the ball of your right foot. Your upper body is upright with your hands on your hips.

Actions: Lower your body, both knees bending until your forward leg achieves 90-degrees of knee flexion. Maintain your balance in the center. Return to the start position. Continue until your goal is reached. Switch sides and continue. Inhale through your nose as you lower your body and exhale through your mouth as you return to the start position.

 Amplification note: Start from a standing position and lunge forward as you lower your body with each repetition. You can add a torso rotation by twisting your upper body to the left as you step forward with the left foot and twist to the right as you step forward with the right foot.

 Basic: 10 repetitions (each side)

Intermediate: 20 repetitions (each side)

Advanced: 30 repetitions (each side)

Extreme: 40 repetitions, with a backpack or weight vest (each side)

Note: Advanced athletes may choose to hold a medicine ball, kettle bell, dumbbell or any kind of light-medium weight in their hands while performing the exercise.

Vertical Leg Crunches

Primary Muscles Targeted: Rectus Abdominus, Transverse Abdominus

Start: Lay down on your back (supine) on a soft flat surface, arms straight and against the sides of your body, palms on the ground. Elevate your legs and align your feet and knees with your hips, feet flexed. Raise your arms and point your fingers toward your toes. Keep a slight bend in your knees.

Actions: Tighten your abdominal muscles and raise your upper body, reaching your fingers toward your toes. Return to the start position.  Continue until your goal is reached. Exhale through your mouth as you reach upward and inhale through your nose as you return to the start position.

Basic: 20 repetitions

Intermediate: 40 repetitions

Advanced:  60 repetitions

Extreme: 80 repetitions

Push-ups

Primary Muscles Targeted: Anterior and Medial Deltoids, Triceps, Pectorals

Start: Balance your body on your hands and feet with your back and legs forming a straight line. Maintain a neutral spine, feet together or up to 12 inches apart, hands shoulder-width apart, legs and arms straight.

Actions: While keeping your abdominal muscles tight, lower your body straight down by bending both elbows until your upper arms become parallel with the ground. Return to the start position and repeat. Inhale through your nose as you lower your body and exhale through your mouth as you return to the start position.

Basic: 15 repetitions

Intermediate: 30 repetitions

Advanced: 60 repetitions

Extreme: More than 60 repetitions, with a backpack or weight vest on

 Squat, Push-up and Jump Drill

 Primary Muscles Targeted: Gluteus Maximus, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius

 Start: Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward, hands at your sides, and palms facing inward.

 Actions:

  1. A) Squat until your knees bend 90-degrees and hips move back as if sitting on a chair. Maintain your weight directly over the middle of your feet and heels. Keep your knees aligned with your feet.
  2. B) Reach downward with your arms and place your hands on the ground slightly in front of your feet.
  3. C) Thrust your legs back to a “push-up” position, back and legs forming a straight line, arms straight and head facing forward. Lower your body by bending both elbows until your upper arms are parallel with the ground.
  4. D) Return the to start position and jump vertically as high as you can, arms extended overhead. Continue until your goal is reached.

Modification note: Omit the push-up and perform the Squat-Thrust-Jump only.

 Basic: 10 repetitions

Intermediate: 20 repetitions

Advanced: 30 repetitions

Extreme: 40 repetitions, with a backpack or weight vest

Note: Advanced athletes may choose to hold a medicine ball, kettle bell, dumbbell, or any kind of light-medium weight in their hands while performing the exercise.

COOL-DOWN PHASE

Dynamic or Static Flexibility: Perform 2-4 minutes of dynamic or static flexibility exercises.

Remarks:

  1. MUSCLE TARGETING: Perform these exercises in the specific order given to achieve an athletic conditioning strategy called “muscle targeting” (often referred to as “complimentary exercise choices”). This is where you perform two or more consecutive exercises in the same area of the body to promote muscle fatigue or muscle failure before transitioning to the next section. When transitioning to the next section, you gradually ascend (or descend) along the kinetic chain of the body with each exercise in order to engage more muscle activity.

Example: While performing the Lunge or Split Squat (#2), your primary focus is to engage the legs, hips and gluteal muscles with secondary and stabilization focus on the abdominals. Once complete, your next designated exercise is the Vertical Leg Crunch (#3). The primary focus with the Vertical Leg Crunch is the abdominal muscles, with secondary and stabilization focus on the hips and legs. This means that the primary focus on Lunges became the secondary focus on the Vertical Leg Crunch. This gradual shift allows for sustained muscular engagement in the same area of the body, which results in high volume output.

  1. BREAKS DURING AN EXERCISE: You may take breaks while attempting to complete your exercise repetition goal, providing that the breaks are no longer than 30 seconds each.
  2. BREAKS BETWEEN EXERCISES: Perform each exercise in sequence and allow no more than 2 minutes break in between each exercise.
  3. EXTREME CONDITIONING (SUPERSETTING): To superset, perform little or no break between exercises.

Equipment Needed:

None

Stamina Stopwatch

The Stamina Stopwatch includes the timing estimates for each set of the Champion’s Challenge (does not include the 6-min warm-up and 4-min cool-down).

Quick Fix: 1 full set of 4 rounds = approximately 20 minutes
Double Tap: 2 full sets of 4 rounds = approximately 40 minutes
Triple Threat: 3 full sets of 4 rounds = approximately 60 minutes

Author’s notes:
Warning
: Always seek the advice and guidance of a qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have prior to commencing a fitness program. This article should not be relied on or substituted for professional medical diagnosis or treatment. The exercises presented are for suggestion only. Participate at your own risk. Stop if you feel faint or shortness of breath.

Champion’s Challenge

(6-min warm-up, 20-min workout at 4 rounds, 4-min cool-down = 30 min total)

Download a PDF of the Champions Challenge.

Note: If you don’t have 30 minutes to conduct the entire workout at once, split the rounds up throughout the day.

  1. Program Target: Muscular strength, power and endurance, and aerobic conditioning
  2. Program Type: High-volume Interval Training (HVIT) involves performing a series of exercises at no more than 75% output during a workout at intervals of 60 seconds or up to four minutes, where each drill is followed by a period of rest. This work-to-recovery cycle is repeated several times throughout the workout with the intent to improve overall endurance. Note: Some concerns are being able integrate adequate recovery periods to help sustain optimum performance.
  3. Program Format: Free Circuit fitness training involves performing a series of exercises at different stations for a uniform measure of repetitions during each round, with little to no rest between stations. The objective is to perform the exercises or obstacles as quickly as possible with the intent to achieve the lowest total time for the entire event. An obstacle course is an example of a free-style circuit. Note: Some concerns are being able integrate adequate recovery periods to help sustain optimum performance. Other concerns are the potential risk of injury associated with a compromise of proper by performing each drill too fast or beyond personal ability.
  4. Program option: AMRAP (As Many Repetitions As Possible) during each 60-second exercise interval.

Come join us for the Boot Camp Instructor Certification Course:

  • 26 May 2019, 9:00am-5:00pm, Session #4002, canfitpro EAST in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 14 August 2019, 8:00am-4:00pm, Session #4002, canfitpro 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

We are ready to help you create clarity in your purpose so you can see the opportunity in your practice.

Feel free to reach out with any questions that you may have at sgtken@sgtken.com.

Hooah!
SGT KEN®

If you want some free fitness tips before we see you at one of our events, go to START Fitness!

About Sgt. Ken Weichert

SGT. Ken is an international speaker, six-time U.S. Army Soldier of the Year, and highly decorated combat veteran. He’s trained over 500,000 soldiers and civilians through Operation Fit to Fight, has written over 100 magazine articles, and created the fitness and health education website for the U.S. Army National Guard. Ken founded the START Fitness® boot camp program, has starred in several best-selling fitness videos, and was named canfitpro’s Best New Presenter (2011).

Movement of the Month: Single Arm DB Frontal Plane Deadlift

By | Movement

With Coach Kennedy

With summer just around the corner, many are now taking action to be ready for the summer ahead. With that said, we get to a point where exercise can be repetitive and while we may not want to make huge changes, for various reasons….sometimes small ones make all of the difference. While the prime focus remains the same, the benefits can greatly increase.

The Single Arm (SA) DB Frontal Plane Deadlift is a great example of taking a fundamental exercise and by adding in a second plane – frontal – it now becomes a multi-planar movement deadlift. Multi-planar deadlifts, to my knowledge, are very rarely done, but don’t take my word for it, just look around any gym, studio etc.…you’ll definitely see plenty of deadlifts being done, but in the sagittal plane, and with barbells.

Let’s chat benefits of your deadlift. When beginning with the barbell on the ground, it places your upper leg group of muscles into a lengthened position. This means they receive no “pre-stretch”. In other words, they are already lengthened so we can’t take advantage of elastic energy, and it forces us to create strength from a fixed starting position. We call it “starting strength”.

Think of a lineman in football. Think about pushing a car out of the snow. We don’t have the ability to load and preload as we would when we’re performing a squat. We can control and load on the way down and then reverse with momentum if we like (elastic energy). That makes coming back easy in comparison to stopping at the bottom for a few seconds then coming up…getting out of your car, your chair. I think you get the point.

The deadlift is great for preparing the body for lifting. It’s a reminder that it’s all in the legs, not in your back! It’s an example, even though it’s a linear movement, of how you need to sequence the feet with your core and upper body for the safest and strongest lifts. It’s integrated as far as I’m concerned, it’s closed chain, and its benefits transfer to life and sport. That makes it functional.

Now, once we add the element of using a single DB and throw a second plane into the mix we add additional benefits: I’ll discuss two.

  1. Using the single DB now means the body needs to create equilibrium. One side is loaded, the other is not. This means a stronger focus on proper core activation in a contralateral pattern (x-cross body) and integration of the entire kinetic chain to help create stability. Stability drives force and safety. As well, because we are moving in two planes we are also creating strength and tissue resiliency in those multiple planes. That means when you go down, or twist around to pick something up you’ll GREATLY decrease the chances of injury. Remember…you’re only strong in the direction you train.
  2. Lastly, it’s fun. It gives participants a sense of power, control, accomplishment and strength when they lift! That means they stick to exercise, which is the Prime Directive. Get people moving.

Exercise Execution: Begin by standing with feet hip width apart, soft knees, core braced, shoulders set (elevate, protract, depress) while holding a DB in your right hand. Take a lateral step with the left leg towards your left. As your foot makes contact with the ground, create a small bend in the knee (just as you would in a stiff legged deadlift), hinge at the hips and go into your deadlift. Once you reach the bottom of the lift, begin hinging at hips, lift the left foot slightly off the floor as you reverse the movement and end up back into your starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds. Switch sides.

Exercise Protocol: I find that when performing movement based/ multi-planar exercises like this they work best based on time. Generally, 30 seconds per side. Yes, you can also count reps if you like – generally, 6-10 per side.

Apply exercise based on your client’s fitness level.  In other words, regress and progress as required.

Reach out anytime about this or anything fitness related: kennedy@coachkennedyonline.ca.

Bio

Coach Kennedy (Kennedy Lodato) is a 27-year veteran of the fitness industry with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for teaching and running his CK Mentorships, CK Private Coaching sessions and Fitness Educator of LIVE education to the fitness industry.

Before pursuing the role of Fitness Educator, he occupied the positions of Personal Trainer, Sport Conditioning Coach and Personal Trainer Manager. Kennedy is a three-time recipient of the canfitpro PRO TRAINER of the year award, co-founder of the CFEA-Canadian Fitness Education Alliance and master instructor for various industry companies including canfitpro and EBFA Global (Evidence Based Fitness Academy). For more information visit at www.KennedyLodato.com

Think (and Move) Outside the Core Box!

By | Movement

By Kathleen Trotter, FIS, PTS

Planks, side planks, V holds, bird dogs — all are excellent functional core exercises. The problem is, on the millionth repetition, even the most amazing move can feel dead boring, and in my experience, boredom is the kiss of workout death.

I am not suggesting you let your clients off the “core hook”; planks and bird dogs are their “broccoli,” and it is your job to make them eat their broccoli, but it is also your job to program appropriately. If you know a basic plank is what a client needs, great, stick with that. But when you KNOW a client can handle an extra push or thrives on variety, it is your job to find an appropriate challenge. My suggestion? Try the pyramid add-on.

When I do add-on sets, I pick a base exercise and a rest exercise. The rest exercise isn’t easy, it just doesn’t work the same muscles as the base exercise. To do the workout you simply alternate the base exercise with the rest exercise. Each time you do
the base move, you add on a variation. To make the add-on set a core challenge, the base exercise should (obviously) primarily work the core.

Below is my favourite add-on core extravaganza. Send me a note after you try it — let me know how many eye rolls and dirty looks came your way!

Programing details

I have used a 10-second front plank as my base (other options include a side plank or a V hold) and a 15 second squat hold as my rest exercise (other options include a plié hold or cardio exercises such as jumping jacks or high knees). Once your client can do the full routine with perfect form, try the sequence doing a longer plank hold, 2 or 3 repetitions of each add-on, and/or a 20 to 60 second squat hold.

Core pyramid extravaganza!

Start standing. Bend over to walk your hands forward into a plank. Hold for 10 seconds. This is the base exercise.

Now, walk your hands back toward your feet and, without standing all the way up, hold a squat. Keep your chest out, core engaged, knees in line with your middle toes, and lower back neutral. This is your rest exercise. (Note, after each add on you hold a squat for 15 seconds before walking forward into the plank to start the sequence again.)

Add on 1. Walk-outs: After holding the basic plank for 10 seconds, add on walk-outs. In a plank position walk your right hand in front of you, then your left. Then place your right hand back to its starting position underneath you, then your left. Repeat starting with your left hand.

Walk your hands back toward your feet. Hold your low squat for 15 seconds.

Add on 2. Shoulder taps: Walk forward into a plank. Hold for 10 seconds. Do one walk-out starting with each hand.

Then add on shoulder taps. Keep your hips stable as you touch your right hand to your left shoulder and then your left hand to your right shoulder.

Walk your hands back toward your feet. Hold your low squat.

Add on 3. Leg extensions: Repeat the above sequence. Then, holding your plank — core engaged and pelvis stable — engage your right glute muscle to lift your right leg off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds, then repeat with your left leg.

Walk your hands back toward your feet. Hold your low squat.

Add on 4. Leg abductions: Repeat the sequence. Then do one leg abduction with each leg. Holding your plank — core engaged and pelvis stable — engage your right glute muscle to lift your right leg off the floor and out to the side. Hold for 5 seconds, then repeat with your left leg.

Walk your hands back toward your feet. Hold your low squat.

Add-on 5. Knee tucks: This is your final add on. Repeat the entire sequence then do one knee tuck with each leg. Hold your plank as you bring one knee into your chest. Count to five. Repeat with the other leg.

Walk your hands back toward your feet. Hold your low squat.

Push your client through one cardio Tabata set (4 minutes of alternating 20 seconds of hard cardio with 10 seconds of rest). If appropriate, walk your client through the entire core sequence again.

For more “out of the box” workouts, check out my most recent book, Your Fittest Future Self!

Final note

Add-on sets are not for newbies. Inherent to this method of training is adding on to a base move. Your client needs to have mastered the base move — with perfect form — before you add anything on. So, for example, before trying the above workout, make sure your client has mastered the basic plank first.

Basic plank: Balance on hands and toes — shoulders, hips, and feet should form a straight line. Lower back stays neutral. If you put a foam roller lengthwise along your client’s back, the roller should touch the back of their skull, upper back, and sacrum. There should be a small space between the roll and the lower back and cervical spine. Make sure your client keeps their core engaged the entire time; lower abdominals pull “wide to the hip bones” as if pulling taffy across the pelvis.

Bio
Kathleen Trotter holds a masters in Exercise Science, is the author of two books including the new book Your Fittest Future Self, and is a Personal trainer, Nutritionist, Pilates Specialist and Life Coach.

 

 

 

KathlenTrotter.com
Twitter: @KTrotterFitness
Instagram: @KathleenTrotterFitness
FB: https://www.facebook.com/KathleenTrotter/

Hard-Core!

By | Movement

By Cat Kom

Shhhh…we’ve got a secret, and it’s a doozy.

It’s all to do with getting that sleeker, slimmer waist – the one that people spend hours upon hours, angrily doing crunches trying to achieve. But the secret, in fact, lies in an often-overlooked set of muscles sitting deep within your core. They’re called the transverse abdominus muscles and have been called everything from the ‘abdominal corset muscles’ to the ‘body’s natural girdle’. Sometimes, they’re even referred to the ‘Spanx of the Body’!

Working out core muscles like the rectus abdominus or obliques tend to make your belly jut out, without actually reducing the size of your waist. And that’s where the transverse abdominus comes in – not only do these wonder muscles tighten your midsection, they also help with stability, posture, breathing and lower back strength. The question is: is there anything the transverse abdominus muscles can’t do?

With that said, let’s take a look at five essential transverse ab exercises to get that lean, slender look you’ve always wanted.

  1. Plank

Not surprisingly, the plank is one of the best transverse abdominus exercises around. The keys to getting results from the plank are time and form. You want to hold your plank for as long as you can, increasing over time, while always maintaining proper form. When your form starts to break down, that’s a good sign you’ve had enough and it’s time for a rest.

To perform the plank:

  • Begin laying face down on your stomach
  • Lift yourself up onto your elbows and toes
  • Keep your spine flat, with your buttocks in-line with your body
  • Try to stare straight ahead of you, making sure you don’t strain your neck
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds to start, then lower yourself back down
  • Gradually increase your duration by 5 seconds with each rep
  • Repeat 3 times

 

  1. Supine Leg Extension

This powerhouse move reveals just how important the legs can be for strengthening your core. Our legs not only act as anchors for balance, but as counterweights, working the core while you stabilize.

To perform the supine leg extension:

  • Begin by lying on your back, knees bent and suspended above you
  • Extend one leg and hold it 4 inches above the floor
  • Raise your opposite arm above your head
  • Hold both your arm and leg in this position for 2 seconds
  • Repeat on opposite side
  • Do 15 reps each side!
  1. Glute Bridge

This multi-muscle-hitting exercise hits the transverse abdominus, but also several parts of the lower body, including the glutes and hamstrings. Do this right, and often, and we guarantee, you will feel this.

To perform the glute bridge:

  • Lay on your back, with knees bent and feet on the floor
  • Place your feet as close as you can to your glutes
  • Lift your buttocks off the ground, thrusting your hips upward
  • Engage your quads
  • Hold your position for 1-2 seconds and release
  • Repeat this exercise 15x
  1. Quadruped Lift

This exercise, lovingly referred to as the bird dog, is similar to the supine leg extension, but reversed. The trick here is to keep your head straight, and eyes looking forward, not on the ground as most people tend to do.

To perform the quadruped lift:

  • Position yourself on your hands and knees
  • Extend one leg directly behind you, keeping it as straight as possible
  • Extend the opposite arm directly in front of you, also as straight as possible
  • Hold for 5 seconds
  • Switch to the opposite arm/leg and repeat
  • Repeat each exercise 10x on each side
  1. Russian Twist

You may not know the name, but you’ve definitely seen the Russian twist performed, usually by some svelte-looking gym hero. Now it’s your turn. This is one of the hardest, most effective transverse abdominus exercises you can do. Let it be known: you WILL be sore afterwards.

To perform the Russian twist:

  • Start in a seated position
  • Raise your feet several inches
  • Lean back at a slight angle
  • Intertwine your fingers
  • Twist from side to side, making sure to keep your core tight
  • Your goal should be to touch your knuckles on the floor with each rep
  • Repeat 30x, touching each side 15x

Phew! That’s a lot. Don’t believe us? Try it. With these powerful transverse abdominus ab exercises, you will access your core, your deeper core, your super deep core, and everything in between. And when you start focusing on these amazing corset muscles, you’ll see the kind of results you’ve been waiting for.

But what about everything else? If you want a more full-body experience from the comfort of your living room, sign up for a 7-Day Free Trial with Studio SWEAT OnDemand. With hundreds of streaming classes available, including abs, sculpting, cycling, yoga, TRX, Pilates and more, you’re on your way to becoming a hard-core gym hero.

Bio

Cat Kom, is a celebrated expert in the fitness world, who is also the founder of Studio SWEAT onDemand, a fitness studio based in San Diego, California, that streams workouts that can be accessed through their app, any internet browser, Roku and many others.

 

Movement of the Month: Single Arm 5 Step Progressive DB Lateral Raise

By | Movement

With Coach Kennedy

As I sat down to write this, I was quickly reminded at how January and February have just flown by!  Spring is right around the corner and before you know it…the BEST fitness show (in my opinion) in North America, canfitpro 2019 Fitness Convention and Tradeshow, takes place.

I’m reminded of this for two reasons. One, registration is now open (https://canfitpro2019.com/) and two, I’m grateful to be presenting six workshops this year. Two for COREFX (www.corefx.ca), one for TriggerPoint Performance (www.tptherapy.com), all sponsored by 360 Conditioning ( www.360conditioning.com), two for Myobuddy ( www.myobuddy.com), and last but definitely not least, one for EBFA-Evidence Based Fitness Academy (www.ebfafitness.com).

This is my 12th year and it should be a MUST on your list if you’re a trainer or coach looking to be your best.

Nevertheless, I can’t tell you how often I get asked “Hey Coach, do you ever just do linear training and if so, why? Is there really a purpose if you’re more about movement training anyway?”

My answer is yes and my why is simple. It provides the stimulus to build and add lean muscle to your frame. It can be a great place to start with beginners. We know this assists in your metabolic rate, which helps to burn more calories, helps with posture, helps with muscular endurance, gives you confidence, makes you look better, and at the end of the day it’s not just about the linear movement, it’s what you can also do with them that matters most.

This brings us to the Movement of the Month – the SA 5 Step Progressive DB Lateral Raise. Click here to see a demonstration of the exercise.

This progressive lateral raise is a great example of taking a fairly fundamental exercise – doesn’t mean it’s not important – and by applying additional variables, progressing it to a more complex, multi -joint, multi-planar, dynamic transitional balancing exercise! That’s a lot of words!

It’s also a great way of showing movement and skill progressions to clients. They get to see how they go from simple to complex. How they go from static to dynamic. How they go from stable to unstable. How they go from lighter loads to heavier loads in all of the progressions.

Trainers and coaches, think about how valuable that is. Think about how it leads to renewals and referrals. As a trainer or coach, it shows your ability to be creative, but more importantly how you can have anyone you train adapt and grow. It shows changes, not just physical and mental, but mechanical. It shows them how they can move better as a unit in life or sport. Why is this important? Because the body moves and operates as a unit. We are not made of individual parts.

We have a saying in our industry:  “What wires together, fires together”.

So, by training the body this way it learns to move together in a more fluid, cohesive way which saves energy to make the workouts more intense and last longer.

I should also add that the SA 5 Step Progressive DB Lateral Raise improves inter-muscular and intra-muscular co-ordination, builds a solid CORE, creates better lateral awareness and strength, agility and explosive lateral power (this applies to progression #5).

Lastly, it’s also great for working on your deceleration skills which are important because as you walk, run, squat, sit, etc, muscles need to lengthen to slow down.  They need to be “eccentrically strong” so you don’t end up falling on your behind (this applies more to progressions #3- #5).

Exercise Execution:

Stand with a tall spine, looking straight ahead, feet about hip with apart, ¼ squat, CORE braced (think being punched in the tummy), shoulders in their “set position”, your right arm aligned with your torso, elbow bent at 90 degrees, holding the DB.

Begin by raising your arm in a controlled fashion (elbow still at 90 degrees) until your upper arm becomes parallel with the ground, take a momentary pause, then return to your starting position and repeat for the desired reps or time. Once you complete the right side repeat on the left side. For the full progressions watch the video.

Click here to see a demonstration of the exercise.

Exercise Protocol: Rep ranges from 6-15 and time ranges from 15-30 seconds depending on the goal.

Apply the exercise based on your client’s fitness level.  In other words, regress and progress as required.

Questions? DM @ kennedy@coachkennedyonline.ca

Bio

Kennedy Lodato (Coach Kennedy) is a 27-year veteran of the fitness industry.  He has spent 16 years as a Trainer and 11 years educating to the fitness industry.  Before pursuing the role of fitness educator, he occupied the positions of Personal Trainer, Sport Conditioning Coach, Personal Trainer Manager and Fitness Programs Coordinator at Ryerson University.  Kennedy is a three-time recipient of the canfitpro PRO TRAINER of the Year award and an instructor for various industry companies.  For more information visit at KennedyLodato.com