The side plank is a great core exercise as it forces the lateral stabilisers of the body like the oblique’s and glutes to work hard to maintain stability and alignment through the body. When you swap sides it will also highlight any deficiencies or weaknesses that may be present from side to side.
The Snatch is one of the Olympic Weight Lifting movements and is in my opinion the most technical single move that you can perform with a barbell. It is built on the foundations of the overhead squat and although it can be taught safely to beginners with the right instruction, I’ve marked this as an advanced exercise as you should have some level of strength and experience with resistance training before giving it a go.
The broad jump or standing long jump is an introductory plyometric exercise that can help improve explosive power. Although it is introductory plyometrics, I’ve categorised this as being advanced because you need to have some strong legs to control the landings for this one. You should already be very comfortable squatting and should be able to at least squat your own bodyweight before considering this as an explosive power exercise choice.
The walking lunge is a fantastic lower body option for improving leg strength in a manner than transfers to many life and sporting contexts. The nature of transferring weight from one leg to the other through periods of being on only 1 leg for support mimics exactly the demands of walking and running. Good lunging technique and strength will help you walk, run, jump and generally be a lot more stable through your lower body.
The Alekna, named after a discus athlete, is a similar core exercise to the deadbug but is much greater in difficulty. It is a great option for training your core to work to maintain stability through your spine as you transfer force and movements through your legs and arms – exactly the way your core should be working. It is still a good option for beginners as you have the ground to use as feedback against your back but if you are a total beginner you should start with the deadbug before progressing.
Today (18th June) the Scottish Government announced that we’ll be moving into phase 2 of the plan to get us out of lockdown and what it entails. Many of us where hoping for news around personal training and the re-opening of gyms.
**UPDATE 09/07/20 - We have a date
The deadbug is a great core and ab exercise when executed with correct technique and control. It is a good starting point for raising awareness of the core and a neutral spine as you have the floor to brace your back against and use as feedback. Take care to use slow controlled movements and you can integrate the breath as you move too to learn how the breathing can help create tension and stability around your spine.
The box squat has a variety of uses within a training program. I most often find myself using it when teaching beginners to squat with the barbell but they struggle to get the same depth as when using a kettlebell for goblet squat. It gives you a target to sit onto and to make sure you hit depth meaning that you develop consistent technique but also have the extra confidence of the box to aim for. Start the box at the height you can get to comfortably and as your skill and confidence grows, take height off the box so that it gets lower over time. Once you can consistently hit your required squat depth then you can take the box away and try free back squat.
If you are thinking about getting started with weight training but really have no idea where to begin then this article should be your starting point. You’ll learn everything from its role and benefits to how to get started right now.
As the Scottish Government unveils it's 4 phase approach to lifting lock-down restrictions, it looks like gyms and the leisure industry will be the hardest hit.
Will we be allowed back into our beloved gyms before the end of the year?
Allan Young is a Personal Trainer and coach educator in Glasgow who operates Strength Coach Glasgow and is a 4x Scottish Champion Olympic Weightlifter.