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 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.
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
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?
The Push Press is a full body explosive lift. You can start to handle heavier weights overhead which gives greater overload than you might be able to achieve with just shoulder power alone. It also gives the opportunity to develop rate of force development as you skilfully try to accelerate the weight overhead! If you are an overhead or power-based athlete then the overhead press is perfect for improving power. It is essentially a more advanced version of the strict press and so is a great skill to start to develop to take your general strength training to the next level. Make sure you have mastered the strict overhead press before attempting this. It is a staple for Weightlifters to improve their overhead strength but it is also very useful for developing power that will transfer into jumping and throwing based movements.
The seated dumbbell press is a fairly simple exercise but unless you pay close attention, you can put unnecessary pressure in the wrong areas. As you can use the bench upright as a support to set yourself against you can normally lift a little more weight overhead as you take out some of the focus from the core. This is good for getting extra volume through the upper body and shoulders to bring on lagging areas.
The Face Pull is highly regarded as a magic pill or medicine for the shoulders. While this isn’t exactly true, it is a great exercise to help develop a strong upper back, balanced shoulders and keep those shoulder blade muscles moving well. Most gym programs are overloaded with pushing exercises so the Face Pull is a good exercise to integrate into everyone’s program to help balance out the demands of the shoulder. It is a very simple movement to do and will help you develop good control of the scapula which is the foundation for any movement through the shoulder.
The Dumbbell press from the low split position is a progression of the half kneeling dumbbell press. You have 1 less point of contact as the back knee is now just off the ground making it harder to stabilise. Once you are comfortable with the half kneeling variation, you are ready to take on the low split to make it harder. It will force you to work harder to stabilise and keep tension through the core. It is also very useful as a foundational exercise for working on the split jerk and improving stability in the catch. Like the Half Kneeling DB Press, the DB press from Low Split is great for setting you up to do the overhead press well. It will highlight any compensation in the lower back to make up for poor overhead range.
The hanging knee raise is a great exercise for not only working the abs and bracing but integrating the active hang and pullup strength. You better have a decent level of upper body strength as you will be required to hang from a pullup bar just to be able to do this exercise. If you can hang, you should be able to do some good work through your core but your strength will dictate how controlled and how many you can do.
Allan Young is a Personal Trainer and coach educator in Glasgow who operates Strength Coach Glasgow and is a 4x Scottish Champion Olympic Weightlifter.