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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 Chin-Up Negative is just a variation of the chin-up but it is a great tool for bridging the strength gap to achieve your first Chin-Up. The eccentric portion (or negative) is the lower phase of the lift. Normally we are 20-30% stronger during this phase, you can normally lower under control more than you can lift. If we focus on utilising this extra strength during this portion, we can get stronger overall which can transfer to the pulling up part too! This one requires a decent level of strength already to keep good control and the eccentric phase is the part that makes us sore so expect this one to be really tough and taxing afterwards if you give it a try.
The front squat is a great choice for your squat pattern if you are thinking about implementing weightlifting into your program or have athletic performance as your primary goal. It places greater demand on the trunk as the load is stacked directly on top of you rather than behind forcing the abs and quads to work a little harder than a standard back squat. It’s important to make sure you have the required mobility through the shoulder joint in order to effectively support the weight in the front rack without putting strain on any of the smaller joints.
The modified candlestick is an advanced core variation similar to exercises like the plank. It trains your core as it functions to brace and maintain a solid and stable spine. As you lower yourself under control towards the bench, you drastically increase the demand to stay tight making the exercise exponentially more difficult. This variation focuses on holding that isometric contraction as you change your body angle. This one is really tough and often performing 2-5 really controlled reps is enough to give you a good hit for the core.
I’ve learned from many resources over the years and continue to do so. This blog shares some of the best free and paid for resources I’ve used as a personal trainer that you may be able to benefit from.
In this week’s short blog I’ll share 5 tips to maintain your strength and muscle from home.
As many of us don’t have access to the gym right now, I’ve prepared these strategies to help you maintain your strength and muscle over the coming weeks. Who knows, we might even get stronger or fitter in the process. We must use this time as an opportunity, don’t worry that you might not be able to do your favourite barbells lifts. These tips will help you potentially avoid injury, avoid losing your hard-earned muscle and strength and might develop a bit of athleticism and functional strength in the process.
The Incline Bench Dumbbell Row is a great alternative to seated or chest support row machines if you gym is lacking or you are struggling to get on the kit. With the chest supported on the bench, you are generally able to work the pulling muscles of the upper back and arms more effectively than when you use other bent over, less supported variations. Key muscle groups here are the lats, rhomboids, biceps and other musculature around the shoulder blade and upper back. It is a fairly simple exercise and may be a good way to get upper body pulling down for those who are struggling with positioning and body alignment as they are new to the gym.
The Dumbbell Bench Press is a great upper body pushing exercise. It is normally allows for a greater ROM than a standard barbell bench press and is a good way to get extra volume through the pecs, shoulders and triceps. If you are trying to improve your press-ups or dips then this movement will help! When bench isn’t necessarily a priority movement, I prefer to utilise the DB Bench Press as it is easier to set up, works your arms independently and through a greater ROM and can more easily be super-setted with other exercises to increase training density.
The seated box jump is a variation of regular box jump with some subtle differences and unique benefits. Normally we are able to generate less power from a dead stop and so you should expect to jump higher during a regular box jump than from seated. It is quite safe for most who are able to box jump. Here are a few reasons why you might opt for it. The seated box jump closely replicates the start position for a snatch and for a clean. It is also useful for developing ‘Starting Strength and Power’ as it takes away the stretch reflex beforehand to store energy. This is useful for generating force from a dead stop such as when accelerating during any team sport or weightlifting.
Allan Young is a Personal Trainer and coach educator in Glasgow who operates Strength Coach Glasgow and is a 4x Scottish Champion Olympic Weightlifter.