Dear Strength Coach/Personal Trainer,
Here are 6 simple, yet challenging exercises, all initiated with the athlete or client lying on his/her back:
- Hamstrings – Press your heels into the floor, so that the pelvis is unloaded or lifted off the floor. (Unloaded = if there was a scale under the pelvis, the pelvis would touch the scale, but the scale would show 0)
- Glutes and lower abdominals – squeeze the glutes as hard as possible. Then while maintaining maximal glute contraction (think bowling balls!) lift your heels 1-inch off the floor
- Neck and back – Supported by a towel, press the back of the head into the floor so the ribcage is lifted off the floor. The stronger athlete or client will press the back of the head so hard into the floor that BOTH the ribcage AND the pelvis is lifted off the ground.
- Posterior deltoids – With the upper arms placed in 90 degree shoulder abduction press the back of the upper arms into the ground
- Lower Trapezius – with the arms in full shoulder flexion, create a fist and press the side of the thumbs hard into the ground to unload the ribcage.
- Lats, rhomboids and posterior delts – with the arms in anatomical neutral (palms up) press the back of the arms into the ground to unload or lift the ribcage off the ground.
Countless are the exercises whereby the athlete or client is in a prone position. Here is one favourite of mine that will challenge most athletes or clients.
I have named this exercise the Wide Horse Stance because I discovered it by doing a regular Horse Stance and experimenting with the distance between my two arms and two legs. (The Horse Stance is also known under the name The Bird Dog.)
Start position: Place your hands and knees on the floor, with your knees as far apart as possible. Your spine should have its natural curves (= the neutral spine position). Grab the floor with your fingers and “screw your hands into the floor”. Make sure that you don’t “sag”, instead push your shoulders away from your ears.
Action: To train the muscles of the anterior oblique system(1,2) running from the right shoulder to the left hip, you must lift your LEFT hand and RIGHT knee ONE INCH off the floor. Just by lifting your left hand and right knee off the floor you will feel a significant contraction of your oblique abdominal muscles.
Hold for 10 seconds each side, alternating sides with no rest for 4-8 minutes.
The Wide Horse Stance is a part of my newly released Ground Based Abs Program – the HARDEST, SIMPLEST, “on- the- floor-no equipment”- program you will find in today’s marketplace.
With a simple yet powerful technique, the secret ingredient in the Ground Based Abs Program, the intensity of the contraction that you just experienced in the Wide Horse Stance is MULTIPLIED.
Click here of you train clients or athletes who want strong, ripped abs this summer.
Without systematic application of progressive overload, all your athlete’s or client’s efforts are in vain.
Next week’s blog – Part 3 in this series – examines how to apply progressive overload, to the above exercises. Specifically, I will show you a number of different variations of the hamstring above.
How many variations of the hamstring exercises above, do you think there are?
Leave a comment below.
Dedicated To Our Success,
MSc, Strength Coach, CPTN-CPT.M
Author, Lecture, Founder of Yes To Strength
- Chek P. The Outer Unit. http://www.coachr.org/outer.htm
- Garcia-Vaguero MP, Moreside JM, Brontons-Gil E, Peco-Gonzales N, Vera-Garcia FJ. Trunk muscle activation during stabilisation exercises with single and double leg support. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. Mar 19. 2012. Epub Ahead of Print