How to Do the Exercises

Apr 1, 2003
Outside Magazine

Back Squats

Barbell bent over row

Bench or box step ups

Back Squats
Stand erect with feet slightly wider than shoulder width, toes pointing slightly outward. Keep head and eyes forward. Place barbell across your traps and shoulders well away from your neck. Grasp the bar comfortably with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Keep chest up and back tight. Get in a comfortable upright stance with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your toes should be either pointed straight ahead or slightly outward, never inward or knee strain will result. Focus your vision straight ahead. Do not tilt your head backwards or raise your eyes in your head, as this will disrupt your balance. Place the barbell squarely on your traps and shoulders (not the neck) and grip the bar comfortably with your hands slightly wider than shoulders. Keeping your heels planted firmly on the floor, inhale and move your butt back and downward. Do not start by bending the knees. Continue downward, by bending the knees, but be careful not to allow your knees to move forward. This will save you stress on your knees. When the thighs reach parallel, begin exhaling and return to the starting position.

Barbell bent over row
Bend knees slightly and bend over barbell with back straight. Grasp bar with a shoulder-width overhand or underhand grip. Pull bar to upper waist. Return until arms are fully extended. Repeat.

Bench or box step ups
Stand facing the side of a sturdy weight bench, box or aerobic step. Keep your trunk erect throughout exercise. Place foot of first leg on bench. Step up onto bench by extending the hip and knee of the first leg. Place foot of second leg on bench. Step back down with second leg by flexing the hip and knee of first leg. Then return first leg to the floor. Alternate by stepping up with second leg, as with first. You have now done one rep with each leg. Repeat.

Using a chinning bar, grasp the bar overhead suspending your full weight. Hold bar with hands about shoulder-width apart. Palms may be either facing toward you (more biceps involvement), or away from you (more lat/rear deltoid involvement). Squeeze your body up. Try to touch your chin or upper chest the to bar. Slowly return to starting position. Maintain a tight body throughout, to minimize swinging.

Decline Bench Crunches
Lie on your back on a decline bench, hooking your feet under the rollers. Place your chin on your chest and fingertips to temples. Curl your head, shoulders, and upper back off the bench until your trunk is perpendicular to the floor. Reverse back down to the starting position. You may add resistance by holding a weight plate across your chest or increasing the angle of the bench. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Front Squats

Stand erect facing the bar with your feet comfortably apart. Your toes may point forward or angle slightly outward. Keep your head and eyes forward at all times. Grasp the bar comfortably with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Rest the barbell high on the chest and front deltoids. Make sure to keep your elbows high, or cross your forearms to balance the weight. Unrack the bar and step back. Keep your feet firmly planted to the floor. Begin your descent by moving your butt back and down, not by bending the knees. Continue downward keeping your knees aligned. When you reach parallel, squeeze to a stop and stand back up. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Good Mornings
Stand erect with a barbell on your shoulders. Your feet should be slightly less than shoulder-width apart with hands wider to balance the weight. Slightly bend the knees and keep the back tight. Begin by sticking your butt out and trying to touch the wall behind you while bending forward at the hips. As the body approaches parallel, squeeze to a stop. Reverse direction keeping the knees slightly bent, and the back tight until you are back where you started. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Hang Clean
This lift is basically a Power Clean performed without pulling from the floor, and without dropping the bar. Approach the bar and position your feet slightly inside shoulder width. Place your hands on the bar with a grip that is just outside the width of your hips. Keeping your back flat and your shoulders above the bar in the bottom position, squeeze the bar off the floor with your legs until you are standing upright. Lower the bar to a point just above your knees. Knees should be slightly bent, hips flexed, and lower back flat and tight. Shoulders should be forward past your feet. Begin by pulling the bar up. As the bar reaches the middle to upper portion of your legs, accelerate your hips forward, extend your knees, and shrug your shoulders. Then quickly drop under the bar to catch the weight on your front deltoids and upper chest. Keep the bar close to your body throughout the movement. Finish the lift by standing tall with your elbows high, hands open and the bar resting on your fingertips and shoulders. Return the bar to the starting position by rolling the bar off of your shoulders. As you move the bar from your shoulders, regain a full grip on the bar, flex the knees to absorb the force and stand tall again ready to repeat the movement.

Hang Snatch
Begin this lift by placing your hands in an overhand grip with palms facing your body. Your hands should be 16-18 inches wider than your shoulders. Squeeze the bar off the floor or from blocks to a standing position. Slowly lower the bar down until it is positioned slightly above your kneecaps. Keep your shoulders over the bar in this position. Keep your back flat and chest up as you elevate the bar until it reaches the upper part of your thighs. Explosively extend your hips through the bar. Shrug your shoulders up, and pull the bar as high as possible, leading with your elbows, not your hands. Make sure the bar stays close to your body. At the top of your pull, quickly drop under and catch the bar with your arms extended overhead. Finish the lift by standing erect with the weight under control. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

To perform this exercise, position your body on the hyperextension bench with your hips on the hip pad, and your heels underneath the heel pad. Your torso should be hanging perpendicular to your lower body/legs. With your fingertips touching your temples, slowly squeeze your upper body to a parallel position, hold briefly, then slowly lower to the starting position. Once you become comfortable with this exercise, you may hold a weighted plate close to your chest for added resistance.

Leg Press
Place your feet flat on the leg press machine's platform, about shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing slightly outward. Lower the platform so that your legs form a 90-degree angle. Pressing through your heels, extend your legs fully but do not lock out your knees. Return to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Leg Press Calf Raises
Using the leg press machine, place the balls of your feet on the edge of the platform, so that your heels hang off. Keeping your knees locked, push the platform with your toes contracting the calves. Lower by pulling your toes toward your shins. Maintain control by squeezing the weight to a stop. Do not bounce the weight. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Lying French Presses (skull crushers)
Grasp a short straight bar or an e-z curl bar using narrow hand spacing, palms facing thighs. Lie flat on bench with head in a neutral position, eyes looking at ceiling. Extend the bar to arms' length directly above shoulders. Lower the bar in a semicircular motion to your forehead by bending arms at elbows, keeping upper arms vertical. Extend the bar to arm's length, repeat.

Lying Leg Curls
Lay on your stomach on the Leg Curl machine with your legs straight out. You knees should extend out over the end of the bench and be free of support. The back of your ankles should rest on the underside of the rollers. Squeeze your heels up as close as possible to your butt. Keep your knees and body as still as possible. Come to a complete stop at the top, pause and lower your feet back to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

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