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10 Novel Exercises To Try

  1. Single Arm Hollow Body Floor Press

The setup here is pretty simple. Start by lying down on the floor with your feet roughly 6-12 inches off of the ground. Sit up slightly to engage the upper abdominals. From here start with a light(ish) weight that you can normally press for 12-15 reps. This is more of a core movement rather than a pure upper body move. Primarily because of the difficulty to maintain a braced core while trying to press the weight up. However once you master the mechanics of the skill, you can load up the movement pretty heavily to gain a positive training effect for your chest and shoulders along with the core. 

  1. Birddog Row

Another combination movement here that is a little different compared to your standard dumbbell row. It requires significantly more stabilization from the trunk and spine that will challenge your core musculature and balance. Using about half  of the weight you can normally row, start by kneeling on a flat bench with your dumbbell on the side of the bench that you’re kneeling on. While keeping your knee down and your opposite hand pressed firmly into the bench, grab your dumbbell and extend your opposite leg with your toes pointing down. Make sure your glute is squeezed and your heel is pointed towards the ceiling. From here start to initiate the rowing pattern while being mindful to actively brace your core.

  1. Landmine Single Leg RDL 

Arguably one of my favorite movements to program. The Single Leg Deadlift is an excellent hinge pattern to work on the posterior muscles of the hamstring, glutes and spinal erectors. It adds another training effect in its efficiency in helping work on stability of the pelvis and balance. Using a landmine set-up with my (Bruno Bar) attachment from black widow training, I’ll grip the handle with 2 hands while keeping my outside leg planted. From here you will go into a single leg hinge while keeping your hands straight. 

  1. Skater Squat 

This is a challenging single leg variation that doubles as a knee and hip dominant exercise. To make this movement less challenging use some foam pads on the floor to decrease the range of motion or add in some hand assistance to guide you. You’ll start with both feet in front of the foam pad. From there you will lift the back leg and flex your hamstring. Descend down towards the pad as if you were doing a single leg squat. Utilize a slight torso lean forward so that you can drop your back knee to the foam pad. After touching the foam pad ascend back up by putting your weight on the front foot. 

  1. Burdenko V-Sit with Kickouts

This is a core variation that will challenge your coordination and control of your core and trunk. I’ll start this variation using bodyweight only and eventually progress clients to using a pair of 2.5 – 5lb dumbbells or kettlebells. Start in a standard V-Sit position. From here you alternate between moving the opposite arm to the opposite leg in a cyclical fashion. 

  1. Z-Press

This variation of the overhead press is brutal. Can’t say enough good things about it considering it helps with overhead stability and strength, core, and challenges your ability to maintain a neutral spine. Start with a barbell setup in a rack or on pins. You will be in a seated position with your feet out wide and  an erect spine that exemplifies perfect posture. From here you will practice pressing the barbell up and over your head and slowly lowering the bar back down to your upper chest. 

  1. Inverted Row 

The inverted row is an advanced pulling movement so tread carefully. When done properly it is an excellent strength and muscle builder for the middle to upper back. It can be done with TRX straps or a barbell as I show in the video. Set up a barbell inside a rack, on pins, or against an elevated stable surface. Make sure you are pulling the barbell against something as it will slide away from you if you don’t. Take a medium width grip on the barbell (just outside your shoulders). I’m choosing a supinated grip as it is easier for me to pull from and feels better on my shoulders. Your feet should be close together straight out in front of you. 

  1. TRX Inverted Hamstring Curl

Have your suspension trainer or rings hanging high above the floor (either on a pull up bar or from the ceiling).  You want enough room between you and the floor so that your arms are straight and your body is parallel to the ceiling. Setup a box, bench or other flat surface for you to place your heels on. From here keep your body flat with hips up and pull through your heels to flex your hamstrings.

  1. B Stance Hip Thrust 

I like this variation to the hip thrust because it’s not fully single leg or double. It’s a hybrid variation that is a little easier than the single leg stance but can still be loaded up heavily without balance or lower back pain being the limiting factor. The set-up is similar to your bilateral hip thrust except you will have the toe of the planted foot line up with the heel of the “single leg” foot. You want to primarily drive your weight off of the planted foot while using the other foot as a pivot point to help guide the other foot. 

  1.  Bear Position Sandbag Pull Through

The bear position is a very advantageous position to build core, trunk, hip and shoulder stability and strength. The sandbag drag is an anti-rotation movement in which you have to stabilize your body to resist the movement of pulling the sandbag through. Setup in the bear position with either a sandbag, kettlebell, or weight plate positioned to one side. You will reach with the OPPOSITE  hand to pull the implement underneath your torso to the adjacent side. Do your best to limit the amount of hip shift you have from side to side. That’s the fight that you want to improve. 

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