Lat Contraction – Can This Technique Be the Key to Shoulder Health and Freaky Pushing Power?

Some people complain that bench presses are hurting their shoulders. Even more people than that complain that the parallel bar dip, one of the best upper body exercises, is bad for their shoulders.

Well, in this article I will reveal a technique I’ve been using for years to save my shoulders from excess stress when doing bench presses and dips. If you use this method, you will never hurt your shoulders with these movements and you will skyrocket your strength in the weighted dip, the bench press and other upper body pressing movements.

In the photo above Bruce Lee has been kind enough to demonstrate the lat contraction. I think the photo is from Enter the Dragon, possibly his best movie and (still) a very entertaining one at that.

What Is Lat Contraction?

Read moreLat Contraction – Can This Technique Be the Key to Shoulder Health and Freaky Pushing Power?

Wrist Roller – The Best Exercise For Increasing Forearm Strength

bruce-lee-forearms

Wrist roller article with a picture of Bruce Lee? It’s not a coincidence. Besides being an overall health and fitness and martial arts fanatic, he put priority in training his abs and his forearms. The reason for this was that in martial arts power originates in the core or stomach muscles, but is transmitted through the hands.

Bruce Lee was not a “fitness freak” just for the sake of it. He had a definite major purpose –an idea he got from Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich. His supreme physical shape is a manifestation of his pursuit of excellence in order to achieve the life he wanted for himself and his family. He actually achieved his dream goal of being the biggest Chinese Star in the world.

The Wrist Roller – Fantastic for Forearm Strength

Read moreWrist Roller – The Best Exercise For Increasing Forearm Strength

4 Dangerous Mistakes People Make With The Full Contact Twist

In the last post I introduced to you the full contact twist and shared a couple of tips on technique and proper form. In this post I want to point out a few mistakes that I’ve seen people make when I teach them the full contact twist. Mistakes are a normal part of the learning process but it is important to learn a safe and effective technique for each exercise.

We don’t want to hurt ourselves. What follows is a selection of videos I found online with people demonstrating the drill. If one of these videos is yours, apologies for using it as a *bad example* – I only want to help people get strong and stay safe.

Mistake #1 – Extending The Arms

Read more4 Dangerous Mistakes People Make With The Full Contact Twist

Renegade Rows – Do You Make These Mistakes? Part II

A reader of this site, Andy, asked me in Part I of the renegade rows series what to do once renegade rows become way too easy. He says he doesn’t feel his abs sore after workout. I will answer this in two parts. First, I wanna make something clear regarding muscle soreness. It is a sign of only one thing – that your body was not ready or adapted for the stress that caused the soreness. Nothing else. So you may continue to workout, especially when training for strength as opposed to muscle size (these are two different goals!), without needing to blast your body so that it’s sore every time.

The second issue is whether you do the renegade rows with proper form to ensure that your core gets maximum stimulation. So in this article I will address the issue of proper form in more detail.

Good Explanation Of Proper Form

Read moreRenegade Rows – Do You Make These Mistakes? Part II

Renegade Rows – How to Get Ridiculously Hard Abs, Part I

The renegade row, developed and named by coach John Davies, is one of the hardest and most effective abdominal exercises. The reason for this is that renegade rows force you to use the primary function of the stomach muscles – stabilization. In other words the exercise teaches you how to keep your body as rigid as possible. You have no other choice but to contract your abs as hard as possible. Otherwise you won’t be able to maintain a rigid body.

Above is a video of the renegade row. Watch and note the three main keys to the proper execution of the movement.

Technique

Read moreRenegade Rows – How to Get Ridiculously Hard Abs, Part I

The L-Sit – Train Your Abs Like A Gymnast

What if it were possible to achieve the core and abdominal strength of a world class gymnast while training at home, only for a few minutes per day with no equipment or gadgets? Well guess what – it is possible to do it if you master the L-Sit.

Pictured above is Bruce Lee in an even harder variation of the L sit – the V sit. He is wearing the suit from the movie Game of Dead which he unfortunately did not finish filming. What little he did film is fantastic though.

Variations

Read moreThe L-Sit – Train Your Abs Like A Gymnast

Glute Activation – Your Butt May Well Be Your Most Important Athletic Asset

Never hurts to have a pretty girl demonstrate exercises for you. The glutes are the primary movers of the hip joint. First – lets define “glutes.” These are the muscles in your butt. Glutes comes from the Latin name gluteus maximus. To me it sounds like the name of Russel Crowe’s character in the movie Gladiator.

Anyway, the primary role of the glutes is to make your upper leg go in alignment with the spine. In other words if the spine and trunk are vertical – the leg must too. So the thigh is pulled down and back. This extension at the hip is primarily propelled by the muscles you are currently sitting on.

Every Movement Involves the Butt

Read moreGlute Activation – Your Butt May Well Be Your Most Important Athletic Asset

Calf Workouts – The Secrets of Successfully Training Your Calves

I think I became obsessed with basketball during the freshman year of high school. One thing I noticed was that all the older basketball players had great calf development. Well, they probably had good development of their whole bodies, but that was what I noticed cause we were wearing basketball shorts.

Basketball players have good calf development because of their sport. Or is it that they develop their calves for their sport? Which came first? So anyway, I became a calf training fanatic. I remember I had a classmate who was into bodybuilding and I was asking him all the time about ways to develop my calves for basketball.

Here Is What I Learned

How to Military Press Correctly For Wide Shoulders and a Strong Upperbody

How to military press correctly. The secret is to use your whole body. Just like in the hollow position, you have to tuck your pelvis forward and squeeze your glutes hard. The harder you can squeeze, the more force you can use from the ground, through your statically flexed quads, through the glutes and up towards the upper body and the bar itself.

When your whole body is rock solid from flexing, no force dissipates and you are instantly stronger, without gaining an ounce of muscle.

Read moreHow to Military Press Correctly For Wide Shoulders and a Strong Upperbody

Barbell Deadlift – How to Train Correctly to Get a Strong Back and Avoid Injuries

Everybody keeps writing that the barbell deadlift is the king of exercises and that no other exercise will task your body so much. I agree and that’s why the exercise has a place in the Beginner Strength Training Full Body Workout. Even so, if you don’t learn to perform the barbell deadlift correctly, two things might happen.

Read moreBarbell Deadlift – How to Train Correctly to Get a Strong Back and Avoid Injuries

How to Squat Correctly for Size and Strength

The barbell squat is the first exercise in the Beginner Strength Training Full body Workout. In order to progress and avoid injuries, it is imperative that you perform the exercise with correct technique. What the exercise will give you is not big legs, but overall strength throughout the body. To get big legs from squats you have to squat very heavy.
[In the video I did not take the bar from a squat rack, but you should not do it like me. Instead, start the exercise properly from a squat rack.]

Read moreHow to Squat Correctly for Size and Strength