Top Stretches Done In Your Office

If you are like most of the population, you spend the majority of your time sitting. Either sitting at work in front of a computer, sitting for dinner, or sitting and hanging out with friends. I’m here to say that sitting is horrible! Here are some top exercises you should be doing to help relieve some of the common issues associated with poor posture and prolonged sitting.

 

About Doug
Doug currently works at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE). He is also the strength coach for Alliance MMA in Chula Vista, CA. He earned a B.S. in Exercise Science with a minor in Business Management from Westfield State University and completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU. Certifications and specialties include the ACE Personal Trainer Certification, NSCA-CSCS Certification, TRX instructor training, EFI Gravity instructor training, LIFT Sandbag Certification, Spinning certification, FMS training, and CPR/AED instructor status. He has appeared in multiple fitness videos, manuals and magazines; produced his own 2-DVD Set on strength & conditioning for combat athletes, completed a MMA Conditioning Coach certification program, and has competed in multiple grappling tournaments.

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5 Moves MMA Athletes Should Be Doing

I really enjoy developing programs and circuits for my clients and athletes. Over the years, I’ve incorporated every tool you can imagine – dumbbells, barbells, tires, sleds, prowler, TRX, Ultimate Sandbags, Kamagon Ball, Home Depot hardware section creations, and many more.

The more experience and knowledge I acquire, the more I am starting to conform to the “less is more” theory. While I love experimenting and trying knew methods and tools, when it comes to the movements specifically; there are some essential exercises that I will always incorporate into my fighter programs. The variations will change up a bit depending on where we are at in the program, but you will always find them in there.

This is not an exclusive list. I took some liberties with the article and made my choices broad terms. I did pick one of my favorite exercises for each movement I selected though.

Here are my current ‘top 5’.

1. Hip Dominant

My choice: Kettlebell Swing

For lower body training, it is crucial to include hip dominant strength work. The hips are one of the most important areas of the body to train. I love training hip extension with sandbag cleans, tire flips, barbell deadlifts, and kettlebell swings. I realize these exercises will focus on a different fitness component; deadlifts for strength, cleans for power, and bell swings for power endurance. For this reason, I include them all into a full program. Since “power endurance” is critical for MMA, I really like the swing for this category.

2.  Upper Body Push

My choice: Pushups With Sit-Through

I love bodyweight exercises and pushups have been a staple bodyweight exercise for years. When done properly, pushups force you to really engage the entire body. This variation below will add an additional challenge to the shoulder joint, your obliques, and your hip mobility. Keep the entire body “stiff” and engaged throughout the movement to protect your lower back and shoulders.

3. Upper Body Pull

My choice: TRX Rows

When it comes to upper body strength training, I love pulling movements. There is too much focus on the pushing movements and the anterior chain of the body. This is true for every population, from our “desk jockeys” to our professional athletes. We need to incorporate more pulling exercises to help with posture, grip, and backside strength. Some of my favorite tools include dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, heavy ropes, and the TRX. TRX rows are great because there is a quick learning curve for first timers and there are plenty of variations for all levels. I like to have my athletes perform their rows from directly underneath the anchor point with their hips extended to incorporate the lower body as well.

4. Torso Rotations

My choice: Superband Torso Rotations

While I am not a huge proponent of mimicking the exact movements of your sport in strength training, especially with heavy loads, I do see the obvious value in working those same muscle groups to have them strong, powerful, and more injury resistant. Torso rotation exercises have great carry over to the sport of MMA. I’ve used tubing, slosh pipes, Kamagon Balls, medicine balls, and superbands for these movements. I like using the superbands because you can really encourage the hip movement with proper band placement. I want the movement to involve the whole body, from feet to fingertips. To do this, I have the superband coming across the ASIS, which will almost force the lower body recruitment for proper technique.

5. Sprint Work

My choice: Hill sprints

These definitely fall into the “love/hate relationship” category. They don’t take very long to complete but they should still push you to your physical and mental limit. Treadmill, stairs, track, beach, resisted, hills…there is an endless list and some are more effective than others; especially from a biomechanical standpoint. I prefer hill sprints, especially on a softer surface like grass if possible. MMA athletes endure enough pounding throughout the week from all the sparring and joint locks. If we can incorporate conditioning sessions that are “joint friendly”, their body will thank us.

Final Thoughts

If you look at these five movements, we really get an entire body workout; a couple with an upper body focus, a couple with a lower body focus, and they will all increase the heart rate, which is the most important muscle we have. This could have easily been a “Top 20” list as there are so many effective movements out there. I feel this list includes exercises that will give you the most “bang for your buck”. If you want to get stronger, more powerful, and have more “gas in the tank”, integrate these variations into your strength and conditioning program today.

About Doug
Doug currently works at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE). He is also the strength coach for Alliance MMA in Chula Vista, CA. He earned a B.S. in Exercise Science with a minor in Business Management from Westfield State University and completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU. Certifications and specialties include the ACE Personal Trainer Certification, NSCA-CSCS Certification, TRX instructor training, EFI Gravity instructor training, LIFT Sandbag Certification, Spinning certification, FMS training, and CPR/AED instructor status. He has appeared in multiple fitness videos, manuals and magazines; produced his own 2-DVD Set on strength & conditioning for combat athletes, completed a MMA Conditioning Coach certification program, and has competed in multiple grappling tournaments.

For more information please visit www.dbstrength.com.

Napoleon Complex. How much is enough?

As I write this, my 1RM on the deadlift is 385 lbs (stop snickering). My 3RM on weighted pull-ups is bodyweight plus 105 lbs. I would say my pull-up numbers are respectable, the deadlift numbers, not so much. I’m hoping a couple months of Jim Wendler’s “5/3/1 training program” will help. My goal? I would like to start that deadlift number with a 4…405 sounds nice. At 170-175 pounds, pulling 405 is respectable strength in my eyes…isn’t it?

How much is enough?

I’ve felt this way for a couple months now…eyeing that “400” barrier and it got me to thinking, “how much is enough?” Do I need to lift nearly 2 ½ times my bodyweight? When I pull that 405, will I become that much faster, or jump much higher, or be much more injury proof? Maybe 385 is enough…

The importance of goals

It comes down to your goals. Everyone is unique, everyone responds a bit differently to exercise modalities, and most people have different goals and different things that motivate them. For me, I train for life. I train to stay healthy and to have the ability to take a grappling class or muay thai class without any problems. If I want to hop into a pick up soccer game or shoot some hoops, I should be able to without any troubles or be sore for the following 4 days. Like I said, different goals for different people. Different strokes for different folks. Many of my “everyday population” clients would like to lose a couple pounds; they sit at a desk during the week and need to get through their daily activities of purchasing groceries, taking care of the kids, and playing in a weekend softball league. How “strong” do they need to be to reach their goals? Another client of mine, UFC Champion Dominick Cruz, competes in a sport of weight classes. Our strength training goals are to have him injury-free, quick and as efficient as possible, and as strong as possible without packing on too much mass. If you are a strongman competitor or powerlifter, then the answer to the “how much is enough” question is dealt with differently. There is no limit here. Moving as much weight as possible is absolutely functional to your sport.

I have no words…I mean, really? My hat’s off for the determination.

Big picture

Let’s look at a typical client that is married with 2 kids and has an office job that has him seated for 8 hours per day. The heaviest things he’s lifting in a typical week are the bags of groceries, taking the trash out to the curb (he’s a good husband), and picking up his 4 year old for a hug. If his primary fitness goals are to lose 5-10 pounds, stay healthy, and run in an upcoming 5k, does he need to pull 3x his bodyweight? Because of his busy schedule and seated posture 40+ hours per week, I think our main points of focus should be on his nutritional habits and maintaining consistency with a full body strength training program. I realize that being stronger will boost metabolism, increase fat loss, enhance self-esteem, and trigger loads of other fantastic benefits…however, a healthy, 40 year old client will receive these benefits pulling 1½  or even 2x his own bodyweight from the floor.

Ironically, I recently came across a great thread exchange between two people who I admire, Bret Contreas and Rob Panariello. They touched on this very topic and brought up some great points.

Link here

http://bretcontreras.com/2011/06/strength-goals-dont-be-afraid-to-abandon-them/#comment-10821

Is this a small man’s cry? Admittedly, perhaps a little bit. At the end of the day, I realize what my “big picture” fitness goals are and I’m feeling pretty good with where I’m at. The take-away here is that your program and methods should be developed around your realistic goals. Follow this important rule and you will be fine. I will admit I’d still like to pull that 405 before the year is out. Damn ego.

About Doug
Doug currently works at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE). He is also the strength coach for Alliance MMA in Chula Vista, CA. He earned a B.S. in Exercise Science with a minor in Business Management from Westfield State University and completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU. Certifications and specialties  include the ACE Personal Trainer Certification, NSCA-CSCS Certification, TRX instructor training, EFI Gravity instructor training, LIFT Sandbag Certification, Spinning certification, FMS training, and CPR/AED instructor status. He has appeared in multiple fitness videos, manuals and magazines; produced his own 2-DVD Set on strength & conditioning for combat athletes, completed a MMA Conditioning Coach certification program, and has competed in multiple grappling tournaments.

For more information please visit www.dbstrength.com.

Shove it! Top Pushing Moves

By Doug Balzarini

Over the years I’ve made clear my preference to posterior chain/pulling movements over pushing exercises. I feel that, for the majority of the population, the benefits of backside exercises far outweigh their anterior chain counterpart. Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t like pushing exercises. In fact, pressing and pushing are staple movements in all my programs. They are essential for a well balanced routine.

Whether you are a professional MMA athlete or an “everyday population” client, make sure you include effective, functional pushing exercises into your workouts. The list could go on for pages with all the variations and various tools that one could use…I’m going to share four of my favorites.

1. Chest Press

The chest press is the “go to” exercise for developing the pecs, anterior deltoids, and triceps muscles. If you want a well-rounded routine, you should include some form of a chest pressing movement into your weekly program. In the video below, you will see the ‘Dumbbell Floor Press’. Compared to the traditional bench press, you will lose some leg drive with this variation; however, I feel it’s a bit safer for the shoulder joint and still extremely effective for developing strength and power in those upper body pushing muscles. Exercise in video below: Dumbbell Floor Press

2. Pushup

I love bodyweight exercises and pushups have been a staple bodyweight exercise for years and years. Search on YouTube and you can find hundreds of pushup variations out there…some I question the reasoning behind and some I love. When done properly, pushups force you to really engage the entire body, testing you from feet to fingertips. This variation below will add an additional challenge to the shoulder joint, your obliques, and your hip mobility. Keep the entire body “stiff” and engaged throughout the movement to protect your lower back and shoulders. Exercise in video below: Pushup with Toe Taps

3. Get-Up Variations

Kettlebells and sandbags are my tools of choice when talking about the get-up. This exercise is a great full body exercise in terms of both strength and mobility, especially for the glutes and hips. I included it in with these “pushing” exercises simply due to the fact that we are pushing our bodies away from the ground and working the anterior chain a great deal. It is essentially a static press exercise for the shoulder.

My two get-ups of choice:

Sandbag ½ Get-Up  

This is the closest “crunch exercise” you will see in my consistent routines. As long as you lead with movement with your chest and roll onto your elbow and post up onto your hand, you will limit the spinal flexion that occurs during the movement. Check it out in the video below.

Full Kettlebell Get-Up

I love this version for shoulder-health reasons. When performed correctly, you must keep your shoulder “packed”, which will ensure the scapula is stable on the thoracic spine and the surrounding muscles are fully engaged. It helps keep the shoulder strong and safe. Be sure to include Get-Ups to ensure you are getting a true core workout.

Exercise in video below: Sandbag ½ Get-Ups

4. The Prowler

The prowler is the best tool for developing both pushing power/acceleration and metabolic conditioning at the same time. The Prowler, and all its variations, is a lock to always make my list for best equipment on the market today. The exercise below is the most standard movement you can do with the Prowler. Simply load up the weights, grab the handles, get in a proper forward lean position, and get pushing. I like to incorporate the Prowler into a circuit, as a stand along exercise, or as a finisher at the end of a workout (see “finisher” article here). Be careful not to get the “Prowler Flu”!

Exercise in video below: Prowler Pushes

To see these exercises in more detail, as well as 100’s of other movements, click here.

“Everyday Population”

Proper pulling/posterior chain movements are a must if you fall into the “9-to-5 client” category. As long as your program is sensible, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t include a couple pushing exercises into your weekly routine. Incorporate with proper flexibility exercises for the chest, hips, and ankles (another article in itself) and you are on your way to reaching your goals.

“MMA Athlete”

We want to build both the strength and endurance in your front side. “Long strong” is a favorite term of mine in the industry. It refers to your ability to stay strong in the later rounds of a fight; to have the will and endurance to fight on…a lot of that is mental preparation and a lot of that is proper strength training. Incorporate these movements into your routine and you are more likely to stay “long strong” and have your arm raised in victory after the bell rings.

Make sure you incorporate pushing exercises into your weekly routine to ensure you are maintaining balance in your program.

About Doug
Doug currently works at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE). He is also the strength coach for the Alliance Fight Team in Chula Vista, CA. A Massachusetts native, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Business Management from Westfield State University. Since moving to San Diego he has completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU, obtained an ACE Personal Trainer certification, the NSCA-CSCS certification, a Spinning certification, TRX instructor training, EFI Gravity instructor training, FMS training, and received his CPR/AED instructor status. He has also appeared in 8 fitness videos, written numerous fitness articles, completed a MMA Conditioning Coach certification program and has competed in multiple grappling tournaments.

Prior to working at Fitness Quest 10, Doug worked for the American Council on Exercise as the Continuing Education Coordinator where he was responsible for managing over 400 continuing education providers.

For more information please visit www.todddurkin.com, www.fq10.com, and www.dbstrength.

Heave Ho! Top Pulling Moves

I can’t open my fingers all the way so my hands are stuck in an “iron claw” type of position; a half opened fist if you will. My forearms are throbbing and my biceps have an unbelievable “pump”. I’m bleeding from a scratch above my left eye and my lats feel like I just finished 6 sets of weighted pull-ups. Was I in a New York City bar with my Sox hat on? No. I just finished a 90 minute grappling session and my body is spent. Being a relative novice to the sport of grappling, I tend to muscle many of the movements as opposed to using correct technique and body positioning.

Regardless of whether you are a beginning grappler or a black belt, a secretary or a garbage man, the importance of pulling & grip strength can’t be emphasized enough. In fact, I pull more than push with every client I train. Sure the variations and intensities will vary; however, pulling movements are part of the foundation of every exercise program I create.

The list could go on for pages with all the variations and various tools that one could use…I’m going to share four of my favorites.

1. The Pull-up

If I could only pick one upper body pulling exercise, the pull-up wins easily. Great for grip strength, and developing forearms, biceps, shoulders, lats, traps, rhomboids, abs (yes, abs), pecs, and more. Pulling your body to the bar really forces you to engage the majority of muscles in your upper body making it a compound movement that really delivers. This variation below shows you a way to incorporate the lower body as well. Exercise in video: Pull-up with Med Ball Squeeze

2. Unilateral Row

I typically group my upper body pulling movements into two categories; vertical and horizontal. While pull-ups may be my favorite pulling exercise, I actually incorporate more horizontal pulling movements into workouts and programs. I tend to recommend these for a couple reasons; 1. They are less intimidating for some clients (pull-ups can be quite daunting to a new client), 2. They are easier to teach, and 3. They are excellent movements for improving posture.

While this particular move is a staple pulling exercise for my MMA athletes, I like to challenge the “everyday population” with a variety of rope pulls as well. Make sure you keep an upright posture with your upper body and try to pull evenly with each arm throughout the exercise. Exercise in video: Horizontal Rope Pulls

3. Bilateral Row

See the ‘Unilateral Row’ explanation to see why horizontal pulls, or “rows”, make my list. I think the more rowing you can incorporate into your routine, the stronger and more injury-free you will be throughout your body. The exercise I included in the video is geared a bit more towards MMA athletes due to the nature of their sport. Many times during a fight, they will find themselves in a long clinch or situation where they need to hold on to their opponent for an extended period of time. This requires a great deal of muscular strength and endurance in your arms and back. Backward sled walks hit the mark. Exercise in video: Isometric Backward Sled Walks

4. Deadlifts & Cleans

My room was always clean growing up because I love picking things up off the floor…but I digress. Deadlift variations and cleans are two of my favorite ways to work the entire backside of the body. These exercises are great for explosive hip extension, strengthening your grip, glutes, hamstrings, back; and for developing overall body power. These glute-focused movements are great for the “everyday population” from a functional standpoint. While you may not “clean” your bag of groceries up off the floor into the rack position; it will teach you to engage the proper muscles and lift items in a healthy manner. I love these movements for combat athletes because strong, powerful glutes will help them in many situations during a fight; more difficult to control on the mat if it goes to the ground and more explosive with your kicks and strikes if you are in a stand up battle. Exercise in video: Sandbag Cleans

If you are a busy executive who sits a lot, travels a lot, drives a lot, then it is critical to strengthen your backside. Posterior chain exercises will help combat the unhealthy posture that your lifestyle has you in for 8+ hours a day.

If you are a MMA athlete and we can strengthen your backside, then you are less likely to get injured, you can pull your arm back quicker after throwing a punch, you can hold and control your opponent more effectively, and you are more likely to have your arm raised in victory after a tournament or match.

Make sure you incorporate pulling exercises into your weekly routine to ensure you are maintaining balance in your program.

About Doug
Doug currently works at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE). He is also the strength coach for the Alliance Fight Team in Chula Vista, CA. A Massachusetts native, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Business Management from Westfield State University. Since moving to San Diego he has completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU, obtained an ACE Personal Trainer certification, the NSCA-CSCS certification, a Spinning certification, TRX instructor training, EFI Gravity instructor training, FMS training, and received his CPR/AED instructor status. He has also appeared in 8 fitness videos, written numerous fitness articles, completed a MMA Conditioning Coach certification program and has competed in multiple grappling tournaments.

Prior to working at Fitness Quest 10, Doug worked for the American Council on Exercise as the Continuing Education Coordinator where he was responsible for managing over 400 continuing education providers.

For more information please visit www.todddurkin.com, www.fq10.com, and www.dbstrength.

Want to use the article above? As long as you include the bio blurb at the bottom, you are welcome to use the article in your own publication.

The “Magic Pill” Has Arrived

Eureka – defined as, “an exclamation of triumph on discovering or solving something.” After many years of struggle and strife; many years of reading, writing, and being in the trenches; I have stumbled upon a solution to our issue of unhealthy lifestyles. Before my big reveal, let me add that I plan to market and package my solution to the world very soon. It will be available for a nominal fee, require no assembly, and can be accomplished anywhere and anytime. I’m calling the “magic pill”…GET UP AND MOVE!

Here’s a great quote, “The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.” -Anon

Enough is enough

I’ve had it. I’m ready to start firing the clients and athletes who come in for a session and are already complaining, already looking at the clock, already rolling their eyes at the upcoming exercise.

**Of course I’m not referring to any of my clientele personally; this is simply observational in nature.

People are too busy making excuses, looking for the path of least resistance, and waiting around for some magic pill or miracle cure. It’s been here the whole time and it’s literally right under your nose. GET UP AND MOVE!

I’m so tired of excuses. I can see why coaches and trainers get “burnt out”; they are surrounded by “Negative Nancy” and “Grumpy Gus” all day. There is far too much negativity. Your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, and your actions become your habits. People need a “Harajuku moment”, which is a revelation or awakening that turns an “oh, that would be nice” event into a “that must and will happen” event. It’s the “ah-ha” moment in time where you stop thinking and start doing. It’s where you stop aiming and start firing. It’s where you stop sitting, and eating, and drinking…and start making a difference in your life. GET UP AND MOVE!

I’m too busy

I’ve trained individuals of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds, and one thing is consistent; everyone is busy. I’ve never heard anyone ever say that they had too much time on their hands. We need to remove that phrase from the “excuse library”. No one has enough time in their day to get everything done. I get it. My response – too bad, get over it. It’s not a valid excuse in my book.

Can you really not carve out 30 minutes into your day a few times a week? Even 3 or 4 hours out of the 168 that are available in a week? I’m here to say that you can do it if you want to. You need to make your health a priority in your life. Try turning off the Playstation, computer, or TV and going for a walk around the block. There will be a re-run of the latest “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” on later so you won’t miss Camille Grammer’s latest spa appointment.

No money, no membership

Sorry, no sympathy here. There are so many exercise options out there today that not having enough money is another poor excuse. Try P90X, purchase a TRX (LINK HERE), buy a Zumba DVD, use your own bodyweight (article link HERE), practice tai chi in your backyard. Some methods are not for everyone and may not appeal to you, however, they are all affordable and they all beat throwing back Budweiser’s on the couch with a bag of bon bons at your side.

http://www.fitnessanywhere.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&AFFIL=dougbalz

http://www.todddurkin.com/my-favorite-piece-of-fitness-equipment/

Create a priority list

It comes down to a matter of priorities. How is it that you manage to brush your teeth everyday, put on your pants everyday, update your Twitter page everyday? I’m not saying you should get rid of these everyday tasks, I’m saying you need to prioritize what is most valuable in your life. Try making a “Priority List” with two columns, 1. “Must have” and 2. “Nice to have”. We could fill these columns with many items, however, just stick with the most time consuming aspects of your day. Writing them down will help you visualize and “see your life” on paper. It will help guide you and make you more time efficient and more focused on your goals.

Sample priority list

MUST HAVE

  • Exercise -> move everyday
  • Nutrition -> prepare and eat healthy meals everyday
  • Education -> learning
  • Family & Friends -> connecting with the people that matter most

NICE TO HAVE

  • Read Boston sports section everyday -> go Sox!
  • Check social media outlets everyday
  • Cake Boss TV Show -> don’t judge me
  • American Idol – TV Show -> I blame my girlfriend

Now, we can further break these down to determine what items take up the most time in our day (Exercise 10%, Cake Boss 25%, etc.). Just writing this sample made me realize that I need to update my priority list. Personally, I need to work on my balance within my “must have” column. I also identified mindless TV as a current “time burglar”. Now I think it’s important to have some “mellow yellow” time, however; there can be some healthier ways to spend that time.

Get your mind right

I used to tell clients there were three main factors in achieving their fitness-related goals; 1. Strength training, 2. Cardiovascular training, and 3. Healthy nutritional habits. I was omitting a 4th, which is ultimately the most important – Mind set. You must get your mind right. If you train the mind, the body will follow. We need to eliminate the excuses and the negativity.

Now, having said all this, I’ll admit that I have bad days…days where I’m just not feeling it. As soon as the excuses creep into my head I chose to overcome them immediately and get some exercise into my day as soon as possible. 100% of the time I will feel better and more energetic after the workout. I can say with confidence that movement is the best medicine for having a stressful day. The ability is inside every one of us right now at this moment. It’s your choice to “take the pill” and GET UP AND MOVE!


About Doug

Doug currently works at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE). A Massachusetts native, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Business Management from Westfield State College. Since moving to San Diego he has completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU, obtained an ACE Personal Trainer certification, the NSCA-CSCS certification, a Spinning certification, TRX instructor training, EFI Gravity instructor training, FMS training, and received his CPR/AED instructor status. He has also appeared in 8 fitness videos, written numerous fitness articles, completed a MMA Conditioning Coach certification program and has competed in multiple grappling tournaments.

Prior to working at Fitness Quest 10, Doug worked for the American Council on Exercise as the Continuing Education Coordinator where he was responsible for managing over 400 continuing education providers.

For more information please visit www.todddurkin.com, www.fq10.com, and www.dbstrength.

Want to use the article above? As long as you include the bio blurb at the bottom, you are welcome to use the article in your own publication.

5 TRX Moves with a Bench

Athletes and clients are always looking for new ways to challenge themselves. I believe the TRX is a tool that can challenge any client regardless of their experience and ability. For TRX veterans looking for advanced movements, I have a number of videos on my You-tube page: http://www.youtube.com/takeaimfitness.

The latest installment involves some traditional TRX exercises with the addition of a bench that you would find at most fitness facilities. By adding the bench to a number of exercises, your strength, balance, coordination and core stability demands are greatly increased. Use caution when executing these exercises and be sure you are proficient in them, and any other exercises, before having your clients or athletes perform them.

Here is a brief breakdown on the 5 exercises:
1. TRX Row with Elevated Feet

By elevating our lower body for a TRX row we are now closer to parallel with the ground, making the exercise extremely challenging. I prefer to keep a neutral grip (palms facing each other), elbows by your side, and your spine neutral throughout the movement.

2. Elevated TRX Roll-out

This is a favorite exercise of mine due to the full-body control that is required. All the spinal stabilizers must be firing in order to maintain proper technique and your posterior shoulder/scapula stabilizers must be engaged the entire time. Use a slow, controlled manner as you extend your arms and body out to your end range.

3. Elevated TRX Single Leg Squat (Pistol)

In addition to the increased balance component, the addition of the bench allows the “free” leg to extend out a little lower than if you were to perform this exercise on the floor. This is a good alternative if you don’t have the ankle mobility in the working leg or hip flexor strength in the free leg to perform a pistol on the floor. Be sure to keep your arms relatively straight and try to keep your weight on the heel to the mid-foot while maintaining an upright posture. Extend the hip and stand up tall to complete one repetition.

4. Elevated Suspended TRX Hip Press (Bridge)

I love using this exercise with my MMA athletes due to the demands of their sport. They require a great deal of strength and endurance in the hips and glutes and this exercise targets this area nicely. If you plan to add weight it’s best to have a trainer or partner nearby to assist you. A great exercise when performed on the floor; add the bench and you are able to get a greater range of motion through the hip joint.

5. Elevated Suspended Hip Hikes

Similar to the bridge exercise above, being elevated up on the bench allows us to drop the hip lower than when performing the movement on the floor. Make sure your shoulder and elbow are in a safe alignment and use a controlled tempo throughout.

Get with these movements and let me know what you think!

About Doug
Doug currently works at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE). A Massachusetts native, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Business Management from Westfield State College. Since moving to San Diego he has completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU, obtained an ACE Personal Trainer certification, the NSCA-CSCS certification, a Spinning certification, TRX instructor training, EFI Gravity instructor training, FMS training, and received his CPR/AED instructor status. He has also appeared in 8 fitness videos, written numerous fitness articles, completed a MMA Conditioning Coach certification program and has competed in multiple grappling tournaments.

Prior to working at Fitness Quest 10, Doug worked for the American Council on Exercise as the Continuing Education Coordinator where he was responsible for managing over 400 continuing education providers.

For more information please visit www.todddurkin.com, www.fq10.com, and www.dbstrength.com.
Want to use the article above? As long as you include the bio blurb at the bottom, you are welcome to use the article in your own publication.