Isolation

Other mechanics

297 Exercises

Ab Crunch Machine

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Select a light resistance and sit down on the ab machine placing your feet under the pads provided and grabbing the top handles. Your arms should be bent at a 90 degree angle as you rest the triceps on the pads provided. This will be your starting position.
  • At the same time, begin to lift the legs up as you crunch your upper torso. Breathe out as you perform this movement. Tip: Be sure to use a slow and controlled motion. Concentrate on using your abs to move the weight while relaxing your legs and feet.
  • After a second pause, slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Adductor

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • adductors
Instructions:
  • Lie face down with one leg on a foam roll.
  • Rotate the leg so that the foam roll contacts against your inner thigh. Shift as much weight onto the foam roll as can be tolerated.
  • While trying to relax the muscles if the inner thigh, roll over the foam between your hip and knee, holding points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.

Advanced Kettlebell Windmill

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Clean and press a kettlebell overhead with one arm.
  • Keeping the kettlebell locked out at all times, push your butt out in the direction of the locked out kettlebell. Keep the non-working arm behind your back and turn your feet out at a forty-five degree angle from the arm with the kettlebell.
  • Lower yourself as far as possible.
  • Pause for a second and reverse the motion back to the starting position.

Alternate Hammer Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Stand up with your torso upright and a dumbbell in each hand being held at arms length. The elbows should be close to the torso.
  • The palms of the hands should be facing your torso. This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arm stationary, curl the right weight forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Continue the movement until your biceps is fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the biceps. Tip: Only the forearms should move.
  • Slowly begin to bring the dumbbells back to starting position as your breathe in.
  • Repeat the movement with the left hand. This equals one repetition.
  • Continue alternating in this manner for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Alternate Heel Touchers

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Lie on the floor with the knees bent and the feet on the floor around 18-24 inches apart. Your arms should be extended by your side. This will be your starting position.
  • Crunch over your torso forward and up about 3-4 inches to the right side and touch your right heel as you hold the contraction for a second. Exhale while performing this movement.
  • Now go back slowly to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Now crunch over your torso forward and up around 3-4 inches to the left side and touch your left heel as you hold the contraction for a second. Exhale while performing this movement and then go back to the starting position as you inhale. Now that both heels have been touched, that is considered 1 repetition.
  • Continue alternating sides in this manner until all prescribed repetitions are done.

Alternate Incline Dumbbell Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Sit down on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand being held at arms length. Tip: Keep the elbows close to the torso.This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arm stationary, curl the right weight forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. As you do so, rotate the hand so that the palm is facing up. Continue the movement until your biceps is fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the biceps. Tip: Only the forearms should move.
  • Slowly begin to bring the dumbbell back to starting position as your breathe in.
  • Repeat the movement with the left hand. This equals one repetition.
  • Continue alternating in this manner for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Alternating Deltoid Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • In a standing position, hold a pair of dumbbells at your side.
  • Keeping your elbows slightly bent, raise the weights directly in front of you to shoulder height, avoiding any swinging or cheating.
  • Return the weights to your side.
  • On the next repetition, raise the weights laterally, raising them out to your side to about shoulder height.
  • Return the weights to the starting position and continue alternating to the front and side.

Alternating Kettlebell Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Place two kettlebells in front of your feet. Bend your knees slightly and push your butt out as much as possible. As you bend over to get into the starting position grab both kettlebells by the handles.
  • Pull one kettlebell off of the floor while holding on to the other kettlebell. Retract the shoulder blade of the working side, as you flex the elbow, drawing the kettlebell towards your stomach or rib cage.
  • Lower the kettlebell in the working arm and repeat with your other arm.

Ankle Circles

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Use a sturdy object like a squat rack to hold yourself.
  • Lift the right leg in the air (just around 2 inches from the floor) and perform a circular motion with the big toe. Pretend that you are drawing a big circle with it. Tip: One circle equals 1 repetition. Breathe normally as you perform the movement.
  • When you are done with the right foot, then repeat with the left leg.

Arm Circles

Category: stretching
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Stand up and extend your arms straight out by the sides. The arms should be parallel to the floor and perpendicular (90-degree angle) to your torso. This will be your starting position.
  • Slowly start to make circles of about 1 foot in diameter with each outstretched arm. Breathe normally as you perform the movement.
  • Continue the circular motion of the outstretched arms for about ten seconds. Then reverse the movement, going the opposite direction.

Ball Leg Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: exercise ball
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • Begin on the floor laying on your back with your feet on top of the ball.
  • Position the ball so that when your legs are extended your ankles are on top of the ball. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your hips off of the ground, keeping your weight on the shoulder blades and your feet.
  • Flex the knees, pulling the ball as close to you as you can, contracting the hamstrings.
  • After a brief pause, return to the starting position.

Band Hip Adductions

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: bands
Primary Muscles:
  • adductors
Instructions:
  • Anchor a band around a solid post or other object.
  • Stand with your left side to the post, and put your right foot through the band, getting it around the ankle.
  • Stand up straight and hold onto the post if needed. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping the knee straight, raise your right legs out to the side as far as you can.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired rep count.
  • Switch sides.

Band Pull Apart

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: bands
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • middle back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Begin with your arms extended straight out in front of you, holding the band with both hands.
  • Initiate the movement by performing a reverse fly motion, moving your hands out laterally to your sides.
  • Keep your elbows extended as you perform the movement, bringing the band to your chest. Ensure that you keep your shoulders back during the exercise.
  • Pause as you complete the movement, returning to the starting position under control.

Band Skull Crusher

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: bands
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Secure a band to the base of a rack or the bench. Lay on the bench so that the band is lined up with your head.
  • Take hold of the band, raising your elbows so that the upper arm is perpendicular to the floor. With the elbow flexed, the band should be above your head. This will be your starting position.
  • Extend through the elbow to straighten your arm, keeping your upper arm in place. Pause at the top of the motion, and return to the starting position.

Barbell Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Stand up with your torso upright while holding a barbell at a shoulder-width grip. The palm of your hands should be facing forward and the elbows should be close to the torso. This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Tip: Only the forearms should move.
  • Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second and squeeze the biceps hard.
  • Slowly begin to bring the bar back to starting position as your breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Barbell Curls Lying Against An Incline

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Lie against an incline bench, with your arms holding a barbell and hanging down in a horizontal line. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping the upper arms stationary, curl the weight up as high as you can while squeezing the biceps. Breathe out as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Only the forearms should move. Do not swing the arms.
  • After a second contraction, slowly go back to the starting position as you inhale. Tip: Make sure that you go all of the way down.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Barbell Seated Calf Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Place a block about 12 inches in front of a flat bench.
  • Sit on the bench and place the ball of your feet on the block.
  • Have someone place a barbell over your upper thighs about 3 inches above your knees and hold it there. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise up on your toes as high as possible as you squeeze the calves and as you breathe out.
  • After a second contraction, slowly go back to the starting position. Tip: To get maximum benefit stretch your calves as far as you can.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Barbell Shrug

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder width as you hold a barbell with both hands in front of you using a pronated grip (palms facing the thighs). Tip: Your hands should be a little wider than shoulder width apart. You can use wrist wraps for this exercise for a better grip. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your shoulders up as far as you can go as you breathe out and hold the contraction for a second. Tip: Refrain from trying to lift the barbell by using your biceps.
  • Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Barbell Shrug Behind The Back

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder width as you hold a barbell with both hands behind your back using a pronated grip (palms facing back). Tip: Your hands should be a little wider than shoulder width apart. You can use wrist wraps for this exercise for better grip. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your shoulders up as far as you can go as you breathe out and hold the contraction for a second. Tip: Refrain from trying to lift the barbell by using your biceps. The arms should remain stretched out at all times.
  • Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Barbell Side Bend

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight while holding a barbell placed on the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck). Your feet should be shoulder width apart. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping your back straight and your head up, bend only at the waist to the right as far as possible. Breathe in as you bend to the side. Then hold for a second and come back up to the starting position as you exhale. Tip: Keep the rest of the body stationary.
  • Now repeat the movement but bending to the left instead. Hold for a second and come back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Behind Head Chest Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Sit upright on the floor with your partner behind you.
  • Place your hands behind your hand, and push your elbows back as far as you can. Your partner should hold your elbows. This will be your starting position.
  • Gently attempt to pull your elbows forward with your hands still behind your head for 10 or more seconds. Your partner should prevent your elbows from moving.
  • Now, relax your muscles and have your partner gently pull the elbows back as far as it comfortable for you. Be sure to let your partner know when the stretch is adequate to prevent overstretching or injury.

Bent Over Dumbbell Rear Delt Raise With Head On Bench

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight while holding a dumbbell in each hand and with an incline bench in front of you.
  • While keeping your back straight and maintaining the natural arch of your back, lean forward until your forehead touches the bench in front of you. Let the arms hang in front of you perpendicular to the ground. The palms of your hands should be facing each other and your torso should be parallel to the floor. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your torso forward and stationary, and the arms straight with a slight bend at the elbows, lift the dumbbells straight to the side until both arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you lift the weights. Caution: avoid swinging the torso or bringing the arms back as opposed to the side.
  • After a one second contraction at the top, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  • Repeat the recommended amount of repetitions.

Bent Over Low-Pulley Side Lateral

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • lower back
  • middle back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Select a weight and hold the handle of the low pulley with your right hand.
  • Bend at the waist until your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Your legs should be slightly bent with your left hand placed on your lower left thigh. Your right arm should be hanging from your shoulder in front of you and with a slight bend at the elbow. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your right arm, elbow slightly bent, to the side until the arm is parallel to the floor and in line with your right ear. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  • Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and repeat the movement with the other arm.

Body Tricep Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Position a bar in a rack at chest height.
  • Standing, take a shoulder width grip on the bar and step a yard or two back, feet together and arms extended so that you are leaning on the bar. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin by flexing the elbow, lowering yourself towards the bar.
  • Pause, and then reverse the motion by extending the elbows.
  • Progress from bodyweight by adding chains over your shoulders.

Body-Up

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Assume a plank position on the ground. You should be supporting your bodyweight on your toes and forearms, keeping your torso straight. Your forearms should be shoulder-width apart. This will be your starting position.
  • Pressing your palms firmly into the ground, extend through the elbows to raise your body from the ground. Keep your torso rigid as you perform the movement.
  • Slowly lower your forearms back to the ground by allowing the elbows to flex.
  • Repeat.

Bodyweight Flyes

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: e-z curl bar
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Position two equally loaded EZ bars on the ground next to each other. Ensure they are able to roll.
  • Assume a push-up position over the bars, supporting your weight on your toes and hands with your arms extended and body straight.
  • Place your hands on the bars. This will be your starting position.
  • Using a slow and controlled motion, move your hands away from the midline of your body, rolling the bars apart. Inhale during this portion of the motion.
  • After moving the bars as far apart as you can, return to the starting position by pulling them back together. Exhale as you perform this movement.

Bosu Ball Cable Crunch With Side Bends

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Connect a standard handle to each arm of a cable machine, and position them in the most downward position.
  • Grab a Bosu Ball and position it in front and center of the cable machine.
  • Lie down on the Bosu Ball with the small of your back arched around the ball. Your rear end should be close to the floor without touching it.
  • With both hands, reach back and grab the handle of each cable.
  • With your feet positioned in a wide stance, extend your arms straight out in front of you and in between your knees. Your hands should be at knee level.
  • Keep your arms straight and in-line with the upward angle of the cable. Elevate your torso in a crunching motion without dropping or bending your arms.
  • Maintain the rigid position with your arms. Slowly descend back to the starting position with your back arched around the Bosu Ball and your abdominals elongated.
  • Repeat the same series of movements to failure.
  • Once you reach failure, keep your abs tight and raise your torso into plank position so your back is elevated off the Bosu Ball.
  • Lower your arms down to your side; keep them straight. Start doing alternating side bends; reach for your heels! This finishing movement will focus on your obliques.

Butt Lift (Bridge)

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Lie flat on the floor on your back with the hands by your side and your knees bent. Your feet should be placed around shoulder width. This will be your starting position.
  • Pushing mainly with your heels, lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. Breathe out as you perform this part of the motion and hold at the top for a second.
  • Slowly go back to the starting position as you breathe in.

Butterfly

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Instructions:
  • Sit on the machine with your back flat on the pad.
  • Take hold of the handles. Tip: Your upper arms should be positioned parallel to the floor; adjust the machine accordingly. This will be your starting position.
  • Push the handles together slowly as you squeeze your chest in the middle. Breathe out during this part of the motion and hold the contraction for a second.
  • Return back to the starting position slowly as you inhale until your chest muscles are fully stretched.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Crossover

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • To get yourself into the starting position, place the pulleys on a high position (above your head), select the resistance to be used and hold the pulleys in each hand.
  • Step forward in front of an imaginary straight line between both pulleys while pulling your arms together in front of you. Your torso should have a small forward bend from the waist. This will be your starting position.
  • With a slight bend on your elbows in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon, extend your arms to the side (straight out at both sides) in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Keep in mind that throughout the movement, the arms and torso should remain stationary; the movement should only occur at the shoulder joint.
  • Return your arms back to the starting position as you breathe out. Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights.
  • Hold for a second at the starting position and repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Cable Crunch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Kneel below a high pulley that contains a rope attachment.
  • Grasp cable rope attachment and lower the rope until your hands are placed next to your face.
  • Flex your hips slightly and allow the weight to hyperextend the lower back. This will be your starting position.
  • With the hips stationary, flex the waist as you contract the abs so that the elbows travel towards the middle of the thighs. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement and hold the contraction for a second.
  • Slowly return to the starting position as you inhale. Tip: Make sure that you keep constant tension on the abs throughout the movement. Also, do not choose a weight so heavy that the lower back handles the brunt of the work.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Hammer Curls - Rope Attachment

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Attach a rope attachment to a low pulley and stand facing the machine about 12 inches away from it.
  • Grasp the rope with a neutral (palms-in) grip and stand straight up keeping the natural arch of the back and your torso stationary.
  • Put your elbows in by your side and keep them there stationary during the entire movement. Tip: Only the forearms should move; not your upper arms. This will be your starting position.
  • Using your biceps, pull your arms up as you exhale until your biceps touch your forearms. Tip: Remember to keep the elbows in and your upper arms stationary.
  • After a 1 second contraction where you squeeze your biceps, slowly start to bring the weight back to the original position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Hip Adduction

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Stand in front of a low pulley facing forward with one leg next to the pulley and the other one away.
  • Attach the ankle cuff to the cable and also to the ankle of the leg that is next to the pulley.
  • Now step out and away from the stack with a wide stance and grasp the bar of the pulley system.
  • Stand on the foot that does not have the ankle cuff (the far foot) and allow the leg with the cuff to be pulled towards the low pulley. This will be your starting position.
  • Now perform the movement by moving the leg with the ankle cuff in front of the far leg by using the inner thighs to abduct the hip. Breathe out during this portion of the movement.
  • Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and then repeat the same movement with the opposite leg.

Cable Incline Pushdown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Lie on incline an bench facing away from a high pulley machine that has a straight bar attachment on it.
  • Grasp the straight bar attachment overhead with a pronated (overhand; palms down) shoulder width grip and extend your arms in front of you. The bar should be around 2 inches away from your upper thighs. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping the upper arms stationary, lift your arms back in a semi circle until the bar is straight over your head. Breathe in during this portion of the movement.
  • Slowly go back to the starting position using your lats and hold the contraction once you reach the starting position. Breathe out during the execution of this movement.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Incline Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Lie on incline an bench facing away from a high pulley machine that has a straight bar attachment on it.
  • Grasp the straight bar attachment overhead with a pronated (overhand; palms down) narrow grip (less than shoulder width) and keep your elbows tucked in to your sides. Your upper arms should create around a 25 degree angle when measured from the floor.
  • Keeping the upper arms stationary, extend the arms as you flex the triceps. Breathe out during this portion of the movement and hold the contraction for a second.
  • Slowly go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Iron Cross

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Instructions:
  • Begin by moving the pulleys to the high position, select the resistance to be used, and take a handle in each hand.
  • Stand directly between both pulleys with your arms extended out to your sides. Your head and chest should be up while your arms form a “T”. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping the elbows extended, pull your arms straight to your sides.
  • Return your arms back to the starting position after a pause at the peak contraction.
  • Continue the movement for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Cable Lying Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Lie on a flat bench and grasp the straight bar attachment of a low pulley with a narrow overhand grip. Tip: The easiest way to do this is to have someone hand you the bar as you lay down.
  • With your arms extended, position the bar over your torso. Your arms and your torso should create a 90-degree angle. This will be your starting position.
  • Lower the bar by bending at the elbow while keeping the upper arms stationary and elbows in. Go down until the bar lightly touches your forehead. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Flex the triceps as you lift the bar back to its starting position. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Hold for a second at the contracted position and repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable One Arm Tricep Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • With your right hand, grasp a single handle attached to the high-cable pulley using a supinated (underhand; palms facing up) grip. You should be standing directly in front of the weight stack.
  • Now pull the handle down so that your upper arm and elbow are locked in to the side of your body. Your upper arm and forearm should form an acute angle (less than 90-degrees). You can keep the other arm by the waist and you can have one leg in front of you and the other one back for better balance. This will be your starting position.
  • As you contract the triceps, move the single handle attachment down to your side until your arm is straight. Breathe out as you perform this movement. Tip: Only the forearms should move. Your upper arms should remain stationary at all times.
  • Squeeze the triceps and hold for a second in this contracted position.
  • Slowly return the handle to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and then perform the same movement with the other arm.

Cable Preacher Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Place a preacher bench about 2 feet in front of a pulley machine.
  • Attach a straight bar to the low pulley.
  • Sit at the preacher bench with your elbow and upper arms firmly on top of the bench pad and have someone hand you the bar from the low pulley.
  • Grab the bar and fully extend your arms on top of the preacher bench pad. This will be your starting position.
  • Now start pilling the weight up towards your shoulders and squeeze the biceps hard at the top of the movement. Exhale as you perform this motion. Also, hold for a second at the top.
  • Now slowly lower the weight to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Rear Delt Fly

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Adjust the pulleys to the appropriate height and adjust the weight. The pulleys should be above your head.
  • Grab the left pulley with your right hand and the right pulley with your left hand, crossing them in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  • Initiate the movement by moving your arms back and outward, keeping your arms straight as you execute the movement.
  • Pause at the end of the motion before returning the handles to the start position.

Cable Reverse Crunch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Connect an ankle strap attachment to a low pulley cable and position a mat on the floor in front of it.
  • Sit down with your feet toward the pulley and attach the cable to your ankles.
  • Lie down, elevate your legs and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Your legs and the cable should be aligned. If not, adjust the pulley up or down until they are.
  • With your hands behind your head, bring your knees inward to your torso and elevate your hips off the floor.
  • Pause for a moment and in a slow and controlled manner drop your hips and bring your legs back to the starting 90-degree angle. You should still have tension on your abs in the resting position.
  • Repeat the same movement to failure.

Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Attach a rope to the bottom pulley of the pulley machine.
  • Grasping the rope with both hands, extend your arms with your hands directly above your head using a neutral grip (palms facing each other). Your elbows should be in close to your head and the arms should be perpendicular to the floor with the knuckles aimed at the ceiling. This will be your starting position.
  • Slowly lower the rope behind your head as you hold the upper arms stationary. Inhale as you perform this movement and pause when your triceps are fully stretched.
  • Return to the starting position by flexing your triceps as you breathe out.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Seated Crunch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Seat on a flat bench with your back facing a high pulley.
  • Grasp the cable rope attachment with both hands (with the palms of the hands facing each other) and place your hands securely over both shoulders. Tip: Allow the weight to hyperextend the lower back slightly. This will be your starting position.
  • With the hips stationary, flex the waist so the elbows travel toward the hips. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  • As you inhale, go back to the initial position slowly.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Seated Lateral Raise

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • middle back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Stand in the middle of two low pulleys that are opposite to each other and place a flat bench right behind you (in perpendicular fashion to you; the narrow edge of the bench should be the one behind you). Select the weight to be used on each pulley.
  • Now sit at the edge of the flat bench behind you with your feet placed in front of your knees.
  • Bend forward while keeping your back flat and rest your torso on the thighs.
  • Have someone give you the single handles attached to the pulleys. Grasp the left pulley with the right hand and the right pulley with the left after you select your weight. The pulleys should run under your knees and your arms will be extended with palms facing each other and a slight bend at the elbows. This will be the starting position.
  • While keeping the arms stationary, raise the upper arms to the sides until they are parallel to the floor and at shoulder height. Exhale during the execution of this movement and hold the contraction for a second.
  • Slowly lower your arms to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions. Tip: Maintain upper arms perpendicular to torso and a fixed elbow position (10 degree to 30 degree angle) throughout exercise.

Cable Shrugs

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Grasp a cable bar attachment that is attached to a low pulley with a shoulder width or slightly wider overhand (palms facing down) grip.
  • Stand erect close to the pulley with your arms extended in front of you holding the bar. This will be your starting position.
  • Lift the bar by elevating the shoulders as high as possible as you exhale. Hold the contraction at the top for a second. Tip: The arms should remain extended at all times. Refrain from using the biceps to help lift the bar. Only the shoulders should be moving up and down.
  • Lower the bar back to the original position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Cable Wrist Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Start out by placing a flat bench in front of a low pulley cable that has a straight bar attachment.
  • Use your arms to grab the cable bar with a narrow to shoulder width supinated grip (palms up) and bring them up so that your forearms are resting against the top of your thighs. Your wrists should be hanging just beyond your knees.
  • Start out by curling your wrist upwards and exhaling. Keep the contraction for a second.
  • Slowly lower your wrists back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Your forearms should be stationary as your wrist is the only movement needed to perform this exercise.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Calf Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Adjust the seat so that your legs are only slightly bent in the start position. The balls of your feet should be firmly on the platform.
  • Select an appropriate weight, and grasp the handles. This will be your starting position.
  • Straighten the legs by extending the knees, just barely lifting the weight from the stack. Your ankle should be fully flexed, toes pointing up. Execute the movement by pressing downward through the balls of your feet as far as possible.
  • After a brief pause, reverse the motion and repeat.

Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Using a leg press machine, sit down on the machine and place your legs on the platform directly in front of you at a medium (shoulder width) foot stance.
  • Lower the safety bars holding the weighted platform in place and press the platform all the way up until your legs are fully extended in front of you without locking your knees. (Note: In some leg press units you can leave the safety bars on for increased safety. If your leg press unit allows for this, then this is the preferred method of performing the exercise.) Your torso and the legs should make perfect 90-degree angle. Now carefully place your toes and balls of your feet on the lower portion of the platform with the heels extending off. Toes should be facing forward, outwards or inwards as described at the beginning of the chapter. This will be your starting position.
  • Press on the platform by raising your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending at any time. Hold the contracted position by a second before you start to go back down.
  • Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering your heels as you bend the ankles until calves are stretched.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Calf Raise On A Dumbbell

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Hang on to a sturdy object for balance and stand on a dumbbell handle, preferably one with round plates so that it rolls as in this manner you have to work harder to stabilize yourself; thus increasing the effectiveness of the exercise.
  • Now roll your foot slightly forward so that you can get a nice stretch of the calf. This will be your starting position.
  • Lift the calf as you roll your foot over the top of the handle so that you get a full extension. Exhale during the execution of this movement. Contract the calf hard at the top and hold for a second. Tip: As you come up, roll the dumbbell slightly backward.
  • Now inhale as you roll the dumbbell slightly forward as you come down to get a better stretch.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Calf Raises - With Bands

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: bands
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Grab an exercise band and stand on it with your toes making sure that the length of the band between the foot and the arms is the same for both sides.
  • While holding the handles of the band, raise the arms to the side of your head as if you were getting ready to perform a shoulder press. The palms should be facing forward with the elbows bent and to the sides. This movement will create tension on the band. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping the hands by your shoulder, stand up on your toes as you exhale and contract the calves hard at the top of the movement.
  • After a one second contraction, slowly go back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Calf Stretch Elbows Against Wall

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Stand facing a wall from a couple feet away.
  • Lean against the wall, placing your weight on your forearms.
  • Attempt to keep your heels on the ground. Hold for 10-20 seconds. You may move further or closer the wall, making it more or less difficult, respectively.

Calf Stretch Hands Against Wall

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Stand facing a wall from several feet away. Stagger your stance, placing one foot forward.
  • Lean forward and rest your hands on the wall, keeping your heel, hip and head in a straight line.
  • Attempt to keep your heel on the ground. Hold for 10-20 seconds and then switch sides.

Calf-Machine Shoulder Shrug

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Position yourself on the calf machine so that the shoulder pads are above your shoulders. Your torso should be straight with the arms extended normally by your side. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your shoulders up towards your ears as you exhale and hold the contraction for a full second.
  • Slowly return to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Car Drivers

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • While standing upright, hold a barbell plate in both hands at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions. Your palms should be facing each other and your arms should be extended straight out in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  • Initiate the movement by rotating the plate as far to one side as possible. Use the same type of movement you would use to turn a steering wheel to one side.
  • Reverse the motion, turning it all the way to the opposite side.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Chain Handle Extension

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • You will need two cable handle attachments and a flat bench, as well as chains, for this exercise. Clip the middle of the chains to the handles, and position yourself on the flat bench. Your elbows should be pointing straight up.
  • Begin by extending through the elbow, keeping your upper arm still, with your wrists pronated.
  • Pause at the lockout, and reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Chair Leg Extended Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
Instructions:
  • Sit upright in a chair and grip the seat on the sides.
  • Raise one leg, extending the knee, flexing the ankle as you do so.
  • Slowly move that leg outward as far as you can, and then back to the center and down.
  • Repeat for your other leg.

Chair Lower Back Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Sit upright on a chair.
  • Bend to one side with your arm over your head. You can hold onto the chair with your free hand.
  • Hold for 10 seconds, and repeat for your other side.

Chest And Front Of Shoulder Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Start off by standing with your legs together, holding a bodybar or a broomstick.
  • Take a slightly wider than shoulder width grip on the pole and hold it in front of you with your palms facing down.
  • Carefully lift the pole up and behind your head.

Chest Stretch on Stability Ball

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: exercise ball
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Instructions:
  • Get on your hands and knees next to an exercise ball.
  • Place your elbows on top of the ball, keeping your arm out to your side. This will be your starting position.
  • Lower your torso towards the floor, keeping your elbow on top of the ball. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, and repeat with the other arm.

Close-Grip EZ Bar Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Stand up with your torso upright while holding an E-Z Curl Bar at the closer inner handle. The palm of your hands should be facing forward and they should be slightly tilted inwards due to the shape of the bar. The elbows should be close to the torso. This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Tip: Only the forearms should move.
  • Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second and squeeze the biceps hard.
  • Slowly begin to bring the bar back to starting position as your breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Close-Grip EZ-Bar Curl with Band

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: e-z curl bar
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Attach a band to each end of the bar. Take the bar, placing a foot on the middle of the band. Stand upright with a narrow, supinated grip on the EZ bar. The elbows should be close to the torso. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping the upper arms in place, flex the elbows to execute the curl. Exhale as the weight is lifted.
  • Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second and squeeze the biceps hard.
  • Slowly begin to bring the bar back to starting position as your breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Close-Grip Standing Barbell Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Hold a barbell with both hands, palms up and a few inches apart.
  • Stand with your torso straight and your head up. Your feet should be about shoulder width and your elbows close to your torso. This will be your starting position. Tip: You will keep your upper arms and elbows stationary throughout the movement.
  • Curl the bar up in a semicircular motion until the forearms touch your biceps. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement and contract your biceps hard for a second at the top. Tip: Avoid bending the back or using swinging motions as you lift the weight. Only the forearms should move.
  • Slowly go back down to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Concentration Curls

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Sit down on a flat bench with one dumbbell in front of you between your legs. Your legs should be spread with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
  • Use your right arm to pick the dumbbell up. Place the back of your right upper arm on the top of your inner right thigh. Rotate the palm of your hand until it is facing forward away from your thigh. Tip: Your arm should be extended and the dumbbell should be above the floor. This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arm stationary, curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Tip: At the top of the movement make sure that the little finger of your arm is higher than your thumb. This guarantees a good contraction. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the biceps.
  • Slowly begin to bring the dumbbells back to starting position as your breathe in. Caution: Avoid swinging motions at any time.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions. Then repeat the movement with the left arm.

Cross Body Hammer Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand. Your hands should be down at your side with your palms facing in.
  • While keeping your palms facing in and without twisting your arm, curl the dumbbell of the right arm up towards your left shoulder as you exhale. Touch the top of the dumbbell to your shoulder and hold the contraction for a second.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell along the same path as you inhale and then repeat the same movement for the left arm.
  • Continue alternating in this fashion until the recommended amount of repetitions is performed for each arm.

Crucifix

Category: strongman
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • In the crucifix, you statically hold weights out to the side for time. While the event can be practiced using dumbbells, it is best to practice with one of the various implements used, such as axes and hammers, as it feels different.
  • Begin standing, and raise your arms out to the side holding the implements. Your arms should be parallel to the ground. In competition, judges or sensors are used to let you know when you break parallel. Hold for as long as you can. Typically, the weights should be heavy enough that you fail in 30-60 seconds.

Crunch - Hands Overhead

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Lie on the floor with your back flat and knees bent with around a 60-degree angle between the hamstrings and the calves.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor and stretch your arms overhead with your palms crossed. This will be your starting position.
  • Curl your upper body forward and bring your shoulder blades just off the floor. At all times, keep your arms aligned with your head, neck and shoulder. Don't move them forward from that position. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement and hold the contraction for a second.
  • Slowly lower down to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Crunch - Legs On Exercise Ball

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Lie flat on your back with your feet resting on an exercise ball and your knees bent at a 90 degree angle.
  • Place your feet three to four inches apart and point your toes inward so they touch.
  • Place your hands lightly on either side of your head keeping your elbows in. Tip: Don't lock your fingers behind your head.
  • Push the small of your back down in the floor in order to better isolate your abdominal muscles. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin to roll your shoulders off the floor and continue to push down as hard as you can with your lower back. Your shoulders should come up off the floor only about four inches, and your lower back should remain on the floor. Breathe out as you execute this portion of the movement. Squeeze your abdominals hard at the top of the contraction and hold for a second. Tip: Focus on a slow, controlled movement. Refrain from using momentum at any time.
  • Slowly go back down to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Crunches

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground, or resting on a bench with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. If you are resting your feet on a bench, place them three to four inches apart and point your toes inward so they touch.
  • Now place your hands lightly on either side of your head keeping your elbows in. Tip: Don't lock your fingers behind your head.
  • While pushing the small of your back down in the floor to better isolate your abdominal muscles, begin to roll your shoulders off the floor.
  • Continue to push down as hard as you can with your lower back as you contract your abdominals and exhale. Your shoulders should come up off the floor only about four inches, and your lower back should remain on the floor. At the top of the movement, contract your abdominals hard and keep the contraction for a second. Tip: Focus on slow, controlled movement - don't cheat yourself by using momentum.
  • After the one second contraction, begin to come down slowly again to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Decline Crunch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Secure your legs at the end of the decline bench and lie down.
  • Now place your hands lightly on either side of your head keeping your elbows in. Tip: Don't lock your fingers behind your head.
  • While pushing the small of your back down in the bench to better isolate your abdominal muscles, begin to roll your shoulders off it.
  • Continue to push down as hard as you can with your lower back as you contract your abdominals and exhale. Your shoulders should come up off the bench only about four inches, and your lower back should remain on the bench. At the top of the movement, contract your abdominals hard and keep the contraction for a second. Tip: Focus on slow, controlled movement - don't cheat yourself by using momentum.
  • After the one second contraction, begin to come down slowly again to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Decline Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Secure your legs at the end of the decline bench and lie down with a dumbbell on each hand on top of your thighs. The palms of your hand will be facing each other.
  • Once you are laying down, move the dumbbells in front of you at shoulder width. The palms of the hands should be facing each other and the arms should be perpendicular to the floor and fully extended. This will be your starting position.
  • As you breathe in and you keep the upper arms stationary (and elbows in), bring the dumbbells down slowly by moving your forearms in a semicircular motion towards you until your thumbs are next to your ears. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Lift the dumbbells back to the starting position by contracting the triceps and exhaling.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Decline EZ Bar Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Secure your legs at the end of the decline bench and slowly lay down on the bench.
  • Using a close grip (a grip that is slightly less than shoulder width), lift the EZ bar from the rack and hold it straight over you with your arms locked and elbows in. The arms should be perpendicular to the floor. This will be your starting position. Tip: In order to protect your rotator cuff, it is best if you have a spotter help you lift the barbell off the rack.
  • As you breathe in and you keep the upper arms stationary, bring the bar down slowly by moving your forearms in a semicircular motion towards you until you feel the bar slightly touch your forehead. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Lift the bar back to the starting position by contracting the triceps and exhaling.
  • Repeat until the recommended amount of repetitions is performed.

Donkey Calf Raises

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • For this exercise you will need access to a donkey calf raise machine. Start by positioning your lower back and hips under the padded lever provided. The tailbone area should be the one making contact with the pad.
  • Place both of your arms on the side handles and place the balls of your feet on the calf block with the heels extending off. Align the toes forward, inward or outward, depending on the area you wish to target, and straighten the knees without locking them. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending at any time. Hold the contracted position by a second before you start to go back down.
  • Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering your heels as you bend the ankles until calves are stretched.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Downward Facing Balance

Category: strength
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: exercise ball
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Lie facedown on top of an exercise ball.
  • While resting on your stomach on the ball, walk your hands forward along the floor and lift your legs, extending your elbows and knees.

Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Stand (torso upright) with a dumbbell in each hand held at arms length. The elbows should be close to the torso and the palms of your hand should be facing your thighs.
  • While holding the upper arm stationary, curl the right weight as you rotate the palm of the hands until they are facing forward. At this point continue contracting the biceps as you breathe out until your biceps is fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the biceps. Tip: Only the forearms should move.
  • Slowly begin to bring the dumbbell back to the starting position as your breathe in. Tip: Remember to twist the palms back to the starting position (facing your thighs) as you come down.
  • Repeat the movement with the left hand. This equals one repetition.
  • Continue alternating in this manner for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Dumbbell Bicep Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand at arm's length. Keep your elbows close to your torso and rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward. This will be your starting position.
  • Now, keeping the upper arms stationary, exhale and curl the weights while contracting your biceps. Continue to raise the weights until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a brief pause as you squeeze your biceps.
  • Then, inhale and slowly begin to lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Dumbbell Flyes

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Instructions:
  • Lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell on each hand resting on top of your thighs. The palms of your hand will be facing each other.
  • Then using your thighs to help raise the dumbbells, lift the dumbbells one at a time so you can hold them in front of you at shoulder width with the palms of your hands facing each other. Raise the dumbbells up like you're pressing them, but stop and hold just before you lock out. This will be your starting position.
  • With a slight bend on your elbows in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon, lower your arms out at both sides in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Keep in mind that throughout the movement, the arms should remain stationary; the movement should only occur at the shoulder joint.
  • Return your arms back to the starting position as you squeeze your chest muscles and breathe out. Tip: Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights.
  • Hold for a second at the contracted position and repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Dumbbell Incline Shoulder Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Sit on an Incline Bench while holding a dumbbell on each hand on top of your thighs.
  • Lift your legs up to kick the weights to your shoulders and lean back. Position the dumbbells above your shoulders with your arms extended. The arms should be perpendicular to the floor with your palms facing forward and knuckles pointing towards the ceiling. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping the arms straight and locked, lift the dumbbells by raising the shoulders from the bench as you breathe out.
  • Bring back the dumbbells to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Dumbbell Lying One-Arm Rear Lateral Raise

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • While holding a dumbbell in one hand, lay with your chest down on a slightly inclined (around 15 degrees when measured from the floor) adjustable bench. The other hand can be used to hold to the leg of the bench for stability.
  • Position the palm of the hand that is holding the dumbbell in a neutral manner (palms facing your torso) as you keep the arm extended with the elbow slightly bent. This will be your starting position.
  • Now raise the arm with the dumbbell to the side until your elbow is at shoulder height and your arm is roughly parallel to the floor as you exhale. Tip: Maintain your arm perpendicular to the torso while keeping your arm extended throughout the movement. Also, keep the contraction at the top for a second.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Dumbbell Lying Pronation

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Lie on a flat bench face down with one arm holding a dumbbell and the other hand on top of the bench folded so that you can rest your head on it.
  • Bend the elbows of the arm holding the dumbbell so that it creates a 90-degree angle between the upper arm and the forearm.
  • Now raise the upper arm so that the forearm is perpendicular to the floor and the upper arm is perpendicular to your torso. Tip: The upper arm should be parallel to the floor and also creating a 90-degree angle with your torso. This will be your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, externally rotate your forearm so that the dumbbell is lifted forward as you maintain the 90 degree angle bend between the upper arms and the forearm. You will continue this external rotation until the forearm is parallel to the floor. At this point you will hold the contraction for a second.
  • As you breathe in, slowly go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Dumbbell Lying Rear Lateral Raise

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • While holding a dumbbell in each hand, lay with your chest down on a slightly inclined (around 15 degrees when measured from the floor) adjustable bench.
  • Position the palms of the hands in a neutral manner (palms facing your torso) as you keep the arms extended with the elbows slightly bent. This will be your starting position.
  • Now raise the arms to the side until your elbows are at shoulder height and your arms are roughly parallel to the floor as you exhale. Tip: Maintain your arms perpendicular to the torso while keeping them extended throughout the movement. Also, keep the contraction at the top for a second.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and then switch to the other arm.

Dumbbell Lying Supination

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Lie sideways on a flat bench with one arm holding a dumbbell and the other hand on top of the bench folded so that you can rest your head on it.
  • Bend the elbows of the arm holding the dumbbell so that it creates a 90-degree angle between the upper arm and the forearm.
  • Now raise the upper arm so that the forearm is parallel to the floor and perpendicular to your torso (Tip: So the forearm will be directly in front of you). The upper arm will be stationary by your torso and should be parallel to the floor (aligned with your torso at all times). This will be your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, externally rotate your forearm so that the dumbbell is lifted up in a semicircle motion as you maintain the 90 degree angle bend between the upper arms and the forearm. You will continue this external rotation until the forearm is perpendicular to the floor and the torso pointing towards the ceiling. At this point you will hold the contraction for a second.
  • As you breathe in, slowly go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and then switch to the other arm.

Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Grab a dumbbell and either sit on a military press bench or a utility bench that has a back support on it as you place the dumbbells upright on top of your thighs or stand up straight.
  • Clean the dumbbell up to bring it to shoulder height and then extend the arm over your head so that the whole arm is perpendicular to the floor and next to your head. The dumbbell should be on top of you. The other hand can be kept fully extended to the side, by the waist, supporting the upper arm that has the dumbbell or grabbing a fixed surface.
  • Rotate the wrist so that the palm of your hand is facing forward and the pinkie is facing the ceiling. This will be your starting position.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head as you hold the upper arm stationary. Inhale as you perform this movement and pause when your triceps are fully stretched.
  • Return to the starting position by flexing your triceps as you breathe out. Tip: It is imperative that only the forearm moves. The upper arm should remain at all times stationary next to your head.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and switch arms.

Dumbbell Prone Incline Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Grab a dumbbell on each hand and lie face down on an incline bench with your shoulders near top of the incline. Your knees can rest on the seat or your legs can be straddled to the sides (my preferred way).
  • Let your arms extend and hang naturally in front of you so that they are perpendicular to the floor.
  • Now keep your elbows in by your side and face the palms forward. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise the dumbbells by contracting the biceps until your arms are fully flexed. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement and ensure that only the forearms move. The upper arms should remain stationary at all times.
  • Lower the dumbbells until your arms are fully extended.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of times.

Dumbbell Scaption

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • This corrective exercise strengthens the muscles that stabilize your shoulder blade. Hold a light weight in each hand, hanging at your sides. Your thumbs should pointing up.
  • Begin the movement raising your arms out in front of you, about 30 degrees off center. Your arms should be fully extended as you perform the movement.
  • Continue until your arms are parallel to the ground, and then return to the starting position.

Dumbbell Seated One-Leg Calf Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Place a block on the floor about 12 inches from a flat bench.
  • Sit on a flat bench and place a dumbbell on your upper left thigh about 3 inches above your knee.
  • Now place the ball of your left foot on the block. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your toes up as high as possible as you exhale and you contract your calf muscle. Hold the contraction for a second.
  • Slowly return to the starting position, stretching as far down as possible.
  • Repeat for your prescribed number of repetitions and then repeat with the right leg.

Dumbbell Shrug

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Stand erect with a dumbbell on each hand (palms facing your torso), arms extended on the sides.
  • Lift the dumbbells by elevating the shoulders as high as possible while you exhale. Hold the contraction at the top for a second. Tip: The arms should remain extended at all times. Refrain from using the biceps to help lift the dumbbells. Only the shoulders should be moving up and down.
  • Lower the dumbbells back to the original position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Dumbbell Side Bend

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight while holding a dumbbell on the left hand (palms facing the torso) as you have the right hand holding your waist. Your feet should be placed at shoulder width. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping your back straight and your head up, bend only at the waist to the right as far as possible. Breathe in as you bend to the side. Then hold for a second and come back up to the starting position as you exhale. Tip: Keep the rest of the body stationary.
  • Now repeat the movement but bending to the left instead. Hold for a second and come back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and then change hands.

Dumbbell Tricep Extension -Pronated Grip

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Lie down on a flat bench holding two dumbbells directly above your shoulders. Your arms should be fully extended and form a 90 degree angle from your torso and the floor.
  • The palms of your hands should be facing forward, and your elbows should be tucked in. This will be your starting position.
  • Now, inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells until they are near your ears. Be sure to keep your upper arms stationary and your elbows tucked in.
  • Then, exhale and use your triceps to return the weight to the starting position.

Elbow Circles

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Sit or stand with your feet slightly apart.
  • Place your hands on your shoulders with your elbows at shoulder level and pointing out.
  • Slowly make a circle with your elbows. Breathe out as you start the circle and breathe in as you complete the circle.

Elbows Back

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight.
  • Place both hands on your lower back, fingers pointing downward and elbows out.
  • Then gently pull your elbows back aiming to touch them together.

Exercise Ball Crunch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: exercise ball
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Lie on an exercise ball with your lower back curvature pressed against the spherical surface of the ball. Your feet should be bent at the knee and pressed firmly against the floor. The upper torso should be hanging off the top of the ball. The arms should either be kept alongside the body or crossed on top of your chest as these positions avoid neck strains (as opposed to the hands behind the back of the head position).
  • Lower your torso into a stretch position keeping the neck stationary at all times. This will be your starting position.
  • With the hips stationary, flex the waist by contracting the abdominals and curl the shoulders and trunk upward until you feel a nice contraction on your abdominals. The arms should simply slide up the side of your legs if you have them at the side or just stay on top of your chest if you have them crossed. The lower back should always stay in contact with the ball. Exhale as you perform this movement and hold the contraction for a second.
  • As you inhale, go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

External Rotation

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Lie sideways on a flat bench with one arm holding a dumbbell and the other hand on top of the bench folded so that you can rest your head on it.
  • Bend the elbows of the arm holding the dumbbell so that it creates a 90-degree angle between the upper arm and the forearm. Tip: Keep the arm parallel to your torso.
  • Now bend the elbow while keeping the upper arm stationary. In this manner, the forearm will be parallel to the floor and perpendicular to your torso (Tip: So the forearm will be directly in front of you). The upper arm will be stationary by your torso and should be parallel to the floor (aligned with your torso at all times). This will be your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, externally rotate your forearm so that the dumbbell is lifted up in a semicircle motion as you maintain the 90 degree angle bend between the upper arms and the forearm. You will continue this external rotation until the forearm is perpendicular to the floor and the torso pointing towards the ceiling. At this point you will hold the contraction for a second.
  • As you breathe in, slowly go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and then switch to the other arm.

External Rotation with Cable

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Adjust the cable to the same height as your elbow. Stand with your left side to the band a couple of feet away.
  • Grasp the handle with your right hand, and keep your elbow pressed firmly to your side. We recommend you hold a pad or foam roll in place with your elbow to keep it firmly in position.
  • With your upper arm in position, your elbow should be flexed to 90 degrees with your hand reaching across the front of your torso. This will be your starting position.
  • Execute the movement by rotating your arm in a backhand motion, keeping your elbow in place.

EZ-Bar Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: e-z curl bar
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight while holding an EZ curl bar at the wide outer handle. The palms of your hands should be facing forward and slightly tilted inward due to the shape of the bar. Keep your elbows close to your torso. This will be your starting position.
  • Now, while keeping your upper arms stationary, exhale and curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps. Focus on only moving your forearms.
  • Continue to raise the weight until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the top contracted position for a moment and squeeze the biceps.
  • Then inhale and slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

EZ-Bar Skullcrusher

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: e-z curl bar
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Using a close grip, lift the EZ bar and hold it with your elbows in as you lie on the bench. Your arms should be perpendicular to the floor. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping the upper arms stationary, lower the bar by allowing the elbows to flex. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Pause once the bar is directly above the forehead.
  • Lift the bar back to the starting position by extending the elbow and exhaling.
  • Repeat.

Finger Curls

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Hold a barbell with both hands and your palms facing up; hands spaced about shoulder width.
  • Place your feet flat on the floor, at a distance that is slightly wider than shoulder width apart. This will be your starting position.
  • Lower the bar as far as possible by extending the fingers. Allowing the bar to roll down the hands, catch the bar with the final joint in the fingers.
  • Now curl bar up as high as possible by closing your hands while exhaling. Hold the contraction at the top.

Flat Bench Cable Flyes

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Instructions:
  • Position a flat bench between two low pulleys so that when you are laying on it, your chest will be lined up with the cable pulleys.
  • Lay flat on the bench and keep your feet on the ground.
  • Have someone hand you the handles on each hand. You will grab each single handle attachment with a palms up grip.
  • Extend your arms by your side with a slight bend on your elbows. Tip: You will keep this bend constant through the whole movement. Your arms should be parallel to the floor. This is your starting position.
  • Now start lifting the arms in a semi-circle motion directly in front of you by pulling the cables together until both hands meet at the top of the movement. Squeeze your chest as you perform this motion and breathe out during this movement. Also, hold the contraction for a second at the top. Tip: When performed correctly, at the top position of this movement, your arms should be perpendicular to your torso and the floor touching above your chest.
  • Slowly come back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Lie with your back flat on a bench and your legs extended in front of you off the end.
  • Place your hands either under your glutes with your palms down or by the sides holding on to the bench. This will be your starting position.
  • As you keep your legs extended, straight as possible with your knees slightly bent but locked raise your legs until they make a 90-degree angle with the floor. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement and hold the contraction at the top for a second.
  • Now, as you inhale, slowly lower your legs back down to the starting position.

Flexor Incline Dumbbell Curls

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Hold the dumbbell towards the side farther from you so that you have more weight on the side closest to you. (This can be done for a good effect on all bicep dumbbell exercises). Now do a normal incline dumbbell curl, but keep your wrists as far back as possible so as to neutralize any stress that is placed on them.
  • Sit on an incline bench that is angled at 45-degrees while holding a dumbbell on each hand.
  • Let your arms hang down on your sides, with the elbows in, and turn the palms of your hands forward with the thumbs pointing away from the body. Tip: You will keep this hand position throughout the movement as there should not be any twisting of the hands as they come up. This will be your starting position.
  • Curl up the two dumbbells at the same time until your biceps are fully contracted and exhale. Tip: Do not swing the arms or use momentum. Keep a controlled motion at all times. Hold the contracted position for a second at the top.
  • As you inhale, slowly go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Floor Glute-Ham Raise

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • You can use a partner for this exercise or brace your feet under something stable.
  • Begin on your knees with your upper legs and torso upright. If using a partner, they will firmly hold your feet to keep you in position. This will be your starting position.
  • Lower yourself by extending at the knee, taking care to NOT flex the hips as you go forward.
  • Place your hands in front of you as you reach the floor. This movement is very difficult and you may be unable to do it unaided. Use your arms to lightly push off the floor to aid your return to the starting position.

Frog Sit-Ups

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Lie with your back flat on the floor (or exercise mat) and your legs extended in front of you.
  • Now bend at the knees and place your outer thighs by the floor (or mat) as you make the soles of your feet touch each other.
  • Now try pushing both soles and bringing them up as near you as possible while you keep the outer thighs on the floor (or at least almost touching it). Tip: In this position your legs should create a diamond shape.
  • Now, cross your arms in front of you by touching the opposite shoulders. This will be your starting position.
  • As you exhale flatten your lower back to the floor while curling the torso upwards. Tip: This will be like performing the first 1/4 movement of a sit up. Hold at the top position for a second.
  • As you inhale, slowly lower back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Front Cable Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Select the weight on a low pulley machine and grasp the single hand cable attachment that is attached to the low pulley with your left hand.
  • Face away from the pulley and put your arm straight down with the hand cable attachment in front of your thighs at arms' length with the palms of the hand facing your thighs. This will be your starting position.
  • While maintaining the torso stationary (no swinging), lift the left arm to the front with a slight bend on the elbow and the palms of the hand always faces down. Continue to go up until you arm is slightly above parallel to the floor. Exhale as you execute this portion of the movement and pause for a second at the top.
  • Now as you inhale lower the arm back down slowly to the starting position.
  • Once all of the recommended amount of repetitions have been performed for this arm, switch arms and perform the exercise with the right one.

Front Dumbbell Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Pick a couple of dumbbells and stand with a straight torso and the dumbbells on front of your thighs at arms length with the palms of the hand facing your thighs. This will be your starting position.
  • While maintaining the torso stationary (no swinging), lift the left dumbbell to the front with a slight bend on the elbow and the palms of the hands always facing down. Continue to go up until you arm is slightly above parallel to the floor. Exhale as you execute this portion of the movement and pause for a second at the top. Inhale after the second pause.
  • Now lower the dumbbell back down slowly to the starting position as you simultaneously lift the right dumbbell.
  • Continue alternating in this fashion until all of the recommended amount of repetitions have been performed for each arm.

Front Incline Dumbbell Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Sit down on an incline bench with the incline set anywhere between 30 to 60 degrees while holding a dumbbell on each hand. Tip: You can change the angle to hit the muscle a little differently each time.
  • Extend your arms straight in front of you and have your palms facing down with the dumbbells raised about 1 inch above your thighs. This will be your starting position.
  • Slowly raise the dumbbells straight up until they are slightly above your shoulders, while keeping your elbows locked. Squeeze at the top for a second and make sure you breathe out during this portion of the movement. Tip: Keep your head resting down against the bench and your legs on the floor at all times.
  • Lower the arms back to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Front Plate Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • While standing straight, hold a barbell plate in both hands at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions. Your palms should be facing each other and your arms should be extended and locked with a slight bend at the elbows and the plate should be down near your waist in front of you as far as you can go. Tip: The arms will remain in this position throughout the exercise. This will be your starting position.
  • Slowly raise the plate as you exhale until it is a little above shoulder level. Hold the contraction for a second. Tip: make sure that you do not swing the weight or bend at the elbows. Your torso should remain stationary throughout the movement as well.
  • As you inhale, slowly lower the plate back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Front Two-Dumbbell Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Pick a couple of dumbbells and stand with a straight torso and the dumbbells on front of your thighs at arms length with the palms of the hand facing your thighs. This will be your starting position.
  • While maintaining the torso stationary (no swinging), lift the dumbbells to the front with a slight bend on the elbow and the palms of the hands always facing down. Continue to go up until you arms are slightly above parallel to the floor. Exhale as you execute this portion of the movement and pause for a second at the top.
  • As you inhale, lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Hammer Curls

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Stand up with your torso upright and a dumbbell on each hand being held at arms length. The elbows should be close to the torso.
  • The palms of the hands should be facing your torso. This will be your starting position.
  • Now, while holding your upper arm stationary, exhale and curl the weight forward while contracting the biceps. Continue to raise the weight until the biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbell is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a brief moment as you squeeze the biceps. Tip: Focus on keeping the elbow stationary and only moving your forearm.
  • After the brief pause, inhale and slowly begin the lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Hamstring Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Lie on your back with one leg extended above you, with the hip at ninety degrees. Keep the other leg flat on the floor.
  • Loop a belt, band, or rope over the ball of your foot. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull on the belt to create tension in the calves and hamstrings. Hold this stretch for 10-30 seconds, and repeat with the other leg.

Hamstring-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • In a seated position, extend your legs over a foam roll so that it is position on the back of the upper legs. Place your hands to the side or behind you to help support your weight. This will be your starting position.
  • Using your hands, lift your hips off of the floor and shift your weight on the foam roll to one leg. Relax the hamstrings of the leg you are stretching.
  • Roll over the foam from below the hip to above the back of the knee, pausing at points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Repeat for the other leg.

Hanging Leg Raise

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Hang from a chin-up bar with both arms extended at arms length in top of you using either a wide grip or a medium grip. The legs should be straight down with the pelvis rolled slightly backwards. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your legs until the torso makes a 90-degree angle with the legs. Exhale as you perform this movement and hold the contraction for a second or so.
  • Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Hip Circles (prone)

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abductors
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
Instructions:
  • Position yourself on your hands and knees on the ground. Maintaining good posture, raise one bent knee off of the ground. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping the knee in a bent position, rotate the femur in an arc, attempting to make a big circle with your knee.
  • Perform this slowly for a number of repetitions, and repeat on the other side.

Hug A Ball

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: exercise ball
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • Seat yourself on the floor.
  • Straddle an exercise ball between both legs and lower your hips down toward the floor.
  • Hug your arms around the ball to support your body. Adjust your legs so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees line up over your ankles. Keep a good grip on the ball so it doesn't roll away from you and send you back onto your buttocks.

Hyperextensions (Back Extensions)

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Lie face down on a hyperextension bench, tucking your ankles securely under the footpads.
  • Adjust the upper pad if possible so your upper thighs lie flat across the wide pad, leaving enough room for you to bend at the waist without any restriction.
  • With your body straight, cross your arms in front of you (my preference) or behind your head. This will be your starting position. Tip: You can also hold a weight plate for extra resistance in front of you under your crossed arms.
  • Start bending forward slowly at the waist as far as you can while keeping your back flat. Inhale as you perform this movement. Keep moving forward until you feel a nice stretch on the hamstrings and you can no longer keep going without a rounding of the back. Tip: Never round the back as you perform this exercise. Also, some people can go farther than others. The key thing is that you go as far as your body allows you to without rounding the back.
  • Slowly raise your torso back to the initial position as you inhale. Tip: Avoid the temptation to arch your back past a straight line. Also, do not swing the torso at any time in order to protect the back from injury.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Iliotibial Tract-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • abductors
Instructions:
  • Lay on your side, with the bottom leg placed onto a foam roller between the hip and the knee. The other leg can be crossed in front of you.
  • Place as much of your weight as is tolerable onto your bottom leg; there is no need to keep your bottom leg in contact with the ground. Be sure to relax the muscles of the leg you are stretching.
  • Roll your leg over the foam from you hip to your knee, pausing for 10-30 seconds at points of tension. Repeat with the opposite leg.

Incline Barbell Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Hold a barbell with an overhand grip (palms down) that is a little closer together than shoulder width.
  • Lie back on an incline bench set at any angle between 45-75-degrees.
  • Bring the bar overhead with your arms extended and elbows in. The arms should be in line with the torso above the head. This will be your starting position.
  • Now lower the bar in a semicircular motion behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps. Inhale as you perform this movement. Tip: Keep your upper arms stationary and close to your head at all times. Only the forearms should move.
  • Return to the starting position as you breathe out and you contract the triceps. Hold the contraction for a second.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Incline Bench Pull

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie face down on an incline bench that is set to an incline that is approximately 30 degrees.
  • Let the arms hang to your sides fully extended as they point to the floor.
  • Turn the wrists until your hands have a pronated (palms down) grip.
  • Now flare the elbows out. This will be your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, start to pull the dumbbells up as if you are doing a reverse bench press. You will do this by bending at the elbows and bringing the upper arms up as you let the forearms hang. Continue this motion until the upper arms are at the same level as your back. Tip: The elbows will come out to the side and your upper arms and torso should make the letter "T" at the top of the movement. Hold the contraction at the top for a second.
  • Slowly go back down to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Incline Cable Flye

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • To get yourself into the starting position, set the pulleys at the floor level (lowest level possible on the machine that is below your torso).
  • Place an incline bench (set at 45 degrees) in between the pulleys, select a weight on each one and grab a pulley on each hand.
  • With a handle on each hand, lie on the incline bench and bring your hands together at arms length in front of your face. This will be your starting position.
  • With a slight bend of your elbows (in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon), lower your arms out at both sides in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Keep in mind that throughout the movement, the arms should remain stationary. The movement should only occur at the shoulder joint.
  • Return your arms back to the starting position as you squeeze your chest muscles and exhale. Hold the contracted position for a second. Tip: Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights.
  • Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Incline Dumbbell Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Sit back on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand held at arms length. Keep your elbows close to your torso and rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward. This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arm stationary, curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second.
  • Slowly begin to bring the dumbbells back to starting position as your breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Incline Hammer Curls

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Seat yourself on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand. You should pressed firmly against he back with your feet together. Allow the dumbbells to hang straight down at your side, holding them with a neutral grip. This will be your starting position.
  • Initiate the movement by flexing at the elbow, attempting to keep the upper arm stationary.
  • Continue to the top of the movement and pause, then slowly return to the start position.

Incline Inner Biceps Curl

Category: strength
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie back on an incline bench.
  • The dumbbells should be at arm's length hanging at your sides and your palms should be facing out. This will be your starting position.
  • Now as you exhale curl the weight outward and up while keeping your forearms in line with your side deltoids. Continue the curl until the dumbbells are at shoulder height and to the sides of your deltoids. Tip: The end of the movement should look similar to a double biceps pose.
  • After a second contraction at the top of the movement, start to inhale and slowly lower the weights back to the starting position using the same path used to bring them up.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Intermediate Groin Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Lie on your back with your legs extended. Loop a belt, rope, or band around one of your feet, and swing that leg as far to the side as you can. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull gently on the belt to create tension in your groin and hamstring muscles. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and repeat on the other side.

Internal Rotation with Band

Category: strength
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: bands
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Choke the band around a post. The band should be at the same height as your elbow. Stand with your right side to the band a couple of feet away.
  • Grasp the end of the band with your right hand, and keep your elbow pressed firmly to your side. We recommend you hold a pad or foam roll in place with your elbow to keep it firmly in position.
  • With your upper arm in position, your elbow should be flexed to 90 degrees with your hand reaching away from your torso. This will be your starting position.
  • Execute the movement by rotating your arm in a forehand motion, keeping your elbow in place.
  • Continue as far as you are able, pause, and then return to the starting position.

Isometric Neck Exercise - Front And Back

Category: strength
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • neck
Instructions:
  • With your head and neck in a neutral position (normal position with head erect facing forward), place both of your hands on the front side of your head.
  • Now gently push forward as you contract the neck muscles but resisting any movement of your head. Start with slow tension and increase slowly. Keep breathing normally as you execute this contraction.
  • Hold for the recommended number of seconds.
  • Now release the tension slowly.
  • Rest for the recommended amount of time and repeat with your hands placed on the back side of your head.

Isometric Neck Exercise - Sides

Category: strength
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • neck
Instructions:
  • With your head and neck in a neutral position (normal position with head erect facing forward), place your left hand on the left side of your head.
  • Now gently push towards the left as you contract the left neck muscles but resisting any movement of your head. Start with slow tension and increase slowly. Keep breathing normally as you execute this contraction.
  • Hold for the recommended number of seconds.
  • Now release the tension slowly.
  • Rest for the recommended amount of time and repeat with your right hand placed on the right side of your head.

Janda Sit-Up

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Position your body on the floor in the basic sit-up position; knees to a ninety degree angle with feet flat on the floor and arms either crossed over your chest or to the sides. This will be your starting position.
  • As you strongly tighten your glutes and hamstrings, fill your lungs with air and in a slow (three to six second count) ascent, slowly exhale. Tip: It is important to tighten the glutes and hamstrings as this will cause the hip flexors to be inactivated in a process called reciprocal inhibition, which basically means that opposite muscles to the contracted ones will relax.
  • As you inhale, slowly go back in a controlled manner to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Knee/Hip Raise On Parallel Bars

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Position your body on the vertical leg raise bench so that your forearms are resting on the pads next to the torso and holding on to the handles. Your arms will be bent at a 90 degree angle.
  • The torso should be straight with the lower back pressed against the pad of the machine and the legs extended pointing towards the floor. This will be your starting position.
  • Now as you breathe out, lift your legs up as you keep them extended. Continue this movement until your legs are roughly parallel to the floor and then hold the contraction for a second. Tip: Do not use any momentum or swinging as you perform this exercise.
  • Slowly go back to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Kneeling Cable Crunch With Alternating Oblique Twists

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Connect a rope attachment to a high pulley cable and position a mat on the floor in front of it.
  • Grab the rope with both hands and kneel approximately two feet back from the tower.
  • Position the rope behind your head with your hands by your ears.
  • Keep your hands in the same place, contract your abs and pull downward on the rope in a crunching movement until your elbows reach your knees.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom and rise up in a slow and controlled manner until you reach the starting position.
  • Repeat the same downward movement until you’re halfway down, at which time you’ll begin rotating one of your elbows to the opposite knee.
  • Again, pause briefly at the bottom and rise up in a slow and controlled manner until you reach the starting position.
  • Repeat the same movement as before, but alternate the other elbow to the opposite knee.
  • Continue this series of movements to failure.

Kneeling Cable Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Place a bench sideways in front of a high pulley machine.
  • Hold a straight bar attachment above your head with your hands about 6 inches apart with your palms facing down.
  • Face away from the machine and kneel.
  • Place your head and the back of your upper arms on the bench. Your elbows should be bent with the forearms pointing towards the high pulley. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping your upper arms close to your head at all times with the elbows in, press the bar out in a semicircular motion until the elbows are locked and your arms are parallel to the floor. Contract the triceps hard and keep this position for a second. Exhale as you perform this movement.
  • Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Kneeling Forearm Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Start by kneeling on a mat with your palms flat and your fingers pointing back toward your knees.
  • Slowly lean back keeping your palms flat on the floor until you feel a stretch in your wrists and forearms. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

Kneeling Hip Flexor

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Kneel on a mat and bring your right knee up so the bottom of your foot is on the floor and extend your left leg out behind you so the top of your foot is on the floor.
  • Shift your weight forward until you feel a stretch in your hip. Hold for 15 seconds, then repeat for your other side.

Lateral Raise - With Bands

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: bands
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • To begin, stand on an exercise band so that tension begins at arm's length. Grasp the handles using a pronated (palms facing your thighs) grip that is slightly less than shoulder width. The handles should be resting on the sides of your thighs. Your arms should be extended with a slight bend at the elbows and your back should be straight. This will be your starting position.
  • Use your side shoulders to lift the handles to the sides as you exhale. Continue to lift the handles until they are slightly above parallel. Tip: As you lift the handles, slightly tilt the hand as if you were pouring water and keep your arms extended. Also, keep your torso stationary and pause for a second at the top of the movement.
  • Lower the handles back down slowly to the starting position. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Latissimus Dorsi-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • While lying on the floor, place a foam roll under your back and to one side, just behind your arm pit. This will be your starting position.
  • Keep the arm of the side being stretched behind and to the side of you as you shift your weight onto your lats, keeping your upper body off of the ground. Hold for 10-30 seconds, and switch sides.

Leg Extensions

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • For this exercise you will need to use a leg extension machine. First choose your weight and sit on the machine with your legs under the pad (feet pointed forward) and the hands holding the side bars. This will be your starting position. Tip: You will need to adjust the pad so that it falls on top of your lower leg (just above your feet). Also, make sure that your legs form a 90-degree angle between the lower and upper leg. If the angle is less than 90-degrees then that means the knee is over the toes which in turn creates undue stress at the knee joint. If the machine is designed that way, either look for another machine or just make sure that when you start executing the exercise you stop going down once you hit the 90-degree angle.
  • Using your quadriceps, extend your legs to the maximum as you exhale. Ensure that the rest of the body remains stationary on the seat. Pause a second on the contracted position.
  • Slowly lower the weight back to the original position as you inhale, ensuring that you do not go past the 90-degree angle limit.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of times.

Leg Lift

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • While standing up straight with both feet next to each other at around shoulder width, grab a sturdy surface such as the sides of a squat rack or the top of a chair to brace yourself and keep balance.
  • With or without an ankle weight, lift one leg behind you as if performing a leg curl but standing up while keeping the other leg straight. Breathe out as you perform this movement.
  • Slowly bring the raised leg back to the floor as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Repeat the movement with the opposite leg.

Leg-Up Hamstring Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Lie flat on your back, bend one knee, and put that foot flat on the floor to stabilize your spine.
  • Extend the other leg in the air. If you're tight, you wont be able to straighten it. That's okay. Extend the knee so that the sole of the lifted foot faces the ceiling (or as close as you can get it).
  • Slowly straighten the legs as much as possible and then pull the leg toward your nose. Switch sides.

Leverage Shrug

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Load the pins to an appropriate weight. Position yourself directly between the handles.
  • Grasp the top handles with a comfortable grip, and then lower your hips as you take a breath. Look forward with your head and keep your chest up.
  • Drive through the floor with your heels, extending your hips and knees as you rise to a standing position. Keep your arms straight throughout the movement, finishing with your shoulders back. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise the weight by shrugging the shoulders towards your ears, moving straight up and down.
  • Pause at the top of the motion, and then return the weight to the starting position.

Looking At Ceiling

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Kneel on the floor, holding your heels with both hands.
  • Lift your buttocks up and forward while bringing your head back to look up at the ceiling, to give an arch in your back.

Low Cable Crossover

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • To move into the starting position, place the pulleys at the low position, select the resistance to be used and grasp a handle in each hand.
  • Step forward, gaining tension in the pulleys. Your palms should be facing forward, hands below the waist, and your arms straight. This will be your starting position.
  • With a slight bend in your arms, draw your hands upward and toward the midline of your body. Your hands should come together in front of your chest, palms facing up.
  • Return your arms back to the starting position after a brief pause.

Low Cable Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Select the desired weight and lay down face up on the bench of a seated row machine that has a rope attached to it. Your head should be pointing towards the attachment.
  • Grab the outside of the rope ends with your palms facing each other (neutral grip).
  • Position your elbows so that they are bent at a 90 degree angle and your upper arms are perpendicular (90 degree angle) to your torso. Tip: Keep the elbows in and make sure that the upper arms point to the ceiling while your forearms point towards the pulley above your head. This will be your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, extend your lower arms until they are straight and vertical. The upper arms and elbows remain stationary throughout the movement. Only the forearms should move. Contract the triceps hard for a second.
  • As you breathe in slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Lying Cable Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Grab a straight bar or E-Z bar attachment that is attached to the low pulley with both hands, using an underhand (palms facing up) shoulder-width grip.
  • Lie flat on your back on top of an exercise mat in front of the weight stack with your feet flat against the frame of the pulley machine and your legs straight.
  • With your arms extended and your elbows close to your body slightly bend your arms. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping your upper arms stationary and the elbows close to your body, curl the bar up slowly toward your chest as you breathe out and you squeeze the biceps.
  • After a second squeeze at the top of the movement, slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Lying Cambered Barbell Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Place a cambered bar underneath an exercise bench.
  • Lie face down on the exercise bench and grab the bar using a palms down (pronated grip) that is wider than shoulder width. This will be your starting position.
  • As you exhale row the bar up as you keep the elbows close to your body to either your chest, in order to target the upper mid back, or to your stomach if targeting the lats is your goal.
  • After a second hold at the top, lower back down to the starting position slowly as you inhale.

Lying Close-Grip Bar Curl On High Pulley

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Place a flat bench in front of a high pulley or lat pulldown machine.
  • Hold the straight bar attachment using an underhand grip (palms up) that is about shoulder width.
  • Lie on your back with your head over the end of the bench.
  • Now extend your arms straight above your shoulders. Your torso and your arms should make a 90-degree angle and the elbows should be in. This will be your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, curl the bar down in a semicircular motion until it touches your chin. Squeeze the biceps for a second at the top contracted position. Tip: As you execute this motion only the forearms should move. At no time should the upper arms be moving at all. They are to remain perpendicular throughout the movement.
  • Return to starting position slowly.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Lying Close-Grip Barbell Triceps Extension Behind The Head

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • While holding a barbell or EZ Curl bar with a pronated grip (palms facing forward), lie on your back on a flat bench with your head close to the end of the bench. Tip: If you are holding a barbell grab it using a shoulder-width grip and if you are using an E-Z Bar grab it on the inner handles.
  • Extend your arms in front of you and slowly bring the bar back in a semi circular motion (while keeping the arms extended) to a position over your head. At the end of this step your arms should be overhead and parallel to the floor. This will be your starting position. Tip: Keep your elbows in at all times.
  • As you inhale, lower the bar by bending at the elbows and while keeping the upper arm stationary. Keep lowering the bar until your forearms are perpendicular to the floor.
  • As you exhale bring the bar back up to the starting position by pushing the bar up in a semi-circular motion until the lower arms are also parallel to the floor. Contract the triceps hard at the top of the movement for a second. Tip: Again, only the forearms should move. The upper arms should remain stationary at all times.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Lying Close-Grip Barbell Triceps Press To Chin

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: e-z curl bar
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • While holding a barbell or EZ Curl bar with a pronated grip (palms facing forward), lie on your back on a flat bench with your head off the end of the bench. Tip: If you are holding a barbell grab it using a shoulder-width grip and if you are using an E-Z Bar grab it on the inner handles.
  • Extend your arms in front of you as you hold the barbell over your chest. The arms should be perpendicular to your torso (90-degree angle). This will be your starting position.
  • As you inhale, lower the bar in a semi-circular motion by bending at the elbows and while keeping the upper arm stationary and elbows in. Keep lowering the bar until it lightly touches your chin.
  • As you exhale bring the bar back up to the starting position by pushing the bar up in a semi-circular motion. Contract the triceps hard at the top of the movement for a second. Tip: Again, only the forearms should move. The upper arms should remain stationary at all times.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Lie on a flat bench while holding two dumbbells directly in front of you. Your arms should be fully extended at a 90-degree angle from your torso and the floor. The palms should be facing in and the elbows should be tucked in. This is the starting position.
  • As you breathe in and you keep the upper arms stationary with the elbows in, slowly lower the weight until the dumbbells are near your ears.
  • At that point, while keeping the elbows in and the upper arms stationary, use the triceps to bring the weight back up to the starting position as you breathe out.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Lying Face Down Plate Neck Resistance

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • neck
Instructions:
  • Lie face down with your whole body straight on a flat bench while holding a weight plate behind your head. Tip: You will need to position yourself so that your shoulders are slightly above the end of a flat bench in order for the upper chest, neck and face to be off the bench. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping the plate secure on the back of your head slowly lower your head (as in saying "yes") as you breathe in.
  • Raise your head back up to the starting position in a semi-circular motion as you breathe out. Hold the contraction for a second.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Lying Face Up Plate Neck Resistance

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • neck
Instructions:
  • Lie face up with your whole body straight on a flat bench while holding a weight plate on top of your forehead. Tip: You will need to position yourself so that your shoulders are slightly above the end of a flat bench in order for the traps, neck and head to be off the bench. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping the plate secure on your forehead slowly lower your head back in a semi-circular motion as you breathe in.
  • Raise your head back up to the starting position in a semi-circular motion as you breathe out. Hold the contraction for a second.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Lying High Bench Barbell Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Lie face forward on a tall flat bench while holding a barbell with a supinated grip (palms facing up). Tip: If you are holding a barbell grab it using a shoulder-width grip and if you are using an E-Z Bar grab it on the inner handles. Your upper body should be positioned in a way that the upper chest is over the end of the bench and the barbell is hanging in front of you with the arms extended and perpendicular to the floor. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping the elbows in and the upper arms stationary, curl the weight up in a semi-circular motion as you contract the biceps and exhale. Hold at the top of the movement for a second.
  • As you inhale, slowly go back to the starting position. Tip: Maintain full control of the weight at all times and avoid any swinging. Remember, only the forearms should move throughout the movement.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Lying Leg Curls

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Adjust the machine lever to fit your height and lie face down on the leg curl machine with the pad of the lever on the back of your legs (just a few inches under the calves). Tip: Preferably use a leg curl machine that is angled as opposed to flat since an angled position is more favorable for hamstrings recruitment.
  • Keeping the torso flat on the bench, ensure your legs are fully stretched and grab the side handles of the machine. Position your toes straight (or you can also use any of the other two stances described on the foot positioning section). This will be your starting position.
  • As you exhale, curl your legs up as far as possible without lifting the upper legs from the pad. Once you hit the fully contracted position, hold it for a second.
  • As you inhale, bring the legs back to the initial position. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Lying One-Arm Lateral Raise

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • While holding a dumbbell in one hand, lay with your chest down on a flat bench. The other hand can be used to hold to the leg of the bench for stability.
  • Position the palm of the hand that is holding the dumbbell in a neutral manner (palms facing your torso) as you keep the arm extended with the elbow slightly bent. This will be your starting position.
  • Now raise the arm with the dumbbell to the side until your elbow is at shoulder height and your arm is roughly parallel to the floor as you exhale. Tip: Maintain your arm perpendicular to the torso while keeping your arm extended throughout the movement. Also, keep the contraction at the top for a second.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Lying Rear Delt Raise

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • While holding a dumbbell in each hand, lay with your chest down on a flat bench.
  • Position the palms of the hands in a neutral manner (palms facing your torso) as you keep the arms extended with the elbows slightly bent. This will be your starting position.
  • Now raise the arms to the side until your elbows are at shoulder height and your arms are roughly parallel to the floor as you exhale. Tip: Maintain your arms perpendicular to the torso while keeping them extended throughout the movement. Also, keep the contraction at the top for a second.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and then switch to the other arm.

Lying Supine Dumbbell Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Lie down on a flat bench face up while holding a dumbbell in each arm on top of your thighs.
  • Bring the dumbbells to the sides with the arms extended and the palms of the hands facing your thighs (neutral grip).
  • While keeping the arms close to your torso and elbows in, slowly lower your arms (as you keep them extended with a slight bend at the elbows) as far down towards the floor as you can go. Once you cannot go down any further, lock your upper arms in that position and that will be your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, slowly begin to curl the weights up as you simultaneously rotate your wrists so that the palms of the hands face up. Continue curling the weight until your biceps are fully contracted and squeeze hard at the top position for a second. Tip: Only the forearms should move. Upper arms should remain stationary and elbows should stay in throughout the movement.
  • Return back to the starting position very slowly.

Lying Triceps Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: e-z curl bar
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Lie on a flat bench with either an e-z bar (my preference) or a straight bar placed on the floor behind your head and your feet on the floor.
  • Grab the bar behind you, using a medium overhand (pronated) grip, and raise the bar in front of you at arms length. Tip: The arms should be perpendicular to the torso and the floor. The elbows should be tucked in. This is the starting position.
  • As you breathe in, slowly lower the weight until the bar lightly touches your forehead while keeping the upper arms and elbows stationary.
  • At that point, use the triceps to bring the weight back up to the starting position as you breathe out.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Machine Bicep Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Adjust the seat to the appropriate height and make your weight selection. Place your upper arms against the pads and grasp the handles. This will be your starting position.
  • Perform the movement by flexing the elbow, pulling your lower arm towards your upper arm.
  • Pause at the top of the movement, and then slowly return the weight to the starting position.
  • Avoid returning the weight all the way to the stops until the set is complete to keep tension on the muscles being worked.

Machine Preacher Curls

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Sit down on the Preacher Curl Machine and select the weight.
  • Place the back of your upper arms (your triceps) on the preacher pad provided and grab the handles using an underhand grip (palms facing up). Tip: Make sure that when you place the arms on the pad you keep the elbows in. This will be your starting position.
  • Now lift the handles as you exhale and you contract the biceps. At the top of the position make sure that you hold the contraction for a second. Tip: Only the forearms should move. The upper arms should remain stationary and on the pad at all times.
  • Lower the handles slowly back to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Machine Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Adjust the seat to the appropriate height and make your weight selection. Place your upper arms against the pads and grasp the handles. This will be your starting position.
  • Perform the movement by extending the elbow, pulling your lower arm away from your upper arm.
  • Pause at the completion of the movement, and then slowly return the weight to the starting position.
  • Avoid returning the weight all the way to the stops until the set is complete to keep tension on the muscles being worked.

Middle Back Shrug

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Lie facedown on an incline bench while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Your arms should be fully extended hanging down and pointing towards the floor. The palms of your hands should be facing each other. This will be your starting position.
  • As you exhale, squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold the contraction for a full second. Tip: This movement is just like the reverse action of a hug, or trying to perform rear laterals as if you had no arms.
  • As you inhale go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Middle Back Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • lats
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Stand so your feet are shoulder width apart and your hands are on your hips.
  • Twist at your waist until you feel a stretch. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds, then twist to the other side.

Oblique Crunches

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. For this exercise, you will need to put one hand beside your head and the other to the side against the floor.
  • Make sure your feet are elevated and resting on a flat surface.
  • Now lift the shoulder in which your hand is touching your head.
  • Simply elevate your shoulder and body upward until you touch your knee. For example, if you have your right hand besides your head, then you want to elevate your body upwards until your right elbow touches your left knee. The same variation can be applied doing the inverse and using your left elbow to touch your right knee.
  • After your knee touches your elbow, lower your body until you have reached the starting position.
  • Remember to breathe in during the eccentric (lowering) part of the exercise and to breathe out during the concentric (upward) part of the exercise.
  • Continue alternating in this manner until all of the recommended repetitions for each side have been completed.

Oblique Crunches - On The Floor

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Start out by lying on your right side with your legs lying on top of each other. Make sure your knees are bent a little bit.
  • Place your left hand behind your head.
  • Once you are in this set position, begin by moving your left elbow up as you would perform a normal crunch except this time the main emphasis is on your obliques.
  • Crunch as high as you can, hold the contraction for a second and then slowly drop back down into the starting position.
  • Remember to breathe in during the eccentric (lowering) part of the exercise and to breathe out during the concentric (elevation) part of the exercise.

On Your Side Quad Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Start off by lying on your right side, with your right knee bent at a 90-degree angle resting on the floor in front of you (this stabilizes the torso).
  • Bend your left knee behind you and hold your left foot with your left hand. To stretch your hip flexor, press your left hip forward as you push your left foot back into your hand. Switch sides.

On-Your-Back Quad Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Lie on a flat bench or step, and hang one leg and arm over the side.
  • Bend the knee and hold the top of the foot. As you do this, be careful not to arch your lower back.
  • Pull the belly button to the spine to stay in neutral. Press your foot down and into your hand. To add the hip stretch, lift the hip of the leg you're holding up toward the ceiling.
  • Switch sides.

One Arm Against Wall

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • From a standing position, place a bent arm against a wall or doorway.
  • Slowly lean toward your arm until you feel a stretch in your lats.

One Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Grab a dumbbell with the right arm and place the upper arm on top of the preacher bench or the incline bench. The dumbbell should be held at shoulder length. This will be your starting position.
  • As you breathe in, slowly lower the dumbbell until your upper arm is extended and the biceps is fully stretched.
  • As you exhale, use the biceps to curl the weight up until your biceps is fully contracted and the dumbbell is at shoulder height. Again, remember that to ensure full contraction you need to bring that small finger higher than the thumb.
  • Squeeze the biceps hard for a second at the contracted position and repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Switch arms and repeat the movement.

One Arm Pronated Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Lie flat on a bench while holding a dumbbell at arms length. Your arm should be perpendicular to your body. The palm of your hand should be facing towards your feet as a pronated grip is required to perform this exercise.
  • Place your non lifting hand on your bicep for support.
  • Slowly begin to lower the dumbbell down as you breathe in.
  • Then, begin lifting the dumbbell upward as you contract the triceps. Remember to breathe out during the concentric (lifting part of the exercise).
  • Repeat until you have performed your set repetitions.
  • Switch arms and repeat the movement.

One Arm Supinated Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Lie flat on a bench while holding a dumbbell at arms length. Your arm should be perpendicular to your body. The palm of your hand should be facing towards your face as a supinated grip is required to perform this exercise.
  • Place your non lifting hand on your bicep for support.
  • Slowly begin to lower the dumbbell down as you breathe in.
  • Then, begin lifting the dumbbell upward as you contract the triceps. Remember to breathe out during the concentric (lifting part of the exercise).
  • Repeat until you have performed your set repetitions.
  • Switch arms and repeat the movement.
  • Switch arms again and repeat the movement.

One-Arm Flat Bench Dumbbell Flye

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Instructions:
  • Lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell in one hand resting on top of your thigh. The palm of your hand with the dumbbell in it should be at a neutral grip.
  • By using your thighs to help you get the dumbbell up, clean the dumbbell so that you can hold it in front of you with your lifting arm being fully extended. Remember to maintain a neutral grip with this exercise. Your non lifting hand should be to the side holding the flat bench for better support. This will be your starting position.
  • Your arm with the weight should have a slight bend on your elbow in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon. Begin by lowering your arm with the weight in it out in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Keep in mind that throughout the movement, your lifting arm should remain stationary; the movement should only occur at the shoulder joint.
  • Return your lifting arm back to the starting position as you squeeze your chest muscles and breathe out. Tip: Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights.
  • Hold for a second at the contracted position and repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
  • Switch arms and repeat the exercise.

One-Arm High-Pulley Cable Side Bends

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Connect a standard handle to a tower. Move cable to highest pulley position.
  • Stand with side to cable. With one hand, reach up and grab handle with underhand grip.
  • Pull down cable until elbow touches your side and the handle is by your shoulder.
  • Position feet hip-width apart. Place free hand on hip to help gauge pivot point.
  • Keep arm in static position. Contract oblique to bring the weight down in a side crunch.
  • Once you reach maximum contraction, slowly release the weight to the starting position. The weight stack should never be unloaded in a resting position. The aim is constant tension during the set.
  • Repeat to failure.
  • Then, reposition and repeat the same series of movements on the opposite side.

One-Arm Incline Lateral Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Lie down sideways on an incline bench press with a dumbbell in the hand. Make sure the shoulder is pressing against the incline bench and the arm is lying across your body with the palm around your navel.
  • Hold a dumbbell in your uppermost arm while keeping it extended in front of you parallel to the floor. This is your starting position.
  • While keeping the dumbbell parallel to the floor at all times, perform a lateral raise. Your arm should travel straight up until it is pointing at the ceiling. Tip: Exhale as you perform this movement. Hold the dumbbell in the position and feel the contraction in the shoulders for a second.
  • While inhaling lower the weight across your body back into the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
  • Switch arms and repeat the movement.

One-Arm Side Laterals

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Pick a dumbbell and place it in one of your hands. Your non lifting hand should be used to grab something steady such as an incline bench press. Lean towards your lifting arm and away from the hand that is gripping the incline bench as this will allow you to keep your balance.
  • Stand with a straight torso and have the dumbbell by your side at arm’s length with the palm of the hand facing you. This will be your starting position.
  • While maintaining the torso stationary (no swinging), lift the dumbbell to your side with a slight bend on the elbow and your hand slightly tilted forward as if pouring water in a glass. Continue to go up until you arm is parallel to the floor. Exhale as you execute this movement and pause for a second at the top.
  • Lower the dumbbell back down slowly to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Switch arms and repeat the exercise.

One-Legged Cable Kickback

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Hook a leather ankle cuff to a low cable pulley and then attach the cuff to your ankle.
  • Face the weight stack from a distance of about two feet, grasping the steel frame for support.
  • While keeping your knees and hips bent slightly and your abs tight, contract your glutes to slowly "kick" the working leg back in a semicircular arc as high as it will comfortably go as you breathe out. Tip: At full extension, squeeze your glutes for a second in order to achieve a peak contraction.
  • Now slowly bring your working leg forward, resisting the pull of the cable until you reach the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Switch legs and repeat the movement for the other side.

Overhead Cable Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • To begin, set a weight that is comfortable on each side of the pulley machine. Note: Make sure that the amount of weight selected is the same on each side.
  • Now adjust the height of the pulleys on each side and make sure that they are positioned at a height higher than that of your shoulders.
  • Stand in the middle of both sides and use an underhand grip (palms facing towards the ceiling) to grab each handle. Your arms should be fully extended and parallel to the floor with your feet positioned shoulder width apart from each other. Your body should be evenly aligned the handles. This is the starting position.
  • While exhaling, slowly squeeze the biceps on each side until your forearms and biceps touch.
  • While inhaling, move your forearms back to the starting position. Note: Your entire body is stationary during this exercise except for the forearms.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions prescribed in your program.

Pallof Press

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Connect a standard handle to a tower, and—if possible—position the cable to shoulder height. If not, a low pulley will suffice.
  • With your side to the cable, grab the handle with both hands and step away from the tower. You should be approximately arm’s length away from the pulley, with the tension of the weight on the cable.
  • With your feet positioned hip-width apart and knees slightly bent, hold the cable to the middle of your chest. This will be your starting position.
  • Press the cable away from your chest, fully extending both arms. You core should be tight and engaged.
  • Hold the repetition for several seconds before returning to the starting position.
  • At the conclusion of the set, repeat facing the other direction.

Palms-Down Dumbbell Wrist Curl Over A Bench

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Start out by placing two dumbbells on one side of a flat bench.
  • Kneel down on both of your knees so that your body is facing the flat bench.
  • Use your arms to grab both of the dumbbells with a pronated grip (palms facing down) and bring them up so that your forearms are resting against the flat bench. Your wrists should be hanging over the edge.
  • Start out by curling your wrist upwards and exhaling.
  • Slowly lower your wrists back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Your forearms should be stationary as your wrist is the only movement needed to perform this exercise.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Palms-Down Wrist Curl Over A Bench

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Start out by placing a barbell on one side of a flat bench.
  • Kneel down on both of your knees so that your body is facing the flat bench.
  • Use your arms to grab the barbell with a pronated grip (palms down) and bring them up so that your forearms are resting against the flat bench. Your wrists should be hanging over the edge.
  • Start out by curling your wrist upwards and exhaling.
  • Slowly lower your wrists back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Your forearms should be stationary as your wrist is the only movement needed to perform this exercise.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Palms-Up Barbell Wrist Curl Over A Bench

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Start out by placing a barbell on one side of a flat bench.
  • Kneel down on both of your knees so that your body is facing the flat bench.
  • Use your arms to grab the barbell with a supinated grip (palms up) and bring them up so that your forearms are resting against the flat bench. Your wrists should be hanging over the edge.
  • Start out by curling your wrist upwards and exhaling.
  • Slowly lower your wrists back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Your forearms should be stationary as your wrist is the only movement needed to perform this exercise.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Palms-Up Dumbbell Wrist Curl Over A Bench

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Start out by placing two dumbbells on one side of a flat bench.
  • Kneel down on both of your knees so that your body is facing the flat bench.
  • Use your arms to grab both of the dumbbells with a supinated grip (palms up) and bring them up so that your forearms are resting against the flat bench. Your wrists should be hanging over the edge.
  • Start out by curling your wrist upwards and exhaling.
  • Slowly lower your wrists back down to the starting position while inhaling. Make sure to inhale during this part of the exercise.
  • Your forearms should be stationary as your wrist is the only movement needed to perform this exercise.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Piriformis-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • Sit with your buttocks on top of a foam roll. Bend your knees, and then cross one leg so that the ankle is over the knee. This will be your starting position.
  • Shift your weight to the side of the crossed leg, rolling over the buttocks until you feel tension in your upper glute. You may assist the stretch by using one hand to pull the bent knee towards your chest. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds, and then switch sides.

Plank

Category: strength
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Get into a prone position on the floor, supporting your weight on your toes and your forearms. Your arms are bent and directly below the shoulder.
  • Keep your body straight at all times, and hold this position as long as possible. To increase difficulty, an arm or leg can be raised.

Plate Pinch

Category: strength
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Grab two wide-rimmed plates and put them together with the smooth sides facing outward
  • Use your fingers to grip the outside part of the plate and your thumb for the other side thus holding both plates together. This is the starting position.
  • Squeeze the plate with your fingers and thumb. Hold this position for as long as you can.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of sets prescribed in your program.
  • Switch arms and repeat the movements.

Platform Hamstring Slides

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • For this movement a wooden floor or similar is needed. Lay on your back with your legs extended. Place a gym towel or a light weight underneath your heel. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin the movement by flexing the knee, keeping your other leg straight.
  • Continue bringing the heel closer to you, sliding it on the floor.
  • At full knee flexion, reverse the movement to return to the starting position.

Power Partials

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Stand up with your torso upright and a dumbbell on each hand being held at arms length. The elbows should be close to the torso.
  • The palms of the hands should be facing your torso. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your arms straight and the torso stationary, lift the weights out to your sides until they are about shoulder level height while exhaling.
  • Feel the contraction for a second and begin to lower the weights back down to the starting position while inhaling. Tip: Keep the palms facing down with the little finger slightly higher while lifting and lowering the weights as it will concentrate the stress on your shoulders mainly.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Preacher Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • To perform this movement you will need a preacher bench and an E-Z bar. Grab the E-Z curl bar at the close inner handle (either have someone hand you the bar which is preferable or grab the bar from the front bar rest provided by most preacher benches). The palm of your hands should be facing forward and they should be slightly tilted inwards due to the shape of the bar.
  • With the upper arms positioned against the preacher bench pad and the chest against it, hold the E-Z Curl Bar at shoulder length. This will be your starting position.
  • As you breathe in, slowly lower the bar until your upper arm is extended and the biceps is fully stretched.
  • As you exhale, use the biceps to curl the weight up until your biceps is fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder height. Squeeze the biceps hard and hold this position for a second.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Preacher Hammer Dumbbell Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Place the upper part of both arms on top of the preacher bench as you hold a dumbbell in each hand with the palms facing each other (neutral grip).
  • As you breathe in, slowly lower the dumbbells until your upper arm is extended and the biceps is fully stretched.
  • As you exhale, use the biceps to curl the weight up until your biceps is fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder height.
  • Squeeze the biceps hard for a second at the contracted position and repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Prone Manual Hamstring

Category: strength
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • You will need a partner for this exercise. Lay face down with your legs straight. Your assistant will place their hand on your heel.
  • To begin, flex the knee to curl your leg up. Your partner should provide resistance, starting light and increasing the pressure as the movement is completed. Communicate with your partner to monitor appropriate resistance levels.
  • Pause at the top, returning the leg to the starting position as your partner provides resistance going the other direction.

Quadriceps-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Lay facedown on the floor with your weight supported by your hands or forearms. Place a foam roll underneath one leg on the quadriceps, and keep the foot off of the ground. Make sure to relax the leg as much as possible. This will be your starting position.
  • Shifting as much weight onto the leg to be stretched as is tolerable, roll over the foam from above the knee to below the hip, holding points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Switch sides.

Reverse Barbell Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Stand up with your torso upright while holding a barbell at shoulder width with the elbows close to the torso. The palm of your hands should be facing down (pronated grip). This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the muscle.
  • Slowly begin to bring the bar back to starting position as your breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Reverse Barbell Preacher Curls

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: e-z curl bar
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Grab an EZ-bar using a shoulder width and palms down (pronated) grip.
  • Now place the upper part of both arms on top of the preacher bench and have your arms extended. This will be your starting position.
  • As you exhale, use the biceps to curl the weight up until your biceps are fully contracted and the barbell is at shoulder height. Squeeze the biceps hard for a second at the contracted position.
  • As you breathe in, slowly lower the barbell until your upper arms are extended and the biceps is fully stretched.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Reverse Cable Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Stand up with your torso upright while holding a bar attachment that is attached to a low pulley using a pronated (palms down) and shoulder width grip. Make sure also that you keep the elbows close to the torso. This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the muscle.
  • Slowly begin to bring the bar back to starting position as your breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Reverse Crunch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Lie down on the floor with your legs fully extended and arms to the side of your torso with the palms on the floor. Your arms should be stationary for the entire exercise.
  • Move your legs up so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and feet are together and parallel to the floor. This is the starting position.
  • While inhaling, move your legs towards the torso as you roll your pelvis backwards and you raise your hips off the floor. At the end of this movement your knees will be touching your chest.
  • Hold the contraction for a second and move your legs back to the starting position while exhaling.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Reverse Flyes

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • To begin, lie down on an incline bench with the chest and stomach pressing against the incline. Have the dumbbells in each hand with the palms facing each other (neutral grip).
  • Extend the arms in front of you so that they are perpendicular to the angle of the bench. The legs should be stationary while applying pressure with the ball of your toes. This is the starting position.
  • Maintaining the slight bend of the elbows, move the weights out and away from each other (to the side) in an arc motion while exhaling. Tip: Try to squeeze your shoulder blades together to get the best results from this exercise.
  • The arms should be elevated until they are parallel to the floor.
  • Feel the contraction and slowly lower the weights back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Reverse Flyes With External Rotation

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • To begin, lie down on an incline bench set at a 30-degree angle with the chest and stomach pressing against the incline.
  • Have the dumbbells in each hand with the palms facing down to the floor. Your arms should be in front of you so that they are perpendicular to the angle of the bench. Tip: Your elbows should have a slight bend. The legs should be stationary while applying pressure with the ball of your toes (your heels should not be touching the floor). This is the starting position.
  • Maintaining the slight bend of the elbows, move the weights out and away from each other in an arc motion while exhaling.
  • As you lift the weight, your wrist should externally rotate by 90-degrees so that you go from a palms down (pronated) grip to a palms facing each other (neutral) grip. Tip: Try to squeeze your shoulder blades together to get the best results from this exercise.
  • The arms should be elevated until they are level with the head.
  • Feel the contraction and slowly lower the weights back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Start by setting a bar attachment (straight or e-z) on a high pulley machine.
  • Facing the bar attachment, grab it with the palms facing up (supinated grip) at shoulder width. Lower the bar by using your lats until your arms are fully extended by your sides. Tip: Elbows should be in by your sides and your feet should be shoulder width apart from each other. This is the starting position.
  • Slowly elevate the bar attachment up as you inhale so it is aligned with your chest. Only the forearms should move and the elbows/upper arms should be stationary by your side at all times.
  • Then begin to lower the cable bar back down to the original staring position while exhaling and contracting the triceps hard.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Reverse Machine Flyes

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Adjust the handles so that they are fully to the rear. Make an appropriate weight selection and adjust the seat height so the handles are at shoulder level. Grasp the handles with your hands facing inwards. This will be your starting position.
  • In a semicircular motion, pull your hands out to your side and back, contracting your rear delts.
  • Keep your arms slightly bent throughout the movement, with all of the motion occurring at the shoulder joint.
  • Pause at the rear of the movement, and slowly return the weight to the starting position.

Reverse Plate Curls

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Start by standing straight with a weighted plate held by both hands and arms fully extended. Use a pronated grip (palms facing down) and make sure your fingers grab the rough side of the plate while your thumb grabs the smooth side. Note: For the best results, grab the weighted plate at an 11:00 and 1:00 o'clock position.
  • Your feet should be shoulder width apart from each other and the weighted plate should be near the groin area. This is the starting position.
  • Slowly lift the plate up while keeping the elbows in and the upper arms stationary until your biceps and forearms touch while exhaling. The plate should be evenly aligned with your torso at this point.
  • Feel the contraction for a second and begin to lower the weight back down to the starting position while inhaling
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Rocking Standing Calf Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • This exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes. To begin, first set the bar on a rack that best matches your height. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step under the bar and place it on the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck).
  • Hold on to the bar using both arms at each side and lift it off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.
  • Step away from the rack and position your legs using a shoulder width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head up at all times as looking down will get you off balance. Also maintain a straight back and keep the knees with a slight bend; never locked. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending (other than the slight initial bend we created during positioning) at any time. Hold the contracted position by a second before you start to go back down.
  • Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering your heels as you bend the ankles until calves are stretched.
  • Now lift your toes by contracting the tibia muscles in the front of the calves as you breathe out.
  • Hold for a second and bring them back down as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Rope Crunch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Kneel 1-2 feet in front of a cable system with a rope attached.
  • After selecting an appropriate weight, grasp the rope with both hands reaching overhead. Your torso should be upright in the starting position.
  • To begin, flex at the spine, attempting to bring your rib cage to your legs as you pull the cable down.
  • Pause at the bottom of the motion, and then slowly return to the starting position.
  • These can be done with twists or to the side to hit the obliques.

Rope Straight-Arm Pulldown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Attach a rope to a high pulley and make your weight selection. Stand a couple feet back from the pulley with your feet staggered and take the rope with both hands. Lean forward from the hip, keeping your back straight, with your arms extended up in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your arms straight, extend the shoulder to pull the rope down to your thighs.
  • Pause at the bottom of the motion, squeezing your lats.
  • Return to the starting position without allowing the weight to fully rest on the stack.

Scapular Pull-Up

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Take a pronated grip on a pull-up bar.
  • From a hanging position, raise yourself a few inches without using your arms. Do this by depressing your shoulder girdle in a reverse shrugging motion.
  • Pause at the completion of the movement, and then slowly return to the starting position before performing more repetitions.

Scissor Kick

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • To begin, lie down with your back pressed against the floor or on an exercise mat (optional). Your arms should be fully extended to the sides with your palms facing down. Note: The arms should be stationary the entire time.
  • With a slight bend at the knees, lift your legs up so that your heels are about 6 inches off the ground. This is the starting position.
  • Now lift your left leg up to about a 45 degree angle while your right leg is lowered until the heel is about 2-3 inches from the ground.
  • Switch movements by raising your right leg up and lowering your left leg. Remember to breathe while performing this exercise.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Seated Band Hamstring Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Secure a band close to the ground and place a bench a couple feet away from it.
  • Seat yourself on the bench and secure the band behind your ankles, beginning with your legs straight. This will be your starting position.
  • Flex the knees, bringing your feet towards the bench. You may need to lean back slightly to keep your feet from striking the floor.
  • Pause at the completion of the movement, and then slowly return to the starting position.

Seated Barbell Twist

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Start out by sitting at the end of a flat bench with a barbell placed on top of your thighs. Your feet should be shoulder width apart from each other.
  • Grip the bar with your palms facing down and make sure your hands are wider than shoulder width apart from each other. Begin to lift the barbell up over your head until your arms are fully extended.
  • Now lower the barbell behind your head until it is resting along the base of your neck. This is the starting position.
  • While keeping your feet and head stationary, move your waist from side to side so that your oblique muscles feel the contraction. Only move from side to side as far as your waist will allow you to go. Stretching or moving too far can cause an injury to occur. Tip: Use a slow and controlled motion.
  • Remember to breathe out while twisting your body to the side and in when moving back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Seated Bent-Over One-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Sit down at the end of a flat bench with a dumbbell in one arm using a neutral grip (palms of the hand facing you).
  • Bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward, by bending at the waist, while keeping the back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Make sure that you keep the head up.
  • The upper arm with the dumbbell should be close to the torso and aligned with it (lifted up until it is parallel to the floor while the forearms are pointing towards the floor as the hands hold the weights). Tip: There should be a 90-degree angle between the forearms and the upper arm. This is your starting position.
  • Keeping the upper arm stationary, use the triceps to lift the weight as you exhale until the forearm is parallel to the floor and the whole arm is extended. Like many other arm exercises, only the forearm moves.
  • After a second contraction at the top, slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
  • Switch arms and repeat the exercise.

Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Place a couple of dumbbells looking forward in front of a flat bench.
  • Sit on the end of the bench with your legs together and the dumbbells behind your calves.
  • Bend at the waist while keeping the back straight in order to pick up the dumbbells. The palms of your hands should be facing each other as you pick them. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your torso forward and stationary, and the arms slightly bent at the elbows, lift the dumbbells straight to the side until both arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you lift the weights. (Note: avoid swinging the torso or bringing the arms back as opposed to the side.)
  • After a one second contraction at the top, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Seated Bent-Over Two-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Sit down at the end of a flat bench with a dumbbell in both arms using a neutral grip (palms of the hand facing you).
  • Bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward, by bending at the waist, while keeping the back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Make sure that you keep the head up.
  • The upper arms with the dumbbells should be close to the torso and aligned with it (lifted up until they are parallel to the floor while the forearms are pointing towards the floor as the hands hold the weights). Tip: There should be a 90-degree angle between the forearms and the upper arm. This is your starting position.
  • Keeping the upper arms stationary, use the triceps to lift the weight as you exhale until the forearms are parallel to the floor and the whole arm is extended. Like many other arm exercises, only the forearm moves.
  • After a second contraction at the top, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Seated Biceps

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your partner standing behind you. Extend your arms straight behind you with your palms facing each other. Your partner will hold your wrists for you. This will be the starting position.
  • Attempt to flex your elbows, while your partner prevents any actual movement.
  • After 10-20 seconds, relax your arms while your partner gently pulls your wrists up to stretch your biceps. Be sure to let your partner know when the stretch is appropriate to prevent injury or overstretching.

Seated Calf Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Sit on the machine and place your toes on the lower portion of the platform provided with the heels extending off. Choose the toe positioning of your choice (forward, in, or out) as per the beginning of this chapter.
  • Place your lower thighs under the lever pad, which will need to be adjusted according to the height of your thighs. Now place your hands on top of the lever pad in order to prevent it from slipping forward.
  • Lift the lever slightly by pushing your heels up and release the safety bar. This will be your starting position.
  • Slowly lower your heels by bending at the ankles until the calves are fully stretched. Inhale as you perform this movement.
  • Raise the heels by extending the ankles as high as possible as you contract the calves and breathe out. Hold the top contraction for a second.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Seated Close-Grip Concentration Barbell Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Sit down on a flat bench with a barbell or E-Z Bar in front of you in between your legs. Your legs should be spread with the knees bent and the feet on the floor.
  • Use your arms to pick the barbell up and place the back of your upper arms on top of your inner thighs (around three and a half inches away from the front of the knee). A supinated grip closer than shoulder width is needed to perform this exercise. Tip: Your arm should be extended at arms length and the barbell should be above the floor. This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the biceps.
  • Slowly begin to bring the barbell back to starting position as your breathe in. Tip: Avoid swinging motions at any time.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Seated Dumbbell Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Sit on a flat bench with a dumbbell on each hand being held at arms length. The elbows should be close to the torso.
  • Rotate the palms of the hands so that they are facing your torso. This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arm stationary, curl the weights and start twisting the wrists once the dumbbells pass your thighs so that the palms of your hands face forward at the end of the movement. Make sure that you contract the biceps as you breathe out and make sure that only the forearms move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the biceps.
  • Slowly begin to bring the dumbbells back to the starting position as your breathe in and as you rotate the wrists back to a neutral grip.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Seated Dumbbell Inner Biceps Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Sit on the end of a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand being held at arms length. The elbows should be close to the torso.
  • Rotate the palms of the hands so that they are facing inward in a neutral position. This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the dumbbells out and up, turning the palms out as you lift and keeping your forearms in line with your outer deltoids. Tips:
  • Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the biceps.
  • Slowly begin to bring the dumbbells back to the starting position as your breathe in. Remember to rotate your arms as you lower the dumbbells so that you can switch back to a neutral grip.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Seated Dumbbell Palms-Down Wrist Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Start out by placing two dumbbells on the floor in front of a flat bench.
  • Sit down on the edge of the flat bench with your legs at about shoulder width apart. Make sure to keep your feet on the floor.
  • Use your arms to grab both of the dumbbells and bring them up so that your forearms are resting against your thighs with the palms of the hands facing down. Your wrists should be hanging over the edge of your thighs.
  • Start out by curling your wrist upwards and exhaling.
  • Slowly lower your wrists back down to the starting position while inhaling. Make sure to inhale during this part of the exercise. Tip: Your forearms should be stationary as your wrist is the only movement needed to perform this exercise.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • When finished, simply lower the dumbbells to the floor.

Seated Dumbbell Palms-Up Wrist Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Start out by placing two dumbbells on the floor in front of a flat bench.
  • Sit down on the edge of the flat bench with your legs at about shoulder width apart. Make sure to keep your feet on the floor.
  • Use your arms to grab both of the dumbbells and bring them up so that your forearms are resting against your thighs with the palms of the hands facing up. Your wrists should be hanging over the edge of your thighs.
  • Start out by curling your wrist upwards and exhaling.
  • Slowly lower your wrists back down to the starting position while inhaling. Make sure to inhale during this part of the exercise. Tip: Your forearms should be stationary as your wrist is the only movement needed to perform this exercise.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • When finished, simply lower the dumbbells to the floor.

Seated Head Harness Neck Resistance

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • neck
Instructions:
  • Place a neck strap on the floor at the end of a flat bench. Once you have selected the weights, sit at the end of the flat bench with your feet wider than shoulder width apart from each other. Your toes should be pointed out.
  • Slowly move your torso forward until it is almost parallel with the floor. Using both hands, securely position the neck strap around your head. Tip: Make sure the weights are still lying on the floor to prevent any strain on the neck. Now grab the weight with both hands while elevating your torso back until it is almost perpendicular to the floor. Note: Your head and torso needs to be slightly tilted forward to perform this exercise.
  • Now place both hands on top of your knees. This is the starting position.
  • Slowly lower your neck down until your chin touches the upper part of your chest while breathing in.
  • While exhaling, bring your neck back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Seated Leg Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Adjust the machine lever to fit your height and sit on the machine with your back against the back support pad.
  • Place the back of lower leg on top of padded lever (just a few inches under the calves) and secure the lap pad against your thighs, just above the knees. Then grasp the side handles on the machine as you point your toes straight (or you can also use any of the other two stances) and ensure that the legs are fully straight right in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  • As you exhale, pull the machine lever as far as possible to the back of your thighs by flexing at the knees. Keep your torso stationary at all times. Hold the contracted position for a second.
  • Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Seated Leg Tucks

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Sit on a bench with the legs stretched out in front of you slightly below parallel and your arms holding on to the sides of the bench. Your torso should be leaning backwards around a 45-degree angle from the bench. This will be your starting position.
  • Bring the knees in toward you as you move your torso closer to them at the same time. Breathe out as you perform this movement.
  • After a second pause, go back to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Seated One-Arm Dumbbell Palms-Down Wrist Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Sit on a flat bench with a dumbbell in your right hand.
  • Place your feet flat on the floor, at a distance that is slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Lean forward and place your right forearm on top of your upper right thigh with your palm down. Tip: Make sure that the back of the wrist lies on top of your knees. This will be your starting position.
  • Lower the dumbbell as far as possible as you keep a tight grip on the dumbbell. Inhale as you perform this movement.
  • Now curl the dumbbell as high as possible as you contract the forearms and as you exhale. Keep the contraction for a second before you lower again. Tip: The only movement should happen at the wrist.
  • Perform for the recommended amount of repetitions, switch arms and repeat the movement.

Seated One-Arm Dumbbell Palms-Up Wrist Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Sit on a flat bench with a dumbbell in your right hand.
  • Place your feet flat on the floor, at a distance that is slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Lean forward and place your right forearm on top of your upper right thigh with your palm up. Tip: Make sure that the front of the wrist lies on top of your knees. This will be your starting position.
  • Lower the dumbbell as far as possible as you keep a tight grip on the dumbbell. Inhale as you perform this movement.
  • Now curl the dumbbell as high as possible as you contract the forearms and as you exhale. Keep the contraction for a second before you lower again. Tip: The only movement should happen at the wrist.
  • Perform for the recommended amount of repetitions, switch arms and repeat the movement.

Seated Overhead Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Sit up straight on an exercise mat.
  • Touch the soles of your feet together with your feet six to eight inches in front of your hips.
  • Place one hand on the floor beside you and your other hand behind your head.
  • Lift your elbow to the ceiling as you incline your torso to the other side. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then switch sides.

Seated Palm-Up Barbell Wrist Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Hold a barbell with both hands and your palms facing up; hands spaced about shoulder width.
  • Place your feet flat on the floor, at a distance that is slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Lean forward and place your forearms on top of your upper thighs with your palms up. Tip: Make sure that the front of the wrists lay on top of your knees. This will be your starting position.
  • Lower the bar as far as possible while inhaling and keeping a tight grip.
  • Now curl bar up as high as possible while flexing the forearms and exhaling. Hold the contraction at the top for a second and Tip: Only the wrist should move.

Seated Palms-Down Barbell Wrist Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Hold a barbell with both hands and your palms facing down; hands spaced about shoulder width.
  • Place your feet flat on the floor, at a distance that is slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Lean forward and place your forearms on top of your upper thighs with your palms down. Tip: Make sure that the back of the wrists lay on top of your knees. This will be your starting position.
  • Lower the bar as far as possible while inhaling and keeping a tight grip.
  • Now curl bar up as high as possible while flexing the forearms and exhaling. Hold the contraction at the top for a second and Tip: Only the wrist should move.

Seated Side Lateral Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Pick a couple of dumbbells and sit at the end of a flat bench with your feet firmly on the floor. Hold the dumbbells with your palms facing in and your arms straight down at your sides at arms' length. This will be your starting position.
  • While maintaining the torso stationary (no swinging), lift the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend on the elbow and the hands slightly tilted forward as if pouring water in a glass. Continue to go up until you arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you execute this movement and pause for a second at the top.
  • Lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Seated Triceps Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Sit down on a bench with back support and grasp a dumbbell with both hands and hold it overhead at arm's length. Tip: a better way is to have somebody hand it to you especially if it is very heavy. The resistance should be resting in the palms of your hands with your thumbs around it. The palm of the hand should be facing inward. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your upper arms close to your head (elbows in) and perpendicular to the floor, lower the resistance in a semi-circular motion behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps. Tip: The upper arms should remain stationary and only the forearms should move. Breathe in as you perform this step.
  • Go back to the starting position by using the triceps to raise the dumbbell. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Seated Two-Arm Palms-Up Low-Pulley Wrist Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Put a bench in front of a low pulley machine that has a barbell or EZ Curl attachment on it.
  • Move the bench far enough away so that when you bring the handle to the top of your thighs tension is created on the cable due to the weight stack being moved up.
  • Now hold the handle with both hands, palms up, using a shoulder-width grip.
  • Step back and sit on the bench with your feet about shoulder width apart, firmly on the floor.
  • Lean forward and place the forearms on your thighs with the back of your wrists over your knees. This will be your starting position.
  • Lower the bar as far as possible, while inhaling and keeping a tight grip.
  • Now curl the bar up as high as possible while contracting the forearms. Tip: Only the wrist should move; not the forearms.
  • After a second contraction at the top go back to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Side Lateral Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Pick a couple of dumbbells and stand with a straight torso and the dumbbells by your side at arms length with the palms of the hand facing you. This will be your starting position.
  • While maintaining the torso in a stationary position (no swinging), lift the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend on the elbow and the hands slightly tilted forward as if pouring water in a glass. Continue to go up until you arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you execute this movement and pause for a second at the top.
  • Lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Side Laterals to Front Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • In a standing position, hold a pair of dumbbells at your side. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your elbows slightly bent, raise the weights directly in front of you to shoulder height, avoiding any swinging or cheating.
  • At the top of the exercise move the weights out in front of you, keeping your arms extended.
  • Lower the weights with a controlled motion.
  • On the next repetition, raise the weights in front of you to shoulder height before moving the weights laterally to your sides.
  • Lower the weights to the starting position.

Side Lying Groin Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • adductors
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Start off by lying on your right side and bend your right knee in front of you to stabilize the torso.
  • Rest your head on your right hand or shoulder. Lift your left leg upward and hold it by the back of the knee (easier) or the foot (harder).
  • Pull your left knee in toward your left shoulder and simultaneously press your foot or knee down to the floor. To intensify this stretch, straighten your left leg. Switch sides.

Side Neck Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • neck
Instructions:
  • Start with your shoulders relaxed, gently tilt your head towards your shoulder.
  • Assist stretch with a gentle pull on the side of the head.

Side Wrist Pull

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • lats
Instructions:
  • This stretch works best standing. Cross your left arm over the midline of your body and hold the left wrist in your right hand down at the level of your hips. Start the stretch with a bent left arm.
  • Slowly straighten, pull, and lift it up to shoulder height, as pictured. Feel this stretch originate in your back, not your shoulders, and don't pull too hard on the shoulders joint. Switch sides.

Single Dumbbell Raise

Category: strength
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • traps
Instructions:
  • With a wide stance, hold a dumbell with both hands, grasping the head of the dumbbell instead of the handle. Your arms should be extended and hanging at the waist. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise the weight until it is above shoulder level, keeping your arms extended. Your torso and hips should remain stationary throughout the movement.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Single Leg Glute Bridge

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Lay on the floor with your feet flat and knees bent.
  • Raise one leg off of the ground, pulling the knee to your chest. This will be your starting position.
  • Execute the movement by driving through the heel, extending your hip upward and raising your glutes off of the ground.
  • Extend as far as possible, pause and then return to the starting position.

Single-Arm Cable Crossover

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Instructions:
  • Begin by moving the pulleys to the high position, select the resistance to be used, and take a handle in each hand.
  • Step forward in front of both pulleys with your arms extended in front of you, bringing your hands together. Your head and chest should be up as you lean forward, while your feet should be staggered. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your left arm in place, allow your right arm to extend out to the side, maintaining a slight bend at the elbow. The right arm should be perpendicular to the body at approximately shoulder level.
  • Return your arm back to the starting position by pulling your hand back to the midline of the body.
  • Hold for a second at the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side. Continue alternating back and forth for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Single-Leg Leg Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Seat yourself in the machine and adjust it so that you are positioned properly. The pad should be against the lower part of the shin but not in contact with the ankle. Adjust the seat so that the pivot point is in line with your knee. Select a weight appropriate for your abilities.
  • Maintaining good posture, fully extend one leg, pausing at the top of the motion.
  • Return to the starting position without letting the weight stop, keeping tension on the muscle.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Sit-Up

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Lie down on the floor placing your feet either under something that will not move or by having a partner hold them. Your legs should be bent at the knees.
  • Place your hands behind your head and lock them together by clasping your fingers. This is the starting position.
  • Elevate your upper body so that it creates an imaginary V-shape with your thighs. Breathe out when performing this part of the exercise.
  • Once you feel the contraction for a second, lower your upper body back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Sled Overhead Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Attach dual handles to a sled using a chain or rope. Load the sled to an appropriate load.
  • Facing away from the sled, step away until there is tension in the line. Raise your hands above your head, keeping them together, palms facing each other. Your elbows should be pointed upward with the elbows flexed. This will be your starting position.
  • Extend through the elbow to straighten the arm. Ensure that your upper arm stays in position to isolate the triceps.
  • Upon full extension, step forward to take the slack out of the line. You may keep your feet staggered for more stability.

Sled Reverse Flye

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Attach dual handles to a sled connected by a rope or chain. Load the sled to a light weight.
  • Face the sled, backing up until there is some tension in the line. Take both handles at arms length at about waist level. Bend the knees slightly and keep your chest and head up. This will be your starting position.
  • Without flexing the elbow, pull the handles upward and apart, performing a reverse fly with some external rotation. Your palms should be facing forward as you do this.
  • Return to the starting position, taking a couple steps back to take the slack out of the line.

Smith Incline Shoulder Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
Instructions:
  • Place an incline bench underneath the smith machine. Place the barbell at a height that you can reach when lying down and your arms are almost fully extended. Once the weight you need is selected, lie down on the incline bench and make sure your shoulders are aligned right under the barbell.
  • Using a shoulder width pronated (palms forward) grip, lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight over you with a slight bend at the elbows. This will be your starting position.
  • As you breathe out, lift the bar up until your arms are fully extended. Note: The contraction should be felt around the shoulders.
  • After a second pause, bring the bar back down to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
  • When you are done, place the bar back in the rack.

Smith Machine Behind the Back Shrug

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • With the bar at thigh level, load an appropriate weight.
  • Stand with the bar behind you, taking a shoulder-width, pronated grip on the bar and unhook the weight. You should be standing up straight with your head and chest up and your arms extended. This will be your starting position.
  • Initiate the movement by shrugging your shoulders straight up. Do not flex the arms or wrist during the movement.
  • After a brief pause return the weight to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions before engaging the hooks to rack the weight.

Smith Machine Calf Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Place a block or weight plate below the bar on the Smith machine. Set the bar to a position that best matches your height. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step onto the plates with the balls of your feet and place the bar on the back of your shoulders.
  • Take the bar with both hands facing forward. Rotate the bar to unrack it. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your heels as high as possible by pushing off of the balls of your feet, flexing your calf at the top of the contraction. Your knees should remain extended. Hold the contracted position for a second before you start to go back down.
  • Return slowly to the starting position as you breathe in while lowering your heels.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Smith Machine Hip Raise

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Position a bench in the rack and load the bar to an appropriate weight. Lie down on the bench, placing the bottom of your feet against the bar. Unlock the bar and extend your legs. You may need to use your hands to assist you. For added stability grasp the sides of the Smith Machine. This will be your starting position.
  • Initiate the movement by rotating your pelvis, flexing your spine to raise your hips off of the bench. Maintain a slight bend in the knees throughout the motion.
  • After a brief pause, return the hips to the bench.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Smith Machine Reverse Calf Raises

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Adjust the barbell on the smith machine to fit your height and align a raised platform right under the bar.
  • Stand on the platform with the heels of your feet secured on top of it with the balls of your feet extending off it. Position your toes facing forward with a shoulder width stance.
  • Now, place your shoulders under the barbell while maintaining the foot positioning described and push the barbell up by extending your hips and knees until your torso is standing erect. The knees should be kept with a slight bend; never locked. This will be your starting position. Tip: The barbell on your back is only for balance purposes.
  • Raise the balls of your feet as you breathe out by extending your toes as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending at any time. Hold the contracted position for a second before you start to go back down.
  • Slowly go back down to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering the balls of your feet and toes.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Speed Band Overhead Triceps

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: bands
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • For this exercise anchor a band to the ground. We used an incline bench and anchored the band to the base, standing over the bench. Alternatively, this could be performed standing on the band.
  • To begin, pull the band behind your head, holding it with a pronated grip and your elbows up. This will be your starting position.
  • To perform the movement, extend through the elbow to to straighten your arms, ensuring that you keep your upper arm in place.
  • Pause, and then return to the starting position.

Spider Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: e-z curl bar
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Start out by setting the bar on the part of the preacher bench that you would normally sit on. Make sure to align the barbell properly so that it is balanced and will not fall off.
  • Move to the front side of the preacher bench (the part where the arms usually lay) and position yourself to lay at a 45 degree slant with your torso and stomach pressed against the front side of the preacher bench.
  • Make sure that your feet (especially the toes) are well positioned on the floor and place your upper arms on top of the pad located on the inside part of the preacher bench.
  • Use your arms to grab the barbell with a supinated grip (palms facing up) at about shoulder width apart or slightly closer from each other.
  • Slowly begin to lift the barbell upwards and exhale. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the biceps.
  • Slowly begin to bring the barbell back to the starting position as your breathe in. .
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Spinal Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
  • lower back
  • neck
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Sit in a chair so your back is straight and your feet planted on the floor.
  • Interlace your fingers behind your head, elbows out and your chin down.
  • Twist your upper body to one side about 3 times as far as you can. Then lean forward and twist your torso to reach your elbow to the floor on the inside of your knee.
  • Return to upright position and then repeat for your other side.

Standing Barbell Calf Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • This exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes. To begin, first set the bar on a rack that best matches your height. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step under the bar and place the bar on the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck).
  • Hold on to the bar using both arms at each side and lift it off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.
  • Step away from the rack and position your legs using a shoulder width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head up at all times as looking down will get you off balance and also maintain a straight back. The knees should be kept with a slight bend; never locked. This will be your starting position. Tip: For better range of motion you may also place the ball of your feet on a wooden block but be careful as this option requires more balance and a sturdy block.
  • Raise your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending at any time. Hold the contracted position by a second before you start to go back down.
  • Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering your heels as you bend the ankles until calves are stretched.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Standing Bent-Over One-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • With a dumbbell in one hand and the palm facing your torso, bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward, by bending at the waist, while keeping the back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Make sure that you keep the head up.
  • The upper arm should be close to the torso and parallel to the floor while the forearm is pointing towards the floor as the hand holds the weight. Tip: There should be a 90-degree angle between the forearm and the upper arm. This is your starting position.
  • Keeping the upper arms stationary, use the triceps to lift the weights as you exhale until the forearms are parallel to the floor and the whole arm is extended. Like many other arm exercises, only the forearm moves.
  • After a second contraction at the top, slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
  • Switch arms and repeat the exercise.

Standing Bent-Over Two-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • With a dumbbell in each hand and the palms facing your torso, bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward, by bending at the waist, while keeping the back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Make sure that you keep the head up. The upper arms should be close to the torso and parallel to the floor while the forearms are pointing towards the floor as the hands hold the weights. Tip: There should be a 90-degree angle between the forearms and the upper arm. This is your starting position.
  • Keeping the upper arms stationary, use the triceps to lift the weights as you exhale until the forearms are parallel to the floor and the whole arms are extended. Like many other arm exercises, only the forearm moves.
  • After a second contraction at the top, slowly lower the dumbbells back to their starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Standing Biceps Cable Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Stand up with your torso upright while holding a cable curl bar that is attached to a low pulley. Grab the cable bar at shoulder width and keep the elbows close to the torso. The palm of your hands should be facing up (supinated grip). This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the muscle.
  • Slowly begin to bring the curl bar back to starting position as your breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Standing Biceps Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Clasp your hands behind your back with your palms together, straighten arms and then rotate them so your palms face downward.
  • Raise your arms up and hold until you feel a stretch in your biceps.

Standing Calf Raises

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Adjust the padded lever of the calf raise machine to fit your height.
  • Place your shoulders under the pads provided and position your toes facing forward (or using any of the two other positions described at the beginning of the chapter). The balls of your feet should be secured on top of the calf block with the heels extending off it. Push the lever up by extending your hips and knees until your torso is standing erect. The knees should be kept with a slight bend; never locked. Toes should be facing forward, outwards or inwards as described at the beginning of the chapter. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending at any time. Hold the contracted position by a second before you start to go back down.
  • Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering your heels as you bend the ankles until calves are stretched.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Standing Concentration Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Taking a dumbbell in your working hand, lean forward. Allow your working arm to hang perpendicular to the ground with the elbow pointing out. This will be your starting position.
  • Flex the elbow to curl the weight, keeping the upper arm stationary. At the top of the repetition, flex the biceps and pause.
  • Lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Stand with your torso upright holding two dumbbells in your hands by your sides. Place the ball of the foot on a sturdy and stable wooden board (that is around 2-3 inches tall) while your heels extend off and touch the floor. This will be your starting position.
  • With the toes pointing either straight (to hit all parts equally), inwards (for emphasis on the outer head) or outwards (for emphasis on the inner head), raise the heels off the floor as you exhale by contracting the calves. Hold the top contraction for a second.
  • As you inhale, go back to the starting position by slowly lowering the heels.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of times.

Standing Dumbbell Reverse Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • To begin, stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand using a pronated grip (palms facing down). Your arms should be fully extended while your feet are shoulder width apart from each other. This is the starting position.
  • While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the muscle.
  • Slowly begin to bring the dumbbells back to starting position as your breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Standing Dumbbell Straight-Arm Front Delt Raise Above Head

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Hold the dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms facing your thighs.
  • Keep your arms straight with a slight bend at the elbows but keep them locked. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise the dumbbells in a semicircular motion to arm's length overhead as you exhale.
  • Slowly return to the starting position using the same path as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • To begin, stand up with a dumbbell held by both hands. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart from each other. Slowly use both hands to grab the dumbbell and lift it over your head until both arms are fully extended.
  • The resistance should be resting in the palms of your hands with your thumbs around it. The palm of the hands should be facing up towards the ceiling. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your upper arms close to your head with elbows in and perpendicular to the floor, lower the resistance in a semicircular motion behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps. Tip: The upper arms should remain stationary and only the forearms should move. Breathe in as you perform this step.
  • Go back to the starting position by using the triceps to raise the dumbbell. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Standing Front Barbell Raise Over Head

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • To begin, stand straight with a barbell in your hands. You should grip the bar with palms facing down and a closer than shoulder width grip apart from each other.
  • Your feet should be shoulder width apart from each other. Your elbows should be slightly bent. This is the starting position.
  • Lift the barbell up until it is directly over your head while exhaling. Make sure to keep your elbows slightly bent when performing each repetition.
  • Once you feel the contraction, begin to lower the barbell back down to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Standing Hip Circles

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abductors
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
Instructions:
  • Begin standing on one leg, holding to a vertical support.
  • Raise the unsupported knee to 90 degrees. This will be your starting position.
  • Open the hip as far as possible, attempting to make a big circle with your knee.
  • Perform this movement slowly for a number of repetitions, and repeat on the other side.

Standing Hip Flexors

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight with the spine vertical, the left foot slightly in front of the right.
  • Bend both knees and lift the back heel off the floor as you press the right hip forward. You can't get a thorough, deep stretch in this position, however, because it's hard to relax the hip flexor and stand on it at the same time. Switch sides.

Standing Inner-Biceps Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Stand up with a dumbbell in each hand being held at arms length. The elbows should be close to the torso. Your legs should be at about shoulder's width apart from each other.
  • Rotate the palms of the hands so that they are facing inward in a neutral position. This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights out while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Your wrist should turn so that when the weights are fully elevated you have supinated grip (palms facing up).
  • Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Tip: Keep the forearms aligned with your outer deltoids.
  • Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the biceps.
  • Slowly begin to bring the dumbbells back to the starting position as your breathe in. Remember to rotate the wrists as you lower the weight in order to switch back to a neutral grip.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Standing Leg Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Adjust the machine lever to fit your height and lie with your torso bent at the waist facing forward around 30-45 degrees (since an angled position is more favorable for hamstrings recruitment) with the pad of the lever on the back of your right leg (just a few inches under the calves) and the front of the right leg on top of the machine pad.
  • Keeping the torso bent forward, ensure your leg is fully stretched and grab the side handles of the machine. Position your toes straight. This will be your starting position.
  • As you exhale, curl your right leg up as far as possible without lifting the upper leg from the pad. Once you hit the fully contracted position, hold it for a second.
  • As you inhale, bring the legs back to the initial position. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Perform the same exercise now for the left leg.

Standing Low-Pulley Deltoid Raise

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Start by standing to the right side of a low pulley row. Use your left hand to come across the body and grab a single handle attached to the low pulley with a pronated grip (palms facing down). Rest your arm in front of you. Your right hand should grab the machine for better support and balance.
  • Make sure that your back is erect and your feet are shoulder width apart from each other. This is the starting position.
  • Begin to use the left hand and come across your body out until it is elevated to shoulder height while exhaling.
  • Feel the contraction at the top for a second and begin to slowly lower the handle back down to the original starting position while inhaling.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Switch arms and repeat the exercise.

Standing Low-Pulley One-Arm Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Grab a single handle with your left arm next to the low pulley machine. Turn away from the machine keeping the handle to the side of your body with your arm fully extended. Now use both hands to elevate the single handle directly above the head with the palm facing forward. Keep your upper arm completely vertical (perpendicular to the floor) and put your right hand on your left elbow to help keep it steady. This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your upper arms close to your head (elbows in) and perpendicular to the floor, lower the resistance in a semicircular motion behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps. Tip: The upper arms should remain stationary and only the forearms should move. Breathe in as you perform this step.
  • Go back to the starting position by using the triceps to raise the single handle. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Switch arms and repeat the exercise.

Standing Olympic Plate Hand Squeeze

Category: strength
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • To begin, stand straight while holding a weight plate by the ridge at arm's length in each hand using a neutral grip (palms facing in). You feet should be shoulder width apart from each other. This will be your starting position.
  • Lower the plates until the fingers are nearly extended but can still hold weights. Inhale as you lower the plates.
  • Now raise the plates back to the starting position as you exhale by closing your hands.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions prescribed in your program.

Standing One-Arm Cable Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Start out by grabbing single handle next to the low pulley machine. Make sure you are far enough from the machine so that your arm is supporting the weight.
  • Make sure that your upper arm is stationary, perpendicular to the floor with elbows in and palms facing forward. Your non lifting arm should be grabbing your waist. This will allow you to keep your balance.
  • Slowly begin to curl the single handle upwards while keeping the upper arm stationary until your forearm touches your bicep while exhaling. Tip: Only the forearm should move.
  • Hold the contraction position as you squeeze the bicep and then lower the single handle back down to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Switch arms while performing this exercise.

Standing One-Arm Dumbbell Curl Over Incline Bench

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Stand on the back side of an incline bench as if you were going to be a spotter for someone. Have a dumbbell in one hand and rest it across the incline bench with a supinated (palms up) grip.
  • Position your non lifting hand at the corner or side of the incline bench. The chest should be pressed against the top part of the incline and your feet should be pressed against the floor at a wide stance. This is the starting position.
  • While holding the upper arm stationary, curl the dumbbell upward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbell is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second.
  • Slowly begin to bring the dumbbells back to starting position as your breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Switch arms while performing this exercise.

Standing One-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • To begin, stand up with a dumbbell held in one hand. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart from each other. Now fully extend the arm with the dumbbell over your head. Tip: The small finger of your hand should be facing the ceiling and the palm of your hand should be facing forward. The dumbbell should be above your head.
  • This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your upper arm close to your head (elbows in) and perpendicular to the floor, lower the resistance in a semicircular motion behind your head until your forearm touch your bicep. Tip: The upper arm should remain stationary and only the forearm should move. Breathe in as you perform this step.
  • Go back to the starting position by using the triceps to raise the dumbbell. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Switch arms and repeat the exercise.

Standing Overhead Barbell Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • To begin, stand up holding a barbell or e-z bar using a pronated grip (palms facing forward) with your hands closer than shoulder width apart from each other. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart.
  • Now elevate the barbell above your head until your arms are fully extended. Keep your elbows in. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your upper arms close to your head and elbows in, perpendicular to the floor, lower the resistance in a semicircular motion behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps. Tip: The upper arms should remain stationary and only the forearms should move. Breathe in as you perform this step.
  • Go back to the starting position by using the triceps to raise the barbell. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Standing Palms-Up Barbell Behind The Back Wrist Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Start by standing straight and holding a barbell behind your glutes at arm's length while using a pronated grip (palms will be facing back away from the glutes) and having your hands shoulder width apart from each other.
  • You should be looking straight forward while your feet are shoulder width apart from each other. This is the starting position.
  • While exhaling, slowly elevate the barbell up by curling your wrist in a semi-circular motion towards the ceiling. Note: Your wrist should be the only body part moving for this exercise.
  • Hold the contraction for a second and lower the barbell back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • When finished, lower the barbell down to the squat rack or the floor by bending the knees. Tip: It is easiest to either pick it up from a squat rack or have a partner hand it to you.

Standing Pelvic Tilt

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • Start off with your feet hip-distance apart.
  • Bend your knees slightly to keep them soft and springy.
  • You may want to move your pelvis forward and backward and back few times before holding the tailbone forward in this stretch.

Standing Rope Crunch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Attach a rope to a high pulley and select an appropriate weight.
  • Stand with your back to the cable tower. Take the rope with both hands over your shoulders, holding it to your upper chest. This will be your starting position.
  • Perform the movement by flexing the spine, crunching the weight down as far as you can.
  • Hold the peak contraction for a moment before returning to the starting position.

Standing Soleus And Achilles Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, one foot slightly in front of the other.
  • Bend both knees, keeping your back heel on the floor. Switch sides.

Standing Towel Triceps Extension

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • To begin, stand up with both arms fully extended above the head holding one end of a towel with both hands. Your elbows should be in and the arms perpendicular to the floor with the palms facing each other while your feet should be shoulder width apart from each other. This is the starting position.
  • Now communicate with your partner so that he/she can grip the other side of the towel to apply resistance. Keeping your upper arms close to your head (elbows in) and perpendicular to the floor, lower the resistance in a semicircular motion behind your head until your forearms touch your biceps. Tip: The upper arms should remain stationary and only the forearms should move. Breathe in as you perform this step.
  • Go back to the starting position by using the triceps to raise the towel. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Stomach Vacuum

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • To begin, stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart from each other. Place your hands on your hips. This is the starting position.
  • Now slowly inhale as much air as possible and then start to exhale as much as possible while bringing your stomach in as much as possible and hold this position. Try to visualize your navel touching your backbone.
  • One isometric contraction is around 20 seconds. During the 20 second hold, try to breathe normally. Then inhale and bring your stomach back to the starting position.
  • Once you have practiced this exercise, try to perform this exercise for longer than 20 seconds. Tip: You can work your way up to 40-60 seconds.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of sets.

Straight Raises on Incline Bench

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Place a bar on the ground behind the head of an incline bench.
  • Lay on the bench face down. With a pronated grip, pick the barbell up from the floor, keeping your arms straight. Allow the bar to hang straight down. This will be your starting position.
  • To begin, raise the barbell out in front of your head while keeping your arms extended.
  • Return to the starting position.

Straight-Arm Pulldown

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • You will start by grabbing the wide bar from the top pulley of a pulldown machine and using a wider than shoulder-width pronated (palms down) grip. Step backwards two feet or so.
  • Bend your torso forward at the waist by around 30-degrees with your arms fully extended in front of you and a slight bend at the elbows. If your arms are not fully extended then you need to step a bit more backwards until they are. Once your arms are fully extended and your torso is slightly bent at the waist, tighten the lats and then you are ready to begin.
  • While keeping the arms straight, pull the bar down by contracting the lats until your hands are next to the side of the thighs. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  • While keeping the arms straight, go back to the starting position while breathing in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Suspended Fallout

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • lower back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Adjust the straps so the handles are at an appropriate height, below waist level.
  • Begin standing and grasping the handles. Lean into the straps, moving to an incline push-up position. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your arms straight, lean further into the suspension straps, bringing your body closer to the ground, allowing your shoulders to extend, raising your arms up and over your head.
  • Maintain a neutral spine and keep the rest of your body straight, your shoulders being the only joints allowed to move.
  • Pause during the peak contraction, and then return to the starting position.

Suspended Reverse Crunch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Secure a set of suspension straps with the handles hanging about a foot off of the ground. Move yourself into a pushup plank position facing away from the rack.
  • Place your feet into the handles. You should maintain a straight posture, not allowing the hips to sag. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin the movement by flexing the knees and hips, drawing the knees to your torso. As you do so, anteriorly tilt your pelvis, allowing your spine to flex.
  • At the top of the controlled motion, return to the starting position.

Tate Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand on top of your thighs. The palms of your hand will be facing each other.
  • By using your thighs to help you get the dumbbells up, clean the dumbbells one arm at a time so that you can hold them in front of you at shoulder width. Note: when holding the dumbbells in front of you, make sure your arms are wider than shoulder width apart from each other using a pronated (palms forward) grip. Allow your elbows to point out. This is your starting position.
  • Keeping the upper arms stationary, slowly move the dumbbells in and down in a semi circular motion until they touch the upper chest while inhaling. Keep full control of the dumbbells at all times and do not move the upper arms nor rest the dumbbells on the chest.
  • As you breathe out, move the dumbbells up using your triceps and the same semi-circular motion but in reverse. Attempt to keep the dumbbells together as they move up. Lock your arms in the contracted position, hold for a second and then start coming down again slowly again. Tip: It should take at least twice as long to go down than to come up.
  • Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions of your training program.

Thigh Abductor

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • abductors
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • To begin, sit down on the abductor machine and select a weight you are comfortable with. When your legs are positioned properly, grip the handles on each side. Your entire upper body (from the waist up) should be stationary. This is the starting position.
  • Slowly press against the machine with your legs to move them away from each other while exhaling.
  • Feel the contraction for a second and begin to move your legs back to the starting position while breathing in. Note: Remember to keep your upper body stationary to prevent any injuries from occurring.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Thigh Adductor

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • adductors
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • To begin, sit down on the adductor machine and select a weight you are comfortable with. When your legs are positioned properly on the leg pads of the machine, grip the handles on each side. Your entire upper body (from the waist up) should be stationary. This is the starting position.
  • Slowly press against the machine with your legs to move them towards each other while exhaling.
  • Feel the contraction for a second and begin to move your legs back to the starting position while breathing in. Note: Remember to keep your upper body stationary and avoid fast jerking motions in order to prevent any injuries from occurring.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Toe Touchers

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • To begin, lie down on the floor or an exercise mat with your back pressed against the floor. Your arms should be lying across your sides with the palms facing down.
  • Your legs should be touching each other. Slowly elevate your legs up in the air until they are almost perpendicular to the floor with a slight bend at the knees. Your feet should be parallel to the floor.
  • Move your arms so that they are fully extended at a 45 degree angle from the floor. This is the starting position.
  • While keeping your lower back pressed against the floor, slowly lift your torso and use your hands to try and touch your toes. Remember to exhale while perform this part of the exercise.
  • Slowly begin to lower your torso and arms back down to the starting position while inhaling. Remember to keep your arms straight out pointing towards your toes.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Tricep Dumbbell Kickback

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Start with a dumbbell in each hand and your palms facing your torso. Keep your back straight with a slight bend in the knees and bend forward at the waist. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor. Make sure to keep your head up. Your upper arms should be close to your torso and parallel to the floor. Your forearms should be pointed towards the floor as you hold the weights. There should be a 90-degree angle formed between your forearm and upper arm. This is your starting position.
  • Now, while keeping your upper arms stationary, exhale and use your triceps to lift the weights until the arm is fully extended. Focus on moving the forearm.
  • After a brief pause at the top contraction, inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Triceps Overhead Extension with Rope

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Attach a rope to a low pulley. After selecting an appropriate weight, grasp the rope with both hands and face away from the cable.
  • Position your hands behind your head with your elbows point straight up. Your elbows should start out flexed, and you can stagger your stance and lean gently away from the machine to create greater stability. This will be your starting position.
  • To perform the movement, extend through the elbow while keeping the upper arm in position, raising your hands above your head.
  • Squeeze your triceps at the top of the movement, and slowly lower the weight back to the start position.

Triceps Pushdown

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Attach a straight or angled bar to a high pulley and grab with an overhand grip (palms facing down) at shoulder width.
  • Standing upright with the torso straight and a very small inclination forward, bring the upper arms close to your body and perpendicular to the floor. The forearms should be pointing up towards the pulley as they hold the bar. This is your starting position.
  • Using the triceps, bring the bar down until it touches the front of your thighs and the arms are fully extended perpendicular to the floor. The upper arms should always remain stationary next to your torso and only the forearms should move. Exhale as you perform this movement.
  • After a second hold at the contracted position, bring the bar slowly up to the starting point. Breathe in as you perform this step.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Attach a rope attachment to a high pulley and grab with a neutral grip (palms facing each other).
  • Standing upright with the torso straight and a very small inclination forward, bring the upper arms close to your body and perpendicular to the floor. The forearms should be pointing up towards the pulley as they hold the rope with the palms facing each other. This is your starting position.
  • Using the triceps, bring the rope down as you bring each side of the rope to the side of your thighs. At the end of the movement the arms are fully extended and perpendicular to the floor. The upper arms should always remain stationary next to your torso and only the forearms should move. Exhale as you perform this movement.
  • After holding for a second, at the contracted position, bring the rope slowly up to the starting point. Breathe in as you perform this step.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Triceps Pushdown - V-Bar Attachment

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Attach a V-Bar to a high pulley and grab with an overhand grip (palms facing down) at shoulder width.
  • Standing upright with the torso straight and a very small inclination forward, bring the upper arms close to your body and perpendicular to the floor. The forearms should be pointing up towards the pulley as they hold the bar. The thumbs should be higher than the small finger. This is your starting position.
  • Using the triceps, bring the bar down until it touches the front of your thighs and the arms are fully extended perpendicular to the floor. The upper arms should always remain stationary next to your torso and only the forearms should move. Exhale as you perform this movement.
  • After a second hold at the contracted position, bring the V-Bar slowly up to the starting point. Breathe in as you perform this step.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Triceps Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Primary Muscles:
  • triceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • lats
Instructions:
  • Reach your hand behind your head, grasp your elbow and gently pull. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then switch sides.

Tuck Crunch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • To begin, lie down on the floor or an exercise mat with your back pressed against the floor. Your arms should be lying across your sides with the palms facing down.
  • Your legs should be crossed by wrapping one ankle around the other. Slowly elevate your legs up in the air until your thighs are perpendicular to the floor with a slight bend at the knees. Note: Your knees and toes should be parallel to the floor as opposed to the thighs.
  • Move your arms from the floor and cross them so they are resting on your chest. This is the starting position.
  • While keeping your lower back pressed against the floor, slowly lift your torso. Remember to exhale while perform this part of the exercise.
  • Slowly begin to lower your torso back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Two-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Grab a dumbbell with each arm and place the upper arms on top of the preacher bench or the incline bench. The dumbbell should be held at shoulder length. This will be your starting position.
  • As you breathe in, slowly lower the dumbbells until your upper arm is extended and the biceps is fully stretched.
  • As you exhale, use the biceps to curl the weights up until your biceps is fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder height.
  • Squeeze the biceps hard for a second at the contracted position and repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Weighted Ball Side Bend

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: exercise ball
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • To begin, lie down on an exercise ball with your left side of the torso (waist, hips and shoulder) pressed against the ball.
  • Your feet should be on the floor while your legs are crossed and hanging from the ball. Hold a weighted plate with your right hand directly to the right side of your head. Tip: Make sure the smooth side of the plate is resting against your head.
  • Place your left arm across your torso so that your palm is on your obliques. There should be a right angle between your left forearm and upper arm. This is the starting position.
  • Raise the side of your torso up by laterally flexing at the waist while exhaling.
  • Hold the contraction for a second and slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Switch sides and repeat the exercise.

Weighted Crunches

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: medicine ball
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground or resting on a bench with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle.
  • Hold a weight to your chest, or you may hold it extended above your torso. This will be your starting position.
  • Now, exhale and slowly begin to roll your shoulders off the floor. Your shoulders should come up off the floor about 4 inches while your lower back remains on the floor.
  • At the top of the movement, flex your abdominals and hold for a brief pause.
  • Then inhale and slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position.

Weighted Sit-Ups - With Bands

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Instructions:
  • Start out by strapping the bands around the base of the decline bench. Place the handles towards the inside of the decline bench so that when lying down, you can reach for both of them.
  • Position your legs through the decline machine until they are secured. Now reach for the exercise bands with both hands. Use a pronated (palms forward) grip to grasp the handles. Position them near your collar bone and rotate your wrist to a neutral grip (palms facing the torso). Note: Your arms should remain stationary throughout the exercise. This is the starting position.
  • Move your torso upward until your upper body is perpendicular to the floor while exhaling. Hold the contraction for a second and lower your upper body back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Wide-Grip Standing Barbell Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Instructions:
  • Stand up with your torso upright while holding a barbell at the wide outer handle. The palm of your hands should be facing forward. The elbows should be close to the torso. This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arms stationary, curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Tip: Only the forearms should move.
  • Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a second and squeeze the biceps hard.
  • Slowly begin to bring the bar back to starting position as your breathe in.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Wrist Circles

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Start by standing straight with your feet being shoulder width apart from each other. Elevate your arms to the side of you until they are fully extended and parallel to the floor at a height that is evenly aligned with your shoulders. Tip: Your torso and arms should form the letter "T: Your palms should be facing down. This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your entire body stationary except for the wrists, begin to rotate both wrists forward in a circular motion. Tip: Pretend that you are trying to draw circles by using your hands as the brush. Breathe normally as you perform this exercise.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Wrist Roller

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • To begin, stand straight up grabbing a wrist roller using a pronated grip (palms facing down). Your feet should be shoulder width apart.
  • Slowly lift both arms until they are fully extended and parallel to the floor in front of you. Note: Make sure the rope is not wrapped around the roller. Your entire body should be stationary except for the forearms. This is the starting position.
  • Rotate one wrist at a time in an upward motion to bring the weight up to the bar by rolling the rope around the roller.
  • Once the weight has reached the bar, slowly begin to lower the weight back down by rotating the wrist in a downward motion until the weight reaches the starting position.
  • Repeat for the prescribed amount of repetitions in your program.

Wrist Rotations with Straight Bar

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Hold a barbell with both hands and your palms facing down; hands spaced about shoulder width. This will be your starting position.
  • Alternating between each of your hands, perform the movement by extending the wrist as though you were rolling up a newspaper. Continue alternating back and forth until failure.
  • Reverse the motion by flexing the wrist, rolling the opposite direction. Continue the alternating motion until failure.

Zottman Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Stand up with your torso upright and a dumbbell in each hand being held at arms length. The elbows should be close to the torso.
  • Make sure the palms of the hands are facing each other. This will be your starting position.
  • While holding the upper arm stationary, curl the weights while contracting the biceps as you breathe out. Only the forearms should move. Your wrist should rotate so that you have a supinated (palms up) grip. Continue the movement until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level.
  • Hold the contracted position for a second as you squeeze the biceps.
  • Now during the contracted position, rotate your wrist until you now have a pronated (palms facing down) grip with the thumb at a higher position than the pinky.
  • Slowly begin to bring the dumbbells back down using the pronated grip.
  • As the dumbbells close your thighs, start rotating the wrist so that you go back to a neutral (palms facing your body) grip.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Zottman Preacher Curl

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: isolation
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • biceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
Instructions:
  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and place your upper arms on top of the preacher bench or the incline bench. The dumbbells should be held at shoulder height and the elbows should be flexed. Hold the dumbbells with the palms of your hands facing down. This will be your starting position.
  • As you breathe in, slowly lower the dumbbells keeping the palms down until your upper arm is extended and your biceps are fully stretched.
  • Now rotate your wrists once you are at the bottom of the movement so that the palms of the hands are facing up.
  • As you exhale, use your biceps to curl the weights up until they are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder height. Again, remember that to ensure full contraction you need to bring that small finger higher than the thumb.
  • Squeeze the biceps hard for a second at the contracted position and rotate your wrists so that the palms are facing down again.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.