Calves

The calf muscles include the gastrocnemius and the soleus.

Other muscles

209 Exercises

90/90 Hamstring

Category: stretching
Force: push
Level: beginner
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Lie on your back, with one leg extended straight out.
  • With the other leg, bend the hip and knee to 90 degrees. You may brace your leg with your hands if necessary. This will be your starting position.
  • Extend your leg straight into the air, pausing briefly at the top. Return the leg to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 10-20 repetitions, and then switch to the other leg.

Alternate Leg Diagonal Bound

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Assume a comfortable stance with one foot slightly in front of the other.
  • Begin by pushing off with the front leg, driving the opposite knee forward and as high as possible before landing. Attempt to cover as much distance to each side with each bound.
  • It may help to use a line on the ground to guage distance from side to side.
  • Repeat the sequence with the other leg.

Alternating Hang Clean

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Place two kettlebells between your feet. To get in the starting position, push your butt back and look straight ahead.
  • Clean one kettlebell to your shoulder and hold on to the other kettlebell in a hanging position. Clean the kettlebell to your shoulder by extending through the legs and hips as you pull the kettlebell towards your shoulders. Rotate your wrist as you do so.
  • Lower the cleaned kettlebell to a hanging position and clean the alternate kettlebell. Repeat.

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.

Anterior Tibialis-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Begin seated on the ground with your legs bent and your feet on the floor.
  • Using a Muscle Roller or a rolling pin, apply pressure to the muscles on the outside of your shins. Work from just below the knee to above the ankle, pausing at points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.

Atlas Stones

Category: strongman
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • adductors
  • biceps
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • middle back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Begin with the atlas stone between your feet. Bend at the hips to wrap your arms vertically around the Atlas Stone, attempting to get your fingers underneath the stone. Many stones will have a small flat portion on the bottom, which will make the stone easier to hold.
  • Pulling the stone into your torso, drive through the back half of your feet to pull the stone from the ground.
  • As the stone passes the knees, lap it by sitting backward, pulling the stone on top of your thighs.
  • Sit low, getting the stone high onto your chest as you change your grip to reach over the stone. Stand, driving through with your hips. Close distance to the loading platform, and lean back, extending the hips to get the stone as high as possible.

Backward Drag

Category: strongman
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Load a sled with the desired weight, attaching a rope or straps to the sled that you can hold onto.
  • Begin the exercise by moving backwards for a given distance. Leaning back, extend through the legs for short steps to move as quickly as possible.

Balance Board

Category: strength
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Place a balance board in front of you.
  • Stand up on it and try to balance yourself.
  • Hold the balance for as long as desired.

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.

Barbell Deadlift

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lats
  • middle back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Stand in front of a loaded barbell.
  • While keeping the back as straight as possible, bend your knees, bend forward and grasp the bar using a medium (shoulder width) overhand grip. This will be the starting position of the exercise. Tip: If it is difficult to hold on to the bar with this grip, alternate your grip or use wrist straps.
  • While holding the bar, start the lift by pushing with your legs while simultaneously getting your torso to the upright position as you breathe out. In the upright position, stick your chest out and contract the back by bringing the shoulder blades back. Think of how the soldiers in the military look when they are in standing in attention.
  • Go back to the starting position by bending at the knees while simultaneously leaning the torso forward at the waist while keeping the back straight. When the weights on the bar touch the floor you are back at the starting position and ready to perform another repetition.
  • Perform the amount of repetitions prescribed in the program.

Barbell Full Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • This exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes. To begin, first set the bar on a rack just above shoulder level. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step under the bar and place the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck) across it.
  • 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 and maintain a straight back. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees and sitting back with your hips as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until your hamstrings are on your calves. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel or middle of your foot as you straighten the legs and extend the hips to go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Barbell Glute Bridge

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Begin seated on the ground with a loaded barbell over your legs. Using a fat bar or having a pad on the bar can greatly reduce the discomfort caused by this exercise. Roll the bar so that it is directly above your hips, and lay down flat on the floor.
  • Begin the movement by driving through with your heels, extending your hips vertically through the bar. Your weight should be supported by your upper back and the heels of your feet.
  • Extend as far as possible, then reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Barbell Hack Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • forearms
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight while holding a barbell behind you at arms length and your feet at shoulder width. Tip: A shoulder width grip is best with the palms of your hands facing back. You can use wrist wraps for this exercise for a better grip. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping your head and eyes up and back straight, squat until your upper thighs are parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you slowly go down.
  • Pressing mainly with the heel of the foot and squeezing the thighs, go back up as you breathe out.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Barbell Hip Thrust

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Begin seated on the ground with a bench directly behind you. Have a loaded barbell over your legs. Using a fat bar or having a pad on the bar can greatly reduce the discomfort caused by this exercise.
  • Roll the bar so that it is directly above your hips, and lean back against the bench so that your shoulder blades are near the top of it.
  • Begin the movement by driving through your feet, extending your hips vertically through the bar. Your weight should be supported by your shoulder blades and your feet. Extend as far as possible, then reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Barbell Lunge

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • This exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes. To begin, first set the bar on a rack just below shoulder level. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step under the bar and place the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck) across it.
  • 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 step forward with your right leg and squat down through your hips, while keeping the torso upright and maintaining balance. Inhale as you go down. Note: Do not allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, as this will put undue stress on the knee joint. li>
  • Using mainly the heel of your foot, push up and go back to the starting position as you exhale.
  • Repeat the movement for the recommended amount of repetitions and then perform with the left leg.

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 Side Split Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • hamstrings
  • 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 placed wide apart with the foot of the lead leg angled out to the side. This will be your starting position.
  • Lower your body towards the side of your angled foot by bending the knee and hip of your lead leg and while keeping the opposite leg only slightly bent. Breathe in as you lower your body.
  • Return to the starting position by extending the hip and knee of the lead leg. Breathe out as you perform this movement.
  • After performing the recommended amount of reps, repeat the movement with the opposite leg.

Barbell Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • This exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes. To begin, first set the bar on a rack to just below shoulder level. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step under the bar and place the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck) across it.
  • 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 and also maintain a straight back. This will be your starting position. (Note: For the purposes of this discussion we will use the medium stance described above which targets overall development; however you can choose any of the three stances discussed in the foot stances section).
  • Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees and hips as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knees should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that is perpendicular to the front. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
  • Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel of your foot as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Barbell Squat To A Bench

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • This exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes. To begin, first place a flat bench or a box behind you. The flat bench is used to teach you to set your hips back and to hit depth.
  • Then, 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 back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck) across it.
  • 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. This will be your starting position. (Note: For the purposes of this discussion we will use the medium stance described above which targets overall development; however you can choose any of the three stances discussed in the foot stances section).
  • Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees and sitting your hips back as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until you slightly touch the bench behind you. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knees should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that is perpendicular to the front. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
  • Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel of your foot as you straighten the legs and extend the hips to go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Barbell Step Ups

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight while holding a barbell placed on the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck) and stand upright behind an elevated platform (such as the one used for spotting behind a flat bench). This is your starting position.
  • Place the right foot on the elevated platform. Step on the platform by extending the hip and the knee of your right leg. Use the heel mainly to lift the rest of your body up and place the foot of the left leg on the platform as well. Breathe out as you execute the force required to come up.
  • Step down with the left leg by flexing the hip and knee of the right leg as you inhale. Return to the original standing position by placing the right foot of to next to the left foot on the initial position.
  • Repeat with the right leg for the recommended amount of repetitions and then perform with the left leg.

Barbell Walking Lunge

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart and a barbell across your upper back.
  • Step forward with one leg, flexing the knees to drop your hips. Descend until your rear knee nearly touches the ground. Your posture should remain upright, and your front knee should stay above the front foot.
  • Drive through the heel of your lead foot and extend both knees to raise yourself back up.
  • Step forward with your rear foot, repeating the lunge on the opposite leg.

Bear Crawl Sled Drags

Category: strongman
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Wearing either a harness or a loose weight belt, attach the chain to the back so that you will be facing away from the sled. Bend down so that your hands are on the ground. Your back should be flat and knees bent. This is your starting position.
  • Begin by driving with legs, alternating left and right. Use your hands to maintain balance and to help pull. Try to keep your back flat as you move over a given distance.

Bench Jump

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Begin with a box or bench 1-2 feet in front of you. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. This will be your starting position.
  • Perform a short squat in preparation for the jump; swing your arms behind you.
  • Rebound out of this position, extending through the hips, knees, and ankles to jump as high as possible. Swing your arms forward and up.
  • Jump over the bench, landing with the knees bent, absorbing the impact through the legs.
  • Turn around and face the opposite direction, then jump back over the bench.

Bench Sprint

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Stand on the ground with one foot resting on a bench or box with your heel close to the edge.
  • Push off with your foot on top of the bench, extending through the hip and knee.
  • Land with the opposite foot on top of the box, returning your other foot back to the start position.
  • Continue alternating from one foot to another to complete the set.

Bicycling

Category: cardio
Level: beginner
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • To begin, seat yourself on the bike and adjust the seat to your height.

Bicycling, Stationary

Category: cardio
Level: beginner
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • To begin, seat yourself on the bike and adjust the seat to your height.
  • Select the desired option from the menu. You may have to start pedaling to turn it on. You can use the manual setting, or you can select a program to use. Typically, you can enter your age and weight to estimate the amount of calories burned during exercise. The level of resistance can be changed throughout the workout. The handles can be used to monitor your heart rate to help you stay at an appropriate intensity.

Bodyweight Walking Lunge

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips.
  • Step forward with one leg, flexing the knees to drop your hips. Descend until your rear knee nearly touches the ground. Your posture should remain upright, and your front knee should stay above the front foot.
  • Drive through the heel of your lead foot and extend both knees to raise yourself back up.
  • Step forward with your rear foot, repeating the lunge on the opposite leg.

Box Jump (Multiple Response)

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Assume a relaxed stance facing the box or platform approximately an arm's length away. Arms should be down at the sides and legs slightly bent.
  • Using the arms to aid in the initial burst, jump upward and forward, landing with feet simultaneously on top of the box or platform.
  • Immediately drop or jump back down to the original starting place; then repeat the sequence.

Box Skip

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • You will need several boxes lined up about 8 feet apart.
  • Begin facing the first box with one leg slightly behind the other.
  • Drive off the back leg, attempting to gain as much height with the hips as possible.
  • Immediately upon landing on the box, drive the other leg forward and upward to gain height and distance, leaping from the box. Land between the first two boxes with the same leg that landed on the first box.
  • Then, step to the next box and repeat.

Box Squat

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • The box squat allows you to squat to desired depth and develop explosive strength in the squat movement. Begin in a power rack with a box at the appropriate height behind you. Typically, you would aim for a box height that brings you to a parallel squat, but you can train higher or lower if desired.
  • Begin by stepping under the bar and placing it across the back of the shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and rotate your elbows forward, attempting to bend the bar across your shoulders. Remove the bar from the rack, creating a tight arch in your lower back, and step back into position. Place your feet wider for more emphasis on the back, glutes, adductors, and hamstrings, or closer together for more quad development. Keep your head facing forward.
  • With your back, shoulders, and core tight, push your knees and butt out and you begin your descent. Sit back with your hips until you are seated on the box. Ideally, your shins should be perpendicular to the ground. Pause when you reach the box, and relax the hip flexors. Never bounce off of a box.
  • Keeping the weight on your heels and pushing your feet and knees out, drive upward off of the box as you lead the movement with your head. Continue upward, maintaining tightness head to toe.

Box Squat with Bands

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Begin in a power rack with a box at the appropriate height behind you. Set up the bands on the sleeves, secured to either band pegs, the rack, or dumbbells so that there is appropriate tension. If dumbbells are used, secure them so that they don't move. Also, ensure that the dumbbells you are using are heavy enough for the bands that you are using. Additional plates can be used to hold the dumbbells down. If more tension is needed, you can either widen the base on the floor or choke the bands. Typically, you would aim for a box height that brings you to a parallel squat, but you can train higher or lower if desired.
  • Begin by stepping under the bar and placing it across the back of the shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and rotate your elbows forward, attempting to bend the bar across your shoulders. Remove the bar from the rack, creating a tight arch in your lower back, and step back into position. Place your feet wider for more emphasis on the back, glutes, adductors, and hamstrings, or closer together for more quad development. Keep your head facing forward.
  • With your back, shoulders, and core tight, push your knees and butt out and you begin your descent. Sit back with your hips until you are seated on the box. Ideally, your shins should be perpendicular to the ground. Pause when you reach the box, and relax the hip flexors. Never bounce off of a box.
  • Keeping the weight on your heels and pushing your feet and knees out, drive upward off of the box as you lead the movement with your head. Continue upward, maintaining tightness head to toe. Use care to return the barbell to the rack.

Box Squat with Chains

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Begin in a power rack with a box at the appropriate height behind you. Typically, you would aim for a box height that brings you to a parallel squat, but you can train higher or lower if desired.
  • To set up the chains, begin by looping the leader chain over the sleeves of the bar. The heavy chain should be attached using a snap hook. Adjust the length of the lead chain so that a few links are still on the floor at the top of the movement.
  • Begin by stepping under the bar and placing it across the back of the shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and rotate your elbows forward, attempting to bend the bar across your shoulders. Remove the bar from the rack, creating a tight arch in your lower back, and step back into position. Place your feet wider for more emphasis on the back, glutes, adductors, and hamstrings, or closer together for more quad development. Keep your head facing forward.
  • With your back, shoulders, and core tight, push your knees and butt out and you begin your descent. Sit back with your hips until you are seated on the box. Ideally, your shins should be perpendicular to the ground. Pause when you reach the box, and relax the hip flexors. Never bounce off of a box.
  • Keeping the weight on your heels and pushing your feet and knees out, drive upward off of the box as you lead the movement with your head. Continue upward, maintaining tightness head to toe.

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.

Calves-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Begin seated on the floor. Place a foam roller underneath your lower leg. Your other leg can either be crossed over the opposite or be placed on the floor, supporting some of your weight. This will be your starting position.
  • Place your hands to your side or just behind you, and press down to raise your hips off of the floor, placing much of your weight against your calf muscle. Roll from below the knee to above the ankle, pausing at points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Repeat for the other leg.

Carioca Quick Step

Category: plyometrics
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • adductors
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • abductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Begin with your feet a few inches apart and your left arm up in a relaxed, athletic position.
  • With your right foot, quick step behind and pull the knee up.
  • Fire your arms back up when you pull the right knee, being sure that your knee goes straight up and down. Avoid turning your feet as you move and continue to look forward as you move to the side.

Chair Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • To begin, first set the bar to a position that best matches your height. Once the bar is loaded, step under it and position it across the back of your shoulders.
  • Take the bar with your hands facing forward, unlock it and lift it off the rack by extending your legs.
  • Move your feet forward about 18 inches in front of the bar. Position your legs using a shoulder width stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Look forward at all times and maintain a neutral or slightly arched spine. This will be your starting position.
  • Slowly lower the bar by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until the angle between the upper and lower leg breaks 90 degrees.
  • Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heels of your feet, extending the knees and returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Clean

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
  • traps
Instructions:
  • With a barbell on the floor close to the shins, take an overhand (or hook) grip just outside the legs. Lower your hips with the weight focused on the heels, back straight, head facing forward, chest up, with your shoulders just in front of the bar. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin the first pull by driving through the heels, extending your knees. Your back angle should stay the same, and your arms should remain straight. Move the weight with control as you continue to above the knees.
  • Next comes the second pull, the main source of acceleration for the clean. As the bar approaches the mid-thigh position, begin extending through the hips. In a jumping motion, accelerate by extending the hips, knees, and ankles, using speed to move the bar upward. There should be no need to actively pull through the arms to accelerate the weight; at the end of the second pull, the body should be fully extended, leaning slightly back, with the arms still extended.
  • As full extension is achieved, transition into the third pull by aggressively shrugging and flexing the arms with the elbows up and out. At peak extension, aggressively pull yourself down, rotating your elbows under the bar as you do so. Receive the bar in a front squat position, the depth of which is dependent upon the height of the bar at the end of the third pull. The bar should be racked onto the protracted shoulders, lightly touching the throat with the hands relaxed. Continue to descend to the bottom squat position, which will help in the recovery.
  • Immediately recover by driving through the heels, keeping the torso upright and elbows up. Continue until you have risen to a standing position.

Clean and Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • middle back
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
  • traps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Assume a shoulder-width stance, with knees inside the arms. Now while keeping the back flat, bend at the knees and hips so that you can grab the bar with the arms fully extended and a pronated grip that is slightly wider than shoulder width. Point the elbows out to sides. The bar should be close to the shins. Position the shoulders over or slightly ahead of the bar. Establish a flat back posture. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin to pull the bar by extending the knees. Move your hips forward and raise the shoulders at the same rate while keeping the angle of the back constant; continue to lift the bar straight up while keeping it close to your body.
  • As the bar passes the knee, extend at the ankles, knees, and hips forcefully, similar to a jumping motion. As you do so, continue to guide the bar with your hands, shrugging your shoulders and using the momentum from your movement to pull the bar as high as possible. The bar should travel close to your body, and you should keep your elbows out.
  • At maximum elevation, your feet should clear the floor and you should start to pull yourself under the bar. The mechanics of this could change slightly, depending on the weight used. You should descend into a squatting position as you pull yourself under the bar.
  • As the bar hits terminal height, rotate your elbows around and under the bar. Rack the bar across the front of the shoulders while keeping the torso erect and flexing the hips and knees to absorb the weight of the bar.
  • Stand to full height, holding the bar in the clean position.
  • Without moving your feet, press the bar overhead as you exhale. Lower the bar under control .

Clean from Blocks

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • shoulders
  • traps
Instructions:
  • With a barbell on boxes or stands of the desired height, take an overhand or hook grip just outside the legs. Lower your hips with the weight focused on the heels, back straight, head facing forward, chest up, with your shoulders just in front of the bar. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin the first pull by driving through the heels, extending your knees. Your back angle should stay the same, and your arms should remain straight with the elbows pointed out.
  • As full extension is achieved, transition into the receiving position by aggressively shrugging and flexing the arms with the elbows up and out. Aggressively pull yourself down, rotating your elbows under the bar as you do so. Receive the bar in a front squat position, the depth of which is dependent upon the height of the bar at the end of the third pull. The bar should be racked onto the protracted shoulders, lightly touching the throat with the hands relaxed. Continue to descend to the bottom squat position, which will help in the recovery.
  • Immediately recover by driving through the heels, keeping the torso upright and elbows up. Continue until you have risen to a standing position. Return the weight to the boxes for the next rep.

Conan's Wheel

Category: strongman
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • biceps
  • calves
  • forearms
  • lower back
  • shoulders
  • traps
Instructions:
  • With the weight loaded, take a zurcher hold on the end of the implement. Place the bar in the crook of the elbow and hold onto your wrist. Try to keep the weight off of the forearms.
  • Begin by lifting the weight from the ground. Keep a tight, upright posture as you being to walk, taking short, fast steps. Look up and away as you turn in a circle. Do not hold your breath during the event. Continue walking until you complete one or more complete turns.

Depth Jump Leap

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • For this drill you will need two boxes or benches, one 12 to 16 inches high and the other 22 to 26 inches high.
  • Stand on one of the two boxes with arms at the sides; feet should be together and slightly off the edge as in the depth jump. Place the other box approximately two or three feet in front of and facing the performer.
  • Begin by dropping off the initial box, landing and simultaneously taking off with both feet.
  • Rebound by driving upward and outward as intensely as possible, using the arms and full extension of the body to jump onto the higher box. Again, allow the legs to absorb the impact.

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.

Double Kettlebell Alternating Hang Clean

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Place two kettlebells between your feet. To get in the starting position, push your butt back and look straight ahead.
  • Clean one kettlebell to your shoulder and hold on to the other kettlebell.
  • With a fluid motion, lower the top kettlebell while driving the bottom kettlebell up.

Double Kettlebell Jerk

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • quadriceps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Hold a kettlebell by the handle in each hand.
  • Clean the kettlebells to your shoulders by extending through the legs and hips as you pull the kettlebells towards your shoulders. Rotate your wrists as you do so, so that the palms face forward. This will be your starting position.
  • Dip your body by bending the knees, keeping your torso upright.
  • Immediately reverse direction, driving through the heels, in essence jumping to create momentum.
  • As you do so, press the kettlebells overhead to lockout by extending the arms, using your body's momentum to move the weights.
  • Return your feet to the ground in a split fashion, with one foot forward and one foot back.
  • Keeping the weights overhead, return to a standing position, bringing your feet together. Lower the weights to perform the next repetition.

Double Kettlebell Push Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • quadriceps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Clean two kettlebells to your shoulders.
  • Squat down a few inches and reverse the motion rapidly. Use the momentum from the legs to drive the kettlebells overhead.
  • Once the kettlebells are locked out, lower the kettlebells to your shoulders and repeat.

Double Leg Butt Kick

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Begin standing with your knees slightly bent.
  • Quickly squat a short distance, flexing the hips and knees, and immediately extend to jump for maximum vertical height.
  • As you go up, tuck your heels by flexing the knees, attempting to touch the buttocks.
  • Finish the motion by landing with the knees only partially bent, using your legs to absorb the impact.

Dumbbell Clean

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Begin standing with a dumbbell in each hand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Lower the weights to the floor by flexing at the hips and knees, pushing your hips back until the dumbbells reach the floor. This will be your starting position.
  • To initiate the movement, violently jump upward by extending the hips, knees, and ankles to acclerate the weights upward. Maintaining a neutral grip on the dumbbells, keep the arms straight until full extension is reached.
  • After full extension, rebend the hips and knees to receive the weight in a squat position. Allow the arms to bend, guiding the dumbbells to your shoulders.
  • Upon receiving the weight in the squat position, extend the hips and knees to finish in a standing position with the weights on your shoulders.

Dumbbell Lunges

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Stand with your torso upright holding two dumbbells in your hands by your sides. This will be your starting position.
  • Step forward with your right leg around 2 feet or so from the foot being left stationary behind and lower your upper body down, while keeping the torso upright and maintaining balance. Inhale as you go down. Note: As in the other exercises, do not allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, as this will put undue stress on the knee joint. Make sure that you keep your front shin perpendicular to the ground.
  • Using mainly the heel of your foot, push up and go back to the starting position as you exhale.
  • Repeat the movement for the recommended amount of repetitions and then perform with the left leg.

Dumbbell Rear Lunge

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Stand with your torso upright holding two dumbbells in your hands by your sides. This will be your starting position.
  • Step backward with your right leg around two feet or so from the left foot and lower your upper body down, while keeping the torso upright and maintaining balance. Inhale as you go down. Tip: As in the other exercises, do not allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, as this will put undue stress on the knee joint. Make sure that you keep your front shin perpendicular to the ground. Keep the torso upright during the lunge; flexible hip flexors are important. A long lunge emphasizes the Gluteus Maximus; a short lunge emphasizes Quadriceps.
  • Push up and go back to the starting position as you exhale. Tip: Use the ball of your feet to push in order to accentuate the quadriceps. To focus on the glutes, press with your heels.
  • Now repeat with the opposite leg.

Dumbbell Seated Box Jump

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Position a box a couple feet to the side of a bench. Hold a dumbbell to your chest with both hands and seat yourself on the bench facing the box. This will be your starting position.
  • Plant your feet firmly on the ground as you lean forward, extending through the hips and knees to jump up and forward.
  • Land on the box with both feet, absorbing the impact by allowing the hips and knees to bend.
  • Step down and 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 Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight while holding a dumbbell on each hand (palms facing the side of your legs).
  • 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. This will be your starting position. Note: For the purposes of this discussion we will use the medium stance described above which targets overall development; however you can choose any of the three stances discussed in the foot stances section.
  • Begin to slowly lower your torso by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knees should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that is perpendicular to the front. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
  • Begin to raise your torso as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel of your foot mainly as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Dumbbell Squat To A Bench

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight with a flat bench behind you while holding a dumbbell on each hand (palms facing the side of your legs).
  • 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. This will be your starting position. Note: For the purposes of this discussion we will use the medium stance described above which targets overall development; however you can choose any of the three stances discussed in the foot stances section.
  • Begin to slowly lower your torso by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until you slightly touch the bench behind you. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knees should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that is perpendicular to the front. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
  • Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel of your foot mainly as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Dumbbell Step Ups

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Stand up straight while holding a dumbbell on each hand (palms facing the side of your legs).
  • Place the right foot on the elevated platform. Step on the platform by extending the hip and the knee of your right leg. Use the heel mainly to lift the rest of your body up and place the foot of the left leg on the platform as well. Breathe out as you execute the force required to come up.
  • Step down with the left leg by flexing the hip and knee of the right leg as you inhale. Return to the original standing position by placing the right foot of to next to the left foot on the initial position.
  • Repeat with the right leg for the recommended amount of repetitions and then perform with the left leg.

Elliptical Trainer

Category: cardio
Level: intermediate
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • To begin, step onto the elliptical and select the desired option from the menu. Most ellipticals have a manual setting, or you can select a program to run. Typically, you can enter your age and weight to estimate the amount of calories burned during exercise. Elevation can be adjusted to change the intensity of the workout.
  • The handles can be used to monitor your heart rate to help you stay at an appropriate intensity.

Fast Skipping

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Start in a relaxed position with one leg slightly forward. This will be your starting position.
  • Skip by executing a step-hop pattern of right-right-step to left-left-step, and so on, alternating back and forth.
  • Perform fast skips by maintaining close contact with the ground and reduce air time, moving as quickly as possible.

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.

Foot-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • This exercise stretches the fascia of the muscles in the feet. Start off seated with your shoes removed. Using a foot roller or a similar object, such as a small section of pvc pipe, place your foot against the roller across the arch of your foot. This will be your starting position.
  • Press down firmly, rolling across the arch of your foot. Hold for 10-30 seconds, and then switch feet.

Forward Drag with Press

Category: strongman
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • chest
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Attach a dual handled chain or rope attachment to the sled. You should be facing away from the sled, holding a handle in each hand.
  • Begin the movement by moving forward for one step. Leaning forward, extend through the legs and hips to move, pausing with each step to extend through the elbows, pressing your hands forward. Step forward until you return to the start position prepared to press.

Frankenstein Squat

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • This drill teaches you the proper positioning of both the bar and your body during the clean and front squat.
  • Place the barbell on the front of the shoulders, releasing your grip and extending your arms out in front of you. The shoulders should be pushed forward to create a shelf, and the bar should be in contact with the throat. Ensure that you only move your shoulder blades forward; don't round the thoracic spine.
  • Squat by flexing the knees and hips, sitting in between your legs. Keep the torso upright, the arms up, and the shoulders forward, and the bar should stay in place. Go to the bottom of the squat, until your hamstrings contact your calves.
  • Return to the upright position by driving through the front of the heel and extending the knees and hips.

Freehand Jump Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Cross your arms over your chest.
  • With your head up and your back straight, position your feet at shoulder width.
  • Keeping your back straight and chest up, squat down as you inhale until your upper thighs are parallel, or lower, to the floor.
  • Now pressing mainly with the ball of your feet, jump straight up in the air as high as possible, using the thighs like springs. Exhale during this portion of the movement.
  • When you touch the floor again, immediately squat down and jump again.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Frog Hops

Category: stretching
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Stand with your hands behind your head, and squat down keeping your torso upright and your head up. This will be your starting position.
  • Jump forward several feet, avoiding jumping unnecessarily high. As your feet contact the ground, absorb the impact through your legs, and jump again. Repeat this action 5-10 times.

Front Barbell Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
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, bring your arms up under the bar while keeping the elbows high and the upper arm slightly above parallel to the floor. Rest the bar on top of the deltoids and cross your arms while grasping the bar for total control.
  • Lift the bar 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. This will be your starting position. (Note: For the purposes of this discussion we will use the medium stance described above which targets overall development; however you can choose any of the three stances described in the foot positioning section).
  • Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees (which is the point in which the upper legs are below parallel to the floor). Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knees should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that is perpendicular to the front. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
  • Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor mainly with the middle of your foot as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Front Barbell Squat To A Bench

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • This exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes. To begin, first set a flat bench behind you and set the bar on a rack that best matches your height. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, bring your arms up under the bar while keeping the elbows high and the upper arm slightly above parallel to the floor. Rest the bar on top of the deltoids and cross your arms while grasping the bar for total control.
  • Lift the bar 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. This will be your starting position. (Note: For the purposes of this discussion we will use the medium stance described above which targets overall development; however you can choose any of the three stances described in the foot positioning section).
  • Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until you touch the bench with your glutes. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knees should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that is perpendicular to the front. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
  • Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor mainly with the heel of your foot as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Front Box Jump

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Begin with a box of an appropriate height 1-2 feet in front of you. Stand with your feet should width apart. This will be your starting position.
  • Perform a short squat in preparation for jumping, swinging your arms behind you.
  • Rebound out of this position, extending through the hips, knees, and ankles to jump as high as possible. Swing your arms forward and up.
  • Land on the box with the knees bent, absorbing the impact through the legs. You can jump from the box back to the ground, or preferably step down one leg at a time.

Front Cone Hops (or hurdle hops)

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Set up a row of cones or other small barriers, placing them a few feet apart.
  • Stand in front of the first cone with your feet shoulder width apart. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin by jumping with both feet over the first cone, swinging both arms as you jump.
  • Absorb the impact of landing by bending the knees, rebounding out of the first leap by jumping over the next cone.
  • Continue until you have jumped over all of the cones.

Front Squats With Two Kettlebells

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • Clean two kettlebells to your shoulders. Clean the kettlebells to your shoulders by extending through the legs and hips as you pull the kettlebells towards your shoulders. Rotate your wrists as you do so.
  • Looking straight ahead at all times, squat as low as you can and pause at the bottom. As you squat down, push your knees out. You should squat between your legs, keeping an upright torso, with your head and chest up.
  • Rise back up by driving through your heels and repeat.

Glute Ham Raise

Category: powerlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • Begin by adjusting the equipment to fit your body. Place your feet against the footplate in between the rollers as you lie facedown. Your knees should be just behind the pad.
  • Start from the bottom of the movement. Keep your back arched as you begin the movement by flexing the knees. Drive your toes into the foot plate as you do so. Keep your upper body straight, and continue until your body is upright.
  • Return to the starting position, keeping your descent under control.

Goblet Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Stand holding a light kettlebell by the horns close to your chest. This will be your starting position.
  • Squat down between your legs until your hamstrings are on your calves. Keep your chest and head up and your back straight.
  • At the bottom position, pause and use your elbows to push your knees out. Return to the starting position, and repeat for 10-20 repetitions.

Hack Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Place the back of your torso against the back pad of the machine and hook your shoulders under the shoulder pads provided.
  • Position your legs in the platform using a shoulder width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Tip: Keep your head up at all times and also maintain the back on the pad at all times.
  • Place your arms on the side handles of the machine and disengage the safety bars (which on most designs is done by moving the side handles from a facing front position to a diagonal position).
  • Now straighten your legs without locking the knees. This will be your starting position. (Note: For the purposes of this discussion we will use the medium stance described above which targets overall development; however you can choose any of the three stances described in the foot positioning section).
  • Begin to slowly lower the unit by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up (back on the pad at all times). Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees (which is the point in which the upper legs are below parallel to the floor). Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knees should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that is perpendicular to the front. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
  • Begin to raise the unit as you exhale by pushing the floor with mainly with the heel of your foot as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Hang Clean

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • shoulders
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Begin with a shoulder width, double overhand or hook grip, with the bar hanging at the mid thigh position. Your back should be straight and inclined slightly forward.
  • Begin by aggressively extending through the hips, knees and ankles, driving the weight upward. As you do so, shrug your shoulders towards your ears.
  • Immediately recover by driving through the heels, keeping the torso upright and elbows up. Continue until you have risen to a standing position.

Hang Clean - Below the Knees

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • shoulders
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Begin with a shoulder width, double overhand or hook grip, with the bar hanging just below the knees. Your back should be straight and inclined slightly forward.
  • Begin by aggressively extending through the hips, knees and ankles, driving the weight upward. As you do so, shrug your shoulders towards your ears. As full extension is achieved, transition into the third pull by aggressively shrugging and flexing the arms with the elbows up and out.
  • At peak extension, aggressively pull yourself down, rotating your elbows under the bar as you do so. Receive the bar in a front squat position, the depth of which is dependent upon the height of the bar at the end of the third pull. The bar should be racked onto the protracted shoulders, lightly touching the throat with the hands relaxed. Continue to descend to the bottom squat position, which will help in the recovery.
  • Immediately recover by driving through the heels, keeping the torso upright and elbows up. Continue until you have risen to a standing position.

Hang Snatch

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Begin with a wide grip on the bar, with an overhand or hook grip. The feet should be directly below the hips with the feet turned out. Your knees should be slightly bent, and the torso inclined forward. The spine should be fully extended and the head facing forward. The bar should be at the hips. This will be your starting position.
  • Aggressively extend through the legs and hips. At peak extension, shrug the shoulders and allow the elbows to flex to the side.
  • As you move your feet into the receiving position, forcefully pull yourself below the bar as you elevate the bar overhead. Receive the bar with your body as low as possible and the arms fully extended overhead.
  • Return to a standing position with the weight overhead. Follow by returning the weight to the ground under control.

Hang Snatch - Below Knees

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Begin with a wide grip on the bar, with an overhand or hook grip. The feet should be directly below the hips with the feet turned out. Your knees should be slightly bent, and the torso inclined forward. The spine should be fully extended and the head facing forward. The bar should be just below the knees. This will be your starting position.
  • Aggressively extend through the legs and hips. At peak extension, shrug the shoulders and allow the elbows to flex to the side.
  • As you move your feet into the receiving position, forcefully pull yourself below the bar as you elevate the bar overhead. Receive the bar with your body as low as possible and the arms fully extended overhead.
  • Return to a standing position with the weight overhead, and then return the weight to the floor under control.

Hip Lift with Band

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: bands
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • After choosing a suitable band, lay down in the middle of the rack, after securing the band on either side of you. If your rack doesn't have pegs, the band can be secured using heavy dumbbells or similar objects, just ensure they won't move.
  • Adjust your position so that the band is directly over your hips. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Your hands can be on the floor or holding the band in position.
  • Keeping your shoulders on the ground, drive through your heels to raise your hips, pushing into the band as high as you can.
  • Pause at the top of the motion, and return to the starting position.

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.

Hurdle Hops

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Set up a row of hurdles or other small barriers, placing them a few feet apart.
  • Stand in front of the first hurdle with your feet shoulder width apart. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin by jumping with both feet over the first hurdle, swinging both arms as you jump.
  • Absorb the impact of landing by bending the knees, rebounding out of the first leap by jumping over the next hurdle. Continue until you have jumped over all of the hurdles.

Jefferson Squats

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Place a barbell on the floor.
  • Stand in the middle of the bar length wise.
  • Bend down by bending at the knees and keeping your back straight and grasp the front of the bar with your right hand. Your palm should be in (neutral grip) facing the left side.
  • Grasp the rear of the bar with your left hand. The palm of your hand should be in neutral grip alignment (palms facing the right side). Tip: Ensure that your grip is even on the bar. Your torso should be positioned right in the middle of the bar and the distance between your torso and your right hand (which should be at the front) should be the same as the distance between your torso and your left hand (which should be to your back).
  • Now stand straight up with the weight. Tip: Your feet should be shoulder width apart and your toes slightly pointed out.
  • Squat down by bending at the knees and keeping your back straight until your upper thighs are parallel with the floor. Tip: Keep your back as vertical as possible with the floor and your head up. Also remember to not let your knees go past your toes. Inhale during this portion of the movement.
  • Now drive yourself back up to the starting position by pushing with the feet . Tip: Keep the bar hanging at arm's length and your elbows locked with a slight bend. The arms only serve as hooks. Avoid doing any lifting with them. Do the lifting with your thighs; not your arms.

Jerk Dip Squat

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • calves
Instructions:
  • This movement strengthens the dip portion of the jerk. Begin with the bar racked in the jerk position, with the shoulders forward to create a shelf and the bar lightly contacting the throat. The feet should be directly under the hips, with the feet turned out as is comfortable.
  • Keeping the torso vertical, dip by flexing the knees, allowing them to travel forward and without moving the hips to the rear. The dip should not be excessive. Return the weight to the starting position by driving forcefully though the feet.

Keg Load

Category: strongman
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • biceps
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • middle back
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
  • traps
Instructions:
  • To load kegs, place the desired number a distance from the loading platform, typically 30-50 feet.
  • Begin by grabbing the close handle of the first keg, tilting it onto its side to grab the opposite edge of the bottom of the keg. Lift the keg up to your chest.
  • The higher you can place the keg, the faster you should be able to move to the platform. Shouldering is usually not allowed. Be sure to keep a firm hold on the keg. Move as quickly as possible to the platform, and load it, extending through your hips, knees, and ankles to get it as high as possible.
  • Return to the starting position to retrieve the next keg, and repeat until the event is completed.

Kettlebell Dead Clean

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Place kettlebell between your feet. To get in the starting position, push your butt back and look straight ahead.
  • Clean the kettlebell to your shoulder. Clean the kettlebell to your shoulders by extending through the legs and hips as you raise the kettlebell towards your shoulder. The wrist should rotate as you do so.
  • Lower the kettlebell, keeping the hamstrings loaded by keeping your back straight and your butt out.

Kettlebell Hang Clean

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • shoulders
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Place kettlebell between your feet. To get in the starting position, push your butt back and look straight ahead.
  • Clean kettlebell to your shoulder. Clean the kettlebell to your shoulders by extending through the legs and hips as you raise the kettlebell towards your shoulder. The wrist should rotate as you do so.
  • Lower kettlebell to a hanging position between your legs while keeping the hamstrings loaded. Keep your head up at all times.

Kettlebell Pistol Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Pick up a kettlebell with two hands and hold it by the horns. Hold one leg off of the floor and squat down on the other.
  • Squat down by flexing the knee and sitting back with the hips, holding the kettlebell up in front of you.
  • Hold the bottom position for a second and then reverse the motion, driving through the heel and keeping your head and chest up.
  • Lower yourself again and repeat.

Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up (Squat style)

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • calves
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Lie on your back on the floor and press a kettlebell to the top position by extending the elbow. Bend the knee on the same side as the kettlebell.
  • Keeping the kettlebell locked out at all times, pivot to the opposite side and use your non- working arm to assist you in driving forward to the lunge position.
  • Using your free hand, push yourself to a seated position, then progressing to your feet. While looking up at the kettlebell, slowly stand up. Reverse the motion back to the starting position and repeat.

Knee Circles

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Stand with your legs together and hands by your waist.
  • Now move your knees in a circular motion as you breathe normally.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Knee Tuck Jump

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Begin in a comfortable standing position with your knees slightly bent. Hold your hands in front of you, palms down with your fingertips together at chest height. This will be your starting position.
  • Rapidly dip down into a quarter squat and immediately explode upward. Drive the knees towards the chest, attempting to touch them to the palms of the hands.
  • Jump as high as you can, raising your knees up, and then ensure a good land be re-extending your legs, absorbing impact through be allowing the knees to rebend.

Kneeling Jump Squat

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Begin kneeling on the floor with a barbell racked across the back of your shoulders, or you can use your body weight for this exercise. This can be done inside of a power rack to make unracking easier.
  • Sit back with your hips until your glutes touch your feet, keeping your head and chest up.
  • Explode up with your hips, generating enough power to land with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Continue with the squat by driving through your heels and extending the knees to come to a standing position.

Landmine Linear Jammer

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • calves
  • chest
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Position a bar into landmine or, lacking one, securely anchor it in a corner. Load the bar to an appropriate weight and position the handle attachment on the bar.
  • Raise the bar from the floor, taking the handles to your shoulders. This will be your starting position.
  • In an athletic stance, squat by flexing your hips and setting your hips back, keeping your arms flexed.
  • Reverse the motion by powerfully extending through the hips, knees, and ankles, while also extending the elbows to straighten the arms. This movement should be done explosively, coming out of the squat to full extension as powerfully as possible.
  • Return to the starting position.

Lateral Bound

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • adductors
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Assume a half squat position facing 90 degrees from your direction of travel. This will be your starting position.
  • Allow your lead leg to do a countermovement inward as you shift your weight to the outside leg.
  • Immediately push off and extend, attempting to bound to the side as far as possible.
  • Upon landing, immediately push off in the opposite direction, returning to your original start position.
  • Continue back and forth for several repetitions.

Lateral Box Jump

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • adductors
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Assume a comfortable standing position, with a short box positioned next to you. This will be your starting position.
  • Quickly dip into a quarter squat to initiate the stretch reflex, and immediately reverse direction to jump up and to the side.
  • Bring your knees high enough to ensure your feet have good clearance over the box.
  • Land on the center of the box, using your legs to absorb the impact.
  • Carefully jump down to the other side of the box, and continue going back and forth for several repetitions.

Lateral Cone Hops

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • adductors
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Position a number of cones in a row several feet apart.
  • Stand next to the end of the cones, facing 90 degrees to the direction of travel. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin the jump by dipping with the knees to initiate a stretch reflex, and immediately reverse direction to push off the ground, jumping up and sideways over the cone.
  • Use your legs to absorb impact upon landing, and rebound into the next jump, continuing down the row of cones.

Leg Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
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. (Note: For the purposes of this discussion we will use the medium stance described above which targets overall development; however you can choose any of the three stances described in the foot positioning section).
  • 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. Tip: Make sure that you do not lock your knees. Your torso and the legs should make a perfect 90-degree angle. This will be your starting position.
  • As you inhale, slowly lower the platform until your upper and lower legs make a 90-degree angle.
  • Pushing mainly with the heels of your feet and using the quadriceps go back to the starting position as you exhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and ensure to lock the safety pins properly once you are done. You do not want that platform falling on you fully loaded.

Linear 3-Part Start Technique

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • This drill helps you accelerate as quickly as possible into a sprint from a dead stop. It helps to use a line to start from. Begin with two feet on the line. Place your left foot with the toe next to your right ankle. Place your right foot 4-6 inches behind the left.
  • Place your right hand onto the line, and thing bring your nose close to your left knee.
  • Squat down as you lean foward, your head being lower than your hips and your weight loaded onto the left leg. This will be your starting position.
  • Take your left hand up so that it is parallel to the ground, pointing behind you, and explode out when ready.

Linear Acceleration Wall Drill

Category: plyometrics
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Lean at around 45 degrees against a wall. Your feet should be together, glutes contracted.
  • Begin by lifting your right knee quickly, pausing, and then driving it straight down into the ground.
  • Switch legs, raising the opposite knee, and then attacking the ground straight down.
  • Repeat once more with your right leg, and as soon as the right foot strikes the ground hammer them out rapidly, alternating left and right as fast as you can.

Linear Depth Jump

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • You will need two boxes or benches spaced a few feet away from each other. Begin by standing on one box facing towards the other platform.
  • To initiate the movement, gently drop down to the ground between your platforms, allowing the knees and hips to flex.
  • Reverse the motion by exploding, extending through the hips, knees, and ankles to jump onto the other platform.
  • Land softly, asborbing the impact through the legs.

Lunge Pass Through

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Stand with your torso upright holding a kettlebell in your right hand. This will be your starting position.
  • Step forward with your left foot and lower your upper body down by flexing the hip and the knee, keeping the torso upright. Lower your back knee until it nearly touches the ground.
  • As you lunge, pass the kettlebell under your front leg to your opposite hand.
  • Pressing through the heel of your foot, return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement for the recommended amount of repetitions, alternating legs.

Lunge Sprint

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Adjust a bar in a Smith machine to an appropriate height. Position yourself under the bar, racking it across the back of your shoulders. Unrack the bar, and then split your feet, moving one foot forward and one foot back. This will be your starting position.
  • Lower your back knee nearly to the ground, flexing the knees and lowering your hips as you do so.
  • At the bottom of the descent, immediately reverse direction. Explosively drive through the heel of your front foot with light pressure from your back foot. Jump up and reverse the position of your legs.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Lying Hamstring

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Lie on your back with your legs extended. Your partner should be kneeling beside you. Raise one leg up towards the ceiling and have your partner hold the ankle. Your partner can use their shoulder to brace your leg if necessary. This will be your starting position.
  • With your partner holding your leg in place, attempt to flex the knee, contracting the hamstrings for 10-20 seconds.
  • Then relax your leg, allowing your partner to gently push the leg towards your head. Be sure to inform your helper when the stretch is adequate to prevent injury or overstretching. Switch sides once complete.

Lying Machine Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Adjust the leg machine to a height that will allow you to get inside it with your knees bent and the thighs slightly below parallel.
  • Once you select the weight, position yourself inside the machine face up with the knees bent and thighs slightly below parallel to the platform. Make sure that the knees do not go past the toes. The angle created between the hamstrings and the calves should be one that is slightly less than 90 degrees (since your starting position requires you to start slightly below parallel). Your back and your head should be resting on the machine while your shoulders are pressed under the shoulder pads.
  • Place your hands by the handles and position your feet slightly pointing out at a shoulder width position. This will be your starting position.
  • While pressing with the balls of the feet as you breathe out, make your whole body erect as you squeeze the quads. Hold the contracted position for a second. Tip: Since you are starting below parallel, you can opt to use your hands to help you up by pressing on your thighs only on the first repetition.
  • Slowly squat down as you inhale but instead of going all the way down to the starting position, just stop once your thighs are parallel to the platform. The angle between your hamstrings and calves should be a 90-degree angle.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Moving Claw Series

Category: plyometrics
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • This move helps prepare your running form to help you excel at sprinting. As you run, be sure to flex the knee, aiming to kick your glutes as the hip extends.
  • Reload the quad as the leg moves back forward, attacking the ground on the next step.
  • Ensure that as you run, you block with the arms, punching through in a rapid 1-2 motion.

Narrow Stance Hack Squats

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Place the back of your torso against the back pad of the machine and hook your shoulders under the shoulder pads provided.
  • Position your legs in the platform using a less than shoulder width narrow stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Your feet should be around 3 inches or less apart. Tip: Keep your head up at all times and also maintain the back on the pad at all times.
  • Place your arms on the side handles of the machine and disengage the safety bars (which on most designs is done by moving the side handles from a facing front position to a diagonal position).
  • Now straighten your legs without locking the knees. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin to slowly lower the unit by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up (back on the pad at all times). Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees (which is the point in which the upper legs are below parallel to the floor). Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Begin to raise the unit as you exhale by pushing the floor with mainly with the heels of your feet as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Narrow Stance Leg Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
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 less-than-shoulder-width narrow stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Your feet should be around 3 inches or less apart. Tip: Keep your head up at all times and also maintain the back on the pad at all times.
  • 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. Tip: Make sure that you do not lock your knees. Your torso and the legs should make a perfect 90-degree angle. This will be your starting position.
  • As you inhale, slowly lower the platform until your upper and lower legs make a 90-degree angle.
  • Pushing mainly with the heels of your feet and using the quadriceps go back to the starting position as you exhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and ensure to lock the safety pins properly once you are done. You do not want that platform falling on you fully loaded.

Narrow Stance Squats

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
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 back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck) across it.
  • 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 less-than-shoulder-width narrow stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Feet should be around 3-6 inches apart. Keep your head up at all times (looking down will get you off balance) and maintain a straight back. This will be your starting position. (Note: For the purposes of this discussion we will use the medium stance described above which targets overall development; however you can choose any of the three stances discussed in the foot stances section).
  • Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees (which is the point in which the upper legs are below parallel to the floor). Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knees should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that is perpendicular to the front. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
  • Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel of your foot mainly as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Natural Glute Ham Raise

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Using the leg pad of a lat pulldown machine or a preacher bench, position yourself so that your ankles are under the pads, knees on the seat, and you are facing away from the machine. You should be upright and maintaining good posture.
  • This will be your starting position. Lower yourself under control until your knees are almost completely straight.
  • Remaining in control, raise yourself back up to the starting position.
  • If you are unable to complete a rep, use a band, a partner, or push off of a box to aid in completing a repetition.

Olympic Squat

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Begin with a barbell supported on top of the traps. The chest should be up, and the head facing forward. Adopt a hip width stance with the feet turned out as needed.
  • Descend by flexing the knees, refraining from moving the hips back as much as possible. This requires that the knees travel forward; ensure that they stay aligned with the feet. The goal is to keep the torso as upright as possible. Continue all the way down, keeping the weight on the front of the heel.
  • At the moment the upper legs contact the lower, reverse the motion, driving the weight upward.

One Leg Barbell Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Start by standing about 2 to 3 feet in front of a flat bench with your back facing the bench. Have a barbell in front of you on the floor. Tip: Your feet should be shoulder width apart from each other.
  • Bend the knees and use a pronated grip with your hands being wider than shoulder width apart from each other to lift the barbell up until you can rest it on your chest.
  • Then lift the barbell over your head and rest it on the base of your neck. Move one foot back so that your toe is resting on the flat bench. Your other foot should be stationary in front of you. Keep your head up at all times as looking down will get you off balance and also maintain a straight back. Tip: Make sure your back is straight and chest is out while performing this exercise.
  • As you inhale, slowly lower your leg until your thigh is parallel to the floor. At this point, your knee should be over your toes. Your chest should be directly above the middle of your thigh.
  • Leading with the chest and hips and contracting the quadriceps, elevate your leg back to the starting position as you exhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Switch legs and repeat the movement.

One-Arm Kettlebell Jerk

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • quadriceps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Hold a kettlebell by the handle. Clean the kettlebell to your shoulder by extending through the legs and hips as you pull the kettlebell towards your shoulder. Rotate your wrist as you do so, so that the palm faces forward. This will be your starting position.
  • Dip your body by bending the knees, keeping your torso upright.
  • Immediately reverse direction, driving through the heels, in essence jumping to create momentum. As you do so, press the kettlebell overhead to lockout by extending the arms, using your body's momentum to move the weight. Receive the weight overhead by returning to a squat position underneath the weight. Keeping the weight overhead, return to a standing position.
  • Lower the weight to perform the next repetition.

One-Arm Kettlebell Push Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • quadriceps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Hold a kettlebell by the handle. Clean the kettlebell to your shoulder by extending through the legs and hips as you pull the kettlebell towards your shoulder. Rotate your wrist as you do so, so that the palm faces forward. This will be your starting position.
  • Dip your body by bending the knees, keeping your torso upright.
  • Immediately reverse direction, driving through the heels, in essence jumping to create momentum. As you do so, press the kettlebell overhead to lockout by extending the arms, using your body's momentum to move the weight. Lower the weight to perform the next repetition.

One-Arm Kettlebell Snatch

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • traps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Place a kettlebell between your feet. Bend your knees and push your butt back to get in the proper starting position.
  • Look straight ahead and swing the kettlebell back between your legs.
  • Immediately reverse the direction and drive through with your hips and knees, accelerating the kettlebell upward. As the kettlebell rises to your shoulder rotate your hand and punch straight up, using momentum to receive the weight locked out overhead.

One-Arm Kettlebell Swings

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • shoulders

One-Arm Overhead Kettlebell Squats

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Clean and press a kettlebell with one arm. Clean the kettlebell to your shoulder by extending through the legs and hips as you pull the kettlebell towards your shoulder. Rotate your wrist as you do so. Press the weight overhead by extending through the elbow.This will be your starting position.
  • Looking straight ahead and keeping a kettlebell locked out above you, flex the knees and hips and lower your torso between your legs, keeping your head and chest up.
  • Pause at the bottom position for a second before rising back to the top, driving through the heels of your feet.

One-Arm Side Deadlift

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Stand to the side of a barbell next to its center. Bend your knees and lower your body until you are able to reach the barbell.
  • Grasp the bar as if you were grabbing a briefcase (palms facing you since the bar is sideways). You may need a wrist wrap if you are using a significant amount of weight. This is your starting position.
  • Use your legs to help lift the barbell up while exhaling. Your arms should extend fully as bring the barbell up until you are in a standing position.
  • Slowly bring the barbell back down while inhaling. Tip: Make sure to bend your knees while lowering the weight to avoid any injury from occurring.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Switch arms and repeat the movement.

Overhead Squat

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Start out by having a barbell in front of you on the floor. Your feet should be wider than shoulder width apart from each other.
  • Bend the knees and use a pronated grip (palms facing you) to grab the barbell. Your hands should be at a wider than shoulder width apart from each other before lifting. Once you are positioned, lift the barbell up until you can rest it on your chest.
  • Move the barbell over and slightly behind your head and make sure your arms are fully extended. Keep your head up at all times and also maintain a straight back. Retract your shoulder blades. This is your starting position.
  • Slowly lower the weight by bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground while inhaling. Tip: Keep your back straight while performing this exercise to avoid any injuries and your arms should remain extended and over your head at all times.
  • Now use your feet and legs to help bring the weight back up to the starting position while exhaling.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Peroneals Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • In a seated position, loop a belt, rope, or band around one foot. This will be your starting position.
  • With the leg extended and the heel off of the ground, pull on the belt so that the foot is inverted, with the inside of the foot being pulled towards you. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and then switch sides.

Peroneals-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Lay on your side, supporting your weight on your forearm and on a foam roller placed on the outside of your lower leg. Your upper leg can either be on top of your lower leg, or you can cross it in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your hips off of the ground and begin to roll from below the knee to above the ankle on the side of your leg, pausing at points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.

Plie Dumbbell Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Hold a dumbbell at the base with both hands and stand straight up. Move your legs so that they are wider than shoulder width apart from each other with your knees slightly bent.
  • Your toes should be facing out. Note: Your arms should be stationary while performing the exercise. This is the starting position.
  • Slowly bend the knees and lower your legs until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Make sure to inhale as this is the eccentric part of the exercise.
  • Press mainly with the heel of the foot to bring the body back to the starting position while exhaling.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Posterior Tibialis Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • In a seated position, loop a belt, rope, or band around one foot. This will be your starting position.
  • With the leg extended and the heel off of the ground, pull on the belt so that the foot is everted, with the outside of the foot being pulled towards you. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and then switch sides.

Power Clean

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • middle back
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
  • traps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and toes pointing out slightly.
  • Squat down and grasp bar with a closed, pronated grip. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart outside knees with elbows fully extended.
  • Place the bar about 1 inch in front of your shins and over the balls of your feet.
  • Your back should be flat or slightly arched, your chest held up and out and your shoulder blades should be retracted.
  • Keep your head in a neutral position (in line with vertebral column and not tilted or rotated) with your eyes focused straight ahead. Inhale during this phase.
  • Lift the bar from the floor by forcefully extending the hips and the knees as you exhale. Tip: The upper torso should maintain the same angle. Do not bend at the waist yet and do not let the hips rise before the shoulders (this would have the effect of pushing the glutes in the air and stretching the hamstrings.
  • Keep elbows fully extended with the head in a neutral position and the shoulders over the bar.
  • As the bar raises keep it as close to the shins as possible.
  • As the bar passes the knees, thrust your hips forward and slightly bend the knees to avoid locking them. Tip: At this point your thighs should be against the bar.
  • Keep the back flat or slightly arched, elbows fully extended and your head neutral. Tip: You will hold your breath until the next phase.
  • Inhale and then forcefully and quickly extend your hips and knees and stand on your toes.
  • Keep the bar as close to your body as possible. Tip: Your back should be flat with the elbows pointed out to the sides and your head in a neutral position. Also, keep your shoulders over the bar and arms straight as long as possible.
  • When your lower body joints are fully extended, shrug the shoulders upward rapidly without letting the elbows flex yet. Exhale during this portion of the movement.
  • As the shoulders reach their highest elevation flex your elbows to begin pulling your body under the bar.
  • Continue to pull the arms as high and as long as possible. Tip: Due to the explosive nature of this phase, your torso will be erect or with an arched back, your head will be tilted back slightly and your feet may lose contact with the floor.
  • After the lower body has fully extended and the bar reaches near maximal height, pull your body under the bar and rotate the arms around and under the bar.
  • Simultaneously, flex the hips and knees into a quarter squat position.
  • Once the arms are under the bar, inhale and then lift your elbows to position the upper arms parallel to the floor. Rack the bar across the front of your collar bones and front shoulder muscles.
  • Catch the bar with an erect and tight torso, a neutral head position and flat feet. Exhale during this movement.
  • Stand up by extending the hips and knees to a fully erect position.
  • Lower the bar by gradually reducing the muscular tension of the arms to allow a controlled descent of the bar to the thighs. Inhale during this movement.
  • Simultaneously flex the hips and knees to cushion the impact of the bar on the thighs.
  • Squat down with the elbows fully extended until the bar touches the floor.
  • Start over at Phase 1 and repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Power Jerk

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Standing with the weight racked on the front of the shoulders, begin with the dip. With your feet directly under your hips, flex the knees without moving the hips backward. Go down only slightly, and reverse direction as powerfully as possible.
  • Drive through the heels create as much speed and force as possible, and be sure to move your head out of the way as the bar leaves the shoulders.
  • At this moment as the feet leave the floor, the feet must be placed into the receiving position as quickly as possible. In the brief moment the feet are not actively driving against the platform, the athletes effort to push the bar up will drive them down. The feet should be moved to a slightly wider stance, with the knees partially bent.
  • Receive the bar with the arms locked out overhead.
  • Return to a standing position.

Power Snatch

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
  • traps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Begin with a loaded barbell on the floor. The bar should be close to or touching the shins, and a wide grip should be taken on the bar. The feet should be directly below the hips, with the feet turned out as needed. Lower the hips, with the chest up and the head looking forward. The shoulders should be just in front of the bar. This will be the starting position.
  • Begin the first pull by driving through the front of the heels, raising the bar from the ground. The back angle should stay the same until the bar passes the knees.
  • Transition into the second pull by extending through the hips knees and ankles, driving the bar up as quickly as possible. The bar should be close to the body. At peak extension, shrug the shoulders and allow the elbows to flex to the side.
  • As you move your feet into the receiving position, a slightly wider position, pull yourself below the bar as you elevate the bar overhead. The bar should be received in a partial squat. Continue raising the bar to the overhead position, receiving the bar locked out overhead.
  • Return to a standing position with the weight over head.

Power Snatch from Blocks

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • shoulders
  • traps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Begin with a loaded barbell on boxes or stands of the desired height. A wide grip should be taken on the bar. The feet should be directly below the hips, with the feet turned out as needed. Lower the hips, with the chest up and the head looking forward. The shoulders should be just in front of the bar, with the elbows pointed out. This will be the starting position.
  • Begin the first pull by driving through the front of the heels, raising the bar from the boxes.
  • Transition into the second pull by extending through the hips knees and ankles, driving the bar up as quickly as possible. The bar should be close to the body. At peak extension, shrug the shoulders and allow the elbows to flex to the side.
  • As you move your feet into the receiving position, forcefully pull yourself below the bar as you elevate the bar overhead. The feet should move to just outside the hips, turned out as necessary. Receive the bar above a full squat and with the arms fully extended overhead.
  • Keeping the bar aligned over the front of the heels, your head and chest up, drive through heels of the feet to move to a standing position. Carefully return the weight to the boxes.

Power Stairs

Category: strongman
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
  • traps
Instructions:
  • In the power stairs, implements are moved up a staircase. For training purposes, these can be performed with a tire or box.
  • Begin by taking the implement with both hands. Set your feet wide, with your head and chest up. Drive through the ground with your heels, extending your knees and hips to raise the weight from the ground.
  • As you lean back, attempt to swing the weight onto the stairs, which are usually around 16-18" high. You can use your legs to help push the weight onto the stair.
  • Repeat for 3-5 repetitions, and continue with a heavier weight, moving as fast as possible.

Prowler Sprint

Category: cardio
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • chest
  • glutes
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Place your sled on an appropriate surface, loaded to a suitable weight. The sled should provide enough resistance to require effort, but not so heavy that you are significantly slowed down.
  • You may use the upright or the low handles for this exercise. Place your hands on the handles with your arms extended, leaning into the implement.
  • With good posture, drive through the ground with alternating, short steps. Move as fast as you can for a short distance.

Push Press - Behind the Neck

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • quadriceps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Standing with the weight racked on the back of the shoulders, begin with the dip. With your feet directly under your hips, flex the knees without moving the hips backward. Go down only slightly, and reverse direction as powerfully as possible. Drive through the heels create as much speed and force as possible, moving the bar in a vertical path.
  • Using the momentum generated, finish pressing the weight overhead be extending through the arms.
  • Return to the starting position, using your legs to absorb the impact.

Quick Leap

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • You will need a box for this exerise.
  • Begin facing the box standing 1-2 feet from its edge.
  • By utilizing your hips, hop onto the box, landing on both legs. Ensure that you land with your legs bent and your feet flat.
  • Immediately upon landing, fully extend through the entire body and swing your arms overhead to explode off of the box. Use your legs to absorb the impact of landing.

Recumbent Bike

Category: cardio
Level: beginner
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • To begin, seat yourself on the bike and adjust the seat to your height.
  • Select the desired option from the menu. You may have to start pedaling to turn it on. You can use the manual setting, or you can select a program to use. Typically, you can enter your age and weight to estimate the amount of calories burned during exercise. The level of resistance can be changed throughout the workout. The handles can be used to monitor your heart rate to help you stay at an appropriate intensity.
  • Recumbent bikes offer convenience, cardiovascular benefits, and have less impact than other activities. A 150 lb person will burn about 230 calories cycling at a moderate rate for 30 minutes, compared to 450 calories or more running.

Reverse Band Box Squat

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Begin in a power rack with a box at the appropriate height behind you. Set up the bands either on band pegs or attached to the top of the rack, ensuring they will be directly above the bar during the squat. Attach the other end to the bar.
  • Begin by stepping under the bar and placing it across the back of the shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and rotate your elbows forward, attempting to bend the bar across your shoulders. Remove the bar from the rack, creating a tight arch in your lower back, and step back into position. Place your feet wider for more emphasis on the back, glutes, adductors, and hamstrings, or closer together for more quad development. Keep your head facing forward.
  • With your back, shoulders, and core tight, push your knees and butt out and you begin your descent. Sit back with your hips until you are seated on the box. Ideally, your shins should be perpendicular to the ground. Pause when you reach the box, and relax the hip flexors. Never bounce off of a box.
  • Keeping the weight on your heels and pushing your feet and knees out, drive upward off of the box as you lead the movement with your head. Continue upward, maintaining tightness head to toe. Use care to return the barbell to the rack.

Reverse Band Deadlift

Category: powerlifting
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Set the bar up in a power rack. Attach bands to the top of the rack, using either bands pegs or the frame itself. Attach the other end of the bands to the bar.
  • Approach the bar so that it is centered over your feet. You feet should be about hip width apart. Bend at the hip to grip the bar at shoulder width, allowing your shoulder blades to protract. Typically, you would use an overhand grip or an over/under grip on heavier sets.
  • With your feet, and your grip set, take a big breath and then lower your hips and bend the knees until your shins contact the bar. Look forward with your head, keep your chest up and your back arched, and begin driving through the heels to move the weight upward.
  • After the bar passes the knees, aggressively pull the bar back, pulling your shoulder blades together as you drive your hips forward into the bar.
  • Lower the bar by bending at the hips and guiding it to the floor.

Reverse Band Power Squat

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Begin in a power rack with the pins and bar set at the appropriate height. After loading the bar, attach bands to the top of the rack, using either pegs or the frame itself. Attach the other end of the bands to the bar.
  • Begin by stepping under the bar and placing it across the back of the shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and rotate your elbows forward, attempting to bend the bar across your shoulders. Remove the bar from the rack, creating a tight arch in your lower back, and step back into position. Place your feet wide for more emphasis on the back, glutes, adductors, and hamstrings.
  • Keep your head facing forward. With your back, shoulders, and core tight, push your knees and butt out and you begin your descent. Sit back with your hips as much as possible. Ideally, your shins should be perpendicular to the ground. Lower bar position necessitates a greater torso lean to keep the bar over the heels. Continue until you break parallel, which is defined as the crease of the hip being in line with the top of the knee.
  • Keeping the weight on your heels and pushing your feet and knees out, drive upward as you lead the movement with your head. Continue upward, maintaining tightness head to toe, until you have returned to the starting position.

Reverse Band Sumo Deadlift

Category: powerlifting
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Begin with a bar loaded on the floor inside of a power rack. Attach bands to the top of the rack, using either pegs or the frame itself. Attach the other end to the barbell.
  • Approach the bar so that the bar intersects the middle of the feet. The feet should be set very wide, near the collars. Bend at the hips to grip the bar. The arms should be directly below the shoulders, inside the legs, and you can use a pronated grip, a mixed grip, or hook grip. Relax the shoulders, which in effect lengthens your arms.
  • Take a breath, and then lower your hips, looking forward with your head with your chest up. Drive through the floor, spreading your feet apart, with your weight on the back half of your feet. Extend through the hips and knees.
  • As the bar passes through the knees, lean back and drive the hips into the bar, pulling your shoulder blades together.
  • Return the weight to the ground by bending at the hips and controlling the weight on the way down.

Reverse Hyperextension

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • Place your feet between the pads after loading an appropriate weight. Lay on the top pad, allowing your hips to hang off the back, while grasping the handles to hold your position.
  • To begin the movement, flex the hips, pulling the legs forward.
  • Reverse the motion by extending the hips, kicking the leg back. It is very important not to over-extend the hip on this movement, stopping short of your full range of motion.
  • Return by again flexing the hip, pulling the carriage forward as far as you can.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Rickshaw Carry

Category: strongman
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Position the frame at the starting point, and load with the appropriate weight. Standing in the center of the frame, begin by gripping the handles and driving through your heels to lift the frame. Ensure your chest and head are up and your back is straight.
  • Immediately begin walking briskly with quick, controlled steps. Keep your chest up and head forward, and make sure you continue breathing. Bring the frame to the ground after you have reached the end point.

Rocket Jump

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Begin in a relaxed stance with your feet shoulder width apart and hold your arms close to the body.
  • To initiate the move, squat down halfway and explode back up as high as possible.
  • Fully extend your entire body, reaching overhead as far as possible. As you land, absorb your impact through the legs.

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.

Romanian Deadlift

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Put a barbell in front of you on the ground and grab it using a pronated (palms facing down) grip that a little wider than shoulder width. Tip: Depending on the weight used, you may need wrist wraps to perform the exercise and also a raised platform in order to allow for better range of motion.
  • Bend the knees slightly and keep the shins vertical, hips back and back straight. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your back and arms completely straight at all times, use your hips to lift the bar as you exhale. Tip: The movement should not be fast but steady and under control.
  • Once you are standing completely straight up, lower the bar by pushing the hips back, only slightly bending the knees, unlike when squatting. Tip: Take a deep breath at the start of the movement and keep your chest up. Hold your breath as you lower and exhale as you complete the movement.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Rope Jumping

Category: cardio
Level: intermediate
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Hold an end of the rope in each hand. Position the rope behind you on the ground. Raise your arms up and turn the rope over your head bringing it down in front of you. When it reaches the ground, jump over it. Find a good turning pace that can be maintained. Different speeds and techniques can be used to introduce variation.
  • Rope jumping is exciting, challenges your coordination, and requires a lot of energy. A 150 lb person will burn about 350 calories jumping rope for 30 minutes, compared to over 450 calories running.

Rowing, Stationary

Category: cardio
Level: intermediate
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • To begin, seat yourself on the rower. Make sure that your heels are resting comfortably against the base of the foot pedals and that the straps are secured. Select the program that you wish to use, if applicable. Sit up straight and bend forward at the hips.
  • There are three phases of movement when using a rower. The first phase is when you come forward on the rower. Your knees are bent and against your chest. Your upper body is leaning slightly forward while still maintaining good posture. Next, push against the foot pedals and extend your legs while bringing your hands to your upper abdominal area, squeezing your shoulders back as you do so. To avoid straining your back, use primarily your leg and hip muscles.
  • The recovery phase simply involves straightening your arms, bending the knees, and bringing your body forward again as you transition back into the first phase.

Runner's Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • It's easiest to get into this stretch if you start standing up, put one leg behind you, and slowly lower your torso down to the floor.
  • Keep the front heel on the floor (if it lifts up, scoot your other leg further back).
  • Place your hands on either side of your front leg. To get more out of this stretch, push your butt up toward the ceiling, and then gradually lower it back toward the floor. You'll Stretch the hip flexor of the back leg and the hamstring and buttocks of the front.

Running, Treadmill

Category: cardio
Level: beginner
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • To begin, step onto the treadmill and select the desired option from the menu. Most treadmills have a manual setting, or you can select a program to run. Typically, you can enter your age and weight to estimate the amount of calories burned during exercise. Elevation can be adjusted to change the intensity of the workout.
  • Treadmills offer convenience, cardiovascular benefits, and usually have less impact than running outside. A 150 lb person will burn over 450 calories running 8 miles per hour for 30 minutes. Maintain proper posture as you run, and only hold onto the handles when necessary, such as when dismounting or checking your heart rate.

Sandbag Load

Category: strongman
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • biceps
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • middle back
  • shoulders
  • traps
Instructions:
  • To load sandbags or other objects, begin with the implements placed a distance from the loading platform, typically 50 feet.
  • Begin by lifting the sandbag. Sandbags are extremely awkward, and the manner of lifting them can vary depending on the particular sandbag used. Reach as far around it as possible, extending through the hips and knees to pull it up high. Shouldering is usually not allowed.
  • Move as quickly as possible to the platform, and load it, extending through your hips, knees, and ankles to get it as high as possible. Place it onto the platform, ensuring it doesn't fall off.
  • Return to the starting position to retrieve the next sandbag, and repeat until the event is completed.

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 Calf Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Sit up straight on an exercise mat.
  • Bend one knee and put that foot on the floor to stabilize the torso.
  • Straighten your other leg and flex your ankle.
  • Using a band, towel, or your hand if you can reach, pull the toes toward you. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then switch sides.

Seated Floor Hamstring Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Sit on a mat with your right leg extended in front of you and your left leg bent with your foot against your right inner thigh.
  • Lean forward from your hips and reach for your ankle until you feel a stretch in your hamstring. Hold for 15 seconds, then repeat for your other side.

Seated Hamstring

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: expert
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • In a seated position with your legs extended, have your partner stand behind you. Now, lean forward as your partner braces your shoulders with their hands. This will be your starting position.
  • Attempt to push your torso back for 10-20 seconds, as your partner prevents any actual movement of your torso.
  • Now relax your muscles as your partner increases the stretch by gently pushing your torso forward for 10-20 seconds.

Seated Hamstring and Calf Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Loop a belt, rope, or band around one foot. Sit down with both legs extended . This will be your starting position.
  • Leaning forward slightly, pull on the belt to draw the toes of your foot back. Hold this position for 10-20 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.

Side Hop-Sprint

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Stand to the side of a cone or hurdle.
  • Begin this drill by hopping sideways over the obstacle, rebounding out of your landing to hop back to where you started.
  • Hop for a prescribed number or repetitions as quickly as possible, and finish this drill by sprinting a short distance upon landing the last hop.

Side Standing Long Jump

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Begin standing with your feet hip width apart in an athletic stance. Your head and chest should be up, knees and hips slightly bent. This will be your starting position.
  • Leaning to your right, extend through your hips, knees, and ankles to jump into the air. Block with the arms to lead the movement, jumping as far to your right as you can.
  • Land facing the same direction with your feet hip width apart, absorbing the impact through your lower body.

Side to Side Box Shuffle

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Stand to one side of the box with your left foot resting on the middle of it.
  • To begin, jump up and over to the other side of the box, landing with your right foot on top of the box and your left foot on the floor. Swing your arms to aid your movement.
  • Continue shuffling back and forth across the box.

Single Leg Butt Kick

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Begin by standing on one leg, with the bent knee raised. This will be your start position.
  • Using a countermovement jump, take off upward by extending the hip, knee, and ankle of the grounded leg.
  • Immediately flex the knee and attempt to touch your butt with the heel of your jumping leg.
  • Return the leg to a partially bent position underneath the hips and land. Your opposite leg should stay in relatively the same position throughout the drill.

Single Leg Push-off

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Stand on the ground with one foot resting on the box, heel close to the edge.
  • Push off with your foot on top of the box, trying to gain as much height as possible by extending through the hip and knee.
  • Land with the same foot on top of the box, returning your other foot back to the start position.

Single-Cone Sprint Drill

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • This drill teaches quick foot action. You need a single cone. Begin standing next to the cone with one arm back and one arm forward.
  • Chop the feet as quickly as possible, blocking with the arms. Circle the cone, keep your knees up, with violent foot action.
  • Rest after three trips around the cone.

Single-Leg Hop Progression

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Arrange a line of cones in front of you. Assume a relaxed standing position, balanced on one leg. Raise the knee of your opposite leg. This will be your starting position.
  • Hop forward, jumping and landing with the same leg over the cone.
  • Use a countermovement jump to hop from cone to cone.
  • At the end, turn around and go back on the other leg.

Single-Leg Lateral Hop

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Stand to the side of a cone or hurdle. To get into the start position, stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent.
  • To begin, execute a counterjump to hop sideways over the cone.
  • Land on your jumping leg, and immediately rebound out of it by jumping back to the start position.
  • Continue hopping back and forth.

Single-Leg Stride Jump

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Stand to the side of a box with your inside foot on top of it, close to the edge.
  • Begin by swinging the arms upward as you push through the top leg, jumping upward as high as possible. Attempt to drive the opposite knee upward.
  • Land in the same position that you started, using your inside leg to decelerate the impact.

Skating

Category: cardio
Level: intermediate
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Roller skating is a fun activity which can be effective in improving cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular endurance. It requires relatively good balance and coordination. It is necessary to learn the basics of skating including turning and stopping and to wear protective gear to avoid possible injury.
  • You can skate at a comfortable pace for 30 minutes straight. If you want a cardio challenge, do interval skating – speed skate two minutes of every five minutes, using the remaining three minutes to recover. A 150 lb person will typically burn about 175 calories in 30 minutes skating at a comfortable pace, similar to brisk walking.

Sled Drag - Harness

Category: strongman
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • To begin, load the sled with the desired weight and attach the pulling strap. You can pull with handles, use a harness, or attach the pulling strap to a weight belt.
  • Whether pulling forwards or backwards, lean in the direction of travel and progress by extending through the hips and knees.

Sled Overhead Backward Walk

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • middle back
  • quadriceps
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. Hold your hands directly above your head with your elbows extended. This will be your starting position.
  • Walk backwards, keeping your arms raised above your head. Avoid jerky movements.

Sled Push

Category: strongman
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • chest
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Load your pushing sled with the desired weight.
  • Take an athletic posture, leaning into the sled with your arms fully extended, grasping the handles. Push the sled as fast as possible, focusing on extending your hips and knees to strengthen your posterior chain.

Sledgehammer Swings

Category: plyometrics
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • forearms
  • lats
  • middle back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • You will need a tire and a sledgehammer for this exercise. Stand in front of the tire about two feet away from it with a staggered stance. Grip the sledgehammer.
  • If you are right handed, your left hand should be at the bottom of the handle, and your right hand should be choking up closer to the head.
  • As you bring the sledge up, your right hand slides toward the head; as you swing down, your right hand will slide down to join your left hand. Slam it down as hard as you can against the tire. Control the bounce of the hammer off of the tire.
  • Repeat on the other side.

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 Leg Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Position a Smith machine bar a couple feet off of the ground. Ensure that it is resting on the safeties. After loading the bar to an appropriate weight, lie underneath the bar. Place the middle of your feet on the bar, tucking your knees to your chest. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin the movement by driving through your feet to move the bar upward, extending the hips and knees. Do not lock out your knees.
  • At the top of the motion, pause briefly before returning to the starting position.

Smith Machine Pistol Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • To begin, first set the bar to a position that best matches your height. Step under it and position the bar across the back of your shoulders.
  • Take the bar with your hands facing forward, unlock it and lift it off the rack by extending your legs. 3
  • Move one foot forward about 12 inches in front of the bar. Extend the other leg out in front of you, holding it off the ground. Look forward at all times and maintain a neutral or slightly arched spine. This will be your starting position.
  • Maintaining good posture, lower yourself by flexing the knee and hip, going down as far as flexibility allows.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom and then return to the starting position by driving through the heel of your foot, extending the knee and hip.

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.

Smith Machine Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • To begin, first set the bar on the height that best matches your height. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step under the bar and place the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck) across it.
  • Hold on to the bar using both arms at each side (palms facing forward), unlock it and lift it off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.
  • Position your legs using a shoulder width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head up at all times and also maintain a straight back. This will be your starting position. (Note: For the purposes of this discussion we will use the medium stance which targets overall development; however you can choose any of the three stances discussed in the foot stances section).
  • Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees (which is the point in which the upper legs are below parallel to the floor). Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knees should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that is perpendicular to the front. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
  • Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel of your foot as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Smith Single-Leg Split Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • To begin, place a flat bench 2-3 feet behind the smith machine. Then, set the bar on the height that best matches your height. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step under the bar and place the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck) across it.
  • Hold on to the bar using both arms at each side (palms facing forward), unlock it and lift it off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.
  • Position your legs by placing one foot slightly forward under the bar and extending your other leg back and place the top of your foot on the bench. This will be your starting position
  • Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knee as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calf becomes slightly less than 90-degrees (which is the point in which the upper legs are below parallel to the floor). Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knee should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that is perpendicular to the front. If your knee is past that imaginary line (if it is past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
  • Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel of your foot mainly as you straighten your leg again and go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
  • Switch legs and repeat the movement.

Snatch Balance

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Begin with the feet in the pulling position, the bar racked across the back of the shoulders, and the hands placed in a wide snatch grip.
  • Pop the bar with an abrupt dip and drive of the knees, and aggressively drive under the bar, transitioning the feet into the receiving position.
  • Receive the bar locked out overhead near the bottom of the squat. The torso should remain vertical, lowering the hips between the legs.
  • Continue to descend to full depth, and return to a standing position. Carefully lower the weight.

Snatch from Blocks

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • shoulders
  • traps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Begin with a loaded barbell on boxes or stands of the desired height. A wide grip should be taken on the bar. The feet should be directly below the hips, with the feet turned out as needed. Lower the hips, with the chest up and the head looking forward. The shoulders should be just in front of the bar, with the elbows pointed out. This will be the starting position.
  • Begin the first pull by driving through the front of the heels, raising the bar from the boxes.
  • Transition into the second pull by extending through the hips knees and ankles, driving the bar up as quickly as possible. The bar should be close to the body. At peak extension, shrug the shoulders and allow the elbows to flex to the side.
  • As you move your feet into the receiving position, forcefully pull yourself below the bar as you elevate the bar overhead. The feet should move to just outside the hips, turned out as necessary. Receive the bar with your body as low as possible and the arms fully extended overhead.
  • Keeping the bar aligned over the front of the heels, your head and chest up, drive through heels of the feet to move to a standing position. Carefully return the weight to the boxes.

Snatch Pull

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • With a barbell on the floor close to the shins, take a wide snatch grip. Lower your hips with the weight focused on the heels, back straight, head facing forward, chest up, with your shoulders just in front of the bar. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin the first pull by driving through the heels, extending your knees. Your back angle should stay the same, and your arms should remain straight. Move the weight with control as you continue to above the knees.
  • Next comes the second pull, the main source of acceleration for the pull. As the bar approaches the mid-thigh position, begin extending through the hips. In a jumping motion, accelerate by extending the hips, knees, and ankles, using speed to move the bar upward.
  • There should be no need to actively pull through the arms to accelerate the weight; at the end of the second pull, the body should be fully extended, leaning slightly back. Full extension should be violent and abrupt, and ensure that you do not prolong the extension for longer than necessary.

Speed Box Squat

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Attach bands to the bar that are securely anchored near the ground. You may need to choke the bands to get adequate tension.
  • Use a box of an appropriate height for this exercise. Load the bar to a weight that still requires effort, but isn't so heavy that speed is compromised. Typically, that will be between 50-70% of your one rep max.
  • Position the bar on your upper back, shoulder blades retracted, back arched and everything tight head to toe. This will be the starting position.
  • Unrack the bar and position yourself in front of the box. Sit back with your hips until you are seated on the box, ensuring that you descend under control and don't crash onto the surface.
  • Pause briefly, and explode off of the box, extending through the hips and knees.

Speed Squats

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
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 back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck) across it.
  • 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. This will be your starting position. (Note: For the purposes of this discussion we will use the medium stance which targets overall development; however you can choose any of the three stances discussed in the foot stances section).
  • Begin to lower the bar by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees (which is the point in which the upper legs are below parallel to the floor). Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knees should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that is perpendicular to the front. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
  • Begin to raise the bar as fast as possible without involving momentum as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel of your foot mainly as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position. Note: You should perform these exercises as fast as possible but without breaking perfect form and without involving momentum.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Split Clean

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • shoulders
  • traps
Instructions:
  • With a barbell on the floor close to the shins, take an overhand grip just outside the legs. Lower your hips with the weight focused on the heels, back straight, head facing forward, chest up, with your shoulders just in front of the bar. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin the first pull by driving through the heels, extending your knees. Your back angle should stay the same, and your arms should remain straight. Move the weight with control as you continue to above the knees.
  • Next comes the second pull, the main source of acceleration for the clean. As the bar approaches the mid-thigh position, begin extending through the hips. In a jumping motion, accelerate by extending the hips, knees, and ankles, using speed to move the bar upward. There should be no need to actively pull through the arms to accelerate the weight; at the end of the second pull, the body should be fully extended, leaning slightly back, with the arms still extended.
  • As full extension is achieved, transition into the third pull by aggressively shrugging and flexing the arms with the elbows up and out. At peak extension, aggressively pull yourself down, rotating your elbows under the bar as you do so.
  • Receive the bar with the feet split, aggressively moving one foot forward and one foot back. The bar should be racked onto the protracted shoulders, lightly touching the throat with the hands relaxed. Continue to descend to the bottom position, which will help in the recovery.
  • Immediately recover by driving through the heels, keeping the torso upright and elbows up. Bring the feet together as you stand up.

Split Jump

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Assume a lunge stance position with one foot forward with the knee bent, and the rear knee nearly touching the ground.
  • Ensure that the front knee is over the midline of the foot.
  • Extending through both legs, jump as high as possible, swinging your arms to gain lift.
  • As you jump, bring your feet together, and move them back to their initial positions as you land.
  • Absorb the impact by reverting back to the starting position.

Split Snatch

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
  • traps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Begin with a loaded barbell on the floor. The bar should be close to or touching the shins, and a wide grip should be taken on the bar. The feet should be directly below the hips, with the feet turned out as needed. Lower the hips, with the chest up and the head looking forward. The shoulders should be just in front of the bar. This will be the starting position.
  • Begin the first pull by driving through the front of the heels, raising the bar from the ground. The back angle should stay the same until the bar passes the knees.
  • Transition into the second pull by extending through the hips knees and ankles, driving the bar up as quickly as possible. The bar should be close to the body. At peak extension, shrug the shoulders and allow the elbows to flex to the side.
  • As you move your feet into the receiving position, forcefully pull yourself below the bar as you elevate the bar overhead. The feet should move forcefully to a split position, one foot forward one foot back. Receive the bar with your body as low as possible and the arms fully extended overhead.
  • Keeping the bar aligned over the front of the heels, your head and chest up, drive through heels of the feet to move to a standing position, bringing your feet together.
  • Carefully return the weight to floor.

Split Squats

Category: stretching
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Being in a standing position. Jump into a split leg position, with one leg forward and one leg back, flexing the knees and lowering your hips slightly as you do so.
  • As you descend, immediately reverse direction, standing back up and jumping, reversing the position of your legs. Repeat 5-10 times on each leg.

Squat Jerk

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Standing with the weight racked on the front of the shoulders, begin with the dip. With your feet directly under your hips, flex the knees without moving the hips backward. Go down only slightly, and reverse direction as powerfully as possible. Drive through the heels create as much speed and force as possible, and be sure to move your head out of the way as the bar leaves the shoulders.
  • At this moment as the feet leave the floor, the feet must be placed into the receiving position as quickly as possible. In the brief moment the feet are not actively driving against the platform, the athlete’s effort to push the bar up will drive them down. The feet should move forcefully to just outside the hips, turned out as necessary. Receive the bar with your body in a full squat and the arms fully extended overhead.
  • Keeping the bar aligned over the front of the heels, your head and chest up, drive throught heels of the feet to move to a standing position. Carefully return the weight to floor.

Squat with Bands

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Set up the bands on the sleeves, secured to either band pegs, the rack, or dumbbells so that there is appropriate tension.
  • Begin by stepping under the bar and placing it across the back of the shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and rotate your elbows forward, attempting to bend the bar across your shoulders. Remove the bar from the rack, creating a tight arch in your lower back, and step back into position. Place your feet wide for more emphasis on the back, glutes, adductors, and hamstrings. Keep your head facing forward.
  • With your back, shoulders, and core tight, push your knees and butt out and you begin your descent. Sit back with your hips as much as possible. Ideally, your shins should be perpendicular to the ground. Lower bar position necessitates a greater torso lean to keep the bar over the heels. Continue until you break parallel, which is defined as the crease of the hip being in line with the top of the knee.
  • Keeping the weight on your heels and pushing your feet and knees out, drive upward as you lead the movement with your head. Continue upward, maintaining tightness head to toe, until you have returned to the starting position.

Squat with Chains

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • To set up the chains, begin by looping the leader chain over the sleeves of the bar. The heavy chain should be attached using a snap hook. Adjust the length of the lead chain so that a few links are still on the floor at the top of the movement.
  • Begin by stepping under the bar and placing it across the back of the shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and rotate your elbows forward, attempting to bend the bar across your shoulders. Remove the bar from the rack, creating a tight arch in your lower back, and step back into position. Place your feet wide for more emphasis on the back, glutes, adductors, and hamstrings. Keep your head facing forward.
  • With your back, shoulders, and core tight, push your knees and butt out and you begin your descent. Sit back with your hips as much as possible. Ideally, your shins should be perpendicular to the ground. Lower bar position necessitates a greater torso lean to keep the bar over the heels. Continue until you break parallel, which is defined as the crease of the hip being in line with the top of the knee.
  • Keeping the weight on your heels and pushing your feet and knees out, drive upward as you lead the movement with your head. Continue upward, maintaining tightness head to toe, until you have returned to the starting position.

Squat with Plate Movers

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • To begin, first set the bar on a rack to just below shoulder level. Position a weight plate on the ground a couple feet back from the rack. Once the bar is loaded, step under it and place the back of your shoulders across it.
  • Hold on to the bar with both hands and lift it off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straighten your torso.
  • Step away from the rack and adopt a wide stance with the toes slightly pointed out, with one foot on the weight plate. Keep your head up at all times. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees and hips. Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees.
  • Raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heels of your feet as you extend the hips and knees.
  • At the top of the movement, side step, bringing your feet together on the opposite side of the plate.
  • Using your inside foot, push the weight plate, sliding it across the floor to where you were just standing.
  • Place your inside foot on the weight plate, adopting a wide stance for the next repetition.

Squats - With Bands

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: bands
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • To start out, make sure that the exercise band is at an even split between both the left and right side of the body. To do this, use your hands to grab both sides of the band and place both feet in the middle of the band. Your feet should be shoulder width apart from each other.
  • When holding the bands, they should be the same height on each side. You should be using a pronated grip (palms facing forward) and have the handles of the bands next to your face for this exercise. This is the starting position.
  • Slowly start to bend the knees and lower the legs so that your thighs are parallel to the floor while exhaling.
  • Use the heel of your feet to push your body up to the starting position as you exhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Stairmaster

Category: cardio
Level: intermediate
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • To begin, step onto the stairmaster and select the desired option from the menu. You can choose a manual setting, or you can select a program to run. Typically, you can enter your age and weight to estimate the amount of calories burned during exercise.
  • Pump your legs up and down in an established rhythm, driving the pedals down but not all the way to the floor. It is recommended that you maintain your grip on the handles so that you don’t fall. The handles can be used to monitor your heart rate to help you stay at an appropriate intensity.
  • Stairmasters offer convenience, cardiovascular benefits, and usually have less impact than running outside. They are typically much harder than other cardio equipment. A 150 lb person will typically burn over 300 calories in 30 minutes, compared to about 175 calories walking.

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 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 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 Gastrocnemius Calf Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • calves
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Place your right heel on a step with your knee extended and lean forward to grab your right toe with your right hand. Your left knee should be slightly bent and your back should be straight.
  • Support your weight on your left leg and place your left hand on your left thigh.
  • Pull your right toes toward your knee until you feel a stretch in your calf.

Standing Long Jump

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • This drill is best done in sand or other soft landing surface. Ensure that you are able to measure distance. Stand in a partial squat stance with feet shoulder width apart.
  • Utilizing a big arm swing and a countermovement of the legs, jump forward as far as you can.
  • Attempt to land with your feet out in front you, reaching as far as possible with your legs.
  • Measure the distance from your landing point to the starting point and track results.

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 Toe Touches

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Stand with some space in front and behind you.
  • Bend at the waist, keeping your legs straight, until you can relax and let your upper body hang down in front of you. Let your arms and hands hang down naturally. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.

Star Jump

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Begin in a relaxed stance with your feet shoulder width apart and hold your arms close to the body.
  • To initiate the move, squat down halfway and explode back up as high as possible. Fully extend your entire body, spreading your legs and arms away from the body.
  • As you land, bring your limbs back in and absorb your impact through the legs.

Step Mill

Category: cardio
Level: intermediate
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • To begin, step onto the stepmill and select the desired option from the menu. You can choose a manual setting, or you can select a program to run. Typically, you can enter your age and weight to estimate the amount of calories burned during exercise. Use caution so that you don’t trip as you climb the stairs. It is recommended that you maintain your grip on the handles so that you don’t fall.
  • Stepmills offer convenience, cardiovascular benefits, and usually have less impact than running outside while offering a similar rate of calories burned. They are typically much harder than other cardio equipment. A 150 lb person will typically burn over 300 calories in 30 minutes, compared to about 175 calories walking.

Stride Jump Crossover

Category: plyometrics
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Stand to the side of a box with your inside foot on top of it, close to the edge.
  • Begin by swinging the arms upward as you push through the top leg, jumping upward as high as possible. Attempt to drive the opposite knee upward.
  • Land in the opposite position that you started, on the opposite side of the box. The foot that was initially on the box will now be on the ground, with the opposite foot now on the box.
  • Repeat the movement, crossing back over to the other side.

Suspended Split Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Suspend your straps so the handles are 18-30 inches from the floor.
  • Facing away from the setup, place your rear foot into the handle behind you. Keep your head looking forward and your chest up, with your knee slightly bent. This will be your starting position.
  • Descend by flexing the knee and hips, lowering yourself to the ground. Keep your weight on the heel of your foot and maintain your posture throughout the exercise.
  • At the bottom of the movement, reverse the motion, extending through the hip and knee to return to the starting position.

The Straddle

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
  • calves
Instructions:
  • Begin in a seated, upright position. Start by extending your legs in front of you in a V.
  • With your hands on the floor, lean forward as far as possible. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.

Tire Flip

Category: strongman
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • chest
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • shoulders
  • traps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Begin by gripping the bottom of the tire on the tread, and position your feet back a bit. Your chest should be driving into the tire.
  • To lift the tire, extend through the hips, knees, and ankles, driving into the tire and up.
  • As the tire reaches a 45 degree angle, step forward and drive a knee into the tire. As you do so adjust your grip to the upper portion of the tire and push it forward as hard as possible to complete the turn. Repeat as necessary.

Trail Running/Walking

Category: cardio
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Running or hiking on trails will get the blood pumping and heart beating almost immediately. Make sure you have good shoes. While you use the muscles in your calves and buttocks to pull yourself up a hill, the knees, joints and ankles absorb the bulk of the pounding coming back down. Take smaller steps as you walk downhill, keep your knees bent to reduce the impact and slow down to avoid falling.
  • A 150 lb person can burn over 200 calories for 30 minutes walking uphill, compared to 175 on a flat surface. If running the trail, a 150 lb person can burn well over 500 calories in 30 minutes.

Two-Arm Kettlebell Clean

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Place two kettlebells between your feet. To get in the starting position, push your butt back and look straight ahead.
  • Clean the kettlebells to your shoulders by extending through the legs and hips as you raise the kettlebells towards your shoulders. Rotate your wrists as you do so.
  • Lower the kettlebells back to the starting position and repeat.

Two-Arm Kettlebell Jerk

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • quadriceps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Clean two kettlebells to your shoulders. Clean the kettlebells to your shoulders by extending through the legs and hips as you swing the kettlebells towards your shoulders. Rotate your wrists as you do so, so that the palms face forward. Squat down a few inches and reverse the motion rapidly driving both kettlebells overhead. Immediately after the initial push, squat down again and get under the kettlebells. Once the kettlebells are locked out, stand upright to complete the exercise.

Walking, Treadmill

Category: cardio
Level: beginner
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • To begin, step onto the treadmill and select the desired option from the menu. Most treadmills have a manual setting, or you can select a program to run. Typically, you can enter your age and weight to estimate the amount of calories burned during exercise. Elevation can be adjusted to change the intensity of the workout.
  • Treadmills offer convenience, cardiovascular benefits, and usually have less impact than walking outside. When walking, you should move at a moderate to fast pace, not a leisurely one. Being an activity of lower intensity, walking doesn’t burn as many calories as some other activities, but still provides great benefit. A 150 lb person will burn about 175 calories walking 4 miles per hour for 30 minutes, compared to 450 calories running twice as fast. Maintain proper posture as you walk, and only hold onto the handles when necessary, such as when dismounting or checking your heart rate.

Weighted Jump Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Position a lightly loaded barbell across the back of your shoulders. You could also use a weighted vest, sandbag, or other type of resistance for this exercise.
  • The weight should be light enough that it doesn't slow you down significantly. Your feet should be just outside of shoulder width with your head and chest up. This will be your starting position.
  • Using a countermovement, squat partially down and immediately reverse your direction to explode off of the ground, extending through your hips, knees, and ankles. Maintain good posture throughout the jump.
  • As you return to the ground, absorb the impact through your legs.

Weighted Sissy Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Standing upright, with feet at shoulder width and toes raised, use one hand to hold onto the beams of a squat rack and the opposite arm to hold a plate on top of your chest. This is your starting position.
  • As you use one arm to hold yourself, bend at the knees and slowly lower your torso toward the ground by bringing your pelvis and knees forward. Inhale as you go down and stop when your upper and lower legs almost create a 90-degree angle. Hold the stretch position for a second.
  • After your one second hold, use your thigh muscles to bring your torso back up to the starting position. Exhale as you move up.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of times.

Weighted Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • Start by positioning two flat benches shoulder width apart from each other. Stand on top of them and wrap the weighted belt around your waist with the amount of weight you feel comfortable with. Make sure your toes are facing out.
  • Once you are standing straight up with the weight hanging in between your legs, position your arms so that they are fully extended to the side of your body. This is the starting position.
  • Begin by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees (which is the point in which the upper legs are below parallel to the floor). Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knees should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that are perpendicular to the front. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
  • Begin to move the body back up by pushing the floor of the flat bench with the ball of your foot mainly as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position. Exhale as you perform this portion of the exercise.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Wide Stance Barbell Squat

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
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 back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck) across it.
  • 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 wider-than-shoulder-width 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. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees (which is the point in which the upper legs are below parallel to the floor). Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knees should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that is perpendicular to the front. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
  • Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel of your foot as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

World's Greatest Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • This is a three-part stretch. Begin by lunging forward, with your front foot flat on the ground and on the toes of your back foot. With your knees bent, squat down until your knee is almost touching the ground. Keep your torso erect, and hold this position for 10-20 seconds.
  • Now, place the arm on the same side as your front leg on the ground, with the elbow next to the foot. Your other hand should be placed on the ground, parallel to your lead leg, to help support you during this portion of the stretch.
  • After 10-20 seconds, place your hands on either side of your front foot. Raise the toes of the front foot off of the ground, and straighten your leg. You may need to reposition your rear leg to do so. Hold for 10-20 seconds, and then repeat the entire sequence for the other side.

Yoke Walk

Category: strongman
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • The yoke is usually done with a yoke apparatus, but is sometimes seen with refrigerators or other heavy objects.
  • Begin by racking the apparatus across the back of the shoulders. With your head looking forward and back arched, lift the yoke by driving through the heels.
  • Begin walking as quickly as possible using short, quick steps. You may hold the side posts of the yoke to help steady it and hold it in position. Continue for the given distance as fast as possible, usually 75-100 feet.

Zercher Squats

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • calves
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
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. The correct height should be anywhere above the waist but below the chest. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, lock your hands together and place the bar on top of your arms in between the forearm and upper arm.
  • Lift the bar up so that it is resting on top of your forearms. If you are holding the bar properly, it should look as if you have your arms crossed but with a bar running across them.
  • 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. This will be your starting position. (Note: For the purposes of this discussion we will use the medium stance described above which targets overall development; however you can choose any of the three stances discussed in the foot stances section).
  • Begin to lower the bar by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees (which is the point in which the upper legs are below parallel to the floor). Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knees should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that is perpendicular to the front. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
  • Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with the ball of your foot mainly as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.