Lower back

The back is divided into three main sections: upper, middle and lower back.

Other muscles

131 Exercises

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.

Atlas Stone Trainer

Category: strongman
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • This trainer is effective for developing Atlas Stone strength for those who don't have access to stones, and are typically made from bar ends or heavy pipe.
  • Begin by loading the desired weight onto the bar. Straddle the weight, wrapping your arms around the implement, bending at the hips.
  • Begin by pulling the weight up past the knees, extending through the hips. As the weight clears the knees, it can be lapped by resting it on your thighs and sitting back, hugging it tightly to your chest.
  • Finish the movement by extending through your hips and knees to raise the weight as high as possible. The weight can be returned to the lap or to the ground for successive repetitions.

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.

Axle Deadlift

Category: strongman
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • middle back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • 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 over/under grip.
  • With your feet and your grip set, take a big breath and then lower your hips and flex 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.

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.

Band Good Morning

Category: powerlifting
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: bands
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Using a 41 inch band, stand on one end, spreading your feet a small amount. Bend at the hips to loop the end of the band behind your neck. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your legs straight, extend through the hips to come to a near vertical position.
  • Ensure that you do not round your back as you go down back to the starting position.

Band Good Morning (Pull Through)

Category: powerlifting
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: bands
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Loop the band around a post. Standing a little ways away, loop the opposite end around the neck. Your hands can help hold the band in position.
  • Begin by bending at the hips, getting your butt back as far as possible. Keep your back flat and bend forward to about 90 degrees. Your knees should be only slightly bent.
  • Return to the starting position be driving through with the hips to come back to a standing position.

Barbell Ab Rollout

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • lower back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • For this exercise you will need to get into a pushup position, but instead of having your hands of the floor, you will be grabbing on to an Olympic barbell (loaded with 5-10 lbs on each side) instead. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping a slight arch on your back, lift your hips and roll the barbell towards your feet as you exhale. Tip: As you perform the movement, your glutes should be coming up, you should be keeping the abs tight and should maintain your back posture at all times. Also your arms should be staying perpendicular to the floor throughout the movement. If you don't, you will work out your shoulders and back more than the abs.
  • After a second contraction at the top, start to roll the barbell back forward to the starting position slowly as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Barbell Ab Rollout - On Knees

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • lower back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Hold an Olympic barbell loaded with 5-10lbs on each side and kneel on the floor.
  • Now place the barbell on the floor in front of you so that you are on all your hands and knees (as in a kneeling push up position). This will be your starting position.
  • Slowly roll the barbell straight forward, stretching your body into a straight position. Tip: Go down as far as you can without touching the floor with your body. Breathe in during this portion of the movement.
  • After a second pause at the stretched position, start pulling yourself back to the starting position as you breathe out. Tip: Go slowly and keep your abs tight at all times.

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 Side Bend

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

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.

Bent Over Low-Pulley Side Lateral

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

Bent Over One-Arm Long Bar Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
  • lower back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Put weight on one of the ends of an Olympic barbell. Make sure that you either place the other end of the barbell in the corner of two walls; or put a heavy object on the ground so the barbell cannot slide backward.
  • Bend forward until your torso is as close to parallel with the floor as you can and keep your knees slightly bent.
  • Now grab the bar with one arm just behind the plates on the side where the weight was placed and put your other hand on your knee. This will be your starting position.
  • Pull the bar straight up with your elbow in (to maximize back stimulation) until the plates touch your lower chest. Squeeze the back muscles as you lift the weight up and hold for a second at the top of the movement. Breathe out as you lift the weight. Tip: Do not allow for any swinging of the torso. Only the arm should move.
  • Slowly lower the bar to the starting position getting a nice stretch on the lats. Tip: Do not let the plates touch the floor. To ensure the best range of motion, I recommend using small plates (25-lb ones) as opposed to larger plates (like 35-45lb ones).
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and switch arms.

Bent Press

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Clean a 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. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin my leaning to the side opposite the kettlebell, continuing until you are able to touch the ground with your free hand, keeping your eyes on the kettlebell. As you do so, press the weight vertically be extending through the elbow, keeping your arm perpendicular to the ground.
  • Return to an upright position, with the kettlebell above your head. Return the kettlebell to the shoulder and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

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.

Cable Deadlifts

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Move the cables to the bottom of the towers and select an appropriate weight. Stand directly in between the uprights.
  • To begin, squat down be flexing your hips and knees until you can reach the handles.
  • After grasping them, begin your ascent. Driving through your heels extend your hips and knees keeping your hands hanging at your side. Keep your head and chest up throughout the movement.
  • After reaching a full standing position, Return to the starting position and repeat.

Car Deadlift

Category: strongman
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • This event apparatus typically has neutral grip handles, however some have a straight bar that you can approach like a normal deadlift. The apparatus can be loaded with a vehicle or other heavy objects such as tractor tires or kegs.
  • Center yourself between the handles if you are a strong squatter, or back a couple inches if you are a strong deadlifter. You feet should be about hip width apart. Bend at the hip to grip the handles. With your feet and your grip set, take a big breath and then lower your hips and flex the knees.
  • Look forward with your head, keep your chest up and your back arched, and begin driving through the heels to move the weight upward. As the weight comes up, pull your shoulder blades together as you drive your hips forward.
  • Lower the weight by bending at the hips and guiding it to the floor.

Cat Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • middle back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Position yourself on the floor on your hands and knees.
  • Pull your belly in and round your spine, lower back, shoulders, and neck, letting your head drop.
  • Hold for 15 seconds.

Chair Lower Back Stretch

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

Child's Pose

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • Get on your hands and knees, walk your hands in front of you.
  • Lower your buttocks down to sit on your heels. Let your arms drag along the floor as you sit back to stretch your entire spine.
  • Once you settle onto your heels, bring your hands next to your feet and relax. "breathe" into your back. Rest your forehead on the floor. Avoid this position if you have knee problems.

Circus Bell

Category: strongman
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • traps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • The circus bell is an oversized dumbbell with a thick handle. Begin with the dumbbell between your feet, and grip the handle with both hands.
  • Clean the dumbbell by extending through your hips and knees to deliver the implement to the desired shoulder, letting go with the extra hand.
  • Ensure that you get one of the dumbbell heads behind the shoulder to keep from being thrown off balance. To raise it overhead, dip by flexing the knees, and the drive upwards as you extend the dumbbell overhead, leaning slightly away from it as you do so.
  • Carefully guide the bell back to the floor, keeping it under control as much as possible. It is best to perform this event on a thick rubber mat to prevent damage to the floor.

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 Jerk

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: push
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
  • triceps
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.
  • The second phase is the jerk, which raises the weight overhead. 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 split, with one foot forward, and one foot back. Receive the bar with the arms locked out overhead. Return 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 Deadlift

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • middle back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Begin standing with a barbell close to your shins. Your feet should be directly under your hips with your feet turned out slightly. Grip the bar with a double overhand grip or hook grip, about shoulder width apart. Squat down to the bar. Your spine should be in full extension, with a back angle that places your shoulders in front of the bar and your back as vertical as possible.
  • Begin by driving through the floor through the front of your heels. As the bar travels upward, maintain a constant back angle. Flare your knees out to the side to help keep them out of the bar's path.
  • After the bar crosses the knees, complete the lift by driving the hips into the bar until your hips and knees are extended.

Clean Pull

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • 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 and elbows out. 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. Full extension should be violent and abrupt, and ensure that you do not prolong the extension for longer than necessary.

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.

Crossover Reverse Lunge

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • abductors
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
Instructions:
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. This will be your starting position.
  • Perform a rear lunge by stepping back with one foot and flexing the hips and front knee. As you do so, rotate your torso across the front leg.
  • After a brief pause, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side, continuing in an alternating fashion.

Dancer's Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • Sit up on the floor.
  • Cross your right leg over your left, keeping the knee bent. Your left leg is straight and down on the floor.
  • Place your left arm on your right leg and your right hand on the floor.
  • Rotate your upper body to the right, and hold for 10-20 seconds. Switch sides.

Deadlift with Bands

Category: powerlifting
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • middle back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • To deadlift with short bands, simply loop them over the bar before you start, and step into them to set up. For long bands, they will need to be anchored to a secure base, such as heavy dumbbells or a rack.
  • 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.

Deadlift with Chains

Category: powerlifting
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • middle back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • You can attach the chains to the sleeves of the bar, or just drape the middle over the bar so there is a greater weight increase as you lift.
  • 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.

Deficit Deadlift

Category: powerlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • middle back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Begin by having a platform or weight plates that you can stand on, usually 1-3 inches in height. 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.

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.

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 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.

Farmer's Walk

Category: strongman
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • forearms
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • There are various implements that can be used for the farmers walk. These can also be performed with heavy dumbbells or short bars if these implements aren't available. Begin by standing between the implements.
  • After gripping the handles, lift them up by driving through your heels, keeping your back straight and your head up.
  • Walk taking short, quick steps, and don't forget to breathe. Move for a given distance, typically 50-100 feet, as fast as possible.

Good Morning

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • glutes
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Begin with a bar on a rack at shoulder height. Rack the bar across the rear of your shoulders as you would a power squat, not on top of your shoulders. Keep your back tight, shoulder blades pinched together, and your knees slightly bent. Step back from the rack.
  • Begin by bending at the hips, moving them back as you bend over to near parallel. Keep your back arched and your cervical spine in proper alignment.
  • Reverse the motion by extending through the hips with your glutes and hamstrings. Continue until you have returned to the starting position.

Good Morning off Pins

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • glutes
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Begin with a bar on a rack at about the same height as your stomach. Bend over underneath the bar and rack the bar across the rear of your shoulders as you would a power squat, not on top of your shoulders. At the proper height, you should be near parallel to the floor when bent over. Keep your back tight, shoulder blades pinched together, and your knees slightly bent. Keep your back arched and your cervical spine in proper alignment.
  • Begin the motion by extending through the hips with your glutes and hamstrings, and you are standing with the weight. Slowly lower the weight back to the pins returning to the starting position.

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.

Hanging Bar Good Morning

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • glutes
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Begin with a bar on a rack at about the same height as your stomach. Suspend the bar using chains or suspension straps.
  • Bend over underneath the bar and rack the bar across the rear of your shoulders as you would a power squat, not on top of your traps. At the proper height, you should be near parallel to the floor when bent over. Keep your back tight, shoulder blades pinched together, and your knees slightly bent. Keep your back arched and your cervical spine in proper alignment.
  • Begin the motion by extending through the hips with your glutes and hamstrings, and you are standing with the weight.
  • Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position, where it is supported by the chains.

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.

Hug Knees To Chest

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • Lie down on your back and pull both knees up to your chest.
  • Hold your arms under the knees, not over (that would put to much pressure on your knee joints).
  • Slowly pull the knees toward your shoulders. This also stretches your buttocks muscles.

Hyperextensions (Back Extensions)

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

Hyperextensions With No Hyperextension Bench

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • With someone holding down your legs, slide yourself down to the edge a flat bench until your hips hang off the end of the bench. Tip: Your entire upper body should be hanging down towards the floor. Also, you will be in the same position as if you were on a hyperextension bench but the range of motion will be shorter due to the height of the flat bench vs. that of the hyperextension bench.
  • With your body straight, cross your arms in front of you (my preference) or behind your head. This will be your starting position. Tip: You can also hold a weight plate for extra resistance in front of you under your crossed arms.
  • Start bending forward slowly at the waist as far as you can while keeping your back flat. Inhale as you perform this movement. Keep moving forward until you almost touch the floor or you feel a nice stretch on the hamstrings (whichever comes first). Tip: Never round the back as you perform this exercise.
  • Slowly raise your torso back to the initial position as you exhale. Tip: Avoid the temptation to arch your back past a straight line. Also, do not swing the torso at any time in order to protect the back from injury.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Iron Cross

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • chest
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • traps

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.

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 One-Legged Deadlift

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Hold a kettlebell by the handle in one hand. Stand on one leg, on the same side that you hold the kettlebell.
  • Keeping that knee slightly bent, perform a stiff legged deadlift by bending at the hip, extending your free leg behind you for balance.
  • Continue lowering the kettlebell until you are parallel to the ground, and then return to the upright position.

Knee Across The Body

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Lie down on the floor with your right leg straight. Bend your left leg and lower it across your body, holding the knee down toward the floor with your right hand. (The knee doesn't need to touch the floor if you're tight.)
  • Place your left arm comfortably beside you and turn your head to the left. Imagine you have a weight tied to your tailbone. let your tailbone fall back toward the floor as your chest reaches in the opposite direction to stretch your lower back. Switch sides.

Kneeling Squat

Category: powerlifting
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Set the bar to the proper height in a power rack. Kneel behind the bar; it may be beneficial to put a mat down to pad your knees. Slide under the bar, racking it across the back of your shoulders. Your shoulder blades should be retracted and the bar tight across your back. Unrack the weight.
  • With your head looking forward, sit back with your butt until you touch your calves.
  • Reverse the motion, returning the torso to an upright position.

Landmine 180's

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Position a bar into a landmine or securely anchor it in a corner. Load the bar to an appropriate weight.
  • Raise the bar from the floor, taking it to shoulder height with both hands with your arms extended in front of you. Adopt a wide stance. This will be your starting position.
  • Perform the movement by rotating the trunk and hips as you swing the weight all the way down to one side. Keep your arms extended throughout the exercise.
  • Reverse the motion to swing the weight all the way to the opposite side.
  • Continue alternating the movement until the set is complete.

Log Lift

Category: strongman
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • chest
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • middle back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Begin standing with the log in front of you. Grasp the handles, and begin to clean the log. As you are bent over to start the clean, attempt to get the log as high as possible, pulling it into your chest. Extend through the hips and knees to bring it up to complete the clean.
  • Push your head back and look up, creating a shelf on your chest to rest the log. Begin the press by dipping, flexing slightly through the knees and reversing the motion. This push press will generate momentum to start the log moving vertically. Continue by extending through the elbows to press the log above your head. There are no strict rules on form, so use whatever techniques you are most efficient with. As the log is pressed, ensure that you push your head through on each repetition, looking forward.
  • Repeat as many times as possible. Attempt to control the descent of the log as it is returned to the ground.

Lower Back-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • In a seated position, place a foam roll under your lower back. Cross your arms in front of you and protract your shoulders. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your hips off of the floor and lean back, keeping your weight on your lower back. Now shift your weight slightly to one side, keeping your weight off of the spine and on the muscles to the side of it. Roll over your lower back, holding points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Middle Back Stretch

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

Muscle Snatch

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Begin with a loaded barbell held at the mid thigh position with a wide grip. 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 pull by driving through the front of the heels, raising the bar. 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.
  • Continue raising the bar to the overhead position, without rebending the knees.

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.

One Knee To Chest

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Start off by lying on the floor.
  • Extend one leg straight and pull the other knee to your chest. Hold under the knee joint to protect the kneecap.
  • Gently tug that knee toward your nose.
  • Switch sides. This stretches the buttocks and lower back of the bent leg and the hip flexor of the straight leg.

One-Arm Kettlebell Clean

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • shoulders
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Place a kettlebell between your feet. As you bend down to grab the kettlebell, push your butt back and keep your eyes looking forward.
  • 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.
  • Return the weight to the starting position.

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 Open Palm Kettlebell Clean

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Place one kettlebell between your feet.
  • Grab the handle with one hand and raise the kettlebell rapidly, let it flip so that the ball of the kettlebell lands in the palm of your hand.
  • Throw the kettlebell out in front of you and catch the handle with one hand.
  • Take the kettlebell to the floor and repeat. Make sure to work both arms.

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.

Open Palm Kettlebell Clean

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: expert
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Place one kettlebell between your feet. Clean the kettlebell by extending through the legs and hips as you raise the kettlebell towards your shoulders.
  • Release the kettlebell as it comes up, and let it flip so that the ball of the kettlebell lands in the palms of your hands.
  • Release the kettlebell out in front of you and catch the handle with both hands. Lower the kettlebell to the starting position and repeat.

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.

Pelvic Tilt Into Bridge

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Lie down with your feet on the floor, heels directly under your knees.
  • Lift only your tailbone to the ceiling to stretch your lower back. (Don't lift the entire spine yet.) Pull in your stomach.
  • To go into a bridge, lift the entire spine except the neck.

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 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.

Pull Through

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • glutes
Secondary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Begin standing a few feet in front of a low pulley with a rope or handle attached. Face away from the machine, straddling the cable, with your feet set wide apart.
  • Begin the movement by reaching through your legs as far as possible, bending at the hips. Keep your knees slightly bent. Keeping your arms straight, extend through the hip to stand straight up. Avoid pulling upward through the shoulders; all of the motion should originate through the hips.

Pyramid

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Equipment: exercise ball
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Start off by rolling your torso forward onto the ball so your hips rest on top of the ball and become the highest point of your body.
  • Rest your hands and feet on the floor. Your arms and legs can be slightly bent or straight, depending on the size of the ball, your flexibility, and the length of your limbs. This also helps develop stabilizing strength in your torso and shoulders.

Rack Pull with Bands

Category: powerlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Set up in a power rack with the bar on the pins. The pins should be set to the desired point; just below the knees, just above, or in the mid thigh position. Attach bands to the base of the rack, or secure them with dumbbells. Attach the other end to the bar. You may need to choke the bands to provide tension.
  • Position yourself against the bar in proper deadlifting position. Your feet should be under your hips, your grip shoulder width, back arched, and hips back to engage the hamstrings. Since the weight is typically heavy, you may use a mixed grip, a hook grip, or use straps to aid in holding the weight.
  • With your head looking forward, extend through the hips and knees, pulling the weight up and back until lockout. Be sure to pull your shoulders back as you complete the movement. Return the weight to the pins and repeat.

Rack Pulls

Category: powerlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Set up in a power rack with the bar on the pins. The pins should be set to the desired point; just below the knees, just above, or in the mid thigh position. Position yourself against the bar in proper deadlifting position. Your feet should be under your hips, your grip shoulder width, back arched, and hips back to engage the hamstrings. Since the weight is typically heavy, you may use a mixed grip, a hook grip, or use straps to aid in holding the weight.
  • With your head looking forward, extend through the hips and knees, pulling the weight up and back until lockout. Be sure to pull your shoulders back as you complete the movement.
  • Return the weight to the pins and repeat.

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.

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.

Rickshaw Deadlift

Category: strongman
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Load the frame with the desired weight. Center yourself between the handles. You feet should be about hip width apart. Bend at the hips to grip the handles, allowing your shoulder blades to protract.
  • With your feet and your grip set, take a big breath and then lower your hips and flex the knees. Look forward with your head, keep your chest up and your back arched, and begin driving through the heels to move the weight upward. As the weight comes up, pull your shoulder blades together as you drive your hips forward.
  • Lower the weight by bending at the hips and guiding it to the ground.

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.

Romanian Deadlift from Deficit

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Begin standing while holding a bar at arm’s length in front of you. You can stand on a raised platform to increase the range of motion.
  • Begin by flexing the knees slightly, and then flex at the hip, moving your butt back as far as possible, lowering the torso as far as flexibility allows. The back should remain in absolute extension at all times, and the bar should remain in contact with the legs. If done properly, there should be heavy tension felt in the hamstrings.
  • Reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

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.

Russian Twist

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • abdominals
Secondary Muscles:
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Lie down on the floor placing your feet either under something that will not move or by having a partner hold them. Your legs should be bent at the knees.
  • Elevate your upper body so that it creates an imaginary V-shape with your thighs. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you perpendicular to your torso and with the hands clasped. This is the starting position.
  • Twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor while breathing out.
  • Hold the contraction for a second and move back to the starting position while breathing out. Now move to the opposite side performing the same techniques you applied to the right side.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

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 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 Good Mornings

Category: powerlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
Instructions:
  • Set up a box in a power rack. The pins should be set at an appropriate height. Begin by stepping under the bar and placing it across the back of the shoulders, not on top of your traps. 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. 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. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping the bar tight, bend forward at the hips as much as possible. If you set the pins to what would be parallel, you not only have a safety if you fail, but know when to stop.
  • Pause just above the pins and reverse the motion until your torso it upright.

Smith Machine Hang Power Clean

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Position the bar at knee height and load it to an appropriate weight.
  • Take a pronated grip on the bar outside of shoulder width and unhook the bar from the machine. Your arms should be fully extended with your head and chest up. Your elbows should be pointed out with your shoulders back and down. Your hips should be back, loading the tension into the hamstrings. This will be your starting position.
  • Initate the movement by forcefully extending the hips and knees, accelerating into the bar. Ensure that you keep your arms straight during this part of the motion.
  • Upon full extension, rebend the hips and knees to lower your receiving position.
  • Allow the arms to flex at this point, rotating the elbows around the bar to receive it on your shoulders.
  • Extend through the hips and knees to come to a standing position with the bar racked on your shoulders to complete the movement.

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 Machine Stiff-Legged Deadlift

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • To begin, set the bar on the smith machine to a height that is around the middle of your thighs. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, grasp the bar using a pronated (palms forward) grip that is shoulder width apart. You may need some wrist wraps if using a significant amount of weight.
  • Lift the bar up by fully extending your arms while keeping your back straight. Stand with your torso straight and your legs spaced using a shoulder width or narrower stance. The knees should be slightly bent. This is your starting position.
  • Keeping the knees stationary, lower the barbell to over the top of your feet by bending at the waist while keeping your back straight. Keep moving forward as if you were going to pick something from the floor until you feel a stretch on the hamstrings. Exhale as you perform this movement
  • Start bringing your torso up straight again as soon as you feel the hamstrings stretch by extending your hips and waist until you are back at the starting position. Inhale as you perform this movement.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Snatch

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • quadriceps
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • shoulders
  • traps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Place your feet at a shoulder width stance with the barbell resting right above the connection between the toes and the rest of the foot.
  • With a palms facing down grip, bend at the knees and keeping the back flat grab the bar using a wider than shoulder width grip. Bring the hips down and make sure that your body drops as if you were going to sit on a chair. This will be your starting position.
  • Start pushing the floor as if it were a moving platform with your feet and simultaneously start lifting the barbell keeping it close to your legs.
  • As the bar reaches the middle of your thighs, push the floor with your legs and lift your body to a complete extension in an explosive motion.
  • Lift your shoulders back in a shrugging movement as you bring the bar up while lifting your elbows out to the side and keeping them above the bar for as long as possible.
  • Now in a very quick but powerful motion, you have to get your body under the barbell when it has reached a high enough point where it can be controlled and drop while locking your arms and holding the barbell overhead as you assume a squat position.
  • Finalize the movement by rising up out of the squat position to finish the lift. At the end of the lift both feet should be on line and the arms fully extended holding the barbell overhead.

Snatch Deadlift

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • The snatch deadlift strengthens the first pull of the snatch. Begin with a wide snatch grip with the barbell placed on the platform. The feet should be directly under the hips, with the feet turned out. Squat down to the bar, keeping the back in absolute extension with the head facing forward.
  • Initiate the movement by driving through the heels, raising the hips. The back angle should remain the same until the bar passes the knees.
  • At that point, drive your hips through the bar as you lay back. Return the bar to the platform by reversing the motion.

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 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.

Spinal Stretch

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

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 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.

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.

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.

Standing Pelvic Tilt

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

Stiff Leg Barbell Good Morning

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • 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, 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. 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.
  • Keeping your legs stationary, move your torso forward by bending at the hips while inhaling. Lower your torso until it is parallel with the floor.
  • Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by elevating your torso back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Grasp a bar using an overhand grip (palms facing down). You may need some wrist wraps if using a significant amount of weight.
  • Stand with your torso straight and your legs spaced using a shoulder width or narrower stance. The knees should be slightly bent. This is your starting position.
  • Keeping the knees stationary, lower the barbell to over the top of your feet by bending at the hips while keeping your back straight. Keep moving forward as if you were going to pick something from the floor until you feel a stretch on the hamstrings. Inhale as you perform this movement.
  • Start bringing your torso up straight again by extending your hips until you are back at the starting position. Exhale as you perform this movement.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlift

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Grasp a couple of dumbbells holding them by your side at arm's length.
  • Stand with your torso straight and your legs spaced using a shoulder width or narrower stance. The knees should be slightly bent. This is your starting position.
  • Keeping the knees stationary, lower the dumbbells to over the top of your feet by bending at the waist while keeping your back straight. Keep moving forward as if you were going to pick something from the floor until you feel a stretch on the hamstrings. Exhale as you perform this movement
  • Start bringing your torso up straight again by extending your hips and waist until you are back at the starting position. Inhale as you perform this movement.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Sumo Deadlift

Category: powerlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • middle back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Begin with a bar loaded on the ground. 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.

Sumo Deadlift with Bands

Category: powerlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • middle back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • To deadlift with short bands, simply loop them over the bar before you start, and step into them to set up. Ensure that they under the back half of your foot, directly where you are driving into the floor.
  • Begin with a bar loaded on the ground. 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.
  • 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.

Sumo Deadlift with Chains

Category: powerlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • abductors
  • adductors
  • forearms
  • glutes
  • lower back
  • middle back
  • quadriceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • You can attach the chains to the sleeves of the bar, or just drape the middle over the bar so there is a greater weight increase as you lift. Attempt to keep the ends of the chains away from the plates so you don't hit them when you lower the weight.
  • Begin with a bar loaded on the ground. 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.

Superman

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: body only
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
Instructions:
  • To begin, lie straight and face down on the floor or exercise mat. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you. This is the starting position.
  • Simultaneously raise your arms, legs, and chest off of the floor and hold this contraction for 2 seconds. Tip: Squeeze your lower back to get the best results from this exercise. Remember to exhale during this movement. Note: When holding the contracted position, you should look like superman when he is flying.
  • Slowly begin to lower your arms, legs and chest back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions prescribed in your program.

Suspended Fallout

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

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.

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.

Upper Back-Leg Grab

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • lower back
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • While seated, bend forward to hug your thighs from underneath with both arms.
  • Keep your knees together and your legs extended out as you bring your chest down to your knees. You can also stretch your middle back by pulling your back away from your knees as your hugging them.

Weighted Ball Hyperextension

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: exercise ball
Primary Muscles:
  • lower back
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • middle back
Instructions:
  • To begin, lie down on an exercise ball with your torso pressing against the ball and parallel to the floor. The ball of your feet should be pressed against the floor to help keep you balanced. Place a weighted plate under your chin or behind your neck. This is the starting position.
  • Slowly raise your torso up by bending at the waist and lower back. Remember to exhale during this movement.
  • Hold the contraction on your lower back for a second and lower your torso back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions prescribed in your program.

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.

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.

Wide Stance Stiff Legs

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • hamstrings
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
  • glutes
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Begin with a barbell loaded on the floor. Adopt a wide stance, and then bend at the hips to grab the bar. Your hips should be as far back as possible, and your legs nearly straight. Keep your back straight, and your head and chest up. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin the movement be engaging the hips, driving them forward as you allow the arms to hang straight. Continue until you are standing straight up, and then slowly return the weight to the starting position. For successive reps, the weight need not touch the floor.

Windmills

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Primary Muscles:
  • abductors
Secondary Muscles:
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • lower back
Instructions:
  • Lie on your back with your arms extended out to the sides and your legs straight. This will be your starting position.
  • Lift one leg and quickly cross it over your body, attempting to touch the ground near the opposite hand.
  • Return to the starting position, and repeat with the opposite leg. Continue to alternate for 10-20 repetitions.

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.