Traps

Other muscles

97 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.

Anti-Gravity Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • middle back
  • traps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Place a bar on the ground behind the head of an incline bench.
  • Lay on the bench face down. With a pronated grip, pick the barbell up from the floor. Flex the elbows, performing a reverse curl to bring the bar near your chest. This will be your starting position.
  • To begin, press the barbell out in front of your head by extending your elbows. Keep your arms parallel to the ground throughout the movement.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat to complete the set.

Arm Circles

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

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.

Band Pull Apart

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

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 Shrug

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

Barbell Shrug Behind The Back

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

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.

Cable Seated Lateral Raise

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

Cable Shrugs

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

Calf-Machine Shoulder Shrug

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

Car 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.

Chin To Chest Stretch

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • neck
Secondary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Get into a seated position on the floor.
  • Place both hands at the rear of your head, fingers interlocked, thumbs pointing down and elbows pointing straight ahead. Slowly pull your head down to your chest. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

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 from Blocks

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

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.

Clean Shrug

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • shoulders
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.
  • Shrug your shoulders towards your ears. While this exercise can usually by loaded with heavier weight than a clean, avoid overloading to the point that the execution slows down.

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.

Cuban Press

Category: strength
Force: push
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Take a dumbbell in each hand with a pronated grip in a standing position. Raise your upper arms so that they are parallel to the floor, allowing your lower arms to hang in the "scarecrow" position. This will be your starting position.
  • To initiate the movement, externally rotate the shoulders to move the upper arm 180 degrees. Keep the upper arms in place, rotating the upper arms until the wrists are directly above the elbows, the forearms perpendicular to the floor.
  • Now press the dumbbells by extending at the elbows, straightening your arms overhead.
  • Return to the starting position as you breathe in by reversing the steps.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

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 One-Arm Upright Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Grab a dumbbell and stand up straight with your arm extended in front of you with a slight bend at the elbows and your back straight. This will be your starting position. Tip: The dumbbell should be resting on top of your thigh with the palm of your hands facing your thighs.
  • Keep the other hand can be kept fully extended to the side, by the waist or grabbing a fixed surface. This will be your starting position.
  • Use your side shoulders to lift the dumbbell as you exhale. The dumbbell should be close to the body as you move it up. Continue to lift it until the dumbbell is nearly in line with your chin. Tip: Your elbows should drive the motion. As you lift the dumbbell, your elbow should always be higher than your forearm. Also, keep your torso stationary and pause for a second at the top of the movement.
  • Lower the dumbbell back down slowly to the starting position. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and switch arms.

Dumbbell Scaption

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

Dumbbell Shrug

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

Elbow Circles

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

Elevated Cable Rows

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • middle back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Get a platform of some sort (it can be an aerobics or calf raise platform) that is around 4-6 inches in height.
  • Place it on the seat of the cable row machine.
  • Sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked.
  • Lean over as you keep the natural alignment of your back and grab the V-bar handles.
  • With your arms extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched and your chest should be sticking out. You should be feeling a nice stretch on your lats as you hold the bar in front of you. This is the starting position of the exercise.
  • Keeping the torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso while keeping the arms close to it until you touch the abdominals. Breathe out as you perform that movement. At that point you should be squeezing your back muscles hard. Hold that contraction for a second and slowly go back to the original position while breathing in.
  • 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.

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.

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 Sumo High Pull

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: kettlebells
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Secondary Muscles:
  • adductors
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • quadriceps
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Place a kettlebell on the ground between your feet. Position your feet in a wide stance, and grasp the kettlebell with two hands. Set your hips back as far as possible, with your knees bent. Keep your chest and head up. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin by extending the hips and knees, simultaneously pulling the kettlebell to your shoulders, raising your elbows as you do so. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Kipping Muscle Up

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • biceps
  • forearms
  • middle back
  • shoulders
  • traps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Grip the rings using a false grip, with the base of your palms on top of the rings.
  • Begin with a movement swinging your legs backward slightly.
  • Counter that movement by swinging your legs forward and up, jerking your chin and chest back, pulling yourself up with both arms as you do so. As you reach the top position of the pull-up, pull the rings to your armpits as you roll your shoulders forward, allowing your elbows to move straight back behind you. This puts you into the proper position to continue into the dip portion of the movement.
  • Maintaining control and stability, extend through the elbow to complete the motion.
  • Use care when lowering yourself to the ground.

Leverage Shrug

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

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.

Low Pulley Row To Neck

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Sit on a low pulley row machine with a rope attachment.
  • Grab the ends of the rope using a palms-down grip and sit with your back straight and your knees slightly bent. Tip: Keep your back almost completely vertical and your arms fully extended in front of you. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping your torso stationary, lift your elbows and start bending them as you pull the rope towards your neck while exhaling. Throughout the movement your upper arms should remain parallel to the floor. Tip: Continue this motion until your hands are almost next to your ears (the forearms will not be parallel to the floor at the end of the movement as they will be angled a bit upwards) and your elbows are out away from your sides.
  • After holding for a second or so at the contracted position, come back slowly to the starting position as you inhale. Tip: Again, during no part of the movement should the torso move.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Lying Cambered Barbell Row

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

Muscle Up

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: other
Primary Muscles:
  • lats
Secondary Muscles:
  • abdominals
  • biceps
  • forearms
  • middle back
  • shoulders
  • traps
  • triceps
Instructions:
  • Grip the rings using a false grip, with the base of your palms on top of the rings. Initiate a pull up by pulling the elbows down to your side, flexing the elbows.
  • As you reach the top position of the pull-up, pull the rings to your armpits as you roll your shoulders forward, allowing your elbows to move straight back behind you. This puts you into the proper position to continue into the dip portion of the movement.
  • Maintaining control and stability, extend through the elbow to complete the motion.
  • Use care when lowering yourself to the ground.

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 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.

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.

Rack Delivery

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • traps
Instructions:
  • This drill teaches the delivery of the barbell to the rack position on the shoulders. Begin holding a bar in the scarecrow position, with the upper arms parallel to the floor, and the forearms hanging down. Use a hook grip, with your fingers wrapped over your thumbs.
  • Begin by rotating the elbows around the bar, delivering the bar to the shoulders. As your elbows come forward, relax your grip. The shoulders should be protracted, providing a shelf for the bar, which should lightly contact the throat.
  • It is important that the bar stay close to the body at all times, as with a heavier load any distance will result in an unwanted collision. As the movement becomes smoother, speed and load can be increased before progressing further.

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 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.

Rhomboids-SMR

Category: stretching
Force: static
Level: intermediate
Equipment: foam roll
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Lay down with your back on the floor. Place a foam roll underneath your upper back, and cross your arms in front of you, protracting your shoulders. This will be your starting position.
  • Raise your hips off of the ground, placing your weight onto the foam roll. Shift your weight to one side at a time, rolling over your middle and upper back. Pause at points of tension for 10-30 seconds.

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 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.

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.

Scapular Pull-Up

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

Seated One-arm Cable Pulley Rows

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • middle back
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • lats
  • traps
Instructions:
  • To get into the starting position, first sit down on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked.
  • Lean over as you keep the natural alignment of your back and grab the single handle attachment with your left arm using a palms-down grip.
  • With your arm extended pull back until your torso is at a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched and your chest should be sticking out. You should be feeling a nice stretch on your lat as you hold the bar in front of you. The right arm can be kept by the waist. This is the starting position of the exercise.
  • Keeping the torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso while keeping the arms close to it as you rotate the wrist, so that by the time your hand is by your abdominals it is in a neutral position (palms facing the torso). Breathe out as you perform that movement. At that point you should be squeezing your back muscles hard.
  • Hold that contraction for a second and slowly go back to the original position while breathing in. Tip: Remember to rotate the wrist as you go back to the starting position so that the palms are facing down again.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and then perform the same movement with the right hand.

Shoulder Circles

Category: stretching
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • With shoulders relaxed and arms resting loosely at your sides (or in your lap if you're seated), gently roll your shoulders forward, up, back, and down.
  • Reverse direction. You can do this exercise alternating shoulders or both at the same time.

Side Laterals to Front Raise

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

Single Dumbbell Raise

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

Smith Machine Behind the Back Shrug

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

Smith Machine 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 One-Arm Upright Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • traps
Instructions:
  • With the bar at thigh level, load an appropriate weight.
  • Take a wide grip on the bar and unhook the weight, removing your off hand from the bar. Your arm should be extended as you stand up straight with your head and chest up. This will be your starting position.
  • Begin the movement by flexing the elbow, raising the upper arm with the elbow pointed out. Continue until your upper arm is parallel to the floor.
  • After a brief pause, return the weight to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions before engaging the hooks to rack the weight.

Smith Machine Upright Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: machine
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • middle back
  • shoulders
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 barbell up and fully extend your arms with your back straight. There should be a slight bend at the elbows. This is the starting position.
  • Use your side shoulders to lift the bar as you exhale. The bar should be close to the body as you move it up. Continue to lift it until it nearly touches your chin. Tip: Your elbows should drive the motion. As you lift the bar, your elbows should always be higher than your forearms. Also, keep your torso stationary and pause for a second at the top of the movement.
  • Lower the bar back down slowly to the starting position. Inhale as you perform this portion of the 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.

Snatch Shrug

Category: olympic weightlifting
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Secondary Muscles:
  • forearms
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Begin with a wide grip, with the bar hanging at the mid thigh position. You can use a hook or overhand grip. Your back should be straight and inclined slightly forward.
  • Shrug your shoulders towards your ears. While this exercise can usually by loaded with heavier weight than a snatch, avoid overloading to the point that the execution slows down.

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.

Standing Dumbbell Upright Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: dumbbell
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Secondary Muscles:
  • biceps
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Grasp a dumbbell in each hand with a pronated (palms forward) grip that is slightly less than shoulder width. The dumbbells should be resting on top of your thighs. Your arms should be extended with a slight bend at the elbows and your back should be straight. This will be your starting position.
  • Use your side shoulders to lift the dumbbells as you exhale. The dumbbells should be close to the body as you move it up and the elbows should drive the motion. Continue to lift them until they nearly touch your chin. Tip: Your elbows should drive the motion. As you lift the dumbbells, your elbows should always be higher than your forearms. Also, keep your torso stationary and pause for a second at the top of the movement.
  • Lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Straight Raises on Incline Bench

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

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.

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.

Upright Barbell Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: barbell
Primary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Secondary Muscles:
  • traps
Instructions:
  • Grasp a barbell with an overhand grip that is slightly less than shoulder width. The bar should be resting on the top of your thighs with your arms extended and a slight bend in your elbows. Your back should also be straight. This will be your starting position.
  • Now exhale and use the sides of your shoulders to lift the bar, raising your elbows up and to the side. Keep the bar close to your body as you raise it. Continue to lift the bar until it nearly touches your chin. Tip: Your elbows should drive the motion, and should always be higher than your forearms. Remember to keep your torso stationary and pause for a second at the top of the movement.
  • Lower the bar back down slowly to the starting position. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Upright Cable Row

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: intermediate
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: cable
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • Grasp a straight bar cable attachment that is attached to a low pulley with a pronated (palms facing your thighs) grip that is slightly less than shoulder width. The bar should be resting on top of your thighs. Your arms should be extended with a slight bend at the elbows and your back should be straight. This will be your starting position.
  • Use your side shoulders to lift the cable bar as you exhale. The bar should be close to the body as you move it up. Continue to lift it until it nearly touches your chin. Tip: Your elbows should drive the motion. As you lift the bar, your elbows should always be higher than your forearms. Also, keep your torso stationary and pause for a second at the top of the movement.
  • Lower the bar back down slowly to the starting position. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Upright Row - With Bands

Category: strength
Force: pull
Level: beginner
Mechanic: compound
Equipment: bands
Primary Muscles:
  • traps
Secondary Muscles:
  • shoulders
Instructions:
  • To begin, stand on an exercise band so that tension begins at arm's length. Grasp the handles using a pronated (palms facing your thighs) grip that is slightly less than shoulder width. The handles should be resting on top of your thighs. Your arms should be extended with a slight bend at the elbows and your back should be straight. This will be your starting position.
  • Use your side shoulders to lift the handles as you exhale. The handles should be close to the body as you move them up. Continue to lift the handles until they nearly touches your chin. Tip: Your elbows should drive the motion. As you lift the handles, your elbows should always be higher than your forearms. Also, keep your torso stationary and pause for a second at the top of the movement.
  • Lower the handles back down slowly to the starting position. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  • Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.