Exercise Highlight Archives - Elite Performance SF

Jack Knife On A Stability Ball

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Jack Knife -- Stability Ball

Jack Knife — Stability Ball

You will need a stability ball for this exercise.

The Jack Knife exercise is great for your Core. Its hard enough just to stabilize your body on the ball, but we’re gonna add some movement to make it a harder exercise.

Begin with your hands under your shoulders, your back straight, bring your belly button to spine, your feet on the ball (hip width apart) and your knees straight.

Jack Knife Starting Position

Jack Knife Starting Position

While keeping your back straight and maintaining balance, roll the ball forward bringing your knees towards your chest.

**The biggest mistake people make with this exercise is that they allow their back to round when rolling the ball forward. Keep your head, mid-back and low-back in a straight line while attempting this exercise**

Stay balanced. Stay Focused. And just roll with it!winky emoji

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

 

Forward Step Up

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Forward Step Up

Forward Step Up

The Forward Step Up is going to work all parts of your legs, as well as your core and your arms.

Grab a small step, a bench or if you have it, a box that can support your weight.

Square your body to the box, meaning you’re facing the box. You should have your feet facing forward and hip width apart. And you should be standing in a tall posture. You should also be 3 – 12 inches from the box, depending on your height.

Draw your belly button towards your spine before movement and follow these steps.

  1. Place your right foot on the box. And make sure that your both feet are flat
  2. Shift your weight onto your right foot, while maintaining your tall posture
  3. Stand up on the box by mostly using your right leg to push your bodyweight onto the box, reducing push-off from your left leg
  4. Finish by standing on the box
  5. Maintain your tall posture throughout the movement
  6. Your opposite arm should swing in conjunction with your legs
  7. Step down using your left leg first

Breathe out while bringing yourself onto the box and breathe in while stepping down.

For the Forward Step Up, start by alternating which leg steps up. To make this harder, do all of your reps on one leg first and then switch legs. To progress further, only allow one foot on the box throughout the entire movement, even when you’re standing tall on the box. If this becomes too easy, start adding weight.

Start on a small box and as it gets easier, work your way up. Only make the box higher if you feel comfortable and you’re able to maintain good posture and form. 

Have fun with it!

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

Forward Ball Roll

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Forward Ball Roll

Forward Ball Roll

This is a great exercise for your core. Like the Plank exercise, this will work on stability and strength of your core.

You will need a stability ball for this exercise.

You’re going to put a portion of your bodyweight on the ball, and because it will want to roll about, you will need to stabilize your core against this natural ball movement.

Start in a kneeling position with your forearms situated underneath your chest and also just behind the apex of the ball. Your hips should be flexed forward, but your back should still have its natural curves with alignment between your low-back, mid-back, and head.

You should also have your belly button drawn in throughout the Forward Ball Roll.

Roll the ball forward and stop at the point just before you lose form. Go to this end point and hold for 3 seconds, then return to the starting position. Breathe in when rolling the ball away from you and breathe out when rolling the ball back towards you.

Keep the weight evenly distributed between your two forearms and knees.

Perform 3 sets of 15 reps, at a tempo of 3 seconds to roll out, hold at the furthest position for 3 seconds and take 3 seconds to roll back to the original starting position.

Focus on your core. Focus on form.dance emoji

And Remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

 

The Front Squat

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The Front Squat

The Front Squat

The Front Squat is a progression of the bodyweight squat that we went over before. Its a great full body exercise and especially good for your legs, thighs and butt!

You’re gonna start out with your feet shoulder width apart. If you need a reminder on squatting cues, look for them here.

The only real difference from the bodyweight squat is that you’re going to add weight. And the weight is going to be added to the front of your body, thus the name Front Squat. And hold the weight right under your chin, near your collar bone. Start out light and then work your way up.

The cool thing about the Front Squat is that because of the placement of the weight, it will be easier for your back to be in a correct position and for your weight to be evenly distributed between the balls of your feet and your heels. All good things!happy emoji

Try out 3 sets with 10 reps in each set.

If you have any questions lemme know.

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

The Turkish Get-Up: A Highly Effective Exercise

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The Turkish Get-Up

The Turkish Get-Up

The Turkish Get-Up is a highly functional movement that requires all the muscles of the body working together in order to get from a lying down position to a standing position and back down again, in a safe manner.

This exercise works on: Core strength and stability, hip mobility and strength, shoulder strength and stability, body awareness, and more.

Here are some points to focus on: your breathing should match up with the steps outlined below, keep your wrists straight, use no weight/light weight to start, keep your eyes on the weight the entire time, try this exercise without shoes (it will make your feet work too!).

Alright, these instructions are long but necessary. Take this exercise slow and make sure you can do each position with perfect form.fitness

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Getting into the starting position: This is a commonly overlooked aspect of the Turkish Get-Up exercise. Begin by lying down on your right side, with your right knee bent, your left leg straight, your right elbow bent and underneath your body, and your right hand gripping the weight as close to your body as possible. This puts your arm in an extremely strong position. Now, roll over so that you’re on your back, keeping your hand (and the weight) close to your body. Press the weight up, straightening your right elbow above you.

 

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You should now be lying on your back face up, with the weight in your right hand and above you, with your elbow straight, your shoulder back and down, making your arm perpendicular to the floor. Your right knee should be bent with your foot close to your butt, your left leg should be straight and your left arm should be out away from your body.

 

 

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The first step is going to be multiple actions in one. Breathe out while you move the weight up, slightly forward and to the left by punching your fist upwards, pressing through your right heel, and rotating your torso to the left. You’re going to stabilize the weight and your bodyweight on your left forearm and your left leg.

 

 

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The next move is to get from your left forearm to your hand. Breathe out, and using more rotation through your torso, another small punch from your right arm, a little power from your hip, and strength from your left arm, bring your left hand underneath you.

The next steps are going to work on stabilization and its going to be easy to want to rush through these parts, but I want you to slow down and make sure you have control.

 

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Breathe out and drive your right heel into the ground, creating a bridge-like position with your right foot, your left foot, and your left hand. You should feel this motion in your butt since this is the main muscle group that extends your hips.

 

 

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The next portion of the Turkish Get-Up is one of the trickier parts. You need to sweep your left leg underneath your body, softly positioning your left knee underneath your hip. The rest of your body should remain stable, keeping your chest out and eyes focused on the weight to keep coordination.

 

 

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Pivot your left leg and torso so that your body is facing the same direction, with your hips and shoulders all facing the same direction. Your right arm should be by your ear; keeping it close to your body and directly over your hip and knee directs the forces straight down and keeps your body in its strongest positioning. This is probably the easiest part of the move.

 

 

photo (8)

 

Now, stand-up! Keep your right foot flat on the ground, eyes focused on the weight above you, chest out, breathe out and perform a forward lung to get yourself and the weight up to a standing position.

Congratulations, you’re half way through the Turkish Get-Up!

Now, perform the exact opposite motion to get the weight back down to the starting position. And take your time!

Try out 3 reps on each side of your body for the Turkish Get-Up. It takes some time, but there are so many great things about this exercise. If you’re able to perform the Turkish Get-Up, start making it part of your routine.

Be safe. Have fun.dancing banana

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

 

Shoulder Tap Core Strength

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Core Strength/Anti-Rotation

Core Strength/Anti-Rotation

 

How’re you at the Plank?

Its easy, you say? You’re at Master Level? boring

Well, lets take it up a notch.

In the Plank exercise, you’re working on the strength, stability and endurance of your Core (back & deep ab) muscles.

In the Shoulder Taps exercise, there are some key differences from the normal Plank exercise.

This Core exercise is not just considered a stabilizing or strengthening exercise, but its also known as an anti-rotation exercise.

Anti-Rotation exercises are those that make you fight to keep your midsection (abs, low-back, hips) from rotating. And, anti-rotation exercises are great for your body because it gives you better control and strength from the places that need it (Core & hips).

The Shoulder Tap exercise is going to make your midsection fight against the rotation of your own bodyweight, its going to burn calories, its going to create real Core strength, and you’re gonna know you’re working hard because this exercise is difficult.

Getting into the correct position isn’t tough, especially if you’re already good at the Plank. Checkout my Plank exercise checklist here.

Start in a Plank position. While maintaining all the points mentioned in my Plank article, take one hand and in a slow and controlled movement and bring it to your opposite shoulder as shown in the above picture. Bring it back down to the starting position. And repeat.

If you want to make this exercise even harder, place an object in front of you just inside your longest reach. Instead of bringing your arm back down to the starting position, try and do 10 reps of touching your opposite shoulder and then touching this object.  And keep the movement slow and controlled.

The goal through the Shoulder Tap Core Strength exercise is for you shoulders, torso, hips, knees, and ankles to not rotate at all.

Test out this killer Core exercise and lemme know if you have any questions!

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

The Plank

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Tall Plank

Tall Plank

You see this exercise in every gym, but what’re people actually working out? And are they doing it correctly?

The Plank is a standard exercise for increasing core stabilization.

Have you known people to have a 6 pack but still have back problems? Are you on a program that has you doing 500 crunches a week?

Well stop!stop emoji

Exercises like the Plank will increase the strength of your deep core muscles (the muscles that help with posture, keep you breathing well and are the more important muscles in determining torso stability/strength/power).

I want you all to have a strong core. I hate hearing about lower back injuries and then hear that clients are only doing crunches. injured emojiIt honestly hurts my heart.

Lemme break down this exercise:

Start by lying down on your stomach and have your hands underneath your shoulders. You should be on the balls of your feet with a 90 degree angle at your ankle. Press through the balls of your feet to straighten out your legs and have your butt engaged (squeeze your butt). Draw in your belly button towards your spine (this engages your deep core muscles), and straighten your elbows so that your arms are straight, and hold this position. Make sure that your shoulders stay away from your ears and focus on slow controlled breathing, spending 3 seconds each on the inhale and exhale. Have your weight evenly distributed between your two feet and both of your hands.

 

The Plank

The Plank

Because this is a stabilization exercise, it’s important to maintain stability and not allow your body to tilt, hike, or rotate at the shoulders, torso, hips, or feet. Also, keep your head, mid-back, and low-back all in a straight line. This means that if I take a PVC pipe and lay it on your back, it will touch these 3 points and should be able to rest on your back through the entire Plank exercise.

 

Try to perform 3 sets of this exercise, holding each plank for up to 1 minute each time. BUT, only perform this exercise for as long as you can keep perfect form. If you’re feeling pain in your lower back please stop. You either need to regress the exercise or readjust your positioning.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I want to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your workouts. Staying pain free is a high priority for everyone, so make sure you’re doing exercises that are good for your body.

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before.

 

Exercise With A Twist

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Twist Primal Movement

Twist Primal Movement

The exercise that I am highlighting today is an example of a Primal Movement Pattern (Lunge, Squat, Push, Pull, Bend, Gait & Twist), which are movements that we should all perform on a normal basis. It falls under the twisting category and is a very valuable exercise in any fitness regimen.

We are focusing on the Dynamic Bodyweight Side Lunge with a Chop.

Yes, its a long name. sorry

There are a lot of small components that go into this exercise, which makes it more for the experienced exerciser. But, I’m going to make it easy; especially since I already outlined how to do a Side Lunge 2 days ago!

This exercise is great for increasing the strength of the spinal rotators and the hip.

Alright, here we go:

Start with your feet shoulder width apart. Clasp your hands together, one in a fist and the other hand holding your fist. Start with your hands together and lifted above your head at a 45 degree angle on your right side.

Draw your belly button in toward your spine and initiate the movement by moving your lower body into a side lunge, pushing away from your right leg and rotating your trunk towards your left side while simultaneously pulling your hands downward across your body.

The movement ends when your hands are just above or slightly outside your left foot. Exhale through pursed lips as you bring your arms down and across your body. Inhale as you go back to the starting position.

Make sure to: muscles

1)      Keep your spine  in a straight line (low-back, mid-back and head in a line). This is the hard part because you’re twisting your torso too!

2)      Breath out on the way down; breath in on the way up

3)      Keep 70% of your bodyweight on the leg that moves and 30% on the static leg

 

Have fun twisting.

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

Side Lunge

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Bodyweight Side Lunge

Bodyweight Side Lunge

THIS IS A GREAT EXERCISE FOR YOUR HIPS, LEGS AND BUTT

The lunge is another Primal Movement that’s seen in activities of daily living and sport, and like the squat, uses triple extension (hip, knee, and ankle extension).

This means it’s a highly recommended exercise!dancing emoji

 

Start with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips. Draw your belly button in and step out to the side, either at a 3 or 9 o’clock position (stepping to the left or to the right). Exhale while you keep both feet facing forward and bend the leg you’re stepping with. Keep the knee of the trailing leg straight, the leg that’s staying still, during the motion. Your hips will shift backwards as your torso falls slightly forward. Inhale as you step back up to the starting position.

Yup, its that simple. cool

 

Make sure you:

1)      Keep your spine in a straight line (low-back, mid-back, head)

2)      Keep your belly button drawn in

3)      Keep your shoulders back and down

4)      Breath out on the way down; breath in on the way up

5)      Don’t let your torso twist

6)      Your torso should be positioned at a 60 degree angle when you’re in the lowest position

 

Have fun with the side lunge!

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

Bodyweight Squat

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Squat Front Profile

Squat Front Profile

Squatting is a very dynamic exercise and has many components that are often overlooked. Squats are great for most people, from the beginner to the seasoned gym vet. As shown above, start off with the bodyweight squat, meaning you’re just using your own bodyweight with no additional weight. Trust me, doing this exercise completely correct is no easy task.

Lets break it down.

In the squat, your starting position is a tall standing position with your feet shoulder width apart, hands either on your hips or crossed on your shoulders as shown above. Bring your body down while observing the rules below, and then bring your body back up to a standing position. That’s it!!you rock gif

 

Things to look for:

  1. Knees stay behind toes throughout the motion
  2. Feet stay flat on the ground
  3. Keep your toes pointed forward (ankles, knees and hips should be shoulder width apart and in a line)
  4. Draw-in your belly button towards your spine
  5. Breath in when lowering your body & breath out when standing back up
  6. Make sure that your spine stays in a straight line (this means your head doesn’t stay parallel to the ground at the lowest position)**
  7. Only go as low as you can while maintaining perfect form
  8. Make sure both your legs are working equally and there’s no weight shifting
  9. When descending, have your eyes shift downwards; when ascending, have your vision shit upwards
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Squat Side Profile

**This is one of the more overlooked aspects of the squat. As shown in the ‘Squat Side Profile’ picture above, you can see that my low-back, mid-back, and head are all in a straight line. If I put a PVC pipe (an often used/cheap tool in Personal Training) on my back, it would maintain this perfect line, meaning that I’m maintaining good spine alignment while exercising. An easy way to do this, especially if you don’t have a PVC pipe lying around, is to bring your shoulders back and bring your chest forward**

If you can complete this exercise while following these rules, then you can progress it to make it harder. If you can’t do this exercise than you need to regress the exercise. If you have questions on how to progress or regress the squat, lemme know. I am more than happy to help you.

Remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before