Looking for the right weight training program or weight training routines? Need to know more about weight training for women? These articles give tips on weight training for runners, swimmers, cyclists and more with keyed-in strength training techniques on the bench press and squat exercises… To browse our library of free sports training articles, browse using the categories on the left or use the search box.
The high bar bench press is favored by the bodybuilders as they feel the impact on the pectoral muscles is greater. If you are a strength athlete you cannot afford to be doing this version of the bench press as ti puts your shoulders at a higher risk of injury. The video shows this being done with a bench that has safety bars attached. You can do these in the power rack and achieve the same degree of lifting safety. While in the power rack make certain the safety pins are placed just a little below the top portion of your chest so that if need be you can slide out from under the bar if you can't lift it.
Several different lifting belts shown and explained.
The non supported dumbbell row develops not only the upper back but provides a stimulus for growth in the lower back.
The spider curl is another variation of the barbell curl.
The seated good morning is another variation of the standing version of this low back exercise.
The single arm low cable pull unilaterally strengthens the upper back while at the same time improving your ability to move weight with one arm.
The standing good morning is an excellent lower back exercise and one that I use with the majority of my trainees.
Build your obliques with this dumbbell exercise.
The supported dumbbell row takes the stress off the lower back while at the same time developing the upper back into a strong and powerful structure.
Cheating on a lift is not a normally accepted method of training. Here are the three most commonly used cheating movements seen in the barbell curl.
The under the legs low rope pull is a great exercise for your shoulders, not only does it feel good doing them but the benefits are also there in the way of improved shoulder health and increased power production.
Sandbags are an effective low cost alternative to medicine ball. This drill is alternative to the conventional shoulder press with a barbell, expect you accelerate through the movement allowing for greater power development. You can adjust the weight of the sandbag to suit your strength goals.
The seated dumbbell shrug helps to eliminate a majority of lower body assistance to the movement.
The seated dumbbell side raise helps eliminate the lower body from assisting in moving the weight.
The shoulder and upper body muscles contribute to around 30% of force production during running and have an important role in most sports, whether this by fending off opposition or performing a handstand the shoulders are an important part of the body. The Shoulder Press can be performed from two positions shown in the video and with varying loads can be used to train for power, strength and hypertrophy. The Shoulder Press is an important exercise and as such is another “core” exercise in many strength and conditioning programmes.
Running is a unilateral activity meaning that at some point all weight is supported on one leg. The ability to generate force during unilateral movements is a big advantage in sports. The Single Leg Squat exercise can help develop unilateral strength but also uncover and then address any imbalances in leg strength. As such it is included in many strength and conditioning programmes to develop lower body strength and power.
The Squat Push Press is an excellent exercise which challenges co-ordination and force transmission from the lower body to upper body. Similar to Olympic lifts it involves the recruitment of whole body muscles however the lift is less challenging and offers an excellent alternative to Olympic lifts. The exercise can be used to train power, strength and is great as a conditioning exercise to improve fitness.
A combination of a lunge and shoulder press this exercise was designed to challenge co-ordination as well as strength of the lower and upper body during a dynamic movement. This movement is especially useful for athletes in sports that require simultaneous use of lower and upper body muscles to displace objects. Note that this movement does not occur as two major movements ie. a lunge and then press, it is a lunge and then on the upward motion a press.
Similar to the lunge this exercise is designed to develop uni-lateral strength. However, with the addition of the barbell pressed fully above the head for the duration of the exercise it challenges the athlete to maintain balance and develops “core” strength simultaneously.
Many athletes use the barbell squat jump as an exercise to develop lower body power. The barbell squat jump is almost identical to the back squat however the aim of the exercise is to jump as high as possible. Aiming to jump as high as possible will recruit fast twitch muscle fibres required for explosive power and allows the athlete to accelerate throughout the movement. Typically the weight of the bar is determined as a percentage of 1RM (the maximum amount of weight that can be lifted for one repetition) for a back squat. Research has suggested that the load required to elicit peak power is between 30-60% 1RM depending on training status and goals.
The exercise is designed to improve the reactive ability and strength of the ankle musculature. Many athletic movements require rapid changes in direction when the lower body may not be in the optimum position to provide power for these movements. However, the ankle musculature can more often than not contribute to the change in direction by providing a powerful “push-off”. In addition, this exercise challenges the ankle musculature to limit the time spent on the ground thus reducing the energy lost when the foot comes into contact with the ground.
The bench press has traditionally been viewed as the gold standard for measuring upper body strength. This is probably as it recruits the major muscles of the chest, shoulder and arms. The bench press is seen by many as an essential exercise to develop upper body power, strength and hypertrophy and as such is a core exercise in many strength and conditioning programmes.
The exercise is similar to the bench press but with exception that resistance bands are secured around the bar to add an extra load. During the bench press the bar must decelerate as the bar reaches the top of the movement to prevent the arm and shoulder joints from injury. When the resistance bands are added the acceleration profile of the movement is changed, in that as the bar is pushed upwards the stretch on the bands increases as does the resistance. This means that the athlete must accelerate the bar throughout the motion. The advantage that this has is that the bands train the muscles to produce force throughout the entire range of motion.
Most exercises within sport and exercise require pulling motions and thus strength within the posterior chain. The upper back musculature is often neglected in many training programmes, however it is an essential piece of the performance jigsaw. The Bent Over Row is an excellent exercise to develop strength in the upper back muscles when performed correctly.
The Calf-Raise is an important exercise in the development of the lower body. As one of the first links between the foot and the rest of the body a strong calf muscle is required for numerous functions among force transmission and injury prevention.
Gripping the gear in the correct manner often determines success or failure with the selected equipment.
Another member of the “core-lifts” the Deadlift is seen as essential exercise within many strength and conditioning programmes. This is because the exercise recruits the major muscles of the lower body as well as the lower back and “core” musculature.
The dumbbell triceps extensions is a good exercise to help increase the muscle density of the triceps.
Foot wear will make or break a lifting session.