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How-to: Sumo deadlift

» by June 17th, 2009 at 12:00 am » Comments (21)

The sumo deadlift can be a revelation for anyone who has trouble deadlifting in the conventional stance. Sumo stance is particularly popular with female lifters. What is the sumo deadlift? The sumo deadlift is the same exercise as a normal deadlift in that it involves picking a dead weight off the floor and standing up […]

How low should I squat?

» by November 22nd, 2008 at 7:16 pm » Comments (21)

Photo credit: This is a very common question on strength training forums and it is not surprising. Across all the sports and activities that involve squatting, each seems to have a different rule or convention: Olympic weightlifters squat very deep but their load is in a different position (not on the back) and the […]

How-to: Bench press

» by October 22nd, 2008 at 11:23 pm » Comments (7)

Possibly the most popular exercise in any gym, the bench press is not just for ego and the t-shirt muscles. It is an event in powerlifting and a great way to build upper body strength. What is the bench press? The bench press is one of the three lifts in powerlifting (the other two are […]

Improve weaknesses with unilateral exercises

» by October 16th, 2008 at 11:09 pm » Comments (12)

Unilateral exercises are, quite simply, exercises done on one side only, such as single leg squats or one arm dumbbell presses. Most exercises that you do in the gym have a single-side option. Why do unilateral exercises? Many of the best functional strength and conditioning coaches advocate unilateral work: “Most athletes and people in general […]

How-to: Front squat

» by October 5th, 2008 at 5:21 pm » Comments (24)

The front squat is a very useful exercise that is not often seen in the average gym. But it is unjustly neglected and some coaches even prefer it to the back squat. What is a front squat? Holding the bar across the front of your shoulders, squat down until your hips are below parallel and […]

Breathing in the bench press

» by September 10th, 2008 at 10:50 pm » Comments (7)

I recently started holding my breath throughout my heaviest bench press lifts. I never used to do this in the bench press as I wasn’t taught that way, but in the squat and deadlift I consciously hold my breath throughout the rep and it seems to have naturally carried over into the bench press. This […]

How-to: Push press

» by March 30th, 2008 at 11:37 am » Comments (22)

Overhead pressing is not often seen in gyms but it is a valuable and functional skill. The popularity of the bench press has made lifting a weight overhead while standing on your own two feet a rare event outside of olympic weightlifting. Let’s bring it back! What is the push press? A push press is […]

How-to: Overhead squat

» by March 25th, 2008 at 12:27 am » Comments (30)

The overhead squat is one of the most challenging lifts in weight training, short of the olympic lifts themselves. If you want to try something a bit different, give it a go. You’ll soon find out what real core stability is! What is the overhead squat? The overhead squat is a deep squat performed while […]

Chin-up tips

» by March 15th, 2008 at 12:05 pm » Comments (14)

I went for a max chin-up attempt the other day and got 11 good reps with the form I was aiming for. Going over 10 reps was a milestone for me as I was stuck on around 7 or 8 for ages! However, once I had broken through that particular plateau, progress was faster and […]

How-to: Dip

» by February 21st, 2008 at 12:37 am » Comments (21)

The dip is a staple of many a strength or bodybuilding programme and there are many ways to perform it. A classic bodyweight exercise, it is a good place to start to develop functional strength with no equipment needed. What is the dip? The dip is an upper body strength exercise where you lower and […]