This Week on Straight to the Bar
I’m constantly amazed at just how much my training is influenced by the people on this site. Whether you’re looking for a new piece of equipment, an unusual exercise variation or just an idea of how others approach things, you’ll enjoy these :
- The Dred Sled
Scott Andrew Bird
As long-term Straight to the Bar readers will know, I’m a huge fan of DIY Training Equipment. Here’s a superb example of the ingenuity I love – the Dred Sled.
- Health & Fitness Research
There has been some fantastic research posted recently, both on the forums and the Facebook page. Dive in.
Ready to add your own opinion, workout log or training article? Just head over to the Forums, Training Logs, or swing by the Article Submissions page. They’re fantastic ways to share your ideas.
NB : I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment beneath the article itself, and share your views with the fantastic strength-training community. Cheers.
Video : Improve Your HIp Flexion and Nerve Tunnels
Very interesting indeed. Nice one.
Twitterchat 115 – Strength & Conditioning for Judo
I’ve always loved Judo. Not only was it my first experience with training as a group (outside school, that is), it’s the first time I experienced the connection between sport and fitness. Perfect combination.
This week we’re discussing the Strength & Conditioning techniques employed by this superb sport, whether you’re a competitive athlete or simply looking to ‘stay in shape‘. Helping us explore this fascinating topic is none other than Judo Fitness‘ John Schneider (@JudoFitness). Fantastic.
Who : Strength-training fans
Topic : Strength & Conditioning for Judo
When : Wed Apr 27, 9pm EDT (1am UTC)
How : Include #sbgym in your tweets.
If you’ve never been to one of these twitterchats before, here’s how to join in the fun. Simple, quick to set up and free.
And to see when it’s on in your timezone, head over to the twitterchat calendar.
See you there.
Quick update on last week’s twitterchat : Thanks once again to everyone who took part in the discussion on Buying Second-Hand Training Equipment. Some superb ideas in there.
For those who missed out on the conversation, here’s a brief summary. Was a great one.
Tip of the Week: Shoulder Flexibility for Squatting
Each week we publish a number of tips and techniques via twitter, facebook, the forums, the blog; and now the newsletter. Wherever you are, there’s always a way to improve what you’re doing.
This tip comes to us from The Rotater‘s Chris Melton (@chrismelton), who blogs over at TheRotater.com . Enjoy.
We don’t really consider how shoulder flexibility impacts our ability to perform squats with good form. If our shoulder flexibility is poor, we compensate by gripping the bar wider and usually the bar must sit much higher on the shoulders. I guess that’s okay if you just want to do some squats and you’re not really concerned with how much weight you’re lifting.
For powerlifters, this is not the case. They want to lift BIG weights and most would like the weight to ‘ride‘ a little lower on the shoulders, closer to their center of gravity and giving them a mechanical advantage….a shorter lever.
This is tough if you don’t have good shoulder flexibility…which includes most people. So, when you start your next leg training session, take a few minutes to stretch and loosen your shoulders. Dislocations with either a band or stick is a good place to start, “around the worlds” with a light weight, and use the Rotater to stretch your external rotation.
Most people who’ve spent years of lifting heavy weights have poor external rotation…you know the look….rounded shoulders, palms point backward when at rest….it’s just how their body has adapted to the stresses of working out. Take a few minutes and loosen your shoulders…your squats may improve.
NB : for more tips like these, swing by the Prehab and Rehab & Beginners areas of the forums. And for more on The Rotater, check out the full Straight to the Bar review. Superb device.
Looking Forward To : 7 Weeks to 50 Pull-Ups
When it comes to bodyweight training, the humble pull-up is a firm favourite. Love the things.
In 7 Weeks to 50 Pull-Ups Personal Trainer Brett Stewart sets out a program for achieving an insane-sounding 50 reps in a single session; based on your starting point, whatever it is. It’s a customised routine that’ll vary from person to person.
NB : if you’re thinking to yourself ‘that’s great, but I can’t even do one‘, take heart in this line from the book’s author :
I stopped thinking I couldn’t do pull-ups and trained until I could do one… then two… then 25. I still find it amazing that I can do 100 pull-ups in a workout when just a couple years ago I had *never* even completed one.
Honestly, 50 pull-ups is within reach no matter what your starting point is. Give it a go.
Quick update on Home Made Strength II : Grip Strength Edition : A few weeks ago we noted Jedd’s most recent DVD – the second in the Home Made Strength series. Absolutely fantastic.
This is the one that shows precisely how to build – and train with – several fantastic grip tools. It really is top quality.
Thanks to everyone who grabbed a copy, and to those that left feedback; it’s greatly appreciated. If you haven’t yet got one for yourself, you can grab it here. Love it.
Exercise of the Week : Duck Walk
One of the exercises in the Animal Warm Up video we saw last week was the superb Duck Walk. Nice and challenging.
If you’ve never done one before, the video below will show you how. It’s essentially walking around whilst squatting.
Great way to get ready for a serious leg session.
NB : if you’re looking for a way to progress, a simple way is to add a little resistance in the form of a weight vest. Or perhaps even a guitar.
Incidentally, if you’d like to get in touch regarding this or any other aspect of strength, you can send me an email here. Look forward to hearing from you.
Free eBooks from Straight to the Bar
As a Strength & Fitness Newsletter subscriber you get several great eBooks, absolutely free. Just head over here, save them to your hard-drive, and dive in.
NB : This is an ever-changing list of books. If you’d like to put your own work in front of a fantastic strength-focussed audience, let me know.
Time for Some New Gear? Here’s What to Get, and How to Use It
Thanks to everyone who’s sent in feedback (via email, Facebook and Twitter) about the Straight to the Bar Guides – it’s greatly appreciated.
For everyone who hasn’t seen them yet, the Guides will help you decide what to get (and where), and how to train with it. There’s some great information in there.