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 :
- Gem From The Vault : Starting Your Fitness Journey – 10 Things to Consider
Scott Andrew Bird
Ready to transform yourself? Perfect.
- Looking At : Dec 29, 2013
Scott Andrew Bird
What’s been going on this week? Quite a lot actually.
Over to you. I’d love to hear what you think : leave your comments on the above articles, and share them with your friends/colleagues/clients and so on.
NB : If you’re keen to do more writing in 2014 and would like to submit your own piece for Straight to the Bar, here’s how.
Video : How to Heavy Bench Press Safely Without A Spotter
Nice one Jorrell.
Gymchats in 2014
We’ve got some incredible discussions lined up for 2014 – full details shortly. In this newsletter, over on Google+ and of course on Straight to the Bar.
In the meantime, check out some of the fantastic discussions we held in 2013. There’s a full list here.
Previously : In Gymchat 229 we discussed How to Prepare for a Powerlifting Competition (with Powerlifter Ben McLaughlin and Strongman Josh Hewett). Great conversation.
If you missed the live stream (or just want to go over a particular point again), you can watch the entire video here.
Tip of the Week: How to Fix Your Back
Each week we publish a number of tips and techniques via Twitter, Google+, the blog; and now the newsletter. Wherever you are, there’s always a way to improve what you’re doing.
This tip is from Josh Hewett‘s excellent ‘Bulletproof Your Body‘ series. The ‘right‘ way to fix up your back.
Over to Josh :
What happens when you sit all day (at a desk, watching TV, or while driving) is that certain muscles, ie: glutes, can become lengthened and weak while other muscles compensate and become tighter to take up the slack, ie: QL (lower back) and psoas (hip flexors). This can lead to all sorts of issues including back pain. Weak abdominal muscles is also a culprit.
So what can you do to restore muscular balance and function to get rid of that pain? The progressions I follow are very similar to what I outlined in my Fix Your Knees blog post:
- If it’s an acute injury see a medical professional and get assessed. Rest and ice.
- Test your Active Range of Motion as comfort allows (avoid passive stretching).
- Use Isometric Exercises to activate the weak muscle groups.
- Once muscles start to “fire” better, you can add in some isolation exercises to target and strengthen those muscles.
- Progress towards compound multi-joint exercises that incorporate those muscles.
Checking Out : Goodreads
We took a look at Goodreads a little earlier in the year, for cataloguing and recommending books. On strength training, or anything else.
Chances are that when you’re defining your goals for 2014 you’re re-reading a few things (certainly the case here). Here’s a peek at what’s on my own fitness shelves; and I’m keen to add a few others to that list.
Any training-related books you’d recommend?
Quick update on the Hip Thruster we mentioned recently – fantastic thing.
Rather than trying to explain how it works, here it is in action :
Good stuff Bret, looks great.
Exercise of the Week : Rack-Based Dip Variation
No dip bars handy? Try this rack-based variation. Great idea.
Incidentally, if you’d like to get in touch regarding this or any other aspect of strength, you can contact me here. Look forward to hearing from you.
Kettlebell Exercise Demonstrations & Tutorials
We’ve looked at a lot of kettlebell exercises and variations over the years – in the form of tips, tutorials and demonstrations.
Where do you find them all? Right here – a complete list of Kettlebell Exercise Demonstrations & Tutorials.
A Daily Dose
Love this stuff? Same here. If you’re looking for a daily dose of strength-training goodness, grab the Straight to the Bar Daily.
Free Downloads from the Strength Kit
I recently added a number of resources to the Straight to the Bar Strength Kit, and as a Strength & Fitness Newsletter subscriber you’re more than welcome to download as many of them as you like. Several great eBooks, podcasts and videos – all absolutely free.
Just head over here, save them to your hard-drive, and dive in.
NB : This is an ever-changing list. If you’d like to put your own work in front of a fantastic strength-focussed audience, let me know.
If you’ve been training for a while, gradually cleaning up your diet, no doubt you’ve experienced the amazing power of transformation. It’s a tremendous feeling.
If you’re ready to give someone else a hand to transform their own lives – through education, sharing equipment, financial help – take a look at the full list of organisations on the Giving page. Cheers.