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 : DIY – Home-Made Gym Equipment
Scott Andrew Bird | Follow @scottbird
Ready to build your own? Here’s how.
- Looking At : Aug 19, 2018
Scott Andrew Bird | Follow @scottbird
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 a little fitness writing and would like to submit your own piece for Straight to the Bar, get in touch.
Video : Calisthenics Progressions (Calisthenicmovement)
Gymchat 278 – TBA
We’re still finalising the details for this week’s discussion. I’ll post them on the blog (and Twitter, Google+ etc) shortly.
In the meantime, take a look at some of the previous episodes of the show – (there’s an example below, and a full list here). And if you’ve got any questions or comments on the various topics discussed, we’d love to hear them. Just leave a note below the video.
Previously : In Gymchat 160 we discussed Supplementation. Great conversation.
If you missed the live stream (or just want to go over a particular point again), you can see the entire transcript here.
NB : if you’d like to take part in a future episode – either as an interviewee, or as a guest host – just drop us a line. Love hearing how everyone else trains.
Tip of the Week : Addressing Squat Weaknesses – Bending at the Knees First
When it comes to the squat, Powerlifter Rick Walker clearly knows what he’s talking about.
If you’ve ever tackled this wonderful exercise yourself and felt that your form just didn’t feel quite right, check out his article Addressing Weaknesses in The Squat. To give you an idea of what it’s all about, here’s how he corrects one of the more common problems found in squat technique – the simple act of Bending at the Knees First.
Over to Rick.
This is a common problem among many beginning squatters as the lifter is usually afraid of falling backwards with the weight. Instead of sitting back first, the lifter will bend at the knees to go down. This causes the knees to go forward well over the toes and often times causes the lifter to go up onto their toes in the hole. This is not only dangerous, but you are limiting how much you can squat. The pressure on the patellar tendons in this position is tremendous and leads to big time problems down the road.
Yes, some lifters, especially Olympic lifters, can adapt to these kinds of stresses from having their knees that far forward.
However, the goal here is to improve the squat and move more weight, and that will be accomplished by sitting back into the squat.
How to fix it
The lifter must learn to sit back and not down. This can take a long time to get them to do, and even longer to get them to do it under maximum loads. I start all newbie squatters on a box.
I use a very high box and a very light load, usually the empty bar with some light JumpStretch© bands attached for tension. The basic commands I give are for the lifter to sit back like he is searching for a chair that is behind him. Once the lifter can get down to the high box by sitting back, I lower it an inch and start all over. Eventually the lifter will be able to sit back to a parallel box and the movement will become second nature.
Another possible reason for the lifter’s inability to sit back is hamstring strength. If the lifter has weak hamstrings, he won’t be able to sit back into a squat without falling. It gets much worse as the weight increases. To address this, get the lifter on the glute-ham machine pronto!
This is the best way to bring up lagging hamstrings and prepare the lifter for handling more weight in the squat correctly. I have also found Romanian Deadlifts and reverse hypers to be effective for improving the sit back portion of the squat.
And yes, I can assure you that it works. Cheers, Rick.
Checking Out : The PR2 (Band Deadlifts Platform)
The PR2 is a purpose-built Band Deadlift Platform, small enough to be portable and solid enough to cope with some insanely heavy pulls. Adjustable, designed to cope with both Standard & Reverse Band Deadlifts.
A spot of video :
NB : I must admit, my own setup is very much like the DIY one shown in the video; but a dedicated platform like this certainly has its advantages. Ever tried one?
The PR2 Band Deadlifts Platform.
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 : Kettlebell Exercise Ideas
Just got your first kettlebell and wondering what to do with it? Here are some great places to start.
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.
Want to Guest Host a Gymchat?
I love the Gymchats – great show. Fantastic to hear how everyone trains.
To help uncover even more, I’d like to extend an invitation. For you to act as a Guest Host, and interview someone you know about their own workouts & competitions. Whether that’s a work colleague, training partner or just someone you know who likes to lift.
If you’d like to Guest Host an episode or two of the show, let me know. And if you haven’t watched any yet and would like to see what they’re all about, there’s a full list here. Cheers.
Images of Strength
As you might expect, we love seeing training-related photographs. Pics of your home gym, DIY equipment, workouts, diet or competitions – it’s all fantastic.
If you’ve got an image or three that you’d love to share with a strength-focussed audience, just upload them to Flickr/Instagram/SmugMug and send us the link. Cheers.
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, audio files 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.
I listen to an ever-changing pool of podcasts, discussing the many aspects of training and nutrition possible. Most recently :
James Grage Theory (Podcast #29, Fitness Frustrations)
Over to you. Any you’d recommend?
Strength Training on Instagram
It’s fair to say that we’ve checked out quite a few images over the years – on Flickr, Smugmug, and of course Google+.
A friend of mine just pointed me to Chris Stanciu ‘s Instagram feed, which contains a great mix of nutrition and workout images :
I use Twitter for a number of things, as I’m sure everyone else here does. To talk about strength training, nutrition and many other topics. Works well.
To make this a little easier – and so people can dive right in to the topics that interest them – I use Twitter’s ‘List‘ functionality quite a bit. There’s a full list of them here :
Whatever you’re in to, it’s all there.
NB : the above lists are always being fine-tuned. If you know of someone who tweets regularly about a particular subject and should be on one of them, let me know.
Ferocious Fitness (Phil Ross, Marty Gallagher)
Remember this? Great book.
Ferocious Fitness : A Fighter’s Proven Action Plan to Develop Blazing Power, Animalistic Strength and Killer Conditioning is a distillation of Phil Ross’ training wisdom, in the form of a superbly comprehensive book.
We took a look at the digital version recently, and you’ll be pleased to know that the paperback version is now available. Definitely worthy of a place on the fitness shelf.
Phil Ross’ Ferocious Fitness.
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.