Need a killer back workout but don't have any equipment or access to gym? No problem!
This video provides no equipment home exercise solutions to get your back jacked! Gravity is a powerful form of resistance. Proper leveraging of your body weight with gravity can provide just as much muscle building stimulus as working with weights. We provide exercises for your lats, mid-back and lower back muscles as well as give you a free workout using the exercises shown in the video. The suggestions in this video range from beginner to advanced and will provide a challenging workout with zero equipment for anyone. If you find this video helpful, please subscribe to my YouTube channel, hit the like button and let us know! For customized training programs, video suggestions or inquires please contact us.
Have something you want me to make a video about? Let me know.
Amidst all the crazy COVID-19 stuff going on, a couple of my colleagues and I put together some free follow along workout videos to help keep you moving and healthy. Please share this content with your friends and stay safe and healthy! I hope this finds you well. Enjoy!
Consistency is the key element. You need to be consistent to ingrain a new habit. That may be a good habit or bad. You didn’t become a couch potato by sitting on the couch once or twice, it took a consistent pattern over the long haul to get you there. Likewise, going to the gym a handful of times at the beginning of the New Year isn’t going to transform you the way you’d hoped. It will take a consistent pattern, and sorry to burst your quick fix bubble here, but it’s going to have to be a lifetime habit.
So, here’s 3 quick tips to ensure you stick with your habit:
Choose a physical activity you will actually enjoy! If the gym isn’t for you and you hate going, don’t go! You won’t stick with it and it will deflate your mental wellbeing doing something you hate or hating yourself for missing your workouts because you hate them. Choose an activity that suits you. Once that is consistent you might find that an extra gym day or two added on might become palatable and add more value to the other activity you like. They will feed each other and you’re on your way!
Choose one new thing. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking you need to do everything at once. You can’t, so you won’t be able to maintain it for the length of time needed for it to become a habit.
Make Space. Many people start a new thing in an already cluttered life without actually making space to fit it in. It’s sort jammed in because you think you have to. This additional pressure is unhealthy and makes your life harder, not easier. If you’re going to start something new, you’re going to need to make space for that thing and take something else away. Think of it as purging a crowded closet. Creating this space makes everything visible so that new thing doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. You see it every time you look in the closet, so you’ll use it.
Preparation in general is a habit that pays back tenfold. Meal prep in particular (in my opinion) is one of the best foundation habits you can have. It’s close to the base of the pyramid in that it supports and affects so much of your daily structure. There are a plethora of studies that show how proper nutritional balance improves everything from cognition and sleep to performance and body composition and much more. Basically everything you need to be the best version of you, yet so many resort to the habit of, “Oh, I don’t have time to prepare a proper meal, so I’ll just grab something on the go.” That’s okay every now and again, but that shouldn’t be the norm. With all of the positive outcomes that can occur from one simple habit, it should be a priority, which is a nice segue into a few suggestions that might help make it so for you.
Make it a priority – because it is! Do it during the hours that you feel the most productive so that you can get it done and out of the way efficiently so it takes less time and you can put the quality into it that it deserves.
Build an arsenal – Thinking of what to cook is an age old dilemma, but slowly building an arsenal of recipes that become easy to prepare, is a key element in being consistent with food prep. Try learning a new recipe every couple of weeks and before you know it, you’ll have a wide variety of meals to choose from. This takes a little bit of time in the beginning, but once it’s in place it will always be there for you.
Batch Cook – If you don’t like leftovers, get over it. Batch cooking is one of the most effective methods of meal prep. Each week I’ll take a couple of hours to prepare a few different meals all at once so that there’s variety and I have them ready to go for the week. A lot of recipes will use similar base ingredients, such as onions, garlic etc. So, if you’re chopping those up already for one meal, you might as well chop up what you’ll need for a different dish as well and prep that too. It saves more time in the long run, plus it frees up intellectual real estate throughout the week when you don’t need to think or worry about what to cook or eat.
Have the right tools – Having the right equipment to perform a task makes it far more efficient and a lot more enjoyable. A few good quality kitchenware items such as a good knife and frying pan can really make a world of difference. This plays into something that I mentioned in a previous post about creating an environment that is conducive to the habit you want to create. What items do you find yourself using the most when you’re cooking? Do you feel miserable when you have to use them? Get quality items for the tools you use the most that help you the most and you’ll find a much more enjoyable experience.
I hope these tips give you some food for thought! Enjoy your week.
This is a movement that I picked up from Dr. Spina’s FRC
material. I love it because it addresses
the top range (short range) portion of a hamstring curl or knee flexion which
is so often neglected. Most hamstring
movements focus on the mid or low range, and the movements that are supposed to
include the top range are often performed poorly, leaving it out anyway. In many cases people don’t even have to flexibility
to perform work for this range and that’s the other reason why I like this
movement. It also works on quad
flexibility at the same time, in particular the rectus femoris that crosses
both the knee and hip joint which is often a restricting muscle for many
I like using this as a movement prep/warm-up movement
especially on a lower body focused day.
The set-up is key to making this an effective movement and for those
that can’t get into this position, the video below offers an alternative
Cramping or muscle spasms in the hamstrings are common
when first attempting this movement.
This is a normal response and will pass once your body and brain adapt
to the pattern.
This exercise should be performed slow and controlled
Start in a half-kneeling rec fem stretch position
keeping head, shoulders, hips and planted knee aligned with one another. Hold the foot of your back leg up as close to
your butt as you can manage.
Slowly release your foot while squeezing hamstrings and
glutes controlling the negative all the way down to the ground. Try not to let your foot just sling shot out
of your hand. Slowly curl your leg back up to the top position as
far as possible before assisting with hand as little as possible and returning
2-3 sets, 3-6 reps/side, slow and controlled throughout. (4-5 seconds to lower, 3-4 seconds to return to start.)
Super shakes, smoothies, whatever ever title you want to give them, are awesome for packing in a lot of nutrients in a simple manner. The hardest thing is deciding on what you want to put in it. So, here’s a recipe that I like to use from time to time that’s more veggie dense. Again, measurements are not my strong suit and should also be adjusted to your particular needs. These are just averages. Enjoy!
1 tbsp. grated ginger root
1-2 tbsp. chia seeds
1-2 tbsp. hemp seeds
20-30g plain protein powder
1-2 cups spinach
½ cup parsley
½ cup beets
½ cup carrots
Instructions: Throw it all into a blender and blend until
smooth. You can add ice to give it a
nice cool texture. Protein powder is
optional as well.
In my last post I went over the McGill Curl-Up as a movement to assist in core stability to help prevent low back pain. I mentioned that it is the first movement in Stuart McGill’s Big 3 movements. The movements should be performed in the order of the Curl-Up, Bird Dog and Side Plank. I’ve previously posted a demonstration of the side plank, and thought that I should probably finish off the series so that you have a full reference. So today I will outline the Bird Dog.
The Bird Dog involves the extensor muscles in your posterior chain (back line) and can be performed with legs only or arms only as a regression. Another option for regression is to begin with lifting your hand and knee only slightly at first and making sure that you are able to maintain your balance and stability. From there you can slowly begin to extend in small increments over time until you are able to perform the full movement.
Taking your time with these exercises and focusing on the execution makes all the difference. It’s the small nuances that separate okay results from great results. These movements in particular are meant to be very controlled and deliberate. Just flying through them using momentum and zero thought which is unfortunately how I generally see these performed, will not yield any benefit. Please take your time and have patience.
This movement begins in the quadruped position with hands placed under shoulders, knees under hips and spine in neutral position. Your hips and shoulders should be square with one another maintaining this throughout the entire movement avoiding torsion.
Engage your core similar to how we did with the McGill Curl-Up by thinking of cinching a corset tight around your waist, holding in your pee and poop, and bracing as if you will be punched in the stomach. There should be a slight draw in of your navel and you should still be able to breathe with this engagement. Maintaining the slight draw in of the navel will be more challenging in this position as gravity is pulling down on your insides and your torso isn’t resting on the floor. Your TVA will need to work a little harder.
Slowly raise opposite leg and hand and extend them thinking of placing them into position. Think of length through your torso and reaching to touch the wall of the room you’re in with your extended hand, and the opposite wall with your extended leg as opposed to raising up toward the ceiling. In fully extended position, leg and arm should be aligned with your torso, spine still in neutral position from head to tailbone and shoulders and hips still square.
Hold extended position for specified length of time before slowly returning to start position and repeating with opposite arm and leg.
Avoid excessive arching through your lower back and any twisting through your torso or lateral hip sway.
The video below outlines the full Bird Dog movement, but feel free to modify as necessary. Thanks!
Recommended Variables to Start:
2-3 sets with 60 seconds rest in between, 6-10 alternating reps, 5-10 second isometric holds each rep.
Some of the reasons and benefits that you might want to consider when making the decision of whether or not to invest in Personal Training could include the following:
Accountability – This is the number one reason why people hire trainers in the first place. Having someone hold you accountable to your commitments will exponentially improve the probability of success. Once you have an appointment, it’s a lot harder to be dissuaded or side tracked. Besides, if you miss an appointment with your trainer, you know there will be consequences.
Motivation – It can be difficult to maintain a level of motivation that will lead you to your goals. Having someone to challenge, support and remind you of why you’ve chosen this path can keep you from deviating.
Injury Prevention – It’s easy to injure yourself when getting into an exercise regimen. Whether you are new or experienced you are prone to injury. An experienced trainer can minimize the risk of injury through analysis of your movement patterns, creating awareness of imbalances and proper exercise prescription and instruction.
Education – The Health and Fitness industry is full of “experts” and noise. Finding information that is actually valid can be a difficult task. A qualified guide can bring clarity to that confusion and provide a wealth of knowledge that you can carry with you for a lifetime. You only have one body, it’s important to learn how to maintain and care for it so that it will perform optimally for you throughout your life.
Performance Enhancement – If you’re competitive, there’s no question that you can benefit from a professional who will safely test your limits and help you break through to the next level. Just about every top athlete either has, or consults with a strength coach for good reason. They can identify your limiting factors and show you how to fix them.
Specific Conditions or Needs – You may have a condition that requires close monitoring during physical activity or perhaps you’ve got a new bundle of joy on the way with a pregnancy. Certain trainers are certified with a focus on such situations and can teach you safe methods and protocols so that you’re able to still be active and healthy.
Objective Eyes – Sometimes we’re just not as aware of ourselves as we think. With exercise this can unfortunately lead to injury. Having an expert study your movement and make fine tune adjustments can help you avoid a nasty setback. It will also allow you to maximize the effectiveness of each movement so that you are working more efficiently and smarter. This can streamline workouts and give you more bang for your buck!
Variety – It’s easy to get stuck doing the same old routine. This can also lead to repetitive strain injuries and/or a lack of results and plateauing. A trainer knows when and how to modify or change programs to maximize your results while giving you variety to keep you engaged.