You’re going to love this one, too.
It all starts with my new favorite #1 ab exercise. I first tried this one out while filming one of the TRX Elite Home Workout Revolution videos down in Lapeer, Michigan with Brian Kalakay, Certified Turbulence Trainer.
Brian was having a ball yelling at me as I went through the tough workout, and one of the exercises he had chosen to torture me with was the TRX Mountain Climber.
Now I know it sounds so simple. Geez, mountain climbers. Big deal. But wait until you try it, especially when paired with my previous #1 TRX Ab move, the kneeling Ab Fallout.
It’s a brilliant combo. The first exercise forces stabilization and contraction from the bottom up, while the second demands incredible core strength and then hits you with contraction from the top down. It’s the ultimate ab superset, and practically impossible to replicate without a Suspension trainer.
Add this Ab Superset to the end of your next workout:
Then consider your abs, “Officially Blasted“.
Screen shot 2013 02 20 at 6.19.05 AM 300×173 TRX Ab Blasting Superset
But don’t get me wrong, suspension trainers like the TRX or Jungle Gym straps (you can use either for the superset) are not just core training devices.
In fact, there are literally 191 exercises that you can do to get ripped and even build muscle, practically anytime, anywhere. And celebrity trainer and TRX authority Dan Long shows you how here:
As part of the Suspension Revolution, Dan is leading cutting edge trainers and clients (including his SuperBowl champion clients and members of the New York Yankees that he has worked with) through all of the best workouts that you can do with these simple straps.
It truly is a revolution in the fitness industry, and Dan is the leader.
Discover the HIGH-energy workouts of the Suspension Revolution here:
Get in on the ground floor of this revolution and be one of the first “in the know” folks to do these amazing workouts in your area. Whether you train at the gym or at the park or even in your garage, people will be amazed at the strength and shape of your body as you do these moves.
The revolution launch sale ends soon, and the price of these 191 exercises and 27 workouts will double faster than you can say, “Viva La Revolution!”
Train with Dan and Suspension exercises here <= Cures boring workouts
Get ripped with the Revolution,
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
PS – Dan just turned the big 4-0 on Saturday…
…and so in addition to wishing him a Happy Birthday, you also have to check out how RIPPED he is at 40.
And how much energy he has. It’s off the charts.
Even ol’ Bally the Dog is impressed, and trust me, ol’ Bally the Dog has amazing energy too, plus he’s just not easily impressed by things that he can’t eat. But he is impressed by Dan Long!
And a big part of Dan’s energy and low belly fat levels is his workouts with Suspension training.
Hard to believe he is 40. Dang!
PPS – Hard to believe Bally the Dog is over 50!
But he’s 7 in human years…wow…still super insane though. And he loves to watch me do suspension training in the backyard out on the farm.
Alright, time for a walk with ol’ B.
Have a great day!
The truth is that I was FIRED a few times by personal training clients back in the day because they didn’t like my strict workout rules, which included:
1) Absolutely NO talking during the performance of an exercise
2) Perfect form must be used in every exercise
3) No quitting on an exercise
Not surprisingly, that didn’t go over very well with some clients who liked to “gab” more than they liked to workout, or clients who liked to say they could do 5 chin-ups, when all they could REALLY do was 5 “quarter reps”.
The bottom line is that I take my training serious. You want a buddy to chat with? Train with someone else. I’m just not a chatty-Craiggy.
And because I take my training seriously, I’ve built up a list of exercises that should no longer be in your workouts because they are ineffective or downright dangerous.
Here are the top 10 exercises to remove from your program right now.
#1 – Lunges without Perfect Form
You see this everywhere. Men and women without proper balance trying to do lunges and practically falling over.
Lunges are good, but they aren’t so good that you should be risking the health of your knees to do them. If you aren’t ready for them, stick to squats with proper form, step-ups, or lying 1-leg hip extensions.
#2 – Anything done with a rounded back (even picking up dumbbells)
It doesn’t matter if you’re squatting, deadlifting, straight-leg deadlifting, rowing, or even doing triceps kickbacks, you must STOP doing these exercises with a rounded lower back.
That’s a one-way ticket to a herniated disc. And you do not want to go there, girl.
So make sure that you brace your abs, and keep your back in the neutral position – and even with a slight arch in your low back – as you do dumbbell rows, deadlifts, squats, and Romanian Deadlifts (RDLs).
If you don’t know what I mean, or you still aren’t comfortable with those exercises, by all means DROP them and just ask for a substitute exercise. There are plenty of other movements I can recommend.
And one more thing…I see a lot of people (including my clients) who use great form in all exercises and then pick up dumbbells off the floor with a rounded back.
That’s another no-no.
You can just as easily hurt your back doing that as you can in an “official” exercise. So always, always, ALWAYS pick stuff up by bending at the knees and keeping the object close to your body – but NEVER by rounding your back (even when tying your shoes!).
#3 – Bench dips (where your hands are placed on the bench behind you) – SHOULDER Destroyer!
Personally, I’ve never been one to use this exercise, as I thought it was lame-o. And then 2 years ago I attended a Bill Hartman lecture, and he was very unkind to this exercise. (Who’s Bill Hartman? He’s a guy that has been crowned “the smartest man in fitness” by Brian Grasso, Alwyn Cosgrove, and myself.)
Here’s what Bill says about those bench dips…
“To achieve that much range of motion the scapula must tilt forward which is a pretty unstable position. This also means that the shoulder joint is unstable and increases demands on the rotator cuff especially the subscapularis.
“Over time this is a lot of undesireable stress leading to impingement of the cuff. This doesn’t even consider the stress on the AC joint. It’s also a crap exercise for overload.”
Cut those out of your program immediately.
#4 – “Clean and Presses” done with a fixed bar
Clean and presses are a great exercise when done with proper form, but almost every time I go to a big box gym I see people using those fixed “body bars” and doing some mangled “reverse-curl/external rotation/body contortion” movement.
Worse, I’ve watched groups of women do this in aerobics classes.
Listen, it’s nice that people see the value in the total body movements, but if you can’t do the exercise properly, it shouldn’t be done at all.
When I see a person trying to clean and press a 2-inch diameter, 24 pound body bar, it ALWAYS looks bad…because it is. Again, there are plenty of other ways to train the body. You could do a front squat combined with a push press. That would be safer and would still work all the muscles you want (and even more).
#5 – Squats where your knees bend first
If your squat starts with a dip in the knee rather than a “push-back of the hips”, then you are putting excessive strain on your knee joint.
Your squat movement should push your hips back first, and then your knees should begin to bend. This puts the weight back onto your heels so that you don’t rise up on your toes. It also works your glutes and hamstrings more.
#6 – Narrow-grip Upright Row
The narrow grip upright row causes tremendous impingement in the shoulder joint. This is one dangerous exercise that I was stupid enough to do as a kid, and it likely caused me some of the shoulder pain that I had for years.
“When people pull their hands (carrying the weight) up to their chin, they are going to compress the nerves in the shoulder area, impinging the shoulder,” says Jodai Saremi, staff member of American Fitness magazine.
Unless you’re a powerlifter or strongman competitor, you can stay away from side bends.
You don’t want to repeatedly bend your spine sideways any more than you want to flex your spine forward with crunches and sit-ups.
And besides, who has ever gotten sexy abs with side bends?
They sure didn’t help me or Bally the Dog with our six pack abs.
#8 – Plyometrics to Failure
Hey, I appreciate the fact that people are putting more athletic movements into their fat loss programs. After all, you will get more results with athletic training than slow cardio.
But…you must be smart with your training. Doing “explosive” exercises to the point of muscle failure – and therefore, to the point of improper form – is simply wrong.
That’s what causes injury. And that causes people to drop out of their fat loss program.
So listen…be conservative. YES, you can use jump training in your fat loss program…after all, some of the advanced TT programs do.
But you can’t be doing plyometrics to failure. You can’t be doing plyometrics with sloppy form. And you can’t be getting hurt.
Train hard, but train safe.
#9 – Russian twists
Listen, I have nothing against Russians. Sometimes when I go on holiday I like to relax at the bar with a Black Russian, and I also think Russian women are some of the most beautiful in the world…
…but this exercise they’ve given us gets a big fat NYET!
Don’t do this. It combines spinal flexion and rotation, and is unsafe for your low back. Sorry, it belongs in Siberia!
#10 – Sit-ups
Sit-ups are far worse for your low-back than crunches. As Mike Robertson wrote in his ab training article:
“You may not like Stuart McGill, but the guy has done his home workon the spine. If you want to get your lower back healthy, there are safer and more effective ways to train the core than performing sit-ups until you enjoy the unique pleasure of a herniated disc.”
I agree 100%, and so does Mike Robertson, Men’s Health fitness expert, who recently wrote this about the crunch debate:
“I can’t believe we’re still arguing this stuff. I would’ve hoped by now that we’ve all thrown crunches and sit-ups by the wayside…think about the body-wide effects of crunching – a crunch trains the rectus abdominus by pulling the rib cage down. When we pull the rib cage down, we increase the thoracic kyphosis. This sets off a cascade of events – we increase the kyphosis, thus losing t-spine extension. This consistently puts our scapulae in a poor position, not to mention putting our gleno-humeral joint at an increased risk for impingement as well.”
Basically he said, STOP doing crunches!
So ditch the crunches and situps and focus on abdominal stability exercises like the ones I have for you in TT programs.
Stay strong and safe,
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
PS – The Turbulence Training Certification Members Drive Ends Today!
…and get free access to the Turbulence Training Summit, June 21-22 in San Diego, California.