Prone Hurdlers – Lie on ground facing down, start with legs straight, arms straight/perpendicular to body with palms flat. Bend knee with foot tucked in close to body and try to bring knee as close to same side hand without turning hips away from the ground. Keep foot, knee, and hip all in the same flat, horizontal plane just above the ground. Pause for a moment, then return to starting position. Perform all reps on one side, then the other.
Standing Figure 4 Stretch – Stand in front of high box or table (about waist height), both legs straight, hips square to top of box/table, toes pointing straight ahead. Bend one leg at the knee, place on top of table in the Figure 4 position (knee directly in front of same side hip, shin crossing the midline of body, and foot place to the outside of opposite hip). Flex knee of leg positioned on the ground to get a deeper stretch, keep chest up tall, hips square.
Hip Flexor Stretch – Start kneeling on ground on a pad/mat in front of a 12-18” box or chair. Place one foot on box behind you (both knees still on ground), keeping chest up, squeeze glutes. Perform stretch on both sides.
Hamstring Stretch– Start with feet hip width apart, toes straight ahead, with rolled up towel placed between knees. Keeping a flat back, shoulders back (think RDL) reach down with straight arms towards toes, squeezing towel roll between legs. Hold for given stretch time.
Windshield Wipers– Lie on back with knees up at 90°. Place both fists between knees to act as a hinge while you perform stretch. Press knees into fists while rotating feet out to the sides, keeping knees at 90°, until you feel a stretch in hips. Hold for given stretch time.
Supine Hip Internal Rotation– Lie on PB, couch, box, or chair so that mid-low back is supported. Keep knees together and place feet outside of knees (hip to shoulder width apart – think windshield wiper stretch above). Now push knees forward, keeping feet planted, and slide off box, ball, couch so that upper back is supported, until you feel deep stretch in hips. Hold for give stretch time.
Deep Squat Progression: On Box – find box, stool, bench w/ a height that allows you to sit with thighs parallel to ground, or even lower. Sit on box with feet wide than shoulder width apart, toes angled slight outward. Keep chest up and push knees out for given stretch time.
Deep Squat Progression: Holding Onto Rack – Stand arms-length distance apart from rack, door knob, etc and hold on with both hands. Sit into deep squat position with feet wider than shoulder width apart, toes angled slight outward. Keep chest up and try to use rack for least assistance as possible to stay in proper squat position. Hold for given stretch time period
Deep Squat Progression: Free Squat Stretch – With feet wider than shoulder width apart, toes angled slightly outward, sink into deep squat position (at parallel or deeper), keeping chest up, and push knees out with elbows. Hold for given stretch time period.
Deep Squat Progression: Squat w/ Arm Reach – With feet wider than shoulder width apart, toes angled slightly outward, sink into deep squat position, keeping chest up, and place hands on 6” box, MB, or basketball. Keep one hand on box/ball while reaching up with other arm at 45° overhead. Then reach with other arm, so both arms are raised 45° overhead, elbows locked out. Hold in OH squat position, pulling both arms back, keeping chest up, then stand up. Repeat for required number of reps.
Mobility – Upper Body (UB)
Floor Slides – Lie down, face up, with knees bent and feet flat on ground. Place arms at 90°, elbows even with shoulders, and press lower back flat against the ground. Slide arms up overhead, keeping all points of contact with the ground at wrist, elbow, shoulder, and low back. Pause at the end of your range of motion, focusing on pressing everything flat to ground, and return to start position.
Lat Stretch – Stand in front of rack, vertical bar/pole, at about arm’s length distance, and grab at chest height with both hands. Sink hips down and away from rack, bend knees slightly, flatten out back, and bring head down between shoulders. You can slide hips from side to side until you feel a deep stretch from shoulder down the sides of your torso into your lower back/top of hips.
90/90 Push/Pulls – Hold right arm in front of you, with elbow bent at 90°, and palm facing away. Lift left arm up at 90° and interlock left hand with the right. With elbows parallel to the ground, try to pull hands apart as hard as possible, and try to squeeze shoulder blades together at the same time. Next, try to push hands together instead of pulling apart.
90/90 Push Ups and Downs – Hold right arm straight in front of you, hand and elbow even with right shoulder. Now bend elbow inwards at 90° with palm facing down (hand will be in front of left shoulder). Place left hand on top of right wrist, and push down, while trying to push right arm up against the resistance. Try in all hand positions: thumb up, thumb down, palm down.
Sleeper Stretch – Lie down on right side, with body in a straight line, bottom arm (right arm) straight out in front, top hand (left) on floor to stabilize. Make sure body is in straight line, and keep both shoulders back, squeeze shoulder blades together (especially bottom shoulder!!! Must be locked into to retraction). Now bend right elbow, with forearm perpendicular to the ground, palm flat, and thumb pointing inwards towards your face. Use left hand to pull right forearm towards the floor, without releasing right shoulder from retracted (pulled back) position. Continue to pull right arm towards floor until you feel a deep stretch in the back of your right shoulder, hold for given stretch time.
Bent Over Row + External Rotation (EXT ROT) – Starting standing up tall and bend at the waist into RDL position with slight knee bend and arms hanging straight down from shoulders. Allow shoulders to protract (round) but keep rest of back completely flat. Now bend elbows at 90°, squeeze scaps together (retraction), PAUSE with elbows even with shoulders, fingers still pointing towards the ground. Keeping shoulders back, and elbows at 90°, Externally rotate forearms towards the ceiling as far as you can and PAUSE. Now return to previous position by Internally rotating forearms back towards the ground, keeping shoulders retracted, so that fingers are pointing towards the ground again. Now release scaps into protraction (rounded) and let arms hang down straight towards the ground. Repeat for the give number of reps.
Mobility – Thoracic Spine (T-Spine)
Shoulder Turn Stretch – Stand directly to the side of a pole, rack, or vertical bar, far enough away so that your outside hand can touch the pole. Now grab bar with INSIDE hand on top at shoulder height, OUTSIDE hand on bottom at waist height. Bend at the waist, keeping hips straight ahead, and lock out TOP arm (should have no trouble keeping bottom arm straight). Try to stack your shoulders vertically by pushing to bar away with TOP arm, and pulling the bar toward you with BOTTOM arm. To get more of a stretch through your LAT, swing hips away from the bar, still keeping them facing straight ahead. Hold for given stretch time.
Prayer Lat Stretch w/ Turn – Start in Quad position on ground, sit hips all the way back onto heels. Use one arm to pull the other across your body, keeping elbow locked out. Try to stack shoulders vertically, press bottom shoulder towards ground as far as possible, without bending arm, or allowing hips to separate from heels. Hold for given stretch time.
Sagittal Plane Mobility – On Roller or Peanut (2 Tennis Balls taped together): Start on ground lying face up, and place roller or peanut perpendicular to spine underneath the lowest Thoracic Vertebra (for peanut, 1 ball on either side of spine). You can find this spot on your back while standing: place both hands along your mid back and slide hands down until your feel your back start to arch in the concave direction. This is the intersection of your Thoracic and Lumbar spine – if you’re unsure of where it starts exactly, err on the higher side rather than lower. Now w/ roller or peanut in place, bend knees, place feet flat on ground, and reach up towards sky with both arms straight. Now crunch up – only shoulders come off ground, PAUSE, then lean back again, trying to touch both shoulders to the ground. Repeat 5 times at the first Thoracic vertebra, then slide roller or peanut up to the next one, and perform 5 more reps. Work your way up your spine until you reach right between your shoulder blades.
Sagittal Plane Mobility – On PB – lie on PB comfortably with your entire back supported by the ball. First slide on ball up and down, leaning head back, and allowing arms to hang towards the ground. Try to visualize your whole back arching in the concave direction (same arc as ball). After rolling back and forth a few times, now slide ball more towards lower back, bring arms straight up towards ceiling and perform 2 sets of 5 crunches. Each time lean back as far as possible, and crunch up only so far as your shoulders lose contact with the ball.
Open Book Rotations – Lie on ground on right side, bring knees up to waist height at 90°. Start with both arms horizontal and straight on the right side, palms together. Now open up like a book, lifting your left arm and rotating your upper body, reaching for the ground on the left side, creating at ‘T’ your arms. Goal is to get both shoulders flat to the ground without letting hips open up - press knees together! *If that’s too easy, straighten out bottom leg and press top knee into the ground. *The last stage of the progression is to open up and reach top arm at 45° over head instead of towards the horizontal.
Seated Twist w/ Crunch – Sit on ground in cross legged position, chest up tall, shoulders back, hands behind head. Now turn to the right side as much as you can, and crunch down, bring right elbow towards hip, left elbow to sky, WITHOUT LOSING GOOD POSTURE. Hold Crunch for 3 sec, then relax to chest up position, but stay TWISTED. Now try to twist a little more, crunch down, hold 3 sec, then relax. Repeat one more time for 3 reps total, making sure not to lose the Torso Twist after each crunch. Repeat on the other side. *Next step in progression is kneeling on ground, hips back on heels, and lastly, kneeling on ground, hips over knees (don’t let hips turn with upper body!)
Quad Fire Hydrants – Start in Quad position (hips over knees, hands under shoulders), lock lower back into flat – not arched – position. Raise right knee out to the side, keeping it at 90°, without letting hips open up (small range of motion). Now extend right leg, squeezing glute and pressing heel straight behind you, finishing with hip, knee, and foot in straight line. Return to quad position and repeat for give number of reps on the right side, then move onto the left.
Quad Glute – same as band activation, just without band. In Quad position, lock in lower back, press heel straight up to ceiling, keeping knee at 90°, and squeeze glute.
Self Psoas – lie on back with left leg straight, right knee up at 90°, toe flexed towards shin. Place both hands on right knee and press down, but don’t let your knee slide down. Hold for 5 seconds, and relax. For following reps, try to bring knee closer and closer to chest, press down again, and use hip flexors to prevent knee from sliding down. Perform required reps on both sides.
Lying ABD-ADD – lie down on right side, outstretch right arm overhead on ground, place left hand on ground to stabilize. Lift top leg up, toe pointed straight ahead. Now raise bottom leg up, keeping both legs straight, body in a straight line, and don’t let hips open up. Repeat required reps on both sides.
Quad Side STLG Raise – start in Quad position, then straighten right leg and bring right foot out to the side at 45°. Lock lower back in, and try to raise straight leg up as high as possible, without letting hips open up. Repeat required reps on both sides.
Reach-Roll-Lift UP – Start in kneeling position in front of PB or 12-18” box, sit back onto heels. Place hands on box or ball with arms straight, chest up tall. Now rotate right forearm externally so that palm completely faces the ceiling, and raise arm up to sky as high as possible without bending at the elbow. Hold for 3 sec, then return to starting position. Perform required reps on each side.
Reach-Roll-Lift – Start in Quad position (hips directly over knees) and slide right hand along ground as far in front as possible, without letting hips come forwards past the knees. Then roll hand so that it completely faces the ceiling, and raise arm as high as possible without bending at the elbow. Hold for 3 sec, then return to starting position with hand directly underneath shoulder. Perform required reps on each side.
Reach-Roll-Lift Down – Start in Quad position and sit all the way back onto heels. Place left fist on ground, bend at the hips, and bring forehead right down on top of fist. Now reach right arm straight out in front, roll hand so that it completely faces the ceiling, and raise arm as high as possible without letting elbow bend or palm rotate towards the ground. Pause for 3 sec, then return to starting position with palm flat to ground. If you struggle with this one, return to regular Reach-Roll-Lift. Perform required reps on each side.
New Core Movements
McGill Crunch Progression – Single Leg (SL) – Lie on ground with one leg straight, other knee bent and foot flat on ground. Place hands behind your head, suck belly-button in. Next, raise torso off the ground as high as you can, WITHOUT rounding shoulders over. Picture that someone is pulling you vertically off the ground with a string attached to your chest. Try to be as LONG as possible, look straight up at the ceiling. After holding for 5 sec, return to the ground and relax. Repeat all reps on one side, then switch legs and begin again.
McGill Crunch Progression – Double leg (both legs bent) – Same as above, except both legs are bent, feet flat on the ground.
McGill Crunch Progression – on PB – lie on PB so that low back is supported by the ball. The further you slide towards your butt, the harder it is. With hands behind your head, try to perform a McGill crunch the same way as you would on the ground. Elongate your body, don’t round your shoulders, think FLAT BACK! Hold for 3 sec, then relax, return to starting position.
Single Leg (SL) Lowers – Start lying on ground, with arms at sides, both legs straight up to the sky. Suck belly button in, flatten out lower back, and lower both legs down until you feel your lower back start to release from the ground – stop there! Now lower only one leg down to ground slowly, keeping the other leg in same position, without letting lower back release from the ground. After reaching the ground, pause, then bicycle kick that leg back up to meet your other one. Repeat all reps on one side, shake out your legs, then start again on the other side.
Single Leg (SL) Lowers Arms OH – same as above, except you place your arms straight overhead, not at your sides.
Pushup Walkouts – Start in Pushup Position, body in a straight line, suck belly button in, try to get rid of natural concave arch in back by tucking hips under and squeezing glutes. Now walk both hands out as far as you can, just before you feel like your back is going to arch again. Hold that position for 5 sec, then return to pushup position with hands directly underneath shoulders. Repeat for required number of reps.
Glute Bridge March – Lie on back, both knees bent, both feet flat on ground. Press hips up so that you’re a straight line from shoulders to hips to knees. Now raise one leg up straight, parallel to the other quad, and pause for 3 sec. Place that foot back onto ground, and raise the other leg up straight, in line with the other quad. Switch back and forth for the required number of reps.
Cook Hip Lift – Lie on back, both knees bent, both feet flat on the ground. Bring one knee into your chest, and hold it close with both hands. Now press through opposite foot to drive hips up as high as you can, without letting your knee release from your chest. It will be a limited range of motion, and you may feel a stretch in your hip flexor because we’re achieving HIP extension, without LOWER BACK extension. Repeat all reps on one side before switching to the other.
Glute Bridge March on PB – Lie on PB and roll out so that only neck and shoulders are supported by the ball. Press hips up so that your shoulders, hips, and knees are in a straight line. Now raise one leg up straight, so that both quads are parallel and hold for 5 sec. Try to keep your balance by squeezing glutes and digging elbows into ball. Once you’re good with balance, cross arms over your chest. Complete all reps, switching from side to side.
Pushup ALT Superman – Start in Pushup Position, body in straight line, tuck hips under, and squeeze glutes. Now raise opposite arm and opposite leg out straight as high as possible without losing NEUTRAL back position (don’t let it arch) and without letting hips turn. Hold for 3 sec, then return to starting position. Complete all reps, alternating side to side.
Side Hip Thrust w/ ABD – Start in Side Elbow Bridge position, but with hips on ground. Press hips up to full side bridge, then raise top leg as high as possible, keeping leg straight, toe straight ahead, and body in straight line (don’t let butt stick out). After holding for 3 sec, return to starting position with both legs stacked and hips on the ground. Repeat required number of reps on each side.
Side Elbow Bridge w/ FLEX/EXT – Start in Side Elbow Bridge Position, then slightly raise top leg so that feet are no longer in contact. Now bring top leg forward as far as possible, without letting hip drop, or losing straight body position. Hold for 2 sec, then move top leg backward as far as possible, without letting hip drop, or losing straight body position. Complete all the reps (forward and back = 1 rep) without letting top leg rest in the middle by touching bottom foot.
Lateral Flexion Iso-Hold – Start in off-bench oblique position either in roman chair, or hanging off bench with feet anchored by partner. Make sure hip is right off the edge. Now w/ BW or holding plate, hold body in horizontal position, with hips forward, shoulder back, and squeezing glutes. Hold for given amount of time on each side.
Anterior Flextion Iso-Hold – In Roman chair, or on bench with feet anchored by partner, lie facing up with butt supported, but hips off the edge. With BW/ or holding weight, hold body in horizontal position by squeezing FRONT core. Try to elongate body as much as possible, lean head back, and AVOID any extension (arching) in lower back. **For 45° Ant Flex Iso-Hold, everything is the same, except you hold your body at 45° to the ground.
Back Extension Iso-Hold- In Roman Chair or on bench with feet anchored by partner, lie facing down with hips hanging off the edge. With BW or holding plate, hold body in horizontal position by squeezing hamstrings, glutes, and erectors, and keeping toes pointed straight down. Avoid going into HYPER-EXTENSION, think about keeping head, hips, and feet in a straight line.
Pause Back Extension – Start in the same position as Iso-Hold, but bring body up to horizontal position and pause for only 2 seconds, squeezing hamstrings, glutes, and erectors, then return to starting position.
Standing Diagonal Plate Rotation – Stand in Athletic Position with knees bent, butt back, chest up and rotate plate(s) from hip to opposite shoulder in arcing motion FAST up and down. Keep core tight, resist rotation in lower body, don’t let hips turn. **1/2 Kneeling Plate Rotation – same idea as above, except you’re kneeling in split squat position with back knee on the ground. If right knee is forward, bring plate from left hip to right shoulder, and vice versa when left knee is forward.
Seated V-Twist – Start in Russian Twist Position (knees bent, feet off ground) and bring plate from hip over opposite shoulder in same arcing motion as the Standing Plate Rotations. Try to resist rotation in lower body again, don’t let knees swing back and forth if possible. Perform required reps on both sides.
New Strength Movements
Supported DB Row to Armpit = Upper Back Row – Start with hand on box, feet under hips, knees bent, back flat. With DB in hand, turn forearm so that palm faces front of your knees, and row DB up to armpit/shoulder area, keeping elbow parallel with shoulder. If your elbow slides back towards hips, then the weight is too heavy!
Supported DB Row to Hip = Low Back Row – Start in good rowing position, hand on box. With DB in hand, rotate forearm so that palm faces inward towards inside of your leg. Row DB up to hip with elbow pointed straight back.
Unsupported DB Row to Hip - Body position is the same as above – flat back, slight knee bend – but opposite hand is not on a box, just hold arm out to the side to keep balance. Keep your core tight to avoid shoulders or hips turning from side to side as you row one DB up to your hip.
RFE Split Squat = Rear Foot Elevated Squat = DB Bulgarian Squat – Start on ground with bench or 12”-18” box placed behind you. Raise back foot onto box so that shoelaces are touching, not sole of sneaker. Now position front foot so that your knee is directly over your ankle (not ahead of toes), but you don’t feel too big of a stretch in your back hip flexor. Once you find that position, pick up the DB, and stand all the way up. Lower yourself straight down again, bending back knee towards the ground (but not touching) keeping chest up tall. Perform all reps on one side before switching over to the other.
DB Swings (substitute for Hang Clean) – Grab a DB with both handles stacked on the handle. Start in standing position, with slight knee bend, shoulders back, chest up. Now bend at the hips, keeping flat back, and bring DB between your knees – very similar to RDL. From there, start the upward motion of DB with EXPLOSIVE hip extension – just like hang clean. Momentum from hips will carry though to arms, swinging the DB up to shoulder height. DON’T try to hold the DB up at shoulder height – just swing the DB right back between your legs (RDL motion). Be sure to keep your arms straight the whole time and initiate the movement with your hips.
Explosive Cable Squat & Row – Grab both handles on a cable machine, and walk away so that arms are extended but weights are lifted off the weight stack. Now go into a deep squat with arms straight, allow shoulders to protract (round) but keep chest up (try not to lean back). Then stand up by explosively extending hips and knees, rowing hands into hips at the same time. Pause for a moment, then return to starting position. Be sure to get power from HIPS for this movement, keep core tight to transfer momentum to upper body to finish with a row.
BW Isometric Holds: Squat, Pushup, Split Squat – for these movements, body position and intensity of contraction during these Iso-Holds are absolutely key.
For Squat hold – place feet shoulder width apart, sink into a deep squat, while keeping chest up, arms right at your sides. Squeeze every muscle in your body – glutes, hamstrings, erectors, upper back – for given amount of time, then immediately explode up into 3 squat jumps. After you land your last jump, go right into the next iso-hold, then into 3 more jumps. For week one, it says x3 – so repeat the Iso-Hold into jumps cycle 3 times before moving onto Scap Pushups or Inverted Row.
For Pushup Hold – Place hands on 2 boxes, 2 chairs, 2 MB, or 2 basketballs about shoulder width apart. If you don’t have any of these, you can just put your hands right on the ground. For the Iso-Hold, try to hold your chest right between your hands (full range of motion) with elbows right over wrists and turned slightly back, hips up, and legs straight. As soon as you lose this form, drop to your knees and perform modified pushups. In the Iso-Hold, focus on squeezing your body from head right to toe, then perform 2 pushups as fast as possible. After the 2nd rep, drop back down into the pushup position, and hold again.
For Split Squat Hold – Start out in great split squat position by half kneeling on the ground first. Make sure your front knee is at 90° (knee over ankle) and back knee is slightly greater than 90°. Once your figure out your legs, pull you shoulders back, keep your chest up, and press up so that your back knee is just hovering over the ground. Hold this position, squeezing every muscle in your body for the given time period, then go right into 2 split jumps. Don’t alternate you legs in the air – land with the same leg forward each time. After you go through the required number of cycles for one leg, move onto the other leg.