The Top 5 of the Toughest Moves to Master
If you’re going to add these exercises to your training regimen, make sure you’re doing them right.
It is easy to get stuck in a world of redundancy in the weight room, and if you’re anything like me, you’re quick to default to the stuff you’re good at. Challenging yourself brings a huge amount of reward. That is why I have compiled a list of the 5 toughest moves to master in the gym environment. More bang for your buck, so give them a shot!
Numero Uno. The FRONT SQUAT.
This may not seem like it belongs on this list let alone first but rest assured that this movement is not only underused, it’s also under appreciated. People often avoid the front squat because it’s just plain harder to do, making lift numbers suffer. If it’s not that, they avoid it due to it exposing plenty of mobility restrictions throughout the body. Since we’re not here to inflate ego, it is worth gaining the requisite mobility and strength to perform these well. Do your best to use a clean grip to avoid imbalances.
Number Two. The DUMBBELL SNATCH.
Olympic lifts are often avoided by people due to the stress they have on joints and fast twitch muscle fibres. When incorporating a dumbbell into the movement the exercise becomes somewhat even more difficult due to the muscle fibre recruitment increase to stabilise the dumbbell within the hand. The DUMBBELL SNATCH is therefore number 2 out of 10.
Number Three. The TURKISH GETUP.
Let’s face it we’ve all heard of the TURKISH GETUP. When I mention it in class as a PT everybody’s eyes roll and heads drop. This exercise will elevate the heart rate brilliantly and is a great warm up, cool down, or mid set exercise. Try doing these for 2 minutes non-stop and you’ll soon understand just how useful they are. Add a dumbbell, sandbag or kettlebell to increase difficulty!
Number Four. The HANGING LEG RAISE.
These must be performed with a over hand or pronated grip with the arms slightly bent and legs completely straight. Abdomen engagement is at its fullest and the core will take a hammering with this excellent exercise. The thoracic region gets great support and be sure to stop your legs from swinging by controlling them down with your hip flexors. Promoting the maintenance of good posture and no strain on the neck or thoracic vertebrae. If true hanging leg raises are a bit too tough, there’s no shame in investing in sleeves to attach to your pull-up bar to support the upper arm/tricep whilst performing the movement.
Number Five. The FLOOR PRESS.
Floor presses can serve as a supplement to your chest and tricep training, or a complete substitute for bench press training. The fact that the elbows are blocked by the floor prevent joint discomfort from a deep finish position. If dumbbells are used this allows for changes in elbow positioning, so a lifter can find his or hers sweet spot that doesn’t cause any pain. As an added bonus, each arm has to work for itself, without the presence of leg drive which can prove deadly for chest and tricep stimulation.
Give them a go next time you’re in the gym and avoid reverting to your default exercises. Freshen it up and find yourself working extra hard, burning extra calories and making extra gains!
Thanks for reading.