Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press (How To)

 

I find that this one of my favorite exercises for the shoulders, mostly due because of how simple the movement is and because I enjoy working shoulders — the more dominant area of my body. This movement can be done seated or standing but for the sake of this particular post, I will be talking about the seated version of it. For those of you who want to get more mass and strength in your shoulders and still work on the stabilizer muscles, this is the movement for you. 

 

How to perform the movement?

 
  1. Choose a pair of dumbbells that fit your fitness level, sit on a bench that has back support (because you will want your back against the seat), place the dumbbells upright on top of your thighs to begin with.
  2. Then, raise the dumbbells to shoulder height one at a time, using your thighs to help propel them to the position
  3. Palm of your hands should be facing forward (starting position)
  4. While exhaling, push the dumbbells upward until your arms are fully extended above you
  5. Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position while inhaling 
  6. Repeat for the recommended repetitions

What muscles are being worked?

  • Lateral delts
  • Triceps
  • chest muscles
  • Middle and lower traps
  • shoulders 

With a few other muscles that I have not mentioned. 

 

What is especially important when performing this exercise is, that one does not make ballistic movements, and to not go lower than ear level to reduce your likeliness of injury. 

 

Before starting this exercise, please consider seeing a medical professional if you have any conditions or injuries. 

 

Fitness WonderWoman, 

Shay-lon Moss

ACSM Certified Personal Trainer 

 

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Hip Bridge – Exercise

Typically I utilize this exercise as a warm up, but it is awesome to add in to compliment your lower body days, it activates the glutes. Even better when a resistance band is added for extra resistance. 

Pay attention to the movement Scott shows in the above video, it is a simple exercise but be sure to squeeze those glutes. Also, if you want some added resistance and don’t have a resistance band, you can use the barbell for my more advanced athletes. 

Step by step instructions:

  1. Lie flat on the ground on your back with hands to your side. Have your knees bent, with feet shoulder width apart. 
  2. Push your heels lifting your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. Make sure to exhale during this portion of the movement
  3. Go back to the starting position. 

Very simple instructions. If you need a challenge, use one leg instead of two. 

 

Muscles being worked:

  • Glutes
  • hamstrings
  • core 
  • more advanced variations will work the quads, hip flexors and obliques more. 

Have any questions, leave them in the comments! Be sure to speak to a professional before performing the movement if you have conditions or injuries that could hinder you. 

 
 
 
 

 

The Front Squat— Exercise

Many of you probably have either heard of or performed the front squat. This particular exercise is great for the quads (isolation) & also helps because to keep your back straight and upright. What makes this particular exercise “harder” is because there is two variations of the hand placement (depending on your preference, either you will put more focus on the wrist or more focus on the traps) everyone is taught differently — but both ways work and get the job done and hit the quads. For those of you with weaker wrist , the trap hand placement would be best and for those of you who find the trap placement to be uncomfortable can give it a go with the wrist. I will show both ways down below

The first video is the placement used when putting pressure on the wrist and the second video is of the bar being placed on the traps 🙂

 

How To Perform The Front Squat?

 
  1. You will start with putting the bar on the appropriate rack for your height. These directions are for those who want to use the trap placement. Bring your arms under the bar, making sure to keep your elbows high, rest the bar on top of the deltoids, and cross your arms while grasping the bar (make sure to have control)
  2. Lift the weight off the rack
  3. Step away from the rack, using shoulder width stance (feet placement) – toes slightly pointed out. Maintain a straight back and keep your head up at ALL TIMES. (starting position)
  4. Lower the bar by bending the knees, continue until you are slightly less than 90 degrees. You will inhale during this portion of the lift. MAKE SURE: That your knees are not past your toes because otherwise it could cause stress on the knees. 
  5. Raise the bar (while exhaling) using your foot. 
  6. Repeat for recommended repetitions

If you have back issues or knee issues be sure to contact your medical doctor before attempting this exercise. If you are beginner, start with lower weight and gradually increase. 

 

What muscles are being worked:

 
  • Quads
  • Glutes
  • soleus
  • hamstrings
  • gastrocnemius 
  • anterior/lateral deltoids
  • upper/middle/lower back

& other muscles — basically a full body exercise. Hit everything. 

 

If you want to see a video of me performing the Front squat —- Front Squat

Circuit Training Workouts

In a world where being creative is a must if you want to prevent boredom, this is where I come in and enlighten your day and workout. I strive to help people find their wings in the gym, to find exercises and training modules that work best for them individually — because everyone is an individual. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle & bustle of trying to find a workout that gives you results, keeps you entertained, challenges you & at the very best teaches you something new about your body and your limits. Many people do the same thing in and out, don’t see results and don’t feel challenged because they are afraid to push themselves (coming from experience, this is due to many things) but once you hop over that obstacle, you find that there is so many options and not all of them are alike, which intrigues you enough to want to give it a go.  Well, if you are ready to hop over that obstacle today, I have something that might intrigue you enough to give it a go. 

 

Circuit training is a fancy term for doing an abundance of exercises (typically 2 or more that are high intensity) that require you doing them in a timed situation OR a high intensity exercise that is done (typically 2 or more)  without a break between for a certain amount of reps .. for example:

 

Example One:

 
  1. Burpees: 10 reps
  2. Jumping Jacks: 10 reps
  3. Push ups: 10 reps

Having to do these all without a break between, one after the other for a certain amount of rounds

 

OR

 

Example Two:

  1. Burpees: 30 seconds
  2. Jumping Jacks: 1 minute
  3. Push ups: 30 seconds

You are having to do these exercises within a certain amount of time — and recording your results, again this would require no break in between exercises. Another option would be.. 

 

Example Three:

Do 4 of these exercises within 20 minutes of time:

  1. Pull ups: 100
  2. push ups: 50
  3. burpees: 100
  4. Kettlebell swings: 150

Basically a lot of Crossfit athletes do these and have another term for it, but it is a form of circuit– the difference being you have 20 minutes total to finish the 4 of these exercises with the amount of reps– during my CrossFit class, we didn’t have a break between .. it was ongoing, sure I could stop and catch my breathe but I was trying to beat the timer, so I didn’t want to take long breaks if I wanted to succeed in the workout. Time was of the essence. 

 

Circuit training can come in all forms: cardio, strength exercises and a combination of both. You can also choose to use machines if you aren’t comfortable using free weights OR you can use body weight exercises (which means you can do them at home). Depending on your fitness level and the equipment available to you, it could be a fun workout to take on and you can change it up however you like to meet your needs. 

 

Pros of Circuit training:

  • Increases endurance
  • Increased muscular endurance
  • strength building 
  • can utilize weight machines, free weights or body weight
  • can be done at home or the gym
  • challenges you
  • lose fat while maintaining strength
  • Beginners, intermediate or advanced athletes
  • cardio, strength or a combination of both— depending on your goals

In my opinion, it is a great option for those of you who might need to turn up the fun factor in your workouts, need a challenge, want something new, great for partner workouts — where you both train together, and if you are new to exercise, it can help get you started in the right direction. I use circuit training more often than not, especially when I am doing CrossFit based workouts, or want to add some high intensity volume training. Definitely worthy of giving a go! 

 

Feel free to share, comment, like and follow!

 

Whats your favorite circuit training workout? 

 
 

Wall Ball Squat| CrossFit It Out

Going back to my CrossFit days when I was introduced to “Wall Ball Squats” — for the life of me,  I did not realize they would be a challenging workout; I figured what is so hard about squatting and throwing a ball against a wall BUT boy was I wrong! hard workout and definitely made to be challenging. Eventually I will get back into CrossFit and visit my local box BUT it won’t be because of Wall balls, LOL 

For any of my CrossFit athletes out there, then you know the struggle and for any of my recreational gym goers this is an exercise to amp up your leg day and core as well 🙂 

but obviously you can purchase them elsewhere as well, but the reason behind using these balls is because of the cushion compared to regular medicine balls made of hard rubber that would go bouncing off the walls, they don’t look fierce but these balls don’t play games with competitors. LOL 

 

So besides that, how does one do a proper wall ball squat? 

 
 
  1. Stand feet shoulder width apart while facing the wall with the “wall ball in hand”. Make sure to keep shoulders back and chest up high, standing 3-5 ft away from the wall (approximately) 
  2. Descent into a squat position, continue down until upper legs are below parallel to the floor (inhale during this time)
  3. Drive through heels to ascend, at the same time push the medicine ball up towards the wall while fully extending the arms. Aim to throw the ball 10-12 ft in front of you (although it depends the height of the ceiling)
  4. Catch the ball and return to the starting position. 

What muscles am I working?

  • Quads
  • glutes
  • calves
  • hamstrings
  • abs
  • lower back
  • chest
  • front deltoids
  • rear deltoids
  • biceps
  • triceps

Very good workout for the muscle groups and definitely can be done with beginners, just use a smaller weight and start off throwing the ball as a decent height and gradually progress as you get stronger and get the movement down.

 

Leave your experience in the comments!

 

Shay-lon

Hanging Twisting knee raise

This particular exercise isn’t for beginners, but if you are a beginner and want to give it a go, by all means, DO IT! I was actually quite surprised I could manage this ab workout considering I was introduced to it while doing a program I found online. I now implement them quite often for this program I am doing and probably will continue to in the future because I feel as though it is a great workout. This exercise will require equipment or if you rather, use the local playground or a tree in the neighborhood you can hang on to. The goal of this exercise is to keep yourself from swinging, you want a neutral position and to be controlled throughout the workout — not ballistic. Like many other exercises, if you want to take it up a notch, you can add weights. 

How to perform the movement:

  1. (Using a pull up bar) – Hang with your knees together and body straight. 
  2. Flex the hips and knees, draw the knees up. Pulling the knees up to one side going above 90 degrees at the hip (avoid swinging)
  3. Return to starting position and repeat on the opposite side.

Muscles:

  • Lower abs
  • obliques

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon 

 

Push Up Variations

Standard Push ups are fine, but when you want to spice things up:

 
 
  1. Wide grip push up (engages shoulders more)
  2. Close grip push ups (engages triceps more)
  3. Clap push up (works on explosiveness and power) – plyometrics
  4. One leg push up (engages the core more)
  5. Hand release push up (helps those who want to ease the tension in the joints)
  6. Spiderman push up (improves hip mobility and engages the core more)
  7. One arm incline push up (utilizing your chest more in an unbalanced state)
  8. Decline push up (works the upper chest and shoulders)
  9. Incline push up (lower chest and triceps more)
  10. on the knees (modified for those who can’t yet do the standard push up)
  11. Shoulder tap push up (good for improving balance)
  12. slow negative push ups
  13. Pseudo planche (hands pointed toward the feet instead of forward. focuses on shoulders and biceps)
  14. Corkscrew push up
  15. Diamond push up (focuses on the triceps)
  16. medicine ball push ups
  17. renegade push ups
  18. kettlebell push ups

Of course there are more, but I listed a reasonable amount. If there is one you would like to add to the list, leave it in the comment section! do you have a favorite push up variation? leave it in he comment box! 

 

Fitness WonderWoman

Shay-lon