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Exercise Descriptions

Hip/Thigh/Low Back/Multi-Joint Exercises

Barbell Squat
Walking Lunge (Forward, Backward & Side)
Alternating (Alt.) Lunge
Lower Body (LB) Matrix
Step-Ups
Split Squat
Single Leg Squat
1-Leg Squat on Box
Squat Jump
Skaters
Lunge Jump
Ball Squat
Leg Press

Hamstring/Low Back/Calf Exercises

Barbell Romanian Dead Lift (RDL)
1-Leg Barbell Romanian Dead Lift (RDL)
Russian Hamstring
Stability Ball (SB) Leg Curl
1-Leg Stability Ball (SB) Leg Curl
Bridging
1-Leg Bridging
Back Extension
Prone Leg Curl
Standing Calf Raises

Chest Exercises

Barbell Bench Press
Dumbbell Bench Press
Barbell Incline Press
Dumbbell Incline Press
Parallel Bar Dips
Prone Dumbbell Row
Dumbbell Push-up Row

Shoulder Exercises

Dumbbell Shoulder Press (External/Internal)
Dumbbell Lateral (Lat) Raise
Front Raise
Rear Delt
Upright Row
Modified Upright Row
Shoulder Shrugs
3-Point Arm Raise
Upper Body (UB) Matrix
Arm Haulers

Upper Back Exercises

Seated Row
Dumbbell Row
Recline Row
Bar Pull
DB Bar Pull
Chin-ups
Negative-Only Chin-Ups
Pulldown

Neck Exercises

Manual Resistance (MR) Neck Flexion
Manual Resistance (MR) Neck Extension

Hip/ Thigh/ Low Back/ Multi-Joint Exercises

Barbell Squat

Barbell Squat - Back | Barbell Squat - Front

Equipment:
Use a standard barbell for this exercise. It is recommended that squats are performed in a power rack. Set the rack at chest height to allow for easy racking of the bar on the shoulders. Set the safety pins at the bottom so that the lifter can squat down to thigh parallel to the floor without hitting the pins. The pins are a safety precaution.

Starting Position:
Position the bar on the trapezius muscles and squeeze the shoulder blades together. Adjust the hands comfortably (thumbs wrapped around the bar), wider than shoulder width. Lift the bar off the rack and take one step back. Position the feet slightly wider than shoulder width and flare the toes out no wider than 45 degrees. The legs should be wide enough to allow the lifter to squat at a proper depth but not too wide that the knees come inward.

Movement:
Keep heels flat on the floor, chest out and chin up. Begin the decent by flexing at the hips (pushing the hips back and down) while bending the knees. Look straight ahead and keep the chest out throughout the movement. Squat until the thighs are parallel to the floor and the hips are at the same depth as the knees. Do not bounce out from the bottom end range of motion. Rise from the bottom position forcefully but under control. Keep heels flat on the floor through out the entire range of motion. Imagine pushing the heels through the floor. The shoulders must rise before the hips so that the lifter stays in the correct position. The back should be flat but angled slightly forward. As the lifter rises, the hips should come forward. The lifter must slow down as they near the top to maintain control. Stop at the top, take a couple of breaths and perform another rep.

Key Points:
Do not wear a weight-training belt for this exercise. This can lead to a detraining of the core musculature (abs and low back). Knee wraps or squat suits should never be used. Always squat in sturdy footwear with good lateral support. Always use collars on each side of the bar. The lifter should be spotted by at least one person. This one spotter should stand directly behind the lifter with their hands ready to spot around the lifter's chest. If the lifter shifts forward or their hips rise up before the shoulders, then the spotter should hug the lifter's chest and help them into the rack. If a rep must be spotted that is the end of the set. Rack the bar immediately! The pins in the power rack must be set to allow the lifter to go to the bottom, dump the bar and be able to come out un-injured. Never, ever sacrifice form for weight in the squat. If an athlete lacks the flexibility in their heels or hips to squat with proper form then this exercise may be contraindicated. Weak trunk muscles may also cause the athlete to lean forward. Athletes who are unable to squat correctly should choose a different exercise (leg press, ball squat, walking lunges etc.). The barbell squat can be the most result producing exercise if done correctly. If not done correctly, serious injury can result.

Walking Lunge (Forward, Backward & Side)

Walking Lunge - Forward | Walking Lunge - Backward | Walking Lunge - Side

Equipment:
It is recommended that dumbbells be used for forward and backward lunge and body weight only for side lunge.

Movement:
Hold dumbbells in both hands. To perform forward lunge, step out with the right foot and pause with both knees slightly bent. Bend the right knee until the right thigh is parallel to the floor. Keep the torso near vertical throughout the rep, chest out, chin up and shoulder over the hips. Step out long enough so that at the bottom the right (lead leg) shin is perpendicular to the floor and the knee remains over the ankle. Stand up straight and bring both feet together and pause before stepping out with the left foot. Each step represents 1 rep. Repeat, alternating legs until the required number of reps has been completed. To perform backwards lunge, go through the same sequence of movements as forward lunge but start the movement by stepping backwards. To perform side lunge, step out to the right slightly wider than shoulder width and pause. Bend the right knee and squat back and down over the right foot keeping the left leg straight. Make sure to keep the back flat, chest out chin up and shoulders over the hips. Squat down as deep as possible while keeping the right heel on the floor. Stand up over the right foot, do not drag the left foot on the ground and keep that leg straight. Bring both feet together and repeat for the designated number of reps. Perform the same movements above stepping out leading with the left leg.

Key Points:
Make sure the shoulders stay over the hips and avoid bending at the waist. Keep the abs and low back tight. After stepping forward or backwards pause and make sure to drop the back knee straight down keeping the front knee over the ankle. At the bottom position the knees should not touch the ground and the knee and ankles should be at a 90-degree angle. Little resistance is needed to make this exercise intense.

Alternating (Alt.) Lunge

Alternating (Alt.) Lunge

Equipment:
It is recommended that dumbbells be used for this movement.

Movement:
This movement is very similar to the forward walking lunge. Start with both feet together, step out with the right foot and pause with both knees slightly bent. Bend the right knee until the right thigh is parallel to the floor. Keep the torso near vertical throughout the rep, chest out, chin up and shoulder over the hips. Step out long enough so that at the bottom the right (lead leg) shin is perpendicular to the floor and the knee remains over the ankle. Press the right foot through the floor returning to the start position with both feet together in one fluid movement. Repeat with the left leg to complete one full rep.

Key Points:
Make sure the shoulders stay over the hips and avoid bending at the waist. Keep the abs and low back tight. After stepping forward or backwards pause and make sure to drop the back knee straight down keeping the front knee over the ankle. At the bottom position the knee should not touch the ground and the knee and ankles should be at a 90-degree angle. Little resistance is needed to make this exercise intense.

Lower Body (LB) Matrix

Lower Body (LB) Matrix

Equipment:
An 8' x 8' floor space is necessary for this exercise. No weight is necessary for this exercise unless indicated.

Movement:
This movement is a combination of 3 lunge, Alt. Lunge, Side Lunge and Transverse lunge. Perform the Alt. Lunge as described above. Perform the Side Lunge as described above but instead of standing up over the lunging foot, return back to the start position. To perform the Transverse Lunge, using the same leg that did the Alt. Lunge and Side Lunge, bring the knee up to hip level; rotate the knee out away from the midline as much as possible, then lunge out with that foot. Keep the plant leg's feet pointing straight ahead. Press the heel through the floor and return to the start position. Performing the 3 lunges with one leg represents one rep. Perform the prescribed reps on one leg before switching legs.

Key Points:
Make sure the shoulders stay over the hips and avoid bending at the waist. Keep the abs and low back tight. When performing the Alt. Lunge, make sure to drop the back knee straight down keeping the front knee over the ankle. When performing the Side Lunge, keep the plant leg straight and push the hips back and down. When performing the Transverse Lunge, the hips shoulders and head should be facing the direction the foot and knee are pointing.

Step-Ups

Step-Ups - Dumbbell

Equipment:
It is recommended that dumbbells be used for this exercise. Alternately a plate can be used as well. Use a sturdy box that is between 12-24 inches high. Proper box height will put the athlete's thigh in a position parallel to the floor with one foot on the box and one foot on the floor.

Starting Position:
Hold dumbbells in either hand or a plate against the chest. Place the right foot on the box so that the heel is completely on the box with space between the foot and the edge of the box.

Movement:
Hold dumbbells in both hands or a plate against the chest. Place the right foot on the box so that the heel is completely on the box with space between the foot and the edge of the box. Keep the chest out and shoulders back over the hips. Step up bringing the left foot off of the floor and drive the left knee up as high as possible while maintaining an erect posture. Pause with the left knee at the highest point and right leg straight. Lower the left leg back to the floor slowly. This is one rep. Once the foot has touched the floor step back up to the knee-high position and pause. Repeat this for the desired number of reps and repeat the process with the left foot on the box.

Key Points:
Not a lot of weight is necessary to make this an intense exercise. If balance is lost going into or at the knee high position put both feet on the box, regain balance, then go into the knee high position. Always come down from the knee-high position.

Split Squat

Split Squat - Barbell

Equipment:
It is recommended that dumbbells be used for this exercise. Alternately a plate can be used as well. When athletes arrive on campus they are taught this movement with a barbell. This exercise is done most effectively in a power rack.

Starting position:
Holding the dumbbells at the side, position one foot out in front of the body 1.5-3ft. with the other foot's toe where the heel was.

Movement:
Keep the torso nearly vertical for the entire range of motion, chest out, shoulders back, and chin up. Place the front foot out far enough so that the shin is nearly perpendicular to the floor and the knee doesn't come over the toes. Concentrate on using both legs to lower and raise the body, the back leg must be bent while lowering and raising the body to ensure the knee stays behind the toes. Bend both knees and push the hips straight down keeping the front heel and the back toe on the floor. Go down until the knee lightly touches the floor. Drive the front heel and back toe through the floor and straighten the legs completely. This is one rep. Perform all of the desired reps with one leg before switching legs. Do not rack the bar before completing all the reps on both legs.

Key Points:
Some balance is required to do this exercise effectively. Start with no weight then gradually add resistance. Make sure to keep the back straight with the shoulders over the hips. The shoulders should come up before the hips. Do not hop to adjust the stride length.

Single Leg Squat

Single Leg Squat - Barbell | Single Leg Squat - Dumbbell

Equipment:
It is recommended that dumbbells be used for this exercise. Alternately a plate can be used as well. When athletes arrive on campus they will be taught this movement with a barbell. This exercise is done most effectively in a power rack with a 6-12 inch box, platform or bench.

Starting position:
Holding the dumbbells at the side, position one foot out slightly in front of the body with the other foot behind on top of the box, platform or bench.

Movement:
Keep the torso nearly vertical for the entire range of motion, chest out, shoulders back, chin up. Place the front foot out far enough so that the shin is nearly perpendicular to the floor and the knee doesn't come over the toes. Concentrate on using the front leg to lower and raise the body, the back leg is there for balance. Bend the front knee and push the hips back and down keeping the heel on the floor. Go down until the hip is as deep as the knee. Drive the front heel through the floor and straighten the leg completely. This is one rep. Perform all of the desired reps with one leg before switching legs.

Key Points:
Some balance is required to do this exercise effectively. Start with no weight then gradually add resistance. Make sure to keep the back straight with the shoulders over the hips. The shoulders should come up before the hips. If the front foot needs to be moved, do not hop. Place the back foot on the ground before moving the front foot.

1-Leg Squat on Box

1-Leg Squat on Box

Equipment:
Perform this exercise with just bodyweight before adding additional weight. When this exercise is master a plate can be used for additional resistance. Use a sturdy box that is between 12-24 inches high.

Starting Position:
Place the right foot at the edge of the box so that there is space between the instep of the foot and the edge of the box. The left foot should hang over the side of the box.

Movement:
Keep the torso nearly vertical for the entire range of motion, chest out, shoulders back, and chin up. Extend both arms and off leg out in front of the body for balance. Bend the working leg's knee and push the hips back and down keeping the heel on the box. Go down as deep as possible with a minimum depth of the hip as deep as the knee. Drive the working leg's heel through the box and straighten the leg completely. This is one rep. Perform all of the desired reps with one leg before switching legs.

Key Points:
Not a lot of weight is necessary to make this an intense exercise. If the minimum depth is not reached, keep the off leg straight beneath the hip, squat down until the off leg's heel touches the ground and use it to get out of the bottom end range of motion.

Squat Jump

Equipment:
No weight is necessary for this exercise. A shock absorbing surface is recommended.

Starting Position:
Place feet shoulder width apart, pointing straight ahead.

Movement:
With the feet shoulder width apart, hands across the shoulders, push the hips back and down keeping the feet flat, go to a depth where the hips are at the same level as the knees and the thigh is parallel to the floor. Throughout the entire range of motion keep the head up shoulders back, back flat, abs and lower back tight. From the bottom position jump as high as possible keeping the hands across the shoulders. Land softly on the balls of the feet and squat back down to the bottom position with the heals flat and repeat the jump. The time between landing and the subsequent jump should be as short as possible. Make sure to land softly and with soft knees.

Key Points:
Make sure to land softly and quietly with soft knees. The knees should not come together on the way up or down.

Skaters

Equipment:
No weight is necessary for this exercise. A shock absorbing surface is recommended.

Starting Position:
Start standing on the right foot with the left leg bent and foot off the floor. Bend over and place the left hand on the right foot.

Movement:
From the starting position, swing the left arm and leg out to that side and jump to the left as far as possible. Land on the left foot squatting down and touch the foot with the right hand. Then jump back to the right touching the left hand to the right foot. Spend as little time as possible on the ground as possible, once the foot lands and the hand touches, jump back across as far as possible. Each time a foot touches the ground represents a rep. Repeat this sequence for the prescribed number of reps.

Key Points:
Make sure to land softly and quietly with soft knees. Do not jump up. Jump horizontally as far as possible

Lunge Jump

Equipment:
No weight is necessary for this exercise. A shock absorbing surface is recommended.

Starting Position:
Position one foot out in front of the body 1.5-3ft. with the other foot's toe where the heel was. The same start position as the split squat.

Movement:
From the starting position, jump up as high as possible using both legs. While airborne, cycle the legs so that the back leg in the start position is the front leg in the landing position. Spend as little time as possible on the ground as possible, once the feet land jump up as high as possible. Each time the body goes up and down represents a rep. Repeat this sequence for the prescribed number of reps.

Key Points:
Make sure to land softly and quietly with soft knees. The back knee should not touch the ground.

Ball Squat

Ball Squat

Equipment:
A stability ball (swiss ball) and possibly two dumbbells are needed.

Starting position:
Place the ball at the small of the back and against the wall so that the ball is sandwiched between the athlete and the wall. Hold dumbbells in each hand at the sides. Place the feet shoulder width apart and slightly out in front of the body (far enough so that a the bottom position the thigh is parallel to the floor and the hip, knee and ankle are at 90 degrees). Toes angled slightly out.

Movement:
Begin the movement by slowly bending the knees and flexing the hip. The shoulders should remain directly over the hips throughout the entire range of motion. Squat down slowly until the thigh is parallel to the floor and the hip is as deep as the knee. Pause momentarily at the bottom position before slowly rising to the top. Do not lock the knees when reaching the top position. The transition between the top of the movement and the eccentric (lowering) part of the movement must be slow and controlled.

Movement Speed:
From the start position, take 10 seconds to squat down into the bottom position (count out loud). At the bottom, stay at the thigh parallel position for 5 seconds (count out loud). Slowly rise out of the bottom taking 10 seconds (count out loud) to get to the top.

Key Points:
This exercise should first be done without any weights. Progress to dumbbells as strength increases. Keep constant motion on the way up and down, do not stop and start with each passing second. Make the movement speed constant throughout the entire range of motion, don't go fast to get to the bottom or shoot up fast out of the bottom. The ball squat exercise can be used as a substitute for the squat if the lifter is unsure of proper squatting form. Individuals with bad backs may also substitute the ball squat for the squat.

Leg Press

Equipment:
The exercise described is done on the Hammer Strength Leg Press machine but can be adapted to any leg press.

Starting Position:
Adjust the seat to allow for a full range of motion. At the bottom of each rep the thighs should be parallel to the foot platform and the carriage (or weight stack) should not touch the bumpers or bottom out. Place the feet with the toes at the top of the platform but not hanging over. The buttocks should be all the way at the bottom of the seat and hands should be grasping the handles at the side of the seat (if available). Feet should be placed high on the foot plate with the toes at the edge.

Movement:
Press the weight using the hips and thigh muscles. Push the heels through the platform. Do not bounce the weight at the bottom; maintain tension on the muscle until a rep can no longer be performed. Make sure not to hold the breath. Keep from locking the knees out at the top of the range of motion.

Key Points:
The leg press exercise can be used as a substitute for the squat if the lifter is unsure of proper form in that exercise. Individuals with bad backs may also substitute the leg press for the squat.

Hamstring/ Low Back/ Calf Exercises

Barbell Romanian Dead Lift (RDL)

Romanian Dead Lift (RDL) - Barbell | Romanian Dead Lift (RDL) - Dumbbell

Equipment:
A barbell is necessary. This exercise can also be done with dumbbells or trap bar.

Starting Position:
Begin by aligning the feet slightly inside the armpits. Stand close to the loaded barbell. Bend the knees slightly; keep the chest out, shoulders back, abs and low back tight, chin up and buttocks back. Grasp the bar with the hands slightly outside the legs. An alternated, or over under, grip is recommended, any closed grip is acceptable. Grasp the bar and squat the first rep off the floor using the legs not the low back. Keep the arms straight throughout the entire range of motion. At the top the bar should be hanging from the arms while maintaining a tight grip.

Movement:
From the starting position, bend the knees at about 5-10 degrees. Chest out with an arch in the back, slowly tip forward by sticking the buttocks out backwards. Keep the bar close to the legs and descend to a position where the back is parallel to the floor. Slowly and under control, recover to the starting position. It is critical that the lifter maintain the 5-10 degree bend in the knees throughout the entire range of motion. The movement is not at the waist but at the hips. The spine should not flex or bend forward at any point in the range of motion.

Key Points:
Be careful to maintain a flat and slightly arched back when doing this exercise. The knees must stay at the same angle of bend through out the entire range of motion. Do not use the quads by flexing and extending the knee joint. If done correctly this exercise will not injure a healthy lower back. It may be contraindicated for those with past low back problems. Start using an unloaded barbell and progress to lightweights. The athlete's hamstring flexibility will determine depth. Do not round the back to get lower, keep it flat and arched, rotate at the hips. Strive to reach parallel but do not round the back. The work should be done by the hamstrings predominately not the lower back. Use smaller diameter weights (25 lbs, 35 lbs) if a full range of motion cannot be completed without the plates touching the floor.

1-Leg Barbell Romanian Dead Lift (RDL)

1-Leg Romanian Dead Lift (RDL) - Barbell | 1-Leg Romanian Dead Lift (RDL) - Dumbbell

Equipment:
A barbell is necessary. This exercise can also be done with dumbbells or trap bar.

Starting Position:
Begin by aligning the feet slightly inside the armpits. Stand close to the loaded barbell. Bend the knees slightly; keep the chest out, shoulders back, abs and low back tight, chin up and buttocks back. Grasp the bar with the hands slightly outside the legs. An alternated, or over under, grip is recommended, any closed grip is acceptable. Grasp the bar and squat the first rep off the floor using the legs not the low back. Keep the arms straight throughout the entire range of motion. At the top the bar should be hanging from the arms while maintaining a tight grip.

Movement:
From the starting position, take one leg off the floor and curl the leg up slightly. Next, bend the working leg's knee at about 5-10 degrees. Chest out with an arch in the back, slowly tip forward by sticking the buttocks out backwards. Keep the bar close to the leg and descend to a position where the back is parallel to the floor. Slowly and under control, recover to the starting position. It is critical that the lifter maintain the 5-10 degree bend in the knees throughout the entire range of motion. The movement is not at the waist but at the hips. The spine should not flex or bend forward at any point in the range of motion.

Key Points:
Be careful to maintain a flat and slightly arched back when doing this exercise. The knees must stay at the same angle of bend through out the entire range of motion. Do not use the quads by flexing and extending the knee joint. If done correctly this exercise will not injure a healthy lower back. It may be contraindicated for those with past low back problems. Start using an unloaded barbell and progress to lightweights. The athlete's hamstring flexibility will determine depth. Do not round the back to get lower, keep it flat and arched, and rotate at the hips. Strive to reach parallel but do not round the back. The work should be done by the hamstrings predominately not the lower back. Very little weight is necessary to increase the intensity of this exercise.

Russian Hamstring

Equipment:
Enough floor space to lie down on, a pad to place the knees on and a spotter.

Starting Position:
Start with the knees on the ground or pad if necessary. The spotter is positioned behind the lifter with the lifter's feet between the spotter's knees, bottom of the toes pressing into the floor. The knees are flexed to 90 degrees so the lifter's hips and shoulders are lined up straight above the knees. The arms are placed with the hands ready to catch the body lowering to the floor.

Movement:
From the starting position, slowly lean forward while keeping the back straight and the hips under the body. The torso should remain in a straight line with the lower body. Contract the hamstrings and glutes to keep the movement speed slow. The lifter will attempt to lower their body slowly to the floor going as slow as possible. If the lifter reaches a point where they cannot control the movement the lifter must catch the body and then perform an explosive push-up while contracting the hamstrings and glutes to return to the starting position.

Key Points:
Make sure to keep the body as rigid as possible on the way up and down. The explosive push-up at the bottom should be with just enough force to get the body moving not to get the body all the way up.

Stability Ball (SB) Leg Curl

Stability Ball (SB) Leg Curl

Equipment:
A 55-65 cm stability ball.

Starting Position:
Lay with the back on the floor, heels and the back bottom portion of the calves on the ball, arms extended along the length of the torso.

Movement:
Press the heels and the back bottom portion of the calves into the ball raising the hips so that the ankles, knees, hips and shoulders line up. Slowly curl the heels towards the buttocks, as the feet near the buttocks the hips should rise, keeping the knees hips and shoulders lined up. Pause in the full contracted position with the heels as close to the buttocks as possible. Slowly extend the legs back out to the starting position, this represents one rep. Never allow the buttocks to touch the ground until all the prescribed reps have been completed.

Key Points:
The hips should remain high throughout the entire range of motion. The knees, hips and shoulders should always line up straight.

1-Leg Stability Ball (SB) Leg Curl

1-Leg Stability Ball (SB) Leg Curl

Equipment:
A 55-65 cm stability ball.

Starting Position:
Lay with the back on the floor, heels and the back bottom portion of the calves on the ball, arms extended along the length of the torso.

Movement:
Press the heels and the back bottom portion of the calves into the ball raising the hips so that the ankles, knees, hips and shoulders line up. Raise one heel off the ball so that the entire body weight is supported by the one leg. Slowly curl the heel towards the buttocks, keep the off leg straight with the thighs lined up, never allowing the non-working leg's knee to rise above the working leg's knee. As the feet near the buttocks the hips should raise, keeping the knees hips and shoulders lined up. Pause in the full contracted position with the heel as close to the buttocks as possible. Slowly extend the leg back out to the starting position, this represents one rep. Never allow the buttocks to touch the ground until all the prescribed reps have been completed.

Key Points:
The hips should remain high throughout the entire range of motion. The knees, hips and shoulders should always line up straight. The off leg should remain straight and knees lined up the entire time.

Bridging

Bridging

Equipment:
Enough floor space to lie down on.

Starting Position:
Lay with the back on the floor, heels as close to the buttocks as possible and hands behind the head.

Movement:
Press the heels into the floor, raising the hips so that the knees, hips and shoulders line up. Pause in this position. Slowly lower the hips back down coming just shy of touching the floor. This represents one rep. Never allow the buttocks to touch the ground until all the prescribed reps have been completed.

Key Points:
Hands remain behind the head the entire time.

1-Leg Bridging

1-Leg Bridging: Level 1 | 1-Leg Bridging: Level 2

Equipment:
Enough floor space to lie down on.

Starting Position:
Lay with the back on the floor, one heel as close to the buttocks as possible, the other leg extended straight with the knees and thighs lined up, hands behind the head.

Movement:
Press the heel into the floor, raising the hips so that the knee hips and shoulders line up. Pause in this position. Slowly lower the hips back down coming just shy of touching the floor. This represents one rep. Do not allow the off leg's knee raise above the working leg's knee. Never allow the buttocks to touch the ground until all the prescribed reps have been completed. Once all reps prescribed are completed switch legs.

Key Points:
Hands remain behind the head the entire time. The off leg should remain straight the entire time with both knees lined up.

Back Extension

SB Back Extension

Equipment:
A back extension bench or a 65-75 cm stability ball. A spotter is required when using the stability ball.

Starting Position:
On a back extension bench set the bench up so that with the legs are fully extended the torso can flex forward without the stomach touching the bench. On a stability ball walk out on the hands until the stomach is no longer in contact with the ball. The spotter grasps the lifter's ankles with their hands and places the lifter's feet between their knees.

Movement:
From the starting position contract the hamstring, glutes and lower back, extend the torso up so that the shoulders are slightly higher than the hips. Pause in that position and slowly lower back to the starting position. On the stability ball the movement is the same but movement will be harder to master given the unstable platform the stability ball provides. The spotter must squeeze the lifter's feet together and press down on the lifter's feet with the hands.

Key Points:
Make sure to pause with the body straight in the top position. Do not swing or bounce.

Prone Leg Curl

Equipment:
Prone (face down) leg curl machine.

Starting Position:
Lay face down in the machine. Position the knees with the center of the axis of rotation, usually when the middle of the kneecap is at the edge of the pad. The pads on the movement are should fit on the bottom of the calf just above the ankle.

Movement:
Slowly curl the heels towards the buttocks, pause in the full contracted position where the pad contacts the buttocks. Be sure to lift the weight and not throw it! Lower the weight slowly all the way down to the starting position making sure not to let the weight bottom out. Make sure not to arch the lower back when lifting the weight.

Standing Calf Raise

Equipment:
Some type of sturdy raised area, which has a non-slip edge, will be needed for this exercise. Dumbbells are necessary in the advanced stages of this exercise.

Starting Position:
Position the ball of the foot on the edge of the platform. This exercise is most effectively done one leg at a time. Stand up straight and hold onto a rack or wall lightly for balance. Do not lean hard on the hands, as this will take resistance off of the calf muscles. When using dumbbells, hold the dumbbell in the same hand as the leg that is being worked.

Movement:
Start at the bottom, feeling a good stretch in the calf muscles and Achilles tendon. Slowly rise up as high as possible on to the toes. Pause at the top before lowering back to the bottom for a stretch.

Key Points:
Be careful to not bounce up and down when performing the reps. This exercise should be done slowly and through a full range of motion. Strict exercise form will make this exercise most effective. The standing calf raise places a greater emphasis on the gastrocnemius.

Chest Exercises

Barbell Bench Press

Barbell Bench Press | Barbell Bench Press - Close Grip

Equipment:
A barbell and a flat bench with supports are needed. A spotter is mandatory for this exercise.

Starting Position:
Grip the bar at shoulder width or slightly wider, thumbs wrapped around the bar, hands evenly spaced. Position the Bar above the eyes at the start, arms straight. The feet must remain flat on the floor; buttocks on the bench and the head and shoulders stationary. Squeeze the shoulder blades together. Make sure that the collars are secure on each side of the bar and that the weight is evenly loaded.

Movement:
Lower the bar slowly to the mid-chest. Keep the elbows under the bar. Touch the chest lightly making sure not to bounce. Forcefully, but under control, press the bar back up to arm length. Be sure not to raise the buttocks off the bench while pressing. Slow the bar down when nearing the top so that control is maintained. The elbows must be under and inwards slightly of the bar. If they flare out this will put excessive strain on the shoulder joint.

Spotting:
Hand the bar off to the lifter. Have the lifter pause and demonstrate control of the bar before they start the decent. Stay directly behind them throughout the lift with hands ready to spot if necessary. Concentration on the lifter is mandatory when spotting the incline press. If a lifter stalls during a rep, assist them just enough to keep the bar moving. Make the lifter do as much of the work as possible.

Key Points:
The grip on the bar should put the forearm in a perpendicular position to the floor at the bottom of the lift. Too wide of a grip will put excess strain on the shoulder joint. Too close of a grip may put extra strain on the wrist and also reduce the load on the chest muscles. Athletes who are experiencing shoulder pain may find it more comfortable to use a closer grip that tracks the elbows next to the torso when performing the lift. An excessively wide grip will reduce the range of motion allowing the athlete to lift more weight but this is at the expense of irritating the shoulder and making the exercise less effective. Proper form is mandatory on this exercise that is so often abused by male athletes. Too much emphasis on the bench press exercise will result in a muscle imbalance of the shoulder and lead to injuries down the road.

Dumbbell Bench Press

Dumbbell Bench Press | Dumbbell Bench Press - Close Grip

Equipment:
Two evenly weighted dumbbells and a flat bench are needed. A spotter is mandatory for this lift.

Starting Position:
Grasp the dumbbells and set them upright on the thighs. Slowly lie back onto the bench. Position the dumbbells at mid-chest level. Squeeze the shoulder blades together; put the head flat on the bench and feet flat on the floor. Hand placement can vary from a standard bench press grip to one where the hands are angled inward slightly.

Movement:
Press the dumbbells upward under control. When pressing, allow the dumbbells to come toward the mid-line so that they touch lightly at the top. Pause and lower them back to the starting position. Do not stretch excessively at the bottom. Imagine having a barbell in the hands and touching the chest with it and proper depth is achieved. When the set is completed, set the dumbbells back onto the thighs upright. Sit up with the dumbbells carefully and return them to the rack. Do not drop the dumbbells on the floor.

Spotting:
Assist the lifter in getting the dumbbells into the starting position. Stand behind the lifter with the hands ready to spot at the wrist. Do not spot at the elbows as this can cause the dumbbell to come back down towards the lifter's face.

Key Points:
The dumbbell bench press is a fine exercise but care must be taken to do it safely and with an appropriate amount of weight. Large poundage increases will inevitably result in poor form.

Barbell Incline Press

Barbell Incline Press

Equipment:
A barbell and an incline bench set at between 30-45 degrees with supports are needed. A spotter is mandatory for this lift.

Starting Position:
Grip the bar at shoulder width or slightly wider, thumbs wrapped around the bar, hands evenly spaced. Position the par above the eyes at the start, arms straight. The feet must remain flat on the floor; buttocks on the bench and the head and shoulders stationary. Squeeze the shoulder blades together; put the head flat on the bench and feet flat on the floor. Make sure that there are secure collars on each side of the bar and that it is evenly loaded.

Movement:
Lower the bar slowly to a point just below the clavicles and just higher than the mid-chest. Keep the elbows under the bar. Touch the chest lightly making sure not to bounce. Forcefully, but under control, press the bar back up to arm length. Be sure not to raise the buttocks off the bench while pressing. Slow the bar down when nearing the top so that control is maintained. The elbows must be under and inwards slightly of the bar. If the elbows flare out this will put excessive strain on the shoulder joint.

Spotting:
Hand the bar off the supports to the lifter. Have the lifter pause and demonstrate control of the bar before they start the decent. Stay directly behind them throughout the lift with the hands ready to spot if necessary. Concentration on the lifter is mandatory when spotting the bench press. If a lifter stalls during a rep, assist them just enough to keep the bar moving. Make the lifter do as much of the work as possible.

Key Points:
The grip on the bar should put the forearm in a perpendicular position to the floor at the bottom of the lift. Too wide of a grip will put excess strain on the shoulder joint. Too close of a grip may put extra strain on the wrist and also reduce the load on the chest muscles. Athletes who are experiencing shoulder pain may find it more comfortable to use a closer grip that tracks the elbows next to the torso when performing the lift. An excessively wide grip will reduce the range of motion allowing the athlete to lift more weight but this is at the expense of irritating the shoulder and making the exercise less effective. Proper form is mandatory on this exercise that is so often abused by male athletes. The angle of the bench will change the amount of weight that can be handled in this exercise. The higher the incline, the less chest involvement and the lower the weight that can be used.

Dumbbell Incline Press

Dumbbell Incline Press

Equipment:
Two evenly weighted dumbbells and an incline bench set at between 30-45 degrees are needed. A spotter is mandatory for this lift.

Starting Position:
Grasp the dumbbells and set them upright on the thighs. Slowly lie back onto the bench. Position the dumbbells at mid-chest level. Squeeze the shoulder blades together; put the head flat on the bench and feet flat on the floor. Hand placement can vary from a standard bench press grip to one where the hands are angled inward slightly.

Movement:
Press the dumbbells upward under control. When pressing, allow the dumbbells to come toward the mid-line so that they touch lightly at the top. Pause and lower them back to the starting position. Do not stretch excessively at the bottom. Imagine having a barbell in the hands and touching the chest with it and proper depth is achieved. When the set is completed, set the dumbbells back onto the thighs upright. Sit up with the dumbbells carefully and return them to the rack. Do not drop the dumbbells on the floor.

Spotting:
Assist the lifter in getting the dumbbells into the starting position. Stand behind the lifter with the hands ready to spot at the wrist. Do not spot at the elbows as this can cause the dumbbell to come back down towards the lifter's face.

Key Points:
The dumbbell incline press is a fine exercise but care must be taken to do it safely and with an appropriate amount of weight. Large poundage increases will inevitably result in poor form.

Parallel Bar Dips

Parallel Bar Dips

Equipment:
Parallel bars.

Starting Position:
Begin at the top, elbows locked, feet off the ground, chest out, and eyes focused straight ahead.

Movement:
Lower the body by bending at the elbow and shoulder joints until the shoulder is as deep as the elbow. Move up and down under control and slowly. Come up all the way until the arms are straight. Do not let the feet touch the ground. Make sure to pause at the top of the range of motion between reps. Attach extra weight to the waist once the required number of reps can be completed.

Key Points:
The parallel bar dip is an excellent exercise for the chest muscles along with the triceps and front of the shoulder. Strict form should be used and care should be taken to not bounce at the bottom or cut reps short by not going all the way up or down.

Prone Dumbbell Row

Prone Dumbbell Row

Equipment:
Two evenly weighted dumbbells and enough floor space to lie down are needed.

Starting Position:
Place the dumbbells on the floor; get into a push-up position while grasping the handles of the dumbbells. Place the feet as wide as the hands.

Movement:
From the push-up position, press the dumbbell in the left hand into the floor and pull the dumbbell in the right hand to the chest and pause it there. Lower the dumbbell in the right hand back to the floor and repeat the process with the dumbbell in the left hand. Keep the abs tight, both feet on the floor and do not turn the hips while performing this exercise.

Key Points:
To perform this exercise correctly takes great abdominal strength, little weight is necessary to increase the intensity of this exercise.

Dumbbell Push-Up Row

Equipment:
Two evenly weighted dumbbells and enough floor space to lie down are needed.

Starting Position:
Place the dumbbells on the floor; get into a push-up position while grasping the handles of the dumbbells. Place the feet as wide as the hands.

Movement:
From the push-up position, perform a push-up then press the dumbbell in the left hand into the floor and pull the dumbbell in the right hand to the chest and pause it there. Lower the dumbbell in the right hand back to the floor and repeat the process with the dumbbell in the left hand. Keep the abs tight, both feet on the floor and do not turn the hips while performing this exercise.

Key Points:
This exercise is identical to the Prone Dumbbell Row with the addition of the push-up movement. To perform this exercise correctly takes great abdominal strength, little weight is necessary to increase the intensity of this exercise.

Shoulder Exercises

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Dumbbell Shoulder Press | Dumbbell Shoulder Press - Modified | Squat and Press

Equipment:
Use two evenly weighted dumbbells and an 80-90 degree bench for this exercise. A spotter is mandatory for this lift.

Starting position:
Sit on the 80-90 degree bench with the dumbbells upright on the thighs. The lifter can use the thighs to "kick" the dumbbells up to their shoulders. Alternatively the spotter can assist the lifter in getting the dumbbells to this position. The torso should be upright and the buttocks should be all the way to the back of the bench. The dumbbells can be held like a barbell with the palms facing away from the lifter. Alternatively, the lifter can turn their palms inward slightly or have them turned in entirely so that the palms are facing one another.

Movement:
Press the dumbbells forcefully but under control, to a position overhead. At the top, the arms should be straight and the torso erect. Do not lean backwards and arch the back excessively when pressing. Pause at the top with the dumbbells directly over the head, not in front of the face, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position at the shoulders. The dumbbells can come towards each other while pressing. Care must be taken not to bang the dumbbells into each other, which may result in a loss of balance.

Spotting:
Assist the lifter in getting the dumbbells into the starting position. Stand behind the lifter with the hands ready to spot at the wrist. Do not spot at the elbows as this can cause the dumbbell to come back down towards the lifter's face.

Key Points:
The dumbbell shoulder press must be done with perfect form and a manageable weight. Large poundage increases will inevitably result in poor form.

Dumbbell Lateral (Lat) Raise

Dumbbell Lateral (Lat) Raise

Equipment:
Use dumbbells for this exercise.

Starting position:
Do this exercise standing or seated if there is a history of lower back problems. Begin with the arms hanging at the sides, thumbs straight ahead and palms down.

Movement:
Keep the arms straight and raise the arms to the side until they are parallel to the floor. Pause at the top and lower the weight slowly. The thumbs should be pointed straight ahead and palms facing the floor throughout the entire range of motion. Do not rest at the bottom; do not swing the weights to the top. Use only the strength of the shoulders to raise and lower the weight.

Front Raise

Front Raise

Equipment:
Use a plate, dumbbells, or a barbell for this exercise.

Starting position:
Do this exercise standing or seated if there is a history of lower back problems. Stand with the feet staggered heel to toe and lean slightly forward. Begin with the arms hanging down outside the legs, thumbs pointed straight ahead.

Movement:
Keep the arms straight and raise them up forward slowly until they are parallel to the floor and at eye level, pause at the top and lower the weight slowly. The thumbs should be pointed straight ahead and palms facing each other throughout the entire range of motion. Do not rest at the bottom, swing the weight up, or lean back at the top. Use the strength of the shoulders to raise and lower the weight.

Rear Delt

Rear Delt

Equipment:
Use dumbbells for this exercise.

Starting position:
Do this exercise standing or prone on an incline bench if there is a history of lower back problems. Stand bent over with a body posture similar to the bottom position of the RDL. Begin with the arms hanging straight down from the shoulder thumbs pointed straight ahead.

Movement:
Keep the arms straight and raise them straight out to the side, pause at the top and lower the weight slowly. At the top of the range of motion the torso should form a 'T'. Do not allow the arms to come back towards the hips as they reach the top of the range of motion. The thumbs should be pointed straight ahead and palms facing the floor throughout the entire range of motion. Do not rest at the bottom, swing the weight up, or stand up at the top. Use the strength of the shoulders to raise and lower the weight.

Upright Row

Upright Row - Dumbbell | Upright Row - Modified

Equipment:
Use a straight bar, e-z curl bar, or dumbbells for this exercise.

Starting Position:
Stand straight, chest out, eyes focused straight ahead. Grasp the bar with an overhand or pronated grip that is less than shoulder width with the arms hanging straight down; weight close to the body.

Movement:
Pull the hands up to the chin, keeping the elbows higher than the hands. Pause at the top before lowering the weight slowly until the arms are straight. Keep the weight close to the body through the entire range of motion, do not arch the back or throw the weight to the top.

Key Points:
This exercise may be contraindicated for those with shoulder impingement. Make sure to keep the legs straight throughout the entire range of motion; don't use the legs to get the weight up.

Shoulder Shrugs

Shoulder Shrugs

Equipment:
Use two dumbbells, a trap bar, or a Hammer Strength Dead Lift machine to do this exercise.

Starting Position:
The weight should be held at arm's length, near the mid-point of the thigh and palms facing one another.

Movement:
Keep the chin down towards the chest and the arms completely straight. Shrug the shoulders as high as possible trying to touch the ears. Pause at the top before slowly lowering the shoulders back to the starting position. The torso must be kept upright, chest out and back slightly arched. Do not lean backwards when shrugging. The knees should remain "soft" and not locked in order to take pressure off of the lower back. Keep the head in a neutral position, looking forward. Do not bury the chin in the chest or tilt the head back. Also do not turn the head right or left while performing this exercise.

3-Point Arm Raise

3-Point Arm Raise

Equipment:
Two evenly weighted dumbbells or plates and enough floor space to lie down with arms extended the side.

Starting Position:
Lie face down with the arms extended out above the head at the 12 o'clock position, palms and forehead on the floor.

Movement:
From the starting position, raise the arms as heigh as possible and hold for a 3-second count. Slowly lower the arms back to the floor. Repeat this process for the prescribed number of reps. Then perform the same movement with the arms positioned at 10-2 and 3-9 o'clock position. At the 10-2 and 3-9 positions point the thumbs up.

Key Points:
Keep the head, chest and feet down throughout the entire range of motion. Make sure to have the proper hand position (palms down or thumbs up) at the 3 different arm positions.

Upper Body (UB) Matrix

Upper Body (UB) Matrix

Equipment:
Two evenly weighted dumbbells or plates no greater than 15 lbs.

Starting Position:
This exercise consists of 6 movements to equal 1 rep. 3 of the movements start below the waist and 3 movements start above the waist. Form a 90 degree angle between the forearm and arm at the waist. Bring the 90 degree angle up from the waist with palms facing each other and arms perpendicular to the ground (this is starting position).

Movement:
From Starting position bring the hands straight overhead by straightening the elbows. Come back down to start position. Bring elbows out to the side, forearms facing straight ahead (start of 2nd movement). Bring the hands straight overhead by straightening the elbows. Come back down to the start of the 2nd movement. The 3rd movement is a diagonal punch in front of the body across the face (left punch, then right punch.) Bring the arms down to the side of the body with palms facing posterior (behind) to the body (4th movement start). Raise the arms forward while forming a 90 degree angle at the elbow with the forearm and arm (this will look like a football goal post.) Bring the arms back to the start of the 4th movement. Palms will now face anterior (in front) of the body with the thumbs pointing away from the body (5th movement start). Raise the palms up the frontal plane (up the side of the body) with a 90 degree angle at the elbow with the forearm and arm. Bring the arms back to the start of the 5th movement. The last movement is an upper-cut wrapped around the head. From the start of the 5th movement form a 90 degree angle while cutting the arm across the body. Repeat with other arm.

Key Points:
When a 90 degree angle is called for make sure that the arms are parallel to the ground. The point of this exercise is to work the smaller musculature of the shoulder by going heavy with weight the deltoids will be doing most of the work.

Arm Haulers

Arm Haulers

Equipment:
Enough floor space to lie down with arms extended to the side.

Starting Position:
Lie prone (on stomach) on the ground. Toes stay planted on the ground. Place arms extended overhead with the palms facing the ground. Raise the arms about an inch off the ground.

Movement:
From the start position bring the arms straight along the side and then back to start position. The movement looks like an arm snow angel while on the stomach. Overhead back to start position equals one rep. Keep the palms facing the floor.

Key Points:
Toes stay planted on the floor. Palms always face the floor. Once the movement begins the arms stay elevated about an inch above the ground until all of the prescribed reps are completed.

Upper Back Exercises

Seated Row

Seated Row - Iso-Row | Seated Row - Over Hand Iso-Row

Equipment:
A seated row machine is needed.

Starting position:
Adjust chest pad (if applicable) so that when the arms are fully extended the weight does not bottom out. Adjust the seat (if applicable) so that the top of the chest pad is lined up with the middle of the chest (nipple line). Grasp the handles with both hands and arms fully extended.

Movement:
Slowly pull the handles towards the chest making sure to keep the chest on the chest pad. Pause with the hands touching the chest. Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position without allowing the weight to bottom out.

Key Points:
Take care to properly set the chest and seat pad to the proper positions. If possible have a qualified strength and conditioning professional aid in doing so. The point of the exercise is to pull the hands to the chest, if the chest leaves the chest pad this cannot happen. If this piece of equipment is not available dumbbell row can be substituted for this exercise.

Dumbbell Row

Dumbbell Row

Equipment:
One dumbbell and an exercise bench are required for this exercise.

Starting Position:
Place the opposite hand and opposite knee on a bench for support. Keep the back flat and head up. Grasp the dumbbell in one hand.

Movement:
Begin the exercise with the weight off the floor and at arm length. Slowly pull the weight to the chest while squeezing the shoulder blades together. Attempt to pull the elbow up past the shoulder. Think of the hand as hooks and pull the weight with the upper back muscles. Pause with the weight at the chest and slowly lower the weight to the starting position. Avoid using the lower back muscles by not swinging or throwing the weights to the top.

Key Points:
This exercise must be done strictly and through a full range of motion. Care should be taken to not twist the back, throw the weight and drop it from the contracted position. Make sure to pull the weight and pause it up top, don't jerk and catch it up top. Also, make sure to keep the shoulders square to the floor. This exercise can be done in place of seated row if that equipment is not available.

Reclined Row

Reclined Row

Equipment:
A standard barbell and an adjustable power rack are recommended for this exercise. Set the safety pins to a level slightly higher than necessary for performing the barbell squat exercise as stated above and place the barbell on the safety pins.

Starting Position:
Lie down with the back on the floor underneath the bar. Grasp the bar with an underhand grip. Press the heels into the floor and raise the hips to a position where the ankles, knees, hips and shoulders line up.

Movement:
From the starting position, keep the body straight and pull up and bring the chest to the bar. Pause at the top making sure to touch the chest to the bar not the stomach. Lower the body under control to the start position keeping the body straight without touching the floor.

Key Points:
This exercise must be done strictly and through a full range of motion. A full range of motion requires the chest to touch the bar and the elbows to be straight at the top and bottom range of motion.

Bar Pull

Bar Pull

Equipment:
A standard barbell and an adjustable bench are recommended for this exercise. Adjust the bench to an incline (30-45 degrees) position. Place the bar at the head of bench on the floor.

Starting Position:
Lay prone (stomach) on the bench with butt on the seat. Chin is planted on the bench with eyes looking straight ahead. Place the barbell in hands.

Movement:
Start in the start position. Slowly pull the weight to the chest while squeezing the shoulder blades together. Attempt to pull the elbow up past the shoulder. Think of the hand as hooks and pull the weight with the upper back muscles. Pause with the weight at the chest and slowly lower the weight to the starting position. Avoid using the lower back muscles by not swinging or throwing the weights to the top.

Key Points:
Chin stays planted on the bench in the prone position. Eyes look straight ahead or at the bench.

DB Bar Pull

Dumbbell Bar Pull

Equipment:
Dumbbells and an adjustable bench are recommended for this exercise. Adjust the bench to an incline position. Place the dumbbells at the head of bench on the floor.

Starting Position:
Lay prone (stomach) on the bench with butt on the seat. Chin is planted on the bench with eyes looking straight ahead. Place the dumbbells in hands.

Movement:
Start in the start position. Pull the dumbbells towards the bench. Slowly pull the weight to the chest while squeezing the shoulder blades together. Attempt to pull the elbow up past the shoulder. Think of the hand as hooks and pull the weight with the upper back muscles. Pause with the weight at the chest and slowly lower the weight to the starting position. Avoid using the lower back muscles by not swinging or throwing the weights to the top.

Key Points:

Chin-Ups

Chin-Ups

Equipment:
An overhead chin-up bar is necessary for this exercise.

Starting Position:
Grasp the bar with an underhand grip, palms facing the body. The hands should be evenly spaced and shoulder width apart.

Movement:
Begin the exercise with the arms straight. Pull the chin over the bar, attempt to touch the chest to the bar, pause at the top, and then lower the body slowly until the arms are straight. Do not swing or kick the legs.

Key Points:
If chin-up repetitions cannot be done, substitute the pulldown or negative-only exercise. Make sure to straighten the arms completely at the bottom of each rep.

Negative-Only Chin-Ups

Negative-Only Chin-Ups

Equipment:
An overhead chin-up bar and a stool, bench or rack to climb up to the top, is necessary for this exercise.

Starting Position:
Grasp the bar with an underhand grip, palms facing the body. The hands should be evenly spaced and shoulder width apart.

Movement:
Climb to the top position by stepping up on the stool, bench or rack. Hold up at the top position with the chin over the bar and the bar touching the chest for one second. Then lower the body in a minimum of 8 seconds, making sure to keep a constant speed from top to bottom. Once the lifter has reached the bottom, immediately climb back up to the top and repeat. Never let go of the bar. This allows for too much recovery between reps and lessens the effectiveness of the exercise.

Key Points:
If the lifter cannot lower the body in 8 seconds, try 6 seconds then 4 seconds.

Pulldown

Pulldown

Equipment:
A Hammer Strength Pulldown machine or any pulldown machine is necessary for this exercise.

Starting position:
Adjust the seat height so when the arms are fully extended the weight doesn't bottom out. Grasp the bar or handles with an underhand grip, palms facing the body, and evenly spaced.

Movement:
With the arms fully extended slowly pull the bar or handles to the chest and pause. Slowly lower the weight by extending the arms slowly back to the starting position, then repeat. Make sure not to lean back while pulling down or jerk the bar down and use momentum.

Key Points:
Make sure the hands are evenly space. Do not lean back while pulling the bar or handles down.

Neck Exercise

Manual Resistance Neck Flexion

Manual Resistance Neck Flexion

Equipment:
A flat bench and a partner.

Starting Position:
Lying face up on a flat bench, the head is resting in a fully stretched position. Position the body so that the head can go down without hitting the bench.

Movement:
Contracting only the muscles of the neck, raise the head forward and upward so that the chin touches the upper chest. Pause in this position and resist the pressure from the spotter as the bar returns to the starting position.

Spotting:
Kneeling beside the lifter's head, place the heel of the dominant hand on the lifter's chin and the non-dominant hand on the lifter's forehead. Apply as much pressure needed to accommodate for the strength curve of the neck flexors. Once the back of the hand that is on the chin touches the lifter's chest maintain pressure and provide enough pressure until the lifter's head is in the starting position.

Key Points:
The lifter is stronger on the way down than on the way up. This means that the spotter should provide more resistance on the way down than on the way up. This movement should follow an arcing movement. The resistance provided by the spotter should not be in a straight line.

Manual Resistance Neck Extension

Manual Resistance Neck Extension

Equipment:
A flat bench and a partner.

Starting Position:
Lying face down on a flat bench, the head is resting in a fully stretched position. Position the body so that the chin doesn't touch the bench.

Movement:
Raise the head up and back until it is fully extended. Pause momentarily before recovering to the starting position.

Spotting:
Kneeling in front of the lifter's head, interlock the fingers and place them the bottom of the back of the lifter's head. Begin the exercise with mild pressure to stretch the neck and continue to vary the pressure according to the strength curve of the neck extensors. Once the lifter is fully flexed at the top, provide enough pressure until the lifter is back in the starting position.

Key Points:
The lifter is stronger on the way down than on the way up. This means that the spotter should provide more resistance on the way down than on the way up. This movement should follow an arcing movement. Pull the lifter's head toward the spotter's body then down. The resistance provided by the spotter should not be in a straight line.