3 Exercises Worth Adding to Your Program.

Before you read this:

  • It’s possible not even one of these exercises is good for you. I’m posting them because they have either helped bring up my own weaknesses or I’ve used them to help others.

  • If any exercise ever is causing you pain, you shouldn’t do it. Especially if you’re going to be like BUT SHE SAID IT’S WORTH ADDING. That’s not what I said.

  • I find these three exercises underutilized overall but they come with big benefits. If you already are rocking them, good for you. Keep spreadin’ them around. 

The Batwing Row. Dan John is right about a lot of things. He’s one of my favorites to read because he is straightforward and smart about being effective. Most people need more rowing and pulling than they do pressing and this one is just deliciously awesome. The batwing is about your rhomboids and rebalancing your shoulder girdle. We all want big bench presses. Well some of us do. We all want to be pain free. You might know this by now … you can’t have a big push without a real solid pull. Lats yes, show me the lats! But the rhomboids ARE SO IMPORTANT. Isometrics can be the bomb and when you start adding batwings start light. Aim for 3 sets of 3 holds at 5 seconds each. I like to keep my feet down on the ground so I don’t arch my lumbar spine excessively. It stays neutral. Keep a neutral neck as well and aim to lift your elbows up high. I’ve found that creating a little lift in the thoracic spine helps me. It might not help you. I haven’t dislocated my right shoulder since I added these on a regular basis. Pair with pushups. Vary your intensity by going lighter and holding for longer (maybe 30 seconds?) or maybe going heavier with less time.

The Bottoms Up KB Press. I like grip stuff and my wrists aren’t my best thing. Neither are my shoulders. This is a challenging version of the press that I like to keep in as assistance. Nothing to go balls to the wall heavy on. Light enough that you can control it. Maybe use as assistance or program in if you’re taking a break from barbell overhead press. This movement has helped my overhead press, my turkish get up, my pull up, and prob my bench press too. You can also do bottoms up rack carries if that doesn’t look fun to you. Use that other hand by your jaw. Phil Scarito taught me that, and he is the bomb.

The Seated Good Morning. I dip forward when I squat. It turns into a squat morning. This exercise helped me work on that. It is surprisingly good for your deadlifts as well. You’ll feel glutes and hammies if you’re doing it right and it’s working the isometric back arch position. Catalyst does a great job talking about it here.

I’m not someone who thinks there are “bad” and “good” exercises. There is a pervasive elitist attitude among lots of fitness places and people that think their way is the best and only way. It’s probably not. There are LOTS OF WAYS. You might think my way sucks. It's cool. Nothing is off limits to you if it’s not painful and if it is intelligently programmed. If you’re programming for yourself, be creative and try different things to see what works for your body. If you’re programming for other people - assess them / be smart / try different things that are safe and that are fun. Comment or send me a message if you've got favorite exercises or underutilized things you think the world should know bout!