EXERCISES

Here you'll find videos of all of the exercises and movements we use in our training sessions. Each video features the coaches and athletes at our gym in Austin, TX.

To get access to our training sessions, start here to see the options. If you become an online member, for each session we develop you'll be able to watch a video featuring a coach giving a detailed explanation of each exercise or movement required for that day's session.


Filter Exercises

Body Part
Equipment
Skill Level
milk jugs
crossbody shoulder extension
power curls
shoulder jacknife
overhead duck walk
lunge hinge
hanging shrugs
dumbbell pullovers
6 count body builders
abercrombies
plank – hard
tire drag
shuttle sprints
atlas shoulder complex
rhino complex
mastodon complex
push pull
coelho core complex
1rm work up method
training age + rate of improvement
female cobra complex
cobra complex
crocodile push-up
drop squat
lateral lunge
squat lunge lunge
calf durability complex
lunge complex
kettlebell carry complex
drop and punch
stand and base
1-arm overhead squat
upper body movement prep
lower body movement prep
russian hammer
xrm work-up method
3rd world
plate pinch
lateral step-up
tarzan pull-up
mountain climber
darth mauls
strict renegade rows
dumbbell shoulder shrug
frenchies
db seated hammer curl
db kneeling row
db lateral raise
spectacular squat
snatch
duck walk
shoulder corkscrew
sandbag back squat
kb rdl
face down back extension

EO

eo
farmer’s carry
renegade man maker
mr. spectaculars
bulgarian split squat
bench walk up
eccentric back squat
eccentric snatch pull
eccentric dumbbell bench press
eccentric bench press
eccentric kettlebell snatch
eccentric kettlebell front squat
triphasic training standards for alternative equipment
z press a strict military press done with either barbell or dumbbells that has the athlete seated on flat ground with legs extended straight in front of them.
upper body blaster 3 minutes of constant upper body movements. starting at 7 reps of each exercise and dropping reps as the athlete gets fatigued. the ultimate goal is constant upper body movement for 3 minutes. 7x bent over raises 7x lateral raises 7x front raises 7x arnold press 7x curls 7x tricep extensions
band assist pullup
double band walk
deadlift
gorilla complex
band assisted push up
plyo push up
reactive broad jump
reactive box jump ladder
arnold press
kneeling slasher
positional practice
hip muscle clean
hang muscle clean
muscle clean
hip muscle snatch
hang muscle snatch
muscle snatch
hip power clean
hang power clean
power clean
hang power snatch
power snatch
hip power snatch
hip clean
hang clean
clean (short version)
hip snatch
hang snatch
snatch – short execution
  • find your snatch grip by picking up the barbell and taking the hands out wider and wider until the bar sits in the crease of the hips. for most males this is just about thumbs distance from the outside ring and for females right on the outside ring.
  • once you find your grip grab the barbell with the hook grip and pull it into you.
  • your stance should be similar to that of a clean with the feet under the hips and toes flared out. because the hands are so much wider you can flare the feet a bit more and push the knees out to get closer to the bar
  • drop your butt into a position slighty lower than that of a quarter squat - individual start positions will vary
  • lift the chest and set the low back. take any slack out of the system, arms should be long and straight
  • squeeze the bar off the ground slowly
  • as the bar moves up the body keep it as close as possible and increase the speed as it moves up
  • come to full extension by explosively extending the hips, knees, and ankles. at this point the bar should impact the area just above the pubic bone
  • pull yourself violently under the bar while releasing the hook grip, flipping the wrists back and locking out your arms
  • as you pull yourself under the bar the feet need to transition out into a squat stance. the ideal stance is the same one you overhead squat with.
  • after receiving the bar continue to ride the squat down and utilize the stretch reflex at the bottom to drive up and out of the bottom.

common mistakes

  1. not fully extending - the hips need to come to full extension, sometimes you will see athletes try to sneak under the bar by dropping before the hips come all the way through. doing this does not allow the bar to reach the desired height and will limit the amount of weight the athlete can lift.
  2. looping the bar out - although a small shift in bar path may occur with an explosive olympic lift it should be minimized by activating the lats and pulling the bar into you. new athletes have a tendency to almost curl the barbell up. remember to move the elbows around the bar, not the bar around the elbows.
  3. jumping forward - jumping forward during a clean can be cause by too much weight forward in a start position, pushing through the balls of the feet instead of the heels while standing up or by attempting to strike the barbell with the legs. if you find yourself jumping forward start by shifting your weight back on the heels some and remember that the bar striking the thighs shouldn't be a conscious action but a side effect of violent hip extension.
  4. bent arms - dropping under the bar and receiving with bent arms will require the athlete to press the bar overhead with a wide grip to finish the lift. when you drop under the bar during the snatch you need to receive the bar overhead with arms locked out.
  5. muscling the bar up - new athletes will try to muscle the bar up by bending the arms prior to coming to full extension. keep the arms long and straight until you begin to drop under the bar.
   
deck squat

coaching cues

  • stand with a set of dumbbells in your hands
  • holding the dumbbells, sit down on the ground and rock your feet back over your head so that your toes get to or close to the ground behind you
  • swing your feet back forward, plant them on the ground, and stand back up
  • the lighter the weights, the more challenging it is
common mistakes: not getting feet far enough behind the head, not rocking hard enough to stand back up. equipment substitutes: kettlebells, medicine balls. injured arm: do this without a weight. injured leg: try doing this on one leg.
curl to press

coaching cues

  • stand with a dumbbell in each hand in a hammer position
  • curl the dumbbells up, rotating your palms in towards the body
  • military press them straight up to full extension
  • bring them down to your shoulders
  • slowly lower them down by your sides to full extension
common mistakes: using momentum on the press, hyperextending the back in the press.
pushup

coaching cues

  • get into a tall plank position with hands slightly wider than shoulder width
  • keeping the body in a straight line, lower down until the chest taps the ground
  • drive back up to full extension in the arms
common mistakes: not taking the chest all the way to the ground, dipping the hips, not straightening out the arms all the way at the top.
dumbell shrug

coaching cues

  • stand holding a set of dumbbells by your sides
  • keeping your chest high, simply raise your shoulders straight up as close to your ears as possible
  • lower the dumbbells back down
common mistakes: rolling the shoulders forward or back in the movement. equipment substitutions: kettlebells.
situp
seated kb snatch

coaching cues

  • sit on a bench with a kettlebell in one hand
  • hinge forward, dropping the bell under the hips/bench
  • pull the bell hard, straight up the torso all the way to overhead
  • punch through the bell at the top, catching it with a straight arm
  • lower it back down to your shoulder, then back to start position
common mistakes: catching with a bent arm at the top, not punching through the kettlebell. equipment substitutions: dumbbell.
dumbbell complex

coaching cues

  • standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and toes flared out, hold a set of dumbbells in hands
  • perform 6 reps of the rdl: hinging the hips back, torso will tip forward. keep the back straight, weight in the heels. go down to mid shin and stand back up. that’s 1x rep.
  • perform 6 reps of the hang squat clean: hinge into a hang position. jump and shrug the dumbbells up. jump down into a full squat to catch the dumbbells. stand back up. that’s 1x rep.
  • perform 6 reps the thruster: hold the dumbbells by the shoulders. squat deeply and jump the dumbbells overhead until arms are straight above the shoulders. bring bells back down to shoulders. that’s 1x rep.
  • perform 3 reps of the scotty bob: get into plank position with the dumbbells in hands. row with right arm. do a pushup. row with left arm. do a pushup. that’s 1x rep.
  • perform 6 reps of the situp with bodyweight.
common mistakes: rounding your back, not jumping enough in the squat clean/thruster, not squatting deep enough in squat clean/thruster, not extending your arms over your shoulders in the thruster, too shallow pushups.
squat

execution

  • place the barbell in a comfortable position on the back. this can be a low bar or high bar position. we do high bar, because it translates best into olympic lifting and gives us a straight bar bath.  do what feels the most comfortable.
  • hands should be also in a comfortable position. thumbs can be wrapped or over the top. the grip on the bar should be firm.
  • with both feet under barbell unpack the barbell and take two small steps back
  • stance should start with heels shoulder width and toes slightly flared out
  • take a breath and hold the air in
  • focus on one spot in front of you
  • start the squat by driving your hips back behind you and descend into a full squat where the upper thighs are at least parallel
  • using the stretch reflex at the bottom drive up out of the bottom position leading with your chest. exhale as you hit the sticking point
  • take another breath up top and repeat

common mistakes

knee dive
        - athletes of all levels do this as the weight gets heavy. it's extremely hard to tell if you are diving unless you have a coach or a mirror. if in front of a mirror it is very obvious to the athlete. the knees need to track inline with where the toes are pointing, slightly out. if you are diving simply think about pushing the knees out. for some it helps to think about standing on pie plates and rotating them out.
pushing through the balls of the feet
        - when squatting you should be pressing through your feet evenly. new athletes will push through the balls of the feet and you'll see the heels slightly rise. to correct this you can think about pushing through your heels and the over-correction should have you squatting evenly.
heels coming off the ground
        - athletes with poor flexibility or ankle mobility will often pull their heels off the ground in the bottom of the squat. try squatting in flat shoes and only going as deep as you can with flat feet. if that depth is one that is not to a full squat then we recommend elevating the heels an inch off the ground using a board or 5-10lb plates. the elevated heels will allow a deeper squat. by training the squat in a full range of motion the athlete will eventually increase the flexibility and mobility to where they can squat without boards / plates.
bar bending the athlete over
        - the cue we give these athletes is to lower the bar slightly and think about leading with the chest. a hinge at the hips is fine as long as there is no rounding of the spine. the spine should remained flat and in extension. excessive arch can be just as bad as flexion, don't overdo the "chest up" cue.

injured athletes

if you have a knee injury then you will most likely be doing single leg box squats with a kettle bell loaded in the front rack position. if you injury is low back or hip based then you will need to either push a sled, drag a tire, or do belt squats. often times athletes with a low back injury can do lunges with the bells in the suitcase position at their sides.

advanced techniques

the age old debate over high bar vs low bar is ongoing among traditional strength coaches and olympic weightlifting coaches. in our programming squatting is squatting and we are simply trying to increase our leg strength. do what feels the best and what comes naturally. both styles have pluses and minuses. stance and depth is another debate. olympic coaches favor ass to grass narrow stances while power liters favor wider just below parallel stances. when we back squat we favor a wider stance, when we front squat we favor a narrower more upright stance. again both methods are correct in their own sport and we coach each lift differently.
dumbbell bench press

coaching cues

  • sit on a bench with your feet flat on the ground. hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  • lie back on bench and extend your arms vertically above the chest
  • bend your arms at the elbows while keeping the dumbbells in the same horizontal plane they were in at the start until you feel the stretch in your chest
  • push your arms back up to full extension until dumbbells touch
common mistakes: letting your feet come off of the ground, lifting your hips off of the bench, not going deep enough. equipment substitutions: kettlebells, barbell bench. injured arm: do a 1 arm bench press.
wallball

coaching cues

  • grab a medicine ball and stand in front of a wall
  • squat down into a deep squat
  • explode out of the squat, jump up and throw the ball up on the wall
  • catch the ball as it comes down, already moving into the squat to ready for the jump
  • keep the torso tight and land and jump in and out of the heels
dumbbell reverse fly

coaching cues

  • stand with a dumbbell in each hand
  • hinge forward, keeping your back flat, chest up, core tight
  • making a circular shape with your arms, pull your arms back
  • squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • slowly lower them down
  • keep the circular shape through the whole movement
common mistakes: rounding through the back, jerking, making it a row instead of a rear delt emphasis. injured arm: do a 1 arm reverse fly.
seated clean and press

coaching cues

  • sit on a bench with a kettlebell or dumbbell in one hand
  • hinge forward, dropping the bell under the hips/bench
  • then pull the bell hard and straight up the body to your shoulder
  • from your shoulder lift straight up overhead, stacking the bell over your shoulder
  • lower back down to shoulder and back down to start position
  • switch sides as prescribed
corkscrew

coaching cues

  • start standing with a plate in both hands
  • rotate your torso while dropping down into a quarter squat, tapping the plate on the side of your foot
  • pull it up and across your body, extending the plate up and out to the opposite side
  • bring it back down across your body to the ground again
common mistakes: not rotating through the movement, rounding through the spine. equipment substitutes: dumbbell, kettlebell. injured leg: do this on 1 leg. injured arm: hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in the one good hand.
seated clean and stand

coaching cues

  • sit on a bench with a kettlebell or dumbbell in one hand
  • hinge forward, dropping the bell under the hips/bench
  • pull the bell hard and straight up the body to your shoulder
  • then stand up on the good leg all the way up
  • sit back down
  • lower the bell back to start position
  • continue as prescribed
kettlebell complex

coaching cues

this is a 10 minute complex. there are 5 exercises performed on both sides. each exercise is done continuously for 1 minute. here’s the sequence:   right arm 1 arm swing (1 minute)
  • hold the bell in your right hand
  • drop it under your hip and jump through your hips, swinging the bell up to eye level and back down
figure 8 (1 minute)
  • hold the bell in your right hand
  • squat shallow, lowering the bell in between your legs
  • switch the bell into your left hand
  • stand back up
  • continue this movement, switching back and forth in a quarter squat
left arm 1 arm swing (1 minute)
  • same as above just in the left hand
figure 8 (1 minute)
  • same as above just starting in the left hand
right arm 1 arm clean and press (1 minute)
  • hold the bell in your right hand
  • drop the bell under your hips, then jump it straight up to your chest
  • jump and punch straight up overhead
  • stack the bell over your shoulder
  • bring it back down to your chest, then down to your hips
slasher to halo (1 minute)
  • grab the bell by the horns
  • drop the bell down to your right hip, rotating the torso toward the bell
  • hinge back and pop the hip forward as you guide the bell across your torso, circle around the back of your head to your other shoulder
  • continue to guide it across your torso, down to your other hip. repeat on other side
right hold swing lunge (1 minute)
  • hold the bell in your right hand next to your right hip
  • lunge forward with your left leg
  • push back through the center, lunging back with the same leg
  • push back through center and repeat
left arm 1 arm clean and press (1 minute)
  • same as above but using your left hand
slasher to halo (1 minute)
  • same as above, but start with the bell on your left hip
left hold swing lunge (1 minute)
  • same as above, but hold the bell in your left hand and lunge with your right leg
rope climb

coaching cues

there are different ways to do the rope climb. we use this particular technique because most of our athletes wear shorts to train and we want them to keep the rope off their legs to avoid a rope burn:
  • reach up as high as you can and grab the rope with your hands
  • bring your feet up to the rope
  • use your right foot to pull the rope over the top of the left foot
  • pinch the rope in between the shoes by angling the edge of the right shoe down
  • this should give you a secure enough anchor to not have to hold on to the rope really hard with the upper body
  • now you will reach up as high as you can and re-grab the rope with the hands
  • pull your feet up as high as you can and re-anchor with the same technique
  • continue like this all the way up to the top
  • then you will allow a little slack in between your shoes to slide down carefully, gripping hand over hand all the way down
common mistakes: not pinching the rope securely enough with the feet, sliding down too fast, jumping off the rope (very dangerous), not chalking the hands if they’re sweaty.
windmill

coaching cues

  • stand with a wide stance with a dumbbell or kettlebell in your right hand
  • press it out over your shoulder and lock your arm out hard
  • place your left hand at the top of your left leg
  • tip your torso towards the left, slowly sliding your hand down the inside of your leg until you touch the ground
  • the bottom position should have you stacking the bell directly over your two shoulders over the hand on the ground
  • touch the ground and slowly reverse the motion back to standing
  • keep your arm locked out the whole time
  • repeat and switch as prescribed
common mistakes: not bracing the core enough, bending the arm holding the bell.
floor press

coaching cues

  • you’ll be pressing the barbell from a laying down position on the ground, so set up the rack accordingly
  • lie on the ground underneath the barbell, like you would a regular bench press
  • knees are bent with feet flat on the ground
  • roll the barbell to the front of the j-cups, grip appropriately and wrap your thumbs
  • un-rack it and lower it down until your elbows hit the ground
  • push it back up to a fully extended position
common mistakes: benching it too high or too low, failing to control the bar in line at nipple level. equipment substitutions: dumbbells, kettlebells.
arnold curls
sandbag burpee
dumbbell pinch
clean – from top to bottom step by step instructions on how to do the clean from the top down.  great video for new athletes.
running drill warmup
hanging lat stretch
mini leg blaster
quadruped crawl
leg blaster – full
shoulder x stretch
face pull
kneeling single arm press
y t l
corrective getup

coaching cues

  • lie on the ground with one knee bent. the arm on the same side as your bent knee will hold a kettlebell. this arm should be fully extended, directly over your shoulder. your opposite arm should be on the ground at a 45 degree angle away from your body.
  • keeping your eyes on the bell, do a one arm situp, using the elbow on the ground to help you sit up
  • push onto your hand from your elbow on the ground
  • bridge your hips up and pull the extended leg back onto the knee behind you
  • rotate your hips forward, extending the your torso, letting your eyes go to horizontal
  • stand all the way up and then come back down
  • opposite knee down, getting the eyes on the bell again
  • opposite hand posts down on ground
  • shoot the leg through onto the ground
  • go down onto the elbow
  • lie down
common mistakes: not locking out the kb arm, not keeping the eyes on the bell, not bridging the hips enough. equipment substitutes: dumbbell, make a fist with a shoe on top for a balance challenge.
pause clean

coaching cues

  • address the barbell on the ground with a clean grip
  • slowly pull the barbell to right above your knees and pause for 3 seconds
  • keep your lats engaged, the barbell on your body, back straight and weight in the heels
  • after the 3 second count, jump and shrug the barbell straight up the torso
  • punch the elbows through and catch in either a power or squat clean, depending on what’s prescribed
common mistakes: rounding the back, not keeping the lats engaged, swinging the bar away from the body.
3 second clean

coaching cues

  • address the barbell on the ground, holding the bar with a clean grip
  • make the pull up your shins take a 3 thousand count from the ground to the transition point right above your knees
  • keep your shins perpendicular to the ground and lats engaged
  • once you get past your knees, jump and shrug into your power clean or full squat clean, depending on what movement you’re doing.
common mistakes: not keeping the bar on your body, rounding your back, not engaging your lats. injured leg: if you’re able to put some weight on the bad leg, address the bar normally and put 75% weight on your good leg, 25% on your injured leg. if you can’t do that, don't do this exercise. instead, do the clean from a hanging starting position while standing on one leg. injured back: stay with lighter weight and do a hang clean. injured arm: you can do a hang clean with a kettlebell or dumbbell.
sots press
pause snatch

coaching cues

  • address the barbell on the ground with a snatch grip
  • slowly pull the barbell to right above your knees and pause for 3 seconds
  • keep your lats engaged, the barbell on your body, back straight and weight in the heels
  • after the 3 second count, jump and shrug the barbell straight up the torso
  • catch with straight arms overhead in either a power or full snatch, depending on what’s prescribed
common mistakes: rounding the back, not keeping the lats engaged, swinging the bar away from the body.
clean grip rdl w/ 3 sec pause
3 second snatch

coaching cues

  • address the barbell on the ground with a snatch grip
  • make the pull up your shins take a 3 thousand count from the ground to the transition point right above your knees
  • keep your shins perpendicular to the ground and your lats engaged.
  • once you get past your knees, jump shrug into a power snatch or full squat snatch, depending on what movement you’re doing.
common mistakes: not keeping the bar on your body, rounding your back, not engaging your lats. injured leg: if you’re able to put some weight on the bad leg, address the bar normally and put 75% weight on your good leg, 25% on your injured leg. if you can’t do that, don't do this exercise but do the snatch from a hanging starting position while standing on one leg. injured back: stay with lighter weight and do a hang snatch or hang power snatch. injured shoulder: do a clean instead of a snatch. injured arm: do a 1 arm kb or db snatch on the good arm.
tabata overhead squats
snatch grip rdl w/ 3 sec pause
clean grip deadlift w/ extension and shrug
snatch grip deadlift with extension and shrug
poor man leg curl

coaching cues

  • lay on your back on the ground with one heel on a bench or box
  • your hips should be a foot or two away from the bench
  • digging the edge of your heel, push your hips up until they create a straight line from your knee to hip to shoulder
  • slowly lower your hip down to ground
  • repeat for prescribed reps
  • switch sides
common mistakes: placing foot flat on bench, hips too far away from bench, not getting hip high enough.
cat/camel stretch
hamstring hell this is comprised of two exercises back to back. the first one is the poor man’s leg curl:
  • lie on your back on the ground with one foot elevated on a bench or box
  • with your hips close to the bench, drive the edge of your heel into the bench and lift your hips off the ground
  • your goal is to get your knee, hip, and shoulder in a straight line at the top of the movement
  • lower back down
the second one is the donkey kick:
  • set up on all fours
  • starting with the same leg that you were on on the leg curl, bend that same leg at a 90 degree angle and lift up
  • lower back down
common mistakes: leg curl - hips too far away from bench, not lifting high enough, donkey kick-collapsing through the spine, pointing the toe instead of flexing, straightening the leg out.
donkey kick

coaching cues

  • start on all fours
  • keeping your leg at a 90 degree angle and your foot flexed, engage your hamstring and lift your leg towards the ceiling
  • slowly bring back your leg down
common mistakes: jerking your leg up, stretching the leg out, collapsing through the spine.
superman stretch with hold
shoulder lock and load

coaching cues

  • set this up by looping a band shoulder height on a solid anchor, like a rack
  • facing the anchor, place your elbow into the end of the band
  • grab the two sides of the band from underneath with your hand
  • holding onto the band this way, turn around away from the anchor, getting your elbow up and stacked over your shoulder
  • walk out until your body is erect and you feel the stretch in the lat
  • from here gently place your other hand on your head and draw your head away from the banded arm
  • you should feel this stretch in your upper traps
  • hold for prescribed amount of time and switch sides
common mistakes: standing with the body slanted as opposed to straight, not weighting the head away from the band.
snatch balance
george

coaching cues

  • set this up by securing a band low on something solid and heavy that won’t move, like a rack
  • lie on your back several feet away from the rack
  • looping the band around your wrists, pull the band down to make it taut
  • rotate your pelvis forward and contract your core, pulling your low back flat to the ground
  • lift one leg up as high as you can while keeping it straight 3 times
  • make sure your opposite leg stays on the ground the whole time
  • after 3 lifts, switch sides

common mistakes: holding the band with hands instead of wrists, arching low back, bending the lifting leg.

pec ball

coaching cues

  • grab a tennis ball or lacrosse ball
  • you can do this standing or laying down
  • place the ball in your pec minor and roll around looking for a tender, painful spot
  • once you find that spot, you’ll take the same side arm, placing it on the small of the back and sweep the arm out and up 3 times
  • this movement on the tender spot is to dig into the soft tissue and break up the knots on the pec muscle
  • repeat on the other side
  • repeat as prescribed

common mistakes: not placing the ball in the right spot (ladies, away from the breast to the lateral side of the pecs), not sweeping.

kroc row

coaching cues

  • grab a dumbbell in one hand
  • hinge forward either posting the opposite hand on a bench or on your quad
  • keep your back straight and core braced
  • start with your arm fully extended and your lat stretched at the bottom
  • pull your arm up behind you, squeezing your shoulder blade toward your spine
  • slowly extend back down to full extension
common mistakes: rounding the back, not extending the arm long enough, jerking. equipment substitutions: dumbbell.
mantis

coaching cues

  • lay on your stomach on the ground
  • get your chest and as much of your chin on the ground
  • pull your arms behind you, setting your hands at your low back, elbows down
  • pinch your shoulder blades together, pulling your elbows up
  • sweep your arms around and as high as you can to touch in front of you
  • sweep them back to start position and relax the elbows down
common mistakes: not keeping the chin on the ground the whole time, not pinching the shoulder blades up.

Y+L

y+l

coaching cues

  • grab a set of light plates
  • standing, hinge forward slightly with your arms extended down in front of you
  • slowly lift your straight arms, thumbs up into the diagonal (the corners) and then lower down
  • rotate your arms, pulling your elbows up laterally
  • rotate your arms up towards the ceiling
  • rotate down and back to start position
  • repeat as prescribed
common mistakes: not hinging, arms extending everywhere but the diagonal line, jerking the arms.

RDL

rdl

coaching cues

  • you will do this with either a clean grip or snatch grip
  • stand with a barbell at hip height
  • keeping your legs as straight as possible, push the hips back, hinging forward
  • push the barbell down the front of your thighs, engaging your lats to keep the bar in contact with the body at all times
  • weight goes into the heels
  • keep the back rigid in a straight line
  • stop at the top of the knees and push back to standing
common mistakes: rounding the back, bending the knees too much, letting the bar swing away from the body, going too fast.
elevated side bridge

coaching cues

  • grab a bench, step or irrigation box - anything that will get your feet at least a foot off the ground
  • stack the feet on top of each other on the box and get into a side plank position
  • stack the top shoulder on top of the bottom shoulder on top of the elbow
  • maintain a straight line from feet to head
  • hold for prescribed amount of time and then switch sides
common mistakes: dipping the hips down, not getting the elbow tucked under the shoulder. injured arm: do this on one side on the good arm.
deleon bridge complex

coaching cues

  • get into a basic tall plank position on your hands
  • extend right arm off ground for 2 seconds. re-plant
  • extend left arm off ground for 2 seconds. re-plant
  • extend right leg off ground for 2 seconds. re-plant
  • extend left leg off ground for 2 seconds. re-plant
common mistakes:piking hips up, dropping hips down, pointing limbs laterally instead of straight ahead or behind.
arnold press
pause-jerk-pause the pause-jerk-pause gives athletes a chance to slow down the jerk and pinpoint technique issues, such as dipping too low, or diving forward under the bar.  the extra pause allows the athlete to correct their movement feel the correct position.
the exercise

coaching cues

  • stand holding a barbell with a snatch grip at hip height
  • take a breath and push your butt back, hinging forward, pushing the bar down the front of your quads into a hang position right above your knees
  • as soon as you hit the top of your knees, aggressively jump and shrug, pulling the bar straight up your body as you jump down into a full squat, catching the bar in an overhead position with straight arms
  • stand all the way up
  • take another breath and push your hips back and down into a deep squat
  • stand all the way up
  • this is 1 rep
  • lower back to your hips if stringing together reps or drop to the ground if done

common mistakes: rounding the back at any time, dipping not hinging, squatting shallow, not moving fast enough, bent arms.

hang power snatch

coaching cues

  • stand with a snatch grip on a barbell at hip height
  • pushing your hips back, hinge forward into a hang position with the barbell at the top of your knees
  • jump aggressively and shrug, pulling the barbell up
  • catch the barbell in a quarter squat with strong, straight arms overhead
  • stand up
  • lower the barbell back down to your hips

common mistakes: dipping instead of hinging, not jumping hard enough, catching with bent arms.

equipment substitutes: you can do a 1 arm or double kettlebell snatch this way.

injured arm: do a 1 arm kettlebell snatch on the good side.

curtis p

coaching cues

  • standing with a barbell at hip level, hinge into a hang position and clean the barbell into a full squat
  • stand up
  • lunge on one leg, then the other
  • after pushing back from the lunge on the second leg, dip and punch the barbell into a push press
  • bring the barbell back down to your shoulders and then to your hips to repeat

common mistakes: rounding through the spine, not catching in a full squat, not getting your back knee down to the ground on the lunges.

equipment substitutions: dumbbells, kettlebells.

injured arm: use one arm with a kettlebell or dumbbell through the lift.

injured knees/leg: do a power clean instead of a squat clean and cut out the lunges.

bracing rdl coaching cues: for this exercise we are trying to train that bracing breath in the low belly.  we want to breath all of our breath out like we are fogging a mirror and use it to lower our ribs, tightening our abs. next we breath back into our stomach, keeping that tension.  from there we sink our hips back with a slight been our knees.  let the weight travel down, take a slight pause in the bottom, then raise back up. things to look for:
  • flat back - we are less concerned with how far that weight travels, as we are with your hips going back and you keeping that flat back and tight-braced core.  if any part of your back starts to round over, you've sacrificed form for depth.
  • rowing the weight in - we want to create a bit of tension by slightly rowing that bell in, this will help our back muscles to contract and create an overall-tightness in the lift.
  • neutral head position - don't crane your head up or down.  let your gaze naturally follow the movement of the lift.
  • breathing and bracing - you should be doing this with every lift.  it is what we are focussing on.
hang snatch

coaching cues

  • stand with a snatch grip on a barbell at hip height
  • pushing your hips back, hinge forward into a hang position with the barbell at the top of the knees
  • jump aggressively and shrug, pulling the barbell up
  • catch the barbell in a full squat with strong, straight arms overhead
  • stand up
  • lower the barbell back down to your hips

common mistakes: dipping instead of hinging, not jumping hard enough, catching with bent arms, not squatting below parallel.

pause squats

coaching cues

purpose: we do pause squats to increase muscular recruitment in the bottom squat position. it helps with building the muscle to explode out of an olympic lift as well. we have also noticed that it helps fix the lower pelvic tilt that occurs when you bottom out in a squat. execution:
  • unrack a barbell and get into a back squat position
  • take a deep breath and push your hips back and down into the squat
  • keep your chest up and core braced as you break parallel
  • once you’re in the full squat, hold the squat for the prescribed time
  • while you’re in this bottom position, try to relax and breathe normally
  • then drive fast out of the bottom pushing through your heels to standing
common mistakes:
  • stance too narrow.
  • toes and knees not tracking outward.
  • not maintaining a rigid flat back.
  • not being able to get out of the squat after pausing.
bracing goblet squat

bracing goblet squat

we want our athletes to use the bracing goblet squat to train the perfect braced squat that we want to see in our every day lifts.  because the weight is lighter, stress the flat back, upright chest, and parallel foot position, that is difficult to achieve with heavier weights and more complicated exercise.  the more times the athlete feels the correct position, the more the perfect movement will translate into their clean, snatch, front squat, back squat, and other movements.

1.  the athlete starts with feet pointed straight ahead and parallel to each other, distanced apart in the way that they would perform a squat.  if the athlete cannot keep his/her feet straight during the movement, their heels can be elevated to help facilitate the movement.

2. after picking up the kettle bell and holding it to their chest by the horns, the athlete will expel their breath like they are fogging a mirror.  a large breath out through their mouth.

3.  then the athlete will take their bracing breath by breathing into their stomach, directing their ribs down and creating tension into their stomachs.

shoulder hand job

coaching cues

  • lie on your side with a small plate as prescribed
  • wedge your elbow into the crook of your top hip
  • press your elbow into your hips, activating your rear delt
  • arm will be in a right angle, starting at parallel
  • grab the plate with your thumb towards the ceiling
  • maintaining this position, lift the plate up and back down for prescribed reps

common mistakes: not activating the rear delt enough, jerking with a big movement, dropping the arm below parallel.

prisoner stretch with band

coaching cues

  • set this up by looping a band low on a solid anchor like a rack
  • loop the end of the band at the hamstring/glute crease of your back leg
  • get into a lunge position with your back knee on the ground
  • drive your hips forward, placing your hands behind your head
  • keep your head and chest up
  • hold for prescribed amount of time
  • switch sides
hang power clean
strict sit-up
monkey rolls

monkey rolls

monkey rolls are a simple exercise taken from old-school conditioning.  the exercise benefits from having a coach or someone to read out directions, but an athlete could do the exercise on his/her own as well.  this exercise trains quick reaction time, coordination, the ability to follow directions, and mental fitness to get back into line or into the four point stance, even when tired.

1.  athlete starts on the ground in a four point stance (on the hands and toes) with feet rapidly moving, fast and small steps.

2.  as the coach calls out the directions, the athlete rolls in that direction.  this roll is centered around the athlete’s hips. they do not need to come all the way to the ground.  the goal is speed back into the four point stance with feet moving.

3. the number of rolls is up to the coach, but the exercise ends with a command to drop to the ground like a burpee and straight into a sprint.

power clean + push press power clean grab the barbell with a clean grip - one that is slightly wider than shoulder width. make sure that you are using a hook grip - one that the index and middle finger wrap over the thumb feet should be under the hips with toes only slightly flared. the start position stance is slightly narrower than the front squat stance pull the barbell into your shins drop your butt into a position slightly lower than that of a quarter squat - individual start positions will vary lift the chest and set the low back. take any slack out of the system, arms should be long and straight squeeze the bar off the ground slowly as the bar moves up the body keep it as close as possible and increase the speed as it moves up come to full extension by explosively extending the hips, knees, and ankles. at this point the bar should impact the legs at the mid to upper thighs pull yourself violently under the bar while releasing the hook grip and punching the elbows down and around the bar receive the bar in a quarter squat in the front rack position with the weight settling onto the shoulders and elbows pointing forward and stand up push press place 4 fingers from each hand on the near side of the barbell in a position slightly wider than shoulder width scoop the shoulders forward so there is a shelf where the bar can rest and rotate the elbows down and around so they are pointing at the wall in front of you the bar should be lightly resting against your throat and hands should be relaxed stand up supporting the load on the shoulders, not the hands or wrist take 2 steps back to clear the rack take a breath and drop 2-4 inches down by pushing the knees out soon as you drop the required distance explosively change directions and violently extend the legs / hips clear the head / face out of the way as the barbell moves up as the bar moves up drop the elbows under the bar and acquire a full grip finish out the lift by pressing up and overhead using the shoulders injured arm: substitute a 1 arm kettlebell or dumbbell hang power clean + push press with the good arm. injured leg: do a 1 leg hang power clean and push press.
pain train
sandbag correctional
hang squat clean

coaching cues

  • stand with a clean grip on a barbell at hip height
  • pushing your hips back, hinge forward into a hang position with the barbell at the top of the knees
  • jump aggressively and shrug, pulling the barbell up
  • whip your elbows through into a high rack position, letting go of the bar
  • jump down into the squat and catch the barbell on the chest
  • stand up
  • lower the barbell back down to the hips

common mistakes: dipping instead of hinging, not jumping hard enough, not letting go of the bar, catching with low elbows, not squatting below parallel.

equipment substitutions: do a double kettlebell squat clean.

injured arm: do a 1 arm kettlebel squat clean.

injured leg: do a hang power (quarter squat) clean with weight on one leg. you will muscle the barbell up instead of jumping it up.

squat clean

execution

  • grab the barbell with a clean grip - one that is slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • make sure that you are using a hook grip - one that the index and middle finger wrap over the thumb
  • feet should be under the hips with toes only slightly flared. the start position stance is slightly narrower than the front squat stance
  • pull the barbell into your shins
  • drop your butt into a position slightly lower than that of a quarter squat - individual start positions will vary
  • lift the chest and set the low back. take any slack out of the system, arms should be long and straight
  • squeeze the bar off the ground slowly
  • as the bar moves up the body keep it as close as possible and increase the speed as it moves up
  • come to full extension by explosively extending the hips, knees, and ankles. at this point the bar should impact the legs at the mid to upper thighs
  • pull yourself violently under the bar while releasing the hook grip and punching the elbows down and around the bar.
  • receive the bar in the front rack position with the weight settling onto the shoulders and elbows pointing forward
  • as you pull yourself under the bar the feet need to transition out into a squat stance. the ideal stance is the same one you front squat with
  • after receiving the bar continue to ride the squat down and utilize the stretch reflex at the bottom to drive up and out of the squat

common mistakes

  1. not fully extending - the hips need to come to full extension, sometimes you will see athletes try to sneak under the bar by dropping before the hips come all the way through. doing this does not allow the bar to reach the desired height and will limit the amount of weight the athlete can lift.
  2. looping the bar out - although a small shift in bar path may occur with an explosive olympic lift it should be minimized by activating the lats and pulling the bar into you. new athletes have a tendency to almost curl the barbell up. remember to move the elbows around the bar, not the bar around the elbows.
  3. jumping forward - jumping forward during a clean can be cause by too much weight forward in a start position, pushing through the balls of the feet instead of the heels while standing up or by attempting to strike the barbell with the legs. if you find yourself jumping forward start by shifting your weight back on the heels some and remember that the bar striking the thighs shouldn't be a conscious action but a side effect of violent hip extension.
  4. elbows stopping short - if the athlete has a death grip on the barbell and fails to release their grip then the elbows will often get jammed up about half way to the desired position. soon as you start the rotation of the elbows around the bar release the grip and prepare to receive the bar onto the shoulders. it is not required to even have all the fingers under the bar during this. if going overhead after then the athlete will need to adjust but if simply doing a clean they are fine.
  5. muscling the bar up - new athletes will try to muscle the bar up by bending the arms prior to coming to full extension. keep the arms long and straight until you begin to drop under the bar.
barbell floor press
power clean

execution

  • grab the barbell with a clean grip - one that is slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • make sure that you are using a hook grip - one that the index and middle finger wrap over the thumb
  • feet should be under the hips with toes only slightly flared. the start position stance is slightly narrower than the front squat stance
  • pull the barbell into your shins
  • drop your butt into a position slightly lower than that of a quarter squat - individual start positions will vary
  • lift the chest and set the low back. take any slack out of the system, arms should be long and straight
  • squeeze the bar off the ground slowly
  • as the bar moves up the body keep it as close as possible and increase the speed as it moves up
  • come to full extension by explosively extending the hips, knees, and ankles. at this point the bar should impact the legs at the mid to upper thighs
  • pull yourself violently under the bar while releasing the hook grip and punching the elbows down and around the bar
  • receive the bar in a quarter squat in the front rack position with the weight settling onto the shoulders and elbows pointing forward and stand up

common mistakes

  1. not fully extending - the hips need to come to full extension, sometimes you will see athletes try to sneak under the bar by dropping before the hips come all the way through. doing this does not allow the bar to reach the desired height and will limit the amount of weight the athlete can lift.
  2. looping the bar out - although a small shift in bar path may occur with an explosive olympic lift it should be minimized by activating the lats and pulling the bar into you. new athletes have a tendency to almost curl the barbell up. remember to move the elbows around the bar, not the bar around the elbows.
  3. jumping forward - jumping forward during a clean can be cause by too much weight forward in a start position, pushing through the balls of the feet instead of the heels while standing up or by attempting to strike the barbell with the legs. if you find yourself jumping forward start by shifting your weight back on the heels some and remember that the bar striking the thighs shouldn't be a conscious action but a side effect of violent hip extension.
  4. elbows stopping short - if the athlete has a death grip on the barbell and fails to release their grip then the elbows will often get jammed up about half way to the desired position. soon as you start the rotation of the elbows around the bar release the grip and prepare to receive the bar onto the shoulders. it is not required to even have all the fingers under the bar during this. if going overhead after then the athlete will need to adjust but if simply doing a clean they are fine.
  5. muscling the bar up - new athletes will try to muscle the bar up by bending the arms prior to coming to full extension. keep the arms long and straight until you begin to drop under the bar.
  6. catching in extension - because the power clean doesn't require the athlete to fully squat often times the will drop their body by pushing the hips forward. this puts the low back in a vulnerable position and should be avoided at all costs. the athlete should be on their way down to a full squat but simply change directions early.

equipment substitutions: kettlebells, dumbbells.

injured arm: substitute a 1 arm kettlebell or dumbbell hang power clean with the good arm.

injured leg: do a 1 leg hang power clean.

barbell complex
clean warmup complex – cwc
snatch warmup complex – swc
shin raises
behind the neck push press + ohs
clean pull
snatch pull
dumbbell pullover
air squat

coaching cues

  • start with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, toes flared out a bit
  • push your hips back and down into the squat, keeping weight in your heels
  • squat deeply, i.e. hips below parallel
  • stand back up to full extension

common mistakes: rounding the back, weight going into front of foot, squatting shallow.

injured leg: squat on your good leg.

jane fonda complex

coaching cues

this is comprised of 4 movements. repeat each for prescribed length of time or reps. when done on one side, repeat on the other side.

set this up by lying on your side, hips rotated down to the ground, top forearm on the ground. keep your top heel elevated, flexed, and toes pulled up to your shin the whole time.
  • glute leg lift: lift leg straight up and down, tapping the toe on the ground behind the bottom leg
  • knee to chest: pull the knee into the chest, passing over a phantom basketball. extend the leg back out
  • heel to butt: stabilizing the top of the leg, pull the flexed heel to the butt. extend the leg back out
  • circles: keeping the leg straight, make big circles with the leg

common mistakes: not maintaining the ‘hips down’ position the whole time, not flexing through the heel.

squat jump

coaching cues

  • stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width
  • push hips back into a quarter squat
  • jump up, feet off the ground and land softly right back into the squat to repeat again
  • you want to fluidly string the reps back to back

common mistakes: rounding the back, landing hard, landing in a stop and then squatting to start over.

lunge

coaching cues

  • from a standing position, lunge down with your right leg, tapping your back left knee lightly on the ground
  • legs should be in right angles in this position
  • push through your right heel to come back to standing

common mistakes: collapsing through the core, putting weight in the ball of the foot, not bringing the back knee down fully.

injured leg: substitute a single leg squat.

thruster

coaching cues

  • start with a barbell cleaned up into a front squat rack position
  • push your hips back and down into the squat keeping your elbows high
  • once you hit the bottom of your squat, jump the bar into an overhead position
  • make sure to get your head ‘through the window’ on the press
  • come right back down into the squat for the next rep

common mistakes: pausing after the squat to set up a push press or military press, collapsing through the core.

equipment substitutions: dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbag.

bear crawl

coaching cues

  • start with both hands and both feet on the ground
  • keeping hips piked up, crawl forward on your hands and feet
common mistakes: going too fast and straining your wrists.
dips

coaching cues

  • set up two boxes next to each other, leaving enough space for your body in between
  • place a dumbbell on top of each box
  • gripping the dumbbells, pull your feet off of the ground, holding them behind you
  • slowly lower yourself down until the backs of your arms are parallel to the ground
  • push yourself back up to full extension while keeping your feet off of the ground

common mistakes: not going down all the way to parallel.

exercise substitutes: you can put two racks facing each other with barbells at same height to make dip bars. or place both hands on a bench or box and elevate your feet on a bench or box and do dips that way.

1 arm row – plank

coaching cues

  • get into a plank position on bench or box
  • grab a kettlebell or dumbbell with one hand and pull back into a row, squeezing your shoulder blade towards your spine
  • lower back to start position
  • switch sides as prescribed
  • maintain a rigid plank throughout all reps

common mistakes: sagging the hips, piking the hips, jerking the bell.

jumping lunge

coaching cues

  • start by dropping down into a full lunge position
  • explode up and switch legs in the air
  • land softly with your feet in opposite positions from the start
  • make sure your back knee goes all the way to ground each time

common mistakes: not landing on the front heel, landing too hard.

knee issues? try alternating lunges instead of jumping. or doing a shallow jump squat instead.

sandbag drag

coaching cues

  • start on all fours with a sandbag in front of you on the ground
  • keeping 3 points of contact on the ground at all times, reach up and grab the bag with your hand and drag it towards you
  • crawl back and repeat with the other hand
  • stay low to the ground
  • continue alternating pulls for the prescribed distance
common mistakes: standing up and dragging.
teacup

coaching cues

  • you can use a tennis ball or lacrosse ball or just do this open handed
  • stand with your right hand behind your back holding the ball
  • slide your hand around to your belly button, then sweep out and around to the side, then take it to the far side of your body over your head, bringing it back around and down to the start position
  • try to keep your hand open and the ball in your hand all the way through the movement
  • another way to do this is to start with the hand in front at the stomach and reverse the movement described above
  • repeat on each side as prescribed
sandbag lunge
ultimate shoulder stretch

coaching cues

  • sit on the ground with your knees bent up or legs straight
  • set this up with a barbell on the ground behind you and a foam roller placed at the top of your back
  • reach back and tuck your fingers under the bar to anchor them in
  • relax your body over the foam roller
  • then lift your head and chest towards the ceiling, holding for 3 seconds
  • slowly lower down and relax
  • repeat as prescribed
common mistakes: not getting hips on the ground, foam roller too low on back.
1 arm situp

coaching cues

  • lying down, extend the kettlebell overhead so it is directly over your shoulder.
  • your legs will be bent and feet will be flat on the ground.
  • rock the bell forward slightly to give it a little momentum, and then sit up.
  • as you sit up keep the bell over your shoulder.
  • at the top of the movement your arm should be fully extended over your shoulder.
  • lower yourself back down and repeat.
common mistakes: bending the arm while sitting up, rocking excessively to build momentum, not sitting all the way up. equipment substitutes: dumbbell or use a plate and do weighted situps. injured shoulder: you can do this unloaded or hook a dumbbell over your shoulder.
kettlebell romanian deadlift

coaching cues

  • stand with a wide stance, toes flared out with a set of kettlebells in your hands
  • set the shoulders
  • keeping a slight bend in your knees, push the hips back as far possible while you lower the bells down towards the ground
  • maintain a straight, neutral spine the whole time
  • once you’ve felt the good stretch in the hamstrings or you’ve touched the ground, push through the heels to stand back up to full extension
common mistakes: narrow stance, toes not flared out, back rounding, not setting the lats. equipment substitutions: dumbbells, barbell, sandbag, medicine ball, plates.
shoulder scarecrow

coaching cues

  • stand with a set of plates as prescribed in hands
  • place your middle fingers inside the middle and your thumbs on the outside.
  • lift your arms laterally all the way until your arms cross and lay over your head
  • lower back down
  • lift your arms laterally to parallel and face palms down
  • bring your arms in and cross them around your body
  • take them back out to parallel and lower down
  • repeat as prescribed

common mistakes: not getting the sequence right, rushing through.

snatch corrective complex 1) pull with 3 seconds from the floor 2) rdl with 3 sec hold above the knee 3) hang squat snatch w/ 3 sec hold in the bottom 4) full snatch
hug mobility this is comprised of 3 stretches
start with a lateral side lunge
  • shift your hips back and to the left side by bending your left knee while keeping your right leg straight and right foot planted flat
  • keep your weight in the heel
  • hold for prescribed length of time
shift into a prisoner stretch
  • rotate your right knee down to the ground in a lunge position
  • put your hands behind your head
  • press your hips forward, stretching your right hip flexor
  • hold for prescribed length of time
shift into a pigeon stretch
  • pull your left leg in, sitting on your hip with your left shin and foot pointing to the right
  • keep your right knee down on the ground where it was from the prisoner stretch
  • hold for prescribed length of time
common mistakes:
  • side lunge - lunging so deep that straight leg has the heel up
  • prisoner stretch - keeping the back knee elevated, not keeping torso erect
  • pigeon stretch - back knee rotated laterally off ground, front leg tucked under hips
clean corrective complex 1) pull w/ 3 seconds from the floor 2) rdl w/ 3 second hold above the knee 3) hang squat clean w/ 3 second hold in the bottom 4) full clean
kettlebell floor press

coaching cues

  • lie on your back on the ground with a kettlebell by each shoulder, knees bent
  • roll your body toward the bell on one side, grip it, and roll it up onto your shoulder. repeat with other side
  • push one kettlebell toward the ceiling, extending your arm, and rolling your shoulder blade on the same side off of the ground so that you go into a mini crunch
  • slowly bring the kb back down to rest on the shoulder
  • repeat with the other side

common mistakes: elevating the arm on the bottom instead of posting the elbow on the ground.

equipment substitutions: dumbbells.

injured arm: do this on the good arm only.

back squat w/ hold at top 1)start the athletes at the 0 on the clock and tell them to squat every 5 seconds or as other dictated time. 2) full rom squats with a quick descent and a fast explosion out of the bottom. try to perform each rep as fast as possible. athlete can breath as needed at the top of the squat.
back squat w/ controlled descent and hold 1) start controlled descent and hold in bottom for dictated time. 2) when time elapses explode out of the bottom of squat as fast as possible. 3) do not hold in the top longer than it takes to take a stabilizing breath and begin descent. bounce out of the bottom if needed and while the descent is controlled we want the ascent to be as explosive as possible
kneeling keg lift

coaching cues

  • have a box set up next to you at least 24” high
  • kneel sideways to the box on the ground with a kettlebell set to the other side
  • grab the bell by the horns and lift it up across the body and on to the top of the box
  • tap the bell on the box and bring it back down to the ground

common mistakes: not rotating enough through the torso.

equipment substitutions: dumbbell, plate, sandbag, sandbell, medicine ball.

vaughn back squat
vaughn front squat
snatch

execution

  • find your snatch grip by picking up the barbell and taking the hands out wider and wider until the bar sits in the crease of the hips. for most males this is just about thumbs distance from the outside ring and for females right on the outside ring.
  • once you find your grip grab the barbell with the hook grip and pull it into you.
  • your stance should be similar to that of a clean with the feet under the hips and toes flared out. because the hands are so much wider you can flare the feet a bit more and push the knees out to get closer to the bar
  • drop your butt into a position slighty lower than that of a quarter squat - individual start positions will vary
  • lift the chest and set the low back. take any slack out of the system, arms should be long and straight
  • squeeze the bar off the ground slowly
  • as the bar moves up the body keep it as close as possible and increase the speed as it moves up
  • come to full extension by explosively extending the hips, knees, and ankles. at this point the bar should impact the area just above the pubic bone
  • pull yourself violently under the bar while releasing the hook grip, flipping the wrists back and locking out your arms
  • as you pull yourself under the bar the feet need to transition out into a squat stance. the ideal stance is the same one you overhead squat with.
  • after receiving the bar continue to ride the squat down and utilize the stretch reflex at the bottom to drive up and out of the bottom.

common mistakes

  1. not fully extending - the hips need to come to full extension, sometimes you will see athletes try to sneak under the bar by dropping before the hips come all the way through. doing this does not allow the bar to reach the desired height and will limit the amount of weight the athlete can lift.
  2. looping the bar out - although a small shift in bar path may occur with an explosive olympic lift it should be minimized by activating the lats and pulling the bar into you. new athletes have a tendency to almost curl the barbell up. remember to move the elbows around the bar, not the bar around the elbows.
  3. jumping forward - jumping forward during a clean can be cause by too much weight forward in a start position, pushing through the balls of the feet instead of the heels while standing up or by attempting to strike the barbell with the legs. if you find yourself jumping forward start by shifting your weight back on the heels some and remember that the bar striking the thighs shouldn't be a conscious action but a side effect of violent hip extension.
  4. bent arms - dropping under the bar and receiving with bent arms will require the athlete to press the bar overhead with a wide grip to finish the lift. when you drop under the bar during the snatch you need to receive the bar overhead with arms locked out.
  5. muscling the bar up - new athletes will try to muscle the bar up by bending the arms prior to coming to full extension. keep the arms long and straight until you begin to drop under the bar.
tricep soft tissue
dumbbell flys

coaching cues

  • lay down on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand
  • keep your feet on the ground and your hips on the bench
  • extend your arms over your chest
  • lower your arms laterally, bending your elbows slightly
  • bring the dumbbells back up to touching when you feel the stretch in your pecs
common mistakes: keeping arms straight the whole time or bending them too much, not going down deep enough to feel the stretch. equipment substitutions: kettlebells. injured arm: do a 1 arm fly.
band rack stretch
leg raise

coaching cues

  • lay down on your back on a bench with your hands underneath your hips
  • make sure your hips line up at the edge of the bench
  • lower your extended legs down to the floor
  • then lift them up until they’re vertical to the ground
  • slowly lower back down
common mistakes: jerking, going too fast, not going all the way down to the ground.
rack hold
mutant maker

coaching cues

  • stand holding a barbell with a clean grip at hip height
  • hinge and push the barbell into hang position at the top of your knees
  • jump and shrug, pulling the barbell up to catch on your chest while jumping down in the full squat
  • from the squat, jump the barbell all the way up into an overhead press position
  • lower the barbell back to the shoulders, then back to the hips
common mistakes: dipping instead of hinging, not jumping hard enough, not squatting deep enough, not using the momentum from jumping out of the squat to get the barbell overhead. equipment substitutions: kettlebells, dumbbells.
overhead triceps extension

coaching cues

  • sit on a bench or box with one heavy dumbbell in the hands
  • lift the bell up and behind your head, keeping the top of your arms close to your head and vertical to the ground
  • lower the bell until your forearms break parallel
  • lift all the way up, extending your arms
  • lower back down
common mistakes: keeping the elbows wide, not lowering the bell low enough, not extending enough.
overhead dumbell press

coaching cues

  • standing or sitting, hold a set of dumbbells up by your shoulders, palms facing your body
  • keep your chest high and the core braced
  • lift the bells straight up and rotate as you extend your arms
  • slowly lower the bells back down to your shoulders
common mistakes: starting the bells with the arms to the sides of the body, not extending all the way at the top. equipment substitutions: kettlebells. injured arm: do a 1 arm dumbbell press.
prisoner stretch

coaching cues

  • get into a lunge position with your back knee on the ground
  • drive your hips forward, placing your hands behind your head
  • keep your head and chest up
  • hold for prescribed amount of time
  • switch sides
poor man reverse hyper

coaching cues

  • set this up by placing a box hip height with an anchor behind it
  • lay down on the box, with hips at the edge, holding on to the anchor with your hands
  • start with feet all the way down to the ground
  • slowly lift your extended legs as high as you can
  • slowly lower them back down to the ground
common mistakes: jerking, not going high enough.
vaughn’s

coaching cues

  • stand with your arms straight out to the side
  • rotate your thumbs down and as far back as possible
  • pause and rotate your thumbs back and up, rotating the other way as far as possible
  • pause and repeat as prescribed
snatch grip deadlift

coaching cues

  • address a barbell on the ground with a snatch grip
  • keeping your back in a rigid straight line, pull your arms taut, rocking your weight into your heels
  • take a breath and brace your core, squeezing the bar off of the ground
  • pull it straight up your legs to a standing position
  • slowly lower back down to the ground
common mistakes: rounding the back, not tightening up the core, rocking weight forward, jerking bar off the ground.
concentration curl

coaching cues

  • sit down on a box, bench, etc.
  • anchor the elbow of one arm into the inner thigh of your leg on the same side
  • starting with the bell at full extension and then curl the bell up to your shoulder
  • slowly extend it all the way back down
common mistakes: not curling all the way up, not extending all the way down, bouncing the bell up from the bottom.
t bar rows
power snatch

coaching cues

  • address a barbell on the ground with a snatch grip
  • slowly squeeze the barbell off the ground, pulling it up the shins
  • once you pass to the top of the knees, aggressively jump and shrug the barbell straight up the body
  • jump under the bar in a quarter squat, catching it overhead with straight arms
  • stand all the way up
  • lower or drop the barbell down to the ground
common mistakes: jerking the bar off the ground, rounding the back, not jumping hard enough, catching the bar with straight legs, catching the bar with bent arms. equipment substitutions: kettlebells, dumbbells. injured arm: substitute a 1 arm kettlebell or dumbbell snatch on the good arm. injured leg: do a 1 leg hang power snatch.
skullcrusher

coaching cues

  • lie on your back on a bench with your feet flat on the ground
  • get one or two dumbbells as prescribed in hands with your arms extended right over your chest
  • keeping the top arms vertical to the ground and stationary, bend at your elbow, lowering the bell/s down to your forehead or down on either side of the head
  • slowly extend all the way to start position
common mistakes: moving the top of arms, not extending all the way at the top. equipment substitutions: barbell, ez curl bar.
slasher to halo

coaching cues

  • stand with a kettlebell in both hands
  • hinging your hips back a little, start with the kettlebell on one hip
  • pop your hip forward, guiding the bell up and across your body to your opposite shoulder
  • guide the bell around the back of your head and bring bell down to the other side across your torso, down to opposite hip
  • next rep will start from this hip, mirroring the last rep in the opposite direction
  • continue for prescribed reps
common mistakes: not popping through the hips enough, keeping elbows down, not rotating through the torso. equipment substitutions: dumbbell.
seated dumbell curl

coaching cues

  • sit on a bench or box with a set of dumbbells in hands
  • keeping chest tall and shoulders set, curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders
  • start in a hammer position and rotate the palms towards your shoulders
  • lower back down to full extension
  • you will alternate arms or curl both as prescribed
common mistakes: jerking, not extending all the way at the bottom.
toes to sky

coaching cues

  • lie on your back on the ground with your legs elevated straight up in the air
  • place your hands by the sides of your hips on the ground
  • curling your hips up, lift your legs as high as you can
  • slowly lower down to the ground
  • repeat as prescribed
common mistakes: jerking the hips up and down, lifting hips too high to where neck is compressed.
floor slide

coaching cues

  • lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat
  • flatten your low back to the ground
  • with arms by your sides at 90 degrees, get your elbows, wrists, and backs of your hands flat on ground
  • maintaining contact with the ground, slowly slide your arms straight up as if doing an overhead press
  • keep your elbows, wrists, and backs of your hands in contact with the ground at all times
  • slowly pull your elbows back down without breaking that position
common mistakes: allowing the arms to come off the ground, going too fast. substitution: do this flat up against a wall, in either a sitting or standing position.
overbar burpee

coaching cues

this exercise is done in conjunction with the prescribed barbell exercise. there are two ways to do these: lateral burpees:
  • having placed the barbell on the ground, stand laterally to the barbell
  • perform 1x burpee, then jump laterally over the bar, immediately jumping down into the next burpee
  • continue as prescribed
frontal burpees:
  • having placed the barbell on the ground, stand facing the barbell
  • perform 1x burpee, jump over the bar, do a quick 180 degree jump to face the barbell again from the other side and do another burpee
  • continue as prescribed
sled push

coaching cues

  • you will need a sled and plates
  • grab the upright poles with your hands
  • push forward, digging your feet into the ground for prescribed length
tire drag

coaching cues

  • you will need a tire with a plate placed in the middle and a chain attached to the tire with a strap to go around your body
  • step inside the strap and secure it around your hips, pulling the chain taut to start
  • walk or run as prescribed for the prescribed length
equipment substitutions: sled-with a strap attached to the sled to go around the body.
single arm row

coaching cues:

  • get into a split stance and hinge forward, keeping your back straight, and pushing the chest out
  • start with your arm straight, holding the bell
  • pull your elbow up and back, squeezing your shoulder blade towards the spine and lower
  • make sure to go to full extension every time and control the movement
common mistakes: rounding the back, jerking the bell up. injured back or shoulder: stay with lighter weight and focus on squeezing your mid-back muscles as much as possible. leg injury: stand on one leg, hinge forward while maintaining stability and perform the 1 arm row this way.
band pullups

coaching cues

  • loop a band over the top of a rack so that it hangs down to your knees or feet or laterally wrap a band around the j-cups of a rack
  • with a hanging band, you will start with the knee or foot in. with a laterally wrapped band, you’ll step both feet on band
  • grab the bar with your hands, wrapping your thumbs around it
  • pull yourself straight up until your chin is over the bar
  • slowly lower yourself down
common mistakes: setting up the band to where it doesn’t allow the full range of motion on the pullup, so that it’s either too easy or too hard to perform the movement. injured arm/shoulder: you can try a one arm pullup or substitute a single arm row.
bent over barbell row

coaching cues

  • stand tall with the barbell at your hips, gripping one thumb's length from the start of the knurling
  • hinge forward and push your butt back, keeping the weight in your heels
  • pull the barbell up into your low ribs, squeezing shoulder blades together
  • slowly lower the bar back to full extension
common mistakes: rounding your back, jerking the bar up, pulling it too high on the torso. equipment substitutes: dumbbell, kettlebell.
barbell curl

coaching cues

  • stand tall, gripping the barbell about a thumb's length from the beginning of the knurling
  • starting with the barbell at your hips, curl it up to the chest
  • slowly lower it back down to the hips
common mistakes: using too much momentum, hyper-extending your back. injured arm: do a 1 arm db curl. equipment substitutes: dumbbell
ankles to bar

coaching cues

  • hang from a bar with your thumbs wrapped around it
  • from a dead hang, pull your legs up until your ankles touch the bar
  • lower your legs down slowly
  • if you can’t get your feet all the way up, bring your knees to elbows
common mistakes: using too much momentum to get legs up (like kipping), not engaging the lats to start the movement injured arm/shoulder: do situps with a plate on your chest
hip bridge
hydrant

coaching cues

you can do this three ways in a kneeling start position:
  • lift your leg laterally, maintaining a 90 degree shape in leg
  • maintaining a 90 degree shape in leg, tuck your knee to chest and rotate out to the side and back down
  • maintaining a 90 degree shape in leg, lift your leg laterally and rotate around, into your chest and then back down
kettlebell curtis p

coaching cues

  • stand with a set of kettlebells in your hands
  • hinge, dropping the bells under your hips
  • jump the bells straight up as you simultaneously jump down into a full squat, catching the bells on your chest in the rack position
  • stand up
  • jump and punch the bells straight overhead
  • extend your arms all the way, pushing your head “through the window”
  • slowly bring the bells down to your shoulders, then down to your hips to repeat
common mistakes: swinging the bells away from the body, not squatting deep enough, not stacking the bells over your shoulders in the press. equipment substitutions: dumbbells, barbell. injured arm: do this on using the good arm with 1 kettlebell. injured leg: do a double kettlebell power clean (quarter squat) and push press.
groiner
shoulder 21

coaching cues

  • grab a set of dumbbells or plates as prescribed
  • stand, hinging at the hips and do 7 rear delt flys
  • stand straight and do 7 lateral raises
  • bring bells to the front of your body and do 7 front raises
  • keep a hammer position the whole time
rib pull
goblet squat

coaching cues

  • pick up a kettlebell with a straight back and hold it in place on your chest
  • pushing your hips back, squat down below parallel
  • keep the weight in heels and stand back up
common mistakes: holding the bell away from the body, rounding through the back, squatting shallow. equipment substitutions: dumbbell. injured leg: do a 1 leg goblet squat. injured arm: hold a lighter weight in the 1 good hand.
dynamic instep

coaching cues

  • start in a plank position with your right foot planted by your right hand
  • jump your left foot forward toward the outside of your left hand as you pull the right foot back
  • jump and switch for the prescribed reps, stretching and mobilizing the hips
common mistakes: not planting the forward foot close enough to the hand.
jerk corrective complex
kettlebell swing

coaching cues

  • stand with one kettlebell held in both hands
  • dropping the bell under your hips, hinge back a little, then pop your hips forward, swinging the bell up
  • swing it up to eye level
  • guide it back down to your hips
common mistakes: squatting too much instead of hinging, not jumping hard enough, rounding the back. equipment substitutions: dumbbells. injured arm: do a 1 arm kettlebell swing.
1 leg box squat

coaching cues

  • hold the kettlebell against your chest
  • push your hips back into the squat while putting your weight into the heel of the standing foot
  • sit back onto the box with your shins perpendicular to the ground
  • stand up again, finishing with your hips at full extension
injured leg: if you have a severe injury and can’t put any weight on the bad leg, you will perform this exercise standing on your good leg. if you’re able to place some weight on the bad leg, set up in a squat stance and perform the movement with 75% of the load on the good leg and 25% on the injured leg. common mistakes: rounding through the back, holding kettlebell away from body.
kettlebell snatch

coaching cues

  • stand with a kettlebell in your right hand
  • dropping the bell under your hips, hinge and aggressively jump the bell straight up to an overhead position
  • punch through the bell at the top
  • bring the bell back down to your shoulder, then back down to your hip
common mistakes: swinging the bell away from the body, not jumping hard enough, letting the bell swing around and hit the forearm. equipment substitutions: dumbbell.
movement prep

coaching cues

perform 6 reps of each movement:
  • lift head up and down
  • turn head left to right
  • swing arms in circles clockwise. swing arms in circles counterclockwise
  • make circles with the elbows one way. make circles with the elbows the other way
  • make circles with the wrists one way. make circles with the wrists the other way
  • swing arms front the back opening up the chest
  • swing one arm up and laterally over the head as the other swings down. switch the swings each time
  • hinge the hips back and forth
  • squat
  • hold a pvc pipe and do hydrants on one leg. switch sides
  • make circles with the hips one way. switch the direction
  • alternate legs, pulling the heels to the butt.
  • make circles with one ankle. switch sides
kettlebell lunge

coaching cues

there are a couple ways to do these: stationary lunges
  • clean a set of kettlebells up into a high rack position, resting the bells on your arms
  • step your right leg into a lunge, dropping the weight into your heel
  • push back through your heel to standing
  • switch sides
travelling lunges
  • clean a set of kettlebells up into a high rack position, resting the bells on your arms
  • step your right foot forward into a lunge
  • push off your back left foot, stepping your left foot through the middle and forward into the lunge
  • push off your back right foot, stepping your right foot through the middle and forward into the lunge
  • keep repeating for prescribed reps
common mistakes: dropping the elbows down, collapsing through the core, not taking the back knee all the way to the ground. equipment substitutions: dumbbells, sandbag, barbell.
6 way shoulder

coaching cues

  • start with 2.5 or 5 lb plates in your hands, your arms at sides
  • keeping your arms straight, lift the plates in a lateral raise, then bring them to the front of the body, then lift straight up overhead, back down to the front of the body, back to the sides and down
  • keep your movements slow and controlled
injured arm/shoulder: do this unloaded. can’t use an arm? do it on the good arm.
kettlebell front squat

coaching cues

  • stand with a set of kettlebells in your hands
  • clean them up into a high rack position
  • kettlebells should be sitting on a ‘shelf’ created by your arms
  • take a deep breath and tighten up your core
  • push your hips back and down into the full squat
  • keep your weight in the heels
  • drive up and back to standing
  • maintain the high rack position through the entire exercise
common mistakes: dropping the elbows down, squatting shallow, collapsing through the core. equipment substitutions: dumbbells, barbell. injured arm: do a 1 arm rack using the good arm.
push twist lift

coaching cues

  • kneeling on the ground, hinge forward until your torso is facing the ground
  • extend your right arm on the ground and push a 5 lb plate laying in front of it 3 times, extending your arm as far as possible by the 3rd rep
  • get your forehead on the ground
  • then twist the thumb up and lift the arm off the ground for a second
  • lower to the ground
  • switch sides
lower snatch warm up 3x hip muscle snatch 3x hang muscle snatch 3x full muscle snatch 3x overhead squats 3x hip power snatch+ overhead squat 3x hang power snatch+ overhead squat 3x full power snatch+ overhead squat 3x hip snatch 3x hang snatch 3x full snatch
cauldron

coaching cues

  • set this up by putting a plate on one end of the barbell, a sandbag to anchor the other side
  • pick up the plated end and start with it at your sternum
  • stand tall and keep your core stable
  • push the barbell in a circle, extending the arms at the top of the movement
  • you’ll alternate clockwise and counter clockwise according to the prescribed reps
common mistakes: not fully extending your arms.
alt grip pullup

coaching cues

  • set up your grip with one hand facing towards you, one hand facing away from you
  • from a dead hang position, pull your chin up and over the bar
  • slowly lower yourself down until your arms are fully extended
  • alternate grip directions each round
common mistakes: using momentum to pull yourself up, not extending your arms all the way at the bottom.
lower clean warm up 3x hip muscle clean 3x hang muscle clean 3x full muscle clean 3x front squats 3x hip power clean+ front squat 3x hang power clean+ front squat 3x full powerclean+ front squat 3x hip clean 3x hang clean 3x full clean
ab wheel

coaching cues

  • start in a kneeling position with your toes tucked under on ground
  • grab the wheel with your hands and roll out slowly as far as you can
  • roll back in
common mistakes: rolling out so far that you end up resting on the ground, not locking your arms out. equipment substitutes: barbell with big plates
3rd world stretch

coaching cues

  • hold the pvc pipe with a wide grip in an overhead squat position
  • squat deep, keeping tension in your core and your spine as vertical as possible
  • hold this position for the prescribed amount of time while trying to sink deeper into the squat
  • if you're not mobile in your hips, slide a board under your heels
common mistakes: not keeping core tight, rounding the back. injured arm: do this without your arms overhead holding the pvc. injured leg: do this up against a rack on one leg without the overhead component. face a rack and hold on to it. walk your hands down the rack as you lower yourself into a one-legged squat. hold your injured leg in front of you. focus on keeping your torso tight and spine vertical.
turkish get-up
active straight leg raise (aslr) 1) lay down on back with legs extended 2) fully exhale into your lower abs. should feel like you are trying to fog a mirror. 3) your lower back should come out of extension and flatten against the ground. 3) take a second deep breath and push out to brace lower back and core keeping the low back out of extension and flush with the floor. 4) actively raise leg of choice as high as possible in a controlled manner. 5) repeat for prescribed reps on each side. if you lose tension in your core or if your lower back pulls away from the ground, stop, reset and finish out your reps.
glute leg lift

coaching cues

  • lie on the ground on one side, rotating your hips towards the floor and placing the forearm of your top arm on the ground
  • your top leg should be straight, flexed through the heel and with your toe rotated down towards the ground
  • lift your top leg as high as you can in this position
  • bring it back down, tapping your toe on the ground behind the stabilizing leg
  • repeat for prescribed reps and switch sides
common mistakes: not maintaining the rotation of the body towards the ground, pointing the toe instead of flexing the heel, not lifting high enough.
push press

execution

  • place 4 fingers from each hand on the near side of the barbell in a position slightly wider than shoulder width
  • scoop the shoulders forward so there is a shelf where the bar can rest and rotate the elbows down and around so they are pointing at the wall in front of you
  • the bar should be lightly resting against your throat and hands should be relaxed
  • stand up supporting the load on the shoulders, not the hands or wrist
  • take 2 steps back to clear the rack
  • take a breath and drop 2-4 inches down by pushing the knees out
  • soon as you drop the required distance explosively change directions and violently extend the legs / hips
  • clear the head / face out of the way as the barbell moves up
  • as the bar moves up drop the elbows under the bar and acquire a full grip
  • finish out the lift by pressing up and overhead using the shoulders

common mistakes

poor bar path
        - the most efficient way to move a barbell is straight up. the face keeps this from happening unless you retract or lift the chin to clear the way. many times athletes will simply move the bar around the face instead of vice versa. once they hit the sticking point the bar is no longer over the chest but out in front of them. think about skimming the face and driving straight up off the chest. once the bar clears the face then the head comes back into a neutral position and they finish off the lift.
layback
        - layback is a term for when the load get heavy or the athlete starts to struggle the athlete will lean back trying to use the chest muscles to finish the lift. this puts the back in a vulnerable position and should be avoided at all costs. keep the head in a neutral position and eyes to the front.
looking down
        - when pressing up the eyes should be focused on the far wall unless lifting the chin to clear the path for the bar, even then once the bar is clear they should pick a spot on the wall and focus on it. often times athletes will finish out the lift by dropping their chin and looking down at the ground
pushing the head too far forward
        - this comes from the cue of "pushing your head through the window" which in theory is getting the athlete into a position with the head neutral and arms to both sides of the head. sometimes this gets taken too far and there is a significant push forward and/or the athlete pushes the bar behind them. soon as the bar clears the face simply place the head back in a normal position where the bar is directly over the chest.
hanging out in the bottom
        - the change in direction needs to be violent and explosive. if the athlete lingers in the bottom position then they will not have the explosively they need.
dropping the elbow
      s - if the elbows drop before the bar leaves the shoulders then the load is transferred to the connective tissue in the arms and shoulders instead of staying on the shelf. this causes that tissue to stretch as the athlete changes direction and reduced the amount the athlete can lift. keep the shoulders up and the hands open until the barbell comes off the shoulders.
slasher

coaching cues

  • stand with a kettlebell in both hands
  • hinging your hips back a little, start with the kettlebell on one hip
  • pop your hip forward, guiding the bell up and across your body to your opposite shoulder
  • elbows will go up as if you’re dropping the bell behind your back
  • bring the bell back across your torso to starting position
  • repeat as prescribed and switch sides
common mistakes: not popping through the hips enough, keeping elbows down, not rotating through the torso. equipment substitutions: dumbbell.
reverse curl up with sandbag
overhead plate lunge

coaching cues

  • hold a plate in an overhead position with arms completely locked out over your shoulders
  • lunge forward with the right leg, bringing the back left knee down to the ground
  • push off the left foot and travel through the middle, lunging forward with the left foot
  • continue travelling with alternating legs for prescribed reps or distance
common mistakes: bending the arms while holding the plate, not bringing the back knee down to the ground each time, collapsing through the core. equipment substitutions: dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine ball.
girevoy swing
standing russian twist

coaching cues

  • you will need a barbell with a plate on one end and a sandbag to anchor the other end
  • stand tall, planting your feet wider than shoulder width apart
  • pick the barbell up with both hands and get into start position extending your arms all the way in the middle above your body
  • from here, guide the bar down to your right hip, rotating your feet, hips and torso
  • pop your hip forward, creating momentum to guide the bar over to your left hip
  • keep your arms straight the whole time
  • continue as prescribed
common mistakes: not rotating the body, bending the arms, ‘muscling’ it over instead of using the momentum from the hip extension.
jerk – split stance - have the feet between hip and shoulder width apart with the toes flared out slightly. grip - use a clean grip which for most males is thumbs distance off the knurling.  for females is may be as narrow as the actual knurling.  there should be 1-2 inches between your hands and your shoulders. elbows - keep them up pointing towards the wall in front of you, the barbell should be resting on the shoulders and fingertips. execution:
  • set up in the front-squat rack position with upward pressure on the end of the elbows.
  • head neutral and feet in a stance of flexibility.
  • dip slow, straight and short.
  • aggressive change of direction and exaggerated head movement back while maintaining upward elbow pressure.
  • hips and ankles open completely as chin is lifted to its highest point.
  • as the bar begins to float, it stays in the fingertips as it is guided back slightly and the hips start to drop straight down and the feet split.
  • the bar and head will quickly pass each other, at which point the hands will wrap and push the body the rest of the way under for a lockout that will occur immediately after the feet return to the floor.
  • the bar is now directly over the shoulders and the hips with the head poking through to the point where the ears are just in front of the arms.
  • the front foot moves back first to the point where the back foot will step up and meet in the middle to complete the lift.
mistakes:
  • elbows down
  • trying to press the barbell up using the shoulders instead of the hips,legs.
  • leaning forward during the dip
  • dipping to deep
  • dipping to fast
21’s
tabata calf raise

coaching cues

  • stand holding onto an anchor of some sort, e.g. a pvc or rack
  • elevate your toes of your feet on something at least an inch off the ground
  • for 20 seconds, lift and lower your heels as high and you can, then down to the ground
  • for 10 seconds, hold at the top, heels as high as you can
  • repeat for prescribed rounds
the brettzel 2.0
instep +

coaching cues

  • set this up with your legs in a lunge position, back knee on the ground
  • your front shin should be vertical to the ground
  • with the elbow on the same side as the leg in front, reach down as far as you can to the ground
  • hold for prescribed length of time
  • shift your butt back over your back leg, straightening out the front leg and pulling the front foot up
  • hold for prescribed length of time
common mistakes: keeping the back knee elevated.
rock bottom overhead squat jump
takano snatch pull this is a 4 part pull designed to help the athlete maintain back angle and bar position throughout the lift. 1x halting deadlift to below knee 1x halting deadlift to power position 1x bump + shrug 1x high pull
rock bottom squat jump
kettlebell clean and press

coaching cues

  • start standing with a set of kettlebells in your hands
  • push your butt back and hinge at your hips a little bit
  • dipping the bells between your legs, jump them straight up and catch them in a rack position on the chest
  • jump and punch the bells the bells straight overhead into full extension
  • bring them back down to your shoulders, then down to the hips
common mistakes: swinging the bells away from the body, rounding the back, not getting the bells stacked straight over the shoulders. equipment substitutions: dumbbells, barbell. injured arm: do a 1 arm clean and press.
the brettzel
takano clean pulls

this is a 4 part pull designed to teach the athlete to maintain back angle and bar position throughout the lift.  each lift consists of 4 parts

1x halting deadlift to knee

1x halting deadlift to power position

1x bump shrug

1x high pull

clean pull under
dumbbell push press

coaching cues

  • stand holding a set of dumbbells up by your shoulders
  • hinge the hips back a little, bend your knees a little and jump up, extending your arms overhead
  • make sure your arms stack straight over the shoulders, getting your head “through the window"
  • slowly lower dumbbells back down
common mistakes: squatting instead of hinging, not jumping hard enough, not stacking arms over shoulders. equipment substitutions: kettlebells. sandbag held horizontally on chest in both hands. injured arm: do a 1 arm push press.
snatch pull under
kettlebell good morning

coaching cues

  • stand in a wide stance, toes flared out with a set of kettlebells in your hands
  • set your shoulders
  • keeping a slight bend in your knees, push your hips back as far back as possible while lowering the bells down towards the ground
  • maintain a straight, neutral spine the whole time
  • once you’ve felt a good stretch in the hamstrings or you’ve touched the ground, push through your heels to stand back up to full extension
common mistakes: narrow stance, toes not flared out, back rounding, not setting the lats. equipment substitutions: dumbbells, barbell, sandbag, medicine ball, plates.
bicep 21’s
band pull aparts
elevated pigeon

coaching cues

  • place a box in front of you. the height of the box depends on how tall you are. you’ll want to have it at a height where you can have your bottom foot on the ground through the exercise.
  • place the bottom portion of your leg on top of the box at the edge
  • bend your standing leg until you feel the stretch in your hip that's elevated on the box
  • hold for the prescribed amount of time and switch
common mistakes: not bending the standing knee deep enough, box too high, box too low. equipment substitutions: you can use any surface where you can hook the leg up.
skull crusher 21’s
foam roll

coaching cues

  • grab a foam roller
  • roll the length of any of whatever muscle or area is prescribed
  • start the foam roller at the end of the muscle and very slowly roll the length of the muscle to the other end
  • when you find a sensitive, painful spot, hold the pressure there for the prescribed amount of time
common mistakes: rolling too fast, not holding the painful spot long enough. equipment substitutions: you can use a lacrosse ball or tennis ball for soft tissue work.
dumbbell crawl

coaching cues

  • start in a plank position with dumbbells in your hands
  • drag the right dumbbell forward on the ground
  • drag your feet forward on the ground
  • drag the left dumbbell forward on the ground
  • drag your feet forward on the ground
common mistakes: piking the hips too high, dropping the hips too low, picking up the dumbbells to move them instead of dragging them on the ground.
tempo curls
dumbbell military press

coaching cues

  • stand holding a set of dumbbells up by your shoulders
  • squeeze your glutes and quads, keeping legs straight and still
  • lift the dumbbells straight up until they are fully extended over your shoulders, making sure to push your head “through the window"
  • slowly lower the dumbbells back down
common mistakes: using momentum from the legs, hyperextending your back during the press, not getting arms stacked right over shoulders. equipment substitutions: kettlebells. barbell military press. injured arm: do a 1 arm military press.
tempo skullcrushers
bench press

execution

  • lie flat on the bench
  • roll the barbell to the edge of the hooks
  • get into a position so the barbell is above your face while in the rack. this will keep you from hitting the hooks on the way up.
  • grip the barbell in a comfortable position - for most males this will be a thumb's length plus from the smooth part of the bar. females will be about thumbs width off the knurling. with the thumbs wrapped, the width varies athlete to athlete.
  • before unracking the bar pinch your shoulder blades together to have a flat pressing surface and arch your back slightly
  • take a breath in and un-rack the bar
  • keeping your butt on the bench lower the bar to the nipple line while holding in your breath
  • touch the chest then drive the bar straight up while exhaling through the sticking point
  • make sure to keep the feet on ground along with the butt, shoulders, and head on the bench
  • take each subsequent breath with the bar fully extended and repeat

common mistakes

the kicking chicken
        - it is common for new athletes to flail their legs around once the loads get heavy. keep both feet planted and drive through the feet to increase overall body tension.
bridging
        - this is where the athlete will push so hard through their legs that their ass will come off the bench. although the athlete may be able to lift more weight this way this technique put the well-being of the lower back in jeopardy. when you push through your legs think about pushing back instead of up. the weight of the bar on your body will keep you from slipping backwards on the bench.
not wrapping the thumbs
        - always wrap your thumbs when pressing a bar overhead. always.
breathing while the bar descends
        - always take a breath before allowing the bar to move. this increases the stability of the system. it is extremely inefficient to inhale during the bar's descent.
poor bar path
      - as the barbell travels up you want it to track straight up. there shouldn't be excessive horizontal movement towards the head and neck area. on the last rep don't press back towards the hooks, press straight up to normal extension then rack.

injured athletes

the most common reason athletes are unable to do this exercises is a shoulder / elbow injury. simply do single arm dumbbell press off a bench. if the injury is a minor one you can do the strong side with a heavier bell, then go down in weight for the injured one. using dumbbells seems to stress the shoulders less then a barbell. if your pain is at the bottom of the press you can simply change to a barbell floor press or towel bench. this limits the range of motion and works great in our facility for those that experience pain in the bottom position of the press.

advanced techniques

elite level powerlifters have myriad advanced techniques that allow them to press more weight. for our purposes we keep this exercise simple and teach new athletes the above technique. advanced techniques are fine to use if you have been trained by a professional coach.
founder

coaching cues

  • stand with your feet hip width apart
  • hinge forward, keeping your legs as straight as possible
  • keep your weight  in the heels
  • while hinging, tip your chest up and actively reach your arms behind you
  • hold for prescribed amount of time
  • then, maintaining your body's position, reach your arms above your head
  • keep your arms close to your ears and face your palms towards each other
  • hold for prescribed amount of time
common mistakes: bending the knees too much, hinging too far forward, not stretching through the arms, rounding the spine, arms too wide in the overhead position.
man maker

coaching cues

  • stand with a set of dumbbells in your hands
  • drop the dumbbells down to the ground, jumping your legs out into a plank position
  • do a pushup
  • do a right arm row
  • do a left arm row
  • jump your feet in and do a clean and squat
  • stand up into a push press at the top
scotty bob

coaching cues

  • plank tall with a set of dumbbells in your hands on the ground
  • pull the right bell up into a row, squeezing your shoulder blade towards the spine
  • lower down
  • do a pushup, dropping your chest in between the bells
  • push back up to plank
  • pull the left bell up into a row
  • lower down
  • do another pushup
  • push back up to plank
common mistakes: sagging the hips, piking the hips, shallow pushups.
renegade row

coaching cues

  • start this in a plank position, gripping a set of dumbbells in your hands
  • pull your right arm up and back, squeezing your shoulder blade towards the spine
  • slowly lower down
  • pull your left arm up and back, squeezing your shoulder blade toward the spine
  • slowly lower down
common mistakes: sagging the hips, keeping a too narrow stance in the feet, jerking the arms.
slayer squats
military press

execution

  • get a clean grip on the barbell. this means slightly wider than shoulder width. the grip will be a full grip with the thumbs wrapped.
  • take a breath in and get under the bar with the elbows slightly pushed in front. the bar should be resting on the chest.
  • take a small step back and drive straight up overhead while keeping the barbell in the same vertical plane as much as possible.
  • you can either lift the chin up and out of the way or retract the chin back as the barbell passes the face.
  • as soon as the bar passes the forehead the head needs to go back to a neutral position between the arms.
  • exhale and continue to press the bar directly overhead until in a locked out position.
  • take each subsequent breath in the top position and lower the bar back to the chest in a controlled manner touching the chest each rep.

common mistakes

poor bar path
        - the most efficient way to move a barbell is straight up. the face keeps this from happening unless you retract or lift the chin to clear the way. many times athletes will simply move the bar around the face instead of vice versa. once they hit the sticking point the bar is no longer over the chest but out in front of them. think about skimming the face and driving straight up off the chest. once the bar clears the face then the head comes back into a neutral position and they finish off the lift.
layback
        - layback is a term for when the load get heavy or the athlete starts to struggle the athlete will lean back trying to use the chest muscles to finish the lift. this puts the back in a vulnerable position and should be avoided at all costs. keep the head in a neutral position and eyes to the front.
looking down
        - when pressing up the eyes should be focused on the far wall unless lifting the chin to clear the path for the bar, even then once the bar is clear they should pick a spot on the wall and focus on it. often times athletes will finish out the lift by dropping their chin and looking down at the ground.
pushing the head too far forward
        - this comes from the cue of "pushing your head through the window" which in theory is getting the athlete into a position with the head neutral and arms to both sides of the head. sometimes this gets taken too far and there is a significant push forward and/or the athlete pushes the bar behind them. soon as the bar clears the face simply place the head back in a normal position where the bar is directly over the chest.
using the legs or hips
      - as the loads get heavy athletes have a tendency to start using their legs to get their reps in. if this is the case simply drop weight and execute the exercise correctly.
3rd world rack stretch
flutter kick
chin ups
broad jump

coaching cues

  • from a standing position, drop your hips into quarter squat and pull your arms back
  • swing your arms forward while jumping your hips forward through full extension
  • jump high and far horizontally
  • stick the landing softly
common mistakes: not controlling the landing, landing too hard.
touch jump touch
diamond pushup
kb upright row
jerk practice
hello dolly
rope climb – lock off
kettlebell double eagle

coaching cues

setup:
  • a tire with a plate set in the middle
  • chain attached to tire with a harness
  • a set of kettlebells
movement breakdown:
  • step into the harness and wrap the strap around your hips
  • walk out until the chain is taut
  • clean the bells up into a high rack position
  • perform 5 kb front squats
  • then bring the bells down by your sides
  • run the tire out to the prescribed distance
  • stop and place the bells on the plate in the tire
  • keeping the strap on your body, turn the tire around
  • now face the tire with the strap secured around the back of the hips
  • run the tire backward to the start line
  • that’s one round
common mistakes: not squatting deep enough, not running fast enough on the drag. equipment substitutions: sandbags, dumbbells and a sled instead of a tire.
kettlebell strict press

coaching cues

  • stand, holding the set of bells in a rack position on your chest
  • squeeze your quads and glutes
  • push the bells straight up overhead
  • stack your arms right over your shoulders
  • slowly bring the bells back down and repeat
common mistakes: using momentum from the legs, pressing away from the body. equipment substitutions: dumbbells, barbell.
1 armed overhead carry
kettlebell walking lunge

coaching cues

  • clean a set of kettlebells up into a high rack position, resting the bells on your arms
  • step your right foot forward into a lunge
  • push off your back left foot, stepping your left foot through the middle and forward into the lunge
  • push off your back right foot, stepping your right foot through the middle and forward into the lunge
  • keep repeating for prescribed reps
common mistakes: dropping the elbows down, collapsing through the core, not taking the back knee all the way to the ground, pausing in the middle. equipment substitutions: dumbbells, sandbag, barbell.
rocking bridge / plank

coaching cues

  • get into a plank position with your elbows underneath the shoulders
  • rock forward and backward on the balls of your feet
  • continue for prescribed amount of time
common mistakes: sagging the hips, piking the hips.
glute ball

coaching cues

  • grab a tennis ball or lacrosse ball
  • lie on one side, placing the ball in the meat of your glute
  • roll around until you find a sensitive, painful spot
  • hold for the prescribed amount of time
  • switch sides
hand release pushup

coaching cues

  • start in a plank position
  • lower your body down until your chest is on the ground
  • lift your hands off of the floor for a second
  • put your hands down and lift back up into a plank position
common mistakes: not getting hands off the ground, body waving up instead of maintaining a stiff plank position through the movement. injured arm: substitute a 1 arm bench press or 1 arm dumbbell floor press.
kneeling founder

coaching cues

  • kneel on the ground with your toes tucked under
  • hinge your hips back close to your ankles
  • lift your torso up and actively reach your arms behind you
  • squeeze your back muscles
  • hold for prescribed amount of time
  • holding the position in your body, reach your arms overhead
  • keep arms close to your ears and palms facing each other
  • hold for prescribed amount of time
common mistakes: inactive arms, rounding the back, hinging too far forward.
peanut

coaching cues

  • grab a “peanut” (two tennis balls or lacrosse balls taped together)
  • lay on your back with your knees bent up
  • place the peanut on either side of your spine at the bottom of the shoulder blades
  • slowly roll up towards your upper shoulders, looking for a tender, painful spot
  • when you find one, lay your arms all the way behind you and do 3 small crunches
  • the crunches are purely to dig into the soft tissue and break up the knots in the muscles
  • keep rolling and repeat as prescribed
common mistakes: rolling too fast, not doing the crunches.
1 armed farmers carry
band walk

coaching cues

  • loop a small band around your legs
  • pigeon toe your feet
  • take a big sideways step, leading with your heel
  • step towards your first foot with the other foot just a little, keeping the tension on the band at all times
  • repeat for prescribed length
common mistakes: not pigeon toe-ing enough, not taking big enough lateral steps.
kneeling half moon

coaching cues

  • kneel with your toes tucked under behind you
  • grab the load (plate, sandbag, dumbbell, kettlebell) and rotate your chest towards it
  • lift it up and over your head, extending your arms all the way to the top and bring it back down to the other side
  • repeat to the other side
common mistakes: not rotating the torso enough, not extending the arms all the way at the top.
instep stretch

coaching cues

  • start in a lunge position with your back knee on the ground
  • your front shin should be vertical to the ground
  • using the arm closest to the lead leg, reach your elbow down as far to the ground as possible
  • hold for prescribed length of time
common mistakes: keeping back knee elevated off ground, lead knee too far past lead foot.
thoracic bridge

coaching cues

  • sit on the ground with knee bent up and feet flat on the ground
  • post your left hand behind you under your shoulder and bridge your hips up
  • lean your right arm up and over, letting it dangle to the side while rotating through your upper back
  • hold for prescribed amount of time
  • bring hips down to the ground
  • switch sides
common mistakes: not activating the lats to stabilize the posting arm.
lat and pec stretch

coaching cues

  • stand in front of something head height and anchored in: a wall, a rack, a post, etc.
  • grab the anchor with your right hand and lean your body away, stretching your arm out and elongating the lat
  • hold for the prescribed amount of time
  • keeping your arm anchored in, stand up and rotate away from the arm, stretching your pec for the prescribed amount of time
  • switch sides
step ups

coaching cues

  • you will need a box, bench, step - anything at least 1 foot off the ground
  • standing in front of the box, step up on your right foot
  • bring your left foot up and tap it on the box, standing up all the way through your right leg
  • bring your left foot back down
  • bring your right foot back down
  • switch sides
common mistakes: not standing all the way up to full extension every single time.
lunging kb military press

coaching cues

  • start this in a kneeling lunge position
  • you will have a pair of kettlebells in a rack position on your chest
  • tighten up your core as you lift the bells straight up overhead
  • get your head “through the window” as you stack your arms over the shoulders
  • slowly lower back down to your chest
  • switch sides on the kneeling lunge each round
common mistakes: not stacking the arms straight over the shoulders. equipment substitutions: dumbbells.
instep + quad stretch

coaching cues

  • start in a lunge position with your back knee on the ground
  • your front shin should be vertical to the ground
  • grab your back foot and pull it up towards the heel
  • holding this position, press your hips forward
  • hold for prescribed length of time
side bridge

coaching cues

  • get into a side plank position, stacking your top shoulder on bottom shoulder on bottom elbow
  • stack your feet on top of each other
  • maintain a straight line from head to heels
  • hold for prescribed amount of time
common mistakes: sagging the hips, top shoulder falling forward.
mr. spectacular

coaching cues

  • stand with a set of dumbbells in hands
  • clean the bells up the shoulders
  • dip and punch into a push press
  • bring them down to your shoulders
  • take them all the way down to the ground and let them go
  • walk your hands out into a plank
  • do a pushup
  • walk your hands back into the bells and pick them up
  • stand up
common mistakes: not stacking the arms over the shoulders in the press, rounding the back when you drop the bells and pick them up off the ground. equipment substitutions: dumbbells.
1 leg deadlift with kb

coaching cues

  • hold the bell in one hand. whatever hand is holding the weight, same side leg will be moving.
  • lift the leg behind you while the torso hinges forward at the same time. your torso will only hinge as far as the leg lifts.
  • keep back straight the whole time.
  • tip back to standing position.
equipment substitutes: dumbbell or barbell common mistakes: rounding through the spine, hips not staying squared up. leg injury: perform this on the good leg. arm injury: hold the bell with two hands or just your good arm. you can also do higher reps with no weight at all.
pigeon

coaching cues

  • get into this hip stretch by laying upright on the ground with the front leg bent in front of you with the knee down and the foot angled slightly back
  • the back leg will be stretched behind you, rotating the knee down towards the ground
  • try to keep the front hip on the ground and the back knee on the ground for the deepest stretch
  • hold for the prescribed amount of time
plate carry

coaching cues

  • stack the prescribed amount of plates on a hip high box or bench
  • pull the plates to the edge of the box with the plates hanging over the edge about 30% of the width
  • lay your body on top of the plates while placing the arms underneath them
  • tip and scoop them up as high on the chest as possible with the arms anchoring them underneath
  • hold them this way and walk the prescribed distance
  • when done, just tip them back onto the box
common mistakes: not getting the plates up high on the chest, not getting the arms underneath the plates enough to anchor the weight. equipment substitutions: atlas stone.
pullup

coaching cues

  • grab a high bar with an overhand grip with thumbs wrapped
  • hang all the way down with your arms fully extended
  • from a dead hang position, pull your body up until the chin is over the bar
  • slowly lower back down to full extension
common mistakes: using too much momentum (kipping), not extending all the way at the bottom, not getting the chin over the bar.
russian twist

coaching cues

  • sit on the ground with your knees bent up
  • with a plate in your hands, hinge your torso back keeping the back straight
  • you will tap the plate on the ground on the right side
  • rotate the plate over to tap it on the ground on the left side
  • continue for the prescribed reps
common mistakes: rounding the back, keeping the feet off the ground, bouncing the plate off the ground instead of tapping.
lunging dislocates

coaching cues

  • grab a pvc pipe with a wide grip, arms locked out in front of your body
  • lunge forward on the right side
  • simultaneously lift the pipe up and behind to your back
  • push through your right heel back to standing
  • simultaneously bring the pipe back to your stomach
  • switch legs and repeat
common mistakes: bending the arms, not going full range of motion on the dislocate.
russian triangle

coaching cues

  • sit on the ground with your knees bent up
  • with a plate in your hands, hinge your torso back keeping the back straight
  • you will tap the plate on the ground on the right side
  • rotate the plate over to tap it on the ground on the left side
  • then lie back and tap the plate behind the head
  • sit back up and continue for the prescribed reps
common mistakes: rounding the back, keeping the feet off the ground, bouncing the plate off the ground instead of tapping.
sandbag getup

coaching cues

  • make sure you have a mat on the ground underneath you
  • clean the sandbag with a flat back up onto your right shoulder and hold it there
  • left knee will lunge down to the ground
  • post your left hand down next to the knee
  • left hip drops to the ground
  • lie all the way back until your left shoulder hits the ground
  • simultaneously, through the right shoulder diagonally, drive through your left elbow on the ground and throw your right leg forward
  • this will give you the momentum to get back up on the hip
  • push through your left hand and drive up onto your left knee in a lunge position
  • tuck your left toes under as you push through them back to standing
  • repeat for prescribed reps and switch sides
common mistakes: not throwing the shoulder diagonally enough off the ground to be able to get up, not posting through the elbow hard enough, dropping the bag in between reps instead of keeping it on the body the whole time.
shoulder dislocates

coaching cues

  • stand, holding a pvc pipe with a wide grip, in front of your body
  • keeping your arms locked out, lift the pipe up and behind your head to touch your back
  • slowly bring the bar back in front of you
  • repeat as prescribed
common mistakes: bent arms.
plank / bridge

coaching cues

  • get into this position by stretching out your body in a straight line with your toes tucked under and elbows posted underneath the shoulders
  • remember to think about a straight line from your heels through your hips, shoulders and head
  • hold for prescribed amount of time
common mistakes: hips sagging down, hips piking up.
l-sit
boat pose
plank walk up

coaching cues

  • get into a plank position
  • place the right palm where the right elbow is and plank tall
  • place the left palm where the left elbow is and plank tall
  • then place the right elbow down where the right palm is
  • then place the left elbow down where the left palm is
  • repeat as prescribed, maintaining a rigid plank in the whole body
common mistakes: placing palms too far forward instead of right underneath the elbows, saggin the hips, piking the hips.
sandbag halfmoon

coaching cues

  • you can do this standing or kneeling
  • place a sandbag to one side of your body
  • grab the bag with your hands with a set back.
  • lift it up and over to the other side and dropping it on the ground
  • rotate your torso and hips as you lift it up and over every time
  • make sure to extend your arms all the way at the top
common mistakes: rounding the back, not extending arms all the way at the top, not rotating the torso. equipment substitutions: plate, medicine ball.
pause front squat
clean pull to explode
box jump

coaching cues

  • stand about two feet away from a box in front of you
  • drop your hips into a quarter squat, pulling your arms behind you
  • swing your arms forward and jump up, pulling your knees up to your chest
  • land softly on the box with two feet
  • stand all the way up on the box
  • step down one foot at a time. do not jump off of the box or you will destroy your achilles sooner or later.
common mistakes: not pulling knees up hard enough, landing too hard, jumping off box. injured leg: substitute with a one leg squat jump.
elevated push ups
snatch pull to explode
front squat

execution

  • place at least 2 fingers from each hand on the near side of the barbell in a position slightly wider than shoulder width
  • scoop the shoulders forward so there is a shelf where the bar can rest and rotate the elbows down and around so they are pointing at the wall in front of you
  • the bar should be lightly resting against your throat and hands should be relaxed
  • stand up supporting the load on the shoulders, not the hands or wrist
  • take 3 steps back out of the rack. there should be enough room where you can safely ditch the barbell in the case of a failed attempt
  • your stance should be slightly narrower than that of a back squat, heels should be under the hips and toes flared out
  • focus on one spot in front of you
  • take a breath in and hold. keeping the torso upright and elbows up, lower yourself as deep as possible under control
  • using the stretch reflex at the bottom drive up out of the bottom position leading with your elbows. exhale as you hit the sticking point

common mistakes

  • falling into the bottom - athletes with good mobility sometimes simply relax and drop into that deep squat position and rely on the stretch reflex to propel them up out of the bottom. although we want the athletes to use that bounce at the bottom we don't want them to relax and drop uncontrollably into it. always lower yourself with control.
  • elbows dropping - even with experienced athletes you'll need to cue and verbalize the elbows up position. this is due to the fact that the core collapses before the legs give out with this exercise. always strive to push the elbows higher and higher during this exercise.
  • knee dive - athletes of all levels do this as the weight gets heavy. it's extremely hard to tell if you are diving unless you have a coach or a mirror. if in front of a mirror it is very obvious to the athlete. the knees need to track inline with where the toes are pointing, slightly out. if you are diving simply think about pushing the knees out. for some it helps to think about standing on pie plates and rotating them out.
  • leaning forward - unlike the back squat, the front squat requires the athlete to maintain a vertical torso due to where the bar is loaded. some athletes simply try to do a back squat with the bar in the front rack position. it often helps to tell the athlete to sit down and back onto the heels.

injured athletes

if you have a knee injury then you will most likely be doing single leg box squats with a kettle bell loaded in the front rack position. if you injury is low back or hip based then you will need to either push a sled, drag a tire, or do belt squats. often times athletes with a low back injury can do lunges with the bells in the suitcase position at their sides.
clean and jerk
overhead squat
klokov stretch
burpee

coaching cues

  • from a standing position, jump down to the ground, falling to your chest while jumping your feet behind you
  • then whip your feet back up into a squat stance while pulling your body upright
  • jump up into full extension through the hips
common mistakes: not fully extending the hips at the top, landing in a pushup position and then performing a pushup, whipping the feet into a narrow stance. injured back: if it’s a mild injury, try sprawling. it’s the burpee without going all the way down into a pushup.
ball slam

coaching cues

  • start by holding the ball over your head with fully extended arms
  • pull your hips down quickly into a squat, releasing the ball and slamming it into the ground
  • scoop up the ball as it bounces and return to the starting position
common mistakes: rounding through the back, letting the ball drop instead of slamming it down. injured leg: do seated ball slams. injured arm: do single arm swings instead. equipment substitutes: sand bell, rock, brick, non-bouncing medicine ball.
db rdl

coaching cues

  • standing with your feet shoulder width apart, hold a set of dumbbells in your hands
  • hinge forward, pushing your hips behind you, keeping legs just slightly bent
  • keep the dumbbells close to your body as you hinge forward
  • maintaining a straight, neutral spine, control the dumbbells down to your mid-shin
  • stand back up and repeat
common mistakes: rounding your back, bending your arms, bending your legs too much. equipment substitutions: kettlebells, barbell. injured arm: hold weight in your good hand. injured leg: do a 1 leg rdl.
sandbag front squat

coaching cues

  • clean the sandbag up with a flat back into a high rack position on the top of the chest
  • hook your arms under the bag
  • feet will be in a squat stance
  • keep your chest and elbows high and core braced
  • take a breath, push your hips back and down into a deep squat
  • keeping your weight in your heels, drive back up to standing
common mistakes: collapsing through the core, not keeping the sandbag high on the chest, squatting shallow, rocking weight into balls of the feet. equipment substitutions: barbell, kettlebells, dumbbells, atlas stone, plates.
seated box jump

coaching cues

  • set this up by placing a small box (like an irrigation box) a couple feet in front of a taller plyo box (anything from 20” and higher)
  • sit on the small box with your feet on the ground
  • rock your torso back and forward slightly and jump up onto the plyo box
  • make sure to pull your knees up hard as you jump up
  • land softly on your feet
  • stand all the way up to full extension
  • step down one foot at a time
common mistakes: landing hard, not standing all the way up at the top, jumping down on two feet.
weighted situp

coaching cues

  • lie on the ground with your knees bent and a plate in your hands with arms extended straight over your shoulders
  • rocking forward to get a little momentum, sitting up and lifting the plate overhead
  • keep your arms locked out and stack the plate on top of your shoulders, getting your head ‘through the window’ at the top
  • slowly lower back down to repeat
common mistakes: bending the arms, kicking the feet up for momentum, not sitting up all the way, not getting the head through the window. equipment substitutions: dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine ball.
walking kb lunge

coaching cues

  • you will either hold the bells by your side in a suitcase position or clean them up into a high rack position on your chest
  • you will also either be alternating lunges in a stationary position or travelling depending on the programming
  • lunge forward on your right side, landing in your heel
  • push back to standing
  • lunge forward on your left side, landing in your heel
  • push back to standing
  • repeat as prescribed
common mistakes: collapsing through the core, tiling the torso forward, lunging shallow, rocking the weight into the ball of the foot instead of the heel. equipment substitutions: dumbbells.
triceps kickback

coaching cues

  • grab a dumbbell and stand with a split stance in your feet
  • bring the top of your right arm to parallel
  • extend your arm to full extension with the dumbbell in hand
  • squeeze your tricep and then slowly bring it back to start position
  • repeat and switch sides as prescribed
  • keep your back set and core braced
  • you can do this standing with opposite arm posted on your leg or on a bench
common mistakes: jerking, rounding the back, not going to full extension.
sandbag calf raise

coaching cues

  • clean a sandbag up and onto the shoulders
  • start with your feet flat on the ground or with the balls of your feet elevated on a ledge of some sort
  • lift your heels up as high as you can
  • slowly lower down
  • repeat as prescribed
equipment substitutions: dumbbells, barbell, or even unweighted for higher reps. common mistakes: going too fast, not lifting up high enough, resting the heels on the ground.
bridge complex

coaching cues

we use this exercise to train isometric core strength. we usually program in this exercise for time. you'll often see 20/20/20. each of those numbers dictates an amount of time - 20 seconds left side plank, 20 seconds plank, 20 seconds right side plank.
  • start by getting into a side plank
  • make sure feet, knees, spine and head are all in one straight line
  • roll down into a basic plank on both elbows
  • roll to the other side for the last plank
common mistakes:
  • in the side position, failing to fully extend your hips or letting them sag towards the ground when tired.
  • in the front position, forcing your low spine to support all the weight and making a curvature that looks like an old horse.
alligator push up
alternating dumbbell curl

coaching cues

  • grab two dumbbells
  • start with both arms in a hammer position
  • curl the dumbbell up with one arm, rotating your palm towards your body
  • extend all that same arm the way down
  • repeat using your other arm
injured arm: just use your good arm only.
hippity hop
horizontal pullup

coaching cues

  • set this up by placing a barbell at a medium to low height on a rack
  • lie underneath the bar, extending your legs out with the edge of your heels on the ground
  • gripping the bar just slightly wider than your shoulders, pull your body off of the ground
  • maintain a straight line from your knees through your hips to your shoulders
  • pull your chest up to touch the bar
  • slowly lower down to full extension and repeat
easier version: plant the heels flat on the ground and pull from this position. more challenging version: elevate heels off the ground at least a foot. common mistakes: not bringing the chest all the way up to the bar, not bridging the hips up enough. equipment substitutes: rings.
sandbag curtis p
back squat

execution

  • place the barbell in a comfortable position on the back. this can be a low bar or high bar position. we do high bar, because it translates best into olympic lifting and gives us a straight bar bath.  do what feels the most comfortable.
  • hands should be also in a comfortable position. thumbs can be wrapped or over the top. the grip on the bar should be firm.
  • with both feet under barbell unpack the barbell and take two small steps back
  • stance should start with heels shoulder width and toes slightly flared out
  • take a breath and hold the air in
  • focus on one spot in front of you
  • start the squat by driving your hips back behind you and descend into a full squat where the upper thighs are at least parallel
  • using the stretch reflex at the bottom drive up out of the bottom position leading with your chest. exhale as you hit the sticking point
  • take another breath up top and repeat

common mistakes

knee dive
        - athletes of all levels do this as the weight gets heavy. it's extremely hard to tell if you are diving unless you have a coach or a mirror. if in front of a mirror it is very obvious to the athlete. the knees need to track inline with where the toes are pointing, slightly out. if you are diving simply think about pushing the knees out. for some it helps to think about standing on pie plates and rotating them out.
pushing through the balls of the feet
        - when squatting you should be pressing through your feet evenly. new athletes will push through the balls of the feet and you'll see the heels slightly rise. to correct this you can think about pushing through your heels and the over-correction should have you squatting evenly.
heels coming off the ground
        - athletes with poor flexibility or ankle mobility will often pull their heels off the ground in the bottom of the squat. try squatting in flat shoes and only going as deep as you can with flat feet. if that depth is one that is not to a full squat then we recommend elevating the heels an inch off the ground using a board or 5-10lb plates. the elevated heels will allow a deeper squat. by training the squat in a full range of motion the athlete will eventually increase the flexibility and mobility to where they can squat without boards / plates.
bar bending the athlete over
        - the cue we give these athletes is to lower the bar slightly and think about leading with the chest. a hinge at the hips is fine as long as there is no rounding of the spine. the spine should remained flat and in extension. excessive arch can be just as bad as flexion, don't overdo the "chest up" cue.

injured athletes

if you have a knee injury then you will most likely be doing single leg box squats with a kettle bell loaded in the front rack position. if you injury is low back or hip based then you will need to either push a sled, drag a tire, or do belt squats. often times athletes with a low back injury can do lunges with the bells in the suitcase position at their sides.

advanced techniques

the age old debate over high bar vs low bar is ongoing among traditional strength coaches and olympic weightlifting coaches. in our programming squatting is squatting and we are simply trying to increase our leg strength. do what feels the best and what comes naturally. both styles have pluses and minuses. stance and depth is another debate. olympic coaches favor ass to grass narrow stances while power liters favor wider just below parallel stances. when we back squat we favor a wider stance, when we front squat we favor a narrower more upright stance. again both methods are correct in their own sport and we coach each lift differently.
seated kb swing

coaching cues

  • sit on a bench with a kettlebell in two hands
  • hinge forward, dropping the bell under your hips/bench
  • swing the bell up to eye level
  • swing back down to start position
common mistakes: rounding the back. equipment substitutions: dumbbell.
box squat
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