Activate & Attack!- Session #21 (6/16/21)

The following is roughly an hour long workout that seeks to mobilize and activate tight and underactive muscles surrounding your knees, hips and shoulders. After about 25 minutes of mobility and stretching, there is 15-20 minutes of activation work with minibands. Then the workout concludes with 10-15 minutes of full body strength work. 

If you’re interested in purchasing the minibands we use in class, click here

**If you have chronic health concerns, please consult with your doctor before trying any of the following, to make sure that exercise is right for you! **


Session #21 (6/16/21)

Supine Mobility → 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Knee to Chest w/ Ankle Rolls
  • Semi Circles
  • Glute Bridge + T Spine Reach
  • Deadbugs

Quadruped Mobility → 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Hip Circles
  • T-Spine Extensions
  • Hip Rolls
  • Cat/Cows
  • Hockey Stretch (Tall/Low)
  • Pigeons + T- Spine Extension (L/R)
  • ½ Kneeling Adductor Stretch (L/R)
  • Push-Up Position Spider Abbreviated Flow

Standing Mobility → 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Knee Hug + Quad Pull
  • Seal Jacks
  • Toe Sweeps
  • Forward A-Skips
  • Open the Gates
  • Side On A-Skips
  • Close the Gates
  • Reverse Lunge + Overhead Reach
  • Windmills
  • World’s Greatest Stretch

Activate

A. 3 x 20 s. Each (Band Above Knees)

  • Fire Hydrants (L/R)
  • Lateral Walks
  • Squats

B. 3 x 20 s. Each (Band Around Wrists)

  • No Money Mobility
  • 3-Way Seal Clap
  • Touchdowns- 10 seconds SLOW

C. 3 x 20 s. Each (Band Around Ankles)

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Monster Walk
  • 2 In 2 Out
  • Diagonal Walk

Full Body Strength 2 x 20 s.ON/ 10 s OFF

  • Lunge Matrix (L)
  • Squat Pos. MB Row
  • Lunge Matrix (R )
  • Ice Skaters (Plyometric)
  • Lateral Bear Crawl 
  • ½ Kneeling Shoulder Press
  • Miniband Front Plank
  • Reverse Crunch w/ Hip Drive

+ Cool Down Stretch


If this workout interests you, please e-mail: tylercotterell235@gmail.com for details on how to receive the recording or to get on the mailing list for future live workouts! 

Yours in Fitness and Health,

TC

Your Final Reward Will Be Heartache and Tears, If You’ve Cheated the Guy in the Glass. 

Mobilize and Move! (6/14/2021)

The following is roughly an hour long workout that seeks to mobilize muscles from your ankles to your shoulders and everything in between. After about 45 minutes of mobility and stretching, the workout concludes with 10-15 minutes of full body strength work. 

**If you have chronic health concerns, please consult with your doctor before trying any of the following, to make sure that exercise is right for you! **


Session #21 (6/14/2021)

Supine Mobility- 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Deep Breathing (1x) – 6/2/7 Breath Sequence
  • Knee to Chest w/ ankle rolls
  • Can Openers (L/R)
  • Semi-Circles (L/R)
  • Glute Bridge March 
  • Dead Bugs
  • Rock and Rollers

Quadruped Mobility

A.  2 x 20 s. each

  • Hip Circles (Clockwise)
  • Cat/Cows
  • Hip Circles (Counterclockwise)
  • T-Spine Extension
  • Hockey Stretch (Tall/Low)

B. 2 x 20 s. Each 

  • “Where’s My Shoes”
  • Pigeons + T-Spine Extension
  • ½ Kneeling Adductor Stretch (L/R)
  • ½ Kneeling Arm Circles (L/R)

C. 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Fire Hydrants (L/R)
  • Push-Up Position Spiders (L)
  • Bird Dogs (L/R)- 5 s. holds
  • Push-Up Position Spiders (R )
  • Downward Dog

Standing Mobility

A.  2 x 20 s. each

  • Knee Hug 
  • Quad Pull + Opposite Arm Reach
  • Toe Sweeps
  • Reverse Lunge + Twist
  • Airplanes

B. 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Open the Gates
  • Windmills
  • Close the Gates
  • Lateral Lunge + Lift Off 
  • Body Weight Squats
  • Punters
  • World’s Greatest Stretch + Neck Roll

Total Body Strength 

A. 3 x 20 s. ON/ 10 s. OFF

  • Squat + Reverse Lunge (L)
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Squat + Reverse Lunge (R )
  • Run in Place

B. 3 x 20 s. (NO REST!) 

→ 20 -30 s. Rest between sets

  • Bear Crawl Position Opp. Taps
  • Toe Touches
  • Reverse Crunch w/ Hip Drive

+ Cool Down Stretch


If this workout interests you, please e-mail: tylercotterell235@gmail.com for details on how to receive the recording or to get on the mailing list for future live workouts! 

Yours in Fitness and Health,

TC

Your Final Reward Will Be Heartache and Tears, If You’ve Cheated the Guy in the Glass. 

Activate and Attack! (6/9/2021)

The following is roughly an hour long workout that seeks to mobilize and activate tight and underactive muscles surrounding your knees, hips and shoulders. After about 25 minutes of mobility and stretching, there is 15-20 minutes of activation work with minibands. Then the workout concludes with 10-15 minutes of full body strength work. 

If you’re interested in purchasing the minibands we use in class, click here

**If you have chronic health concerns, please consult with your doctor before trying any of the following, to make sure that exercise is right for you! **


Session #20 (6/9/21)

Supine Mobility → 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Knee to Chest w/ Ankle Rolls
  • Can Openers
  • Glute Bridge Marches
  • Deadbugs

Quadruped Mobility → 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Hip Circles
  • Cat/Cows
  • Hip Rolls
  • T-Spine Extensions
  • Hockey Stretch
  • Pigeons + T- Spine Extension (L/R)
  • ½ Kneeling Adductor Stretch (L/R)
  • Push-Up Position Spider Abbreviated Flow

Standing Mobility → 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Forward A-Skip
  • Knee Hug + Quad Pull
  • Side on A-Skip
  • Punters
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Open the Gates
  • Seal Jacks
  • Close the Gates
  • Body Weight Squats
  • Windmills
  • World’s Greatest Stretch

Activate

A. 3 x 20 s. Each (Band Above Knees)

  • Clam Shells (L/R)
  • Abductions (Hips Up)
  • Glute Bridges
  • Abductions (Hips Down)

B. 3 x 20 s. Each (Band Around Wrists)

  • Touchdowns
  • Seal Claps
  • Gator Chomps

C. 3 x 20 s. Each (Band Around Ankles)

  • Foot Fire
  • Lateral Walks 
  • Hop Scotches
  • Monster Walks

Full Body Strength 2 x 20 s.ON/ 10 s OFF

  • Squat + Reverse Lunge
  • Split Lunge MB Row (Left Side)
  • Squat + Reverse Lunge
  • Split Lunge MB Row (Right Side)
  • Ice Skaters (Plyometric)
  • Bear Crawl Position Taps
  • Full Kneeling Shoulder Press
  • Miniband Front Plank

If this workout interests you, please e-mail: tylercotterell235@gmail.com for details on how to receive the recording or to get on the mailing list for future live workouts! 

Yours in Fitness and Health,

TC

Your Final Reward Will Be Heartache and Tears, If You’ve Cheated the Guy in the Glass. 

Mobilize and Move! (6/7/2021)

The following is roughly an hour long workout that seeks to mobilize muscles from your ankles to your shoulders and everything in between. After about 45 minutes of mobility and stretching, the workout concludes with 10-15 minutes of full body strength work. 

**If you have chronic health concerns, please consult with your doctor before trying any of the following, to make sure that exercise is right for you! **

Session #20 (6/7/2021)

Supine Mobility- 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Deep Breathing (1x)
  • Knee to Chest w/ ankle rolls
  • Can Openers (L/R)
  • Semi-Circles (L/R)
  • Glute Bridge March
  • Glute Bridge + Thoracic Spine Reach
  • Dead Bugs
  • Rock and Rollers

Quadruped Mobility

A.  2 x 20 s. each

  • Hip Circles (Clockwise)
  • Hip Rolls
  • Hip Circles (Counterclockwise)
  • Hockey Stretches (Tall/Low)

B. 2 x 20 s. Each 

  • “Where’s My Shoes”
  • Cat/Cows
  • T-Spine Extensions
  • ½ Kneeling Arm Circles

C. 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Pigeons (L/R)- Static Hold
  • ½ Kneeling Adductor Stretch
  • Push-Up Position Spiders (L)
  • Bird Dogs (L/R)- 2 s. holds
  • Push-Up Position Spiders (R )
  • Downward Dog

Standing Mobility

A.  2 x 20 s. each

  • Knee Hug 
  • Toe Sweeps
  • Quad Pull + Opposite Arm Reach
  • Airplanes
  • Reverse Lunge + Overhead Reach

B. 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Open the Gates
  • Punters
  • Close the Gates
  • Lateral Lunge + Lift Off 
  • Body Weight Squats
  • Windmills
  • World’s Greatest Stretch + Neck Roll

Total Body Strength 

A. 3 x 20 s. ON/ 10 s. OFF

  • Iso Split Squat Hold + Reps
  • Jumping Jack/Seal Jack/Run in Place
  • Iso Split Squat Hold + Reps
  • Straight Bear Crawl

B. 3 x 20 s. (NO REST!) 

→ 20 -30 s. Rest between sets

  • PushUp Position Tap Combo
  • RKC Front Plank
  • Reverse Crunch w/ Hip Drive
  • Cool Down Stretch

If this workout interests you, please e-mail: tylercotterell235@gmail.com for details on how to receive the recording or to get on the mailing list for future live workouts! 

Yours in Fitness and Health,

TC

Your Final Reward Will Be Heartache and Tears, If You’ve Cheated the Guy in the Glass. 

Mobilize and Move (5/17/2021)

The following is roughly an hour long workout that seeks to mobilize muscles from your ankles to your shoulders and everything in between. After about 45 minutes of mobility and stretching, the workout concludes with 10-15 minutes of full body strength work. 

**If you have chronic health concerns, please consult with your doctor before trying any of the following, to make sure that exercise is right for you! **

Session #18 (5/17/2021)

Supine Mobility- 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Deep Breathing (1x)
  • Knee to Chest w/ ankle rolls
  • Can Openers (L/R)
  • + Semi-Circles (L/R)
  • G. Bridge + Thoracic Spine Reach
  • Dead Bugs
  • Rock and Rollers

Quadruped Mobility

A.  2 x 20 s. each

  • Cat/Cows
  • Hip Rolls
  • T-Spine Extensions
  • Hip Circles (L/R)

B. 2 x 20 s. Each 

  • Tall/Low Hockey Stretch
  • “Where’s My Shoes”
  • Pigeons + T-Spine Extensions (L/R)
  • ½ Kneeling Adductor Stretch
  • ½ Kneeling Arm Circles

C. 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Fire Hydrants (L/R)
  • Push-Up Position Spiders (L)
  • Bird Dogs (L/R)- 2 s. holds
  • Push-Up Position Spiders (R )

Standing Mobility

A.  2 x 20 s. each

  • Knee Hug on Toe
  • Quad Pull + Opp. Arm Reach
  • Toe Sweeps
  • Figure 4’s
  • Airplanes (L/R)

B. 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Windmills
  • Open the Gates
  • Punters 
  • Close the Gates
  • BW Squats
  • Lateral Lunge + Lift Off
  • World’s Greatest Stretch + Neck Roll

Total Body Strength 

A. 3 x 20 s. ON/ 10 s. OFF

  • Iso Lunge Hold + Reverse Lunge (L)
  • Run in Place (10/10)
  • Iso Lunge Hold + Reverse Lunge (R )
  • Lateral Bear Crawl

B. 3 x 20 s. (NO REST!) 

→ 20 -30 s. Rest between sets

  • Push-Up Position Tap Combo
  • Reverse Crunches
  • Front Plank (w/ feet moving)
  • Cool Down Stretch

If this workout interests you, please e-mail: tylercotterell235@gmail.com for details on how to receive the recording or to get on the mailing list for future live workouts! 

Yours in Fitness and Health,

TC

Your Final Reward Will Be Heartache and Tears, If You’ve Cheated the Guy in the Glass. 

Activate and Attack! (5/12/21)

The following is roughly an hour long workout that seeks to mobilize and activate tight and underactive muscles surrounding your knees, hips and shoulders. After about 25 minutes of mobility and stretching, there is 15-20 minutes of activation work with minibands. Then the workout concludes with 10-15 minutes of full body strength work. 

If you’re interested in purchasing the minibands we use in class, click here

**If you have chronic health concerns, please consult with your doctor before trying any of the following, to make sure that exercise is right for you! **

Session #17 (5/12/21)

Supine Mobility → 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Knee to Chest
  • Can-Openers
  • Glute Bridge Marches
  • Deadbugs

Quadruped Mobility → 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Hip Circles
  • Hip Rolls
  • Hockey Stretches
  • Cat/Cows
  • T-Spine Extensions
  • ½ Kneeling Adductor Stretch
  • PUP Spider Abbreviated Flow

Standing Mobility → 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Knee Hug + Quad Pull
  • Seal Jacks
  • Punters
  • Open the Gates
  • Windmills
  • Close the Gates
  • Body Weight Squats
  • Lateral Lunge + Lift Off
  • World’s Greatest Stretch

Activate

A. 3 x 20 s. Each (Miniband Above Knees)

  • Clam Shells (L/R)
  • Abductions (Hips Up)
  • Glute Bridges
  • Abductions (Hips Down)

B. 3 x 20 s. Each (Miniband Around Wrists)

  • No Money Mobility
  • Seal Clap
  • Gator Chomp

C. 3 x 20 s. Each (Miniband Around Ankles)

  • Footfire (L/R)
  • Lateral Walks
  • 2 in 2 out
  • Monster Walks

Full Body Strength 2 x 20 s.ON/ 10 s OFF

  • Lunge Matrix (L)
  • Split Stance Miniband Row (L)
  • Lunge Matrix (R )
  • Split Stance Miniband Row (R )
  • Ice Skaters
  • Lateral Bear Crawl
  • Miniband (Around Wrists) Front Plank
  • Reverse Crunch w/ Hip Drive

If this workout interests you, please e-mail: tylercotterell235@gmail.com for details on how to receive the recording or to get on the mailing list for future live workouts! 

Yours in Fitness and Health,

TC

Your Final Reward Will Be Heartache and Tears, If You’ve Cheated the Guy in the Glass. 

Activate and Attack!

The following is roughly an hour long workout that seeks to mobilize and activate tight and underactive muscles surrounding your knees, hips and shoulders. After about 25 minutes of mobility and stretching, there is 15-20 minutes of activation work with minibands. Then the workout concludes with 10-15 minutes of full body strength work.

If you’re interested in purchasing the minibands we use in class, click here.

**If you have chronic health concerns, please consult with your doctor before trying any of the following, to make sure that exercise is right for you! **

Session #16 (5/5/21)

Supine Mobility → 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Knee to Chest
  • Semi-Circles
  • Glute Bridge Marches
  • Deadbugs

Quadruped Mobility → 2 x 20 s.

  • Hip Circles
  • Cat/Cows
  • Hockey Stretches
  • T-Spine Extensions
  • Hip Rolls
  • ½ Kneeling Adductor Stretch 
  • PUP Spider Abbreviated Flow

Standing Mobility → 2 x 20 s. Each

  • Forward A-Skip
  • Knee Hug + Quad Pull
  • Side on A-Skip
  • Toe Sweeps
  • Open the Gates
  • Punters
  • Close the Gates
  • Body Weight Squats
  • Windmills
  • World’s Greatest Stretch 

Activation

A. 3 x 20 s. Each (Band Above Knees)

  • Fire Hydrants (L)
  • Fire Hydrants (R )
  • Lateral Walks
  • Squats

B. 2 x 20 s. Each (Band Around Wrists)

  • 3-Way Seal Claps
  • Gator Chomps
  • T-Downs (10 s.)

C. 2 x 20 s. Each (Band Around Ankles)

  • Footfire (L/R)
  • Hop Scotches (Low/Tall)
  • 2 in 2 out

D. 2 x 12 s. Each (w/ 2 s. Pause)

  • Backburners (T’s/Y’s/I’s/W’s/Hands Behind Back-Palms Up/Palms Down

Full Body Strength 2 x 20 s.ON/ 10 s OFF

  • Iso Squat Hold + Reps
  • Split Squat Jumps (L)
  • Iso Squat Hold + Miniband Rows
  • Split Squat Jumps (R )
  • Lateral Lunge + Curtsy Lunge (L)
  • Ice Skaters
  • Lateral Lunge + Curtsy Lunge (R)
  • Plank Elevators

If this workout interests you, please e-mail: tylercotterell235@gmail.com for details on how to receive the recording or to get on the mailing list for future live workouts!

Yours in Fitness and Health,

TC

Your Final Reward Will Be Heartache and Tears, If You’ve Cheated the Guy in the Glass. 

Moving Forward!

Over the course of the last 13 months, I’ve reworked and transitioned my fitness business into a new medium that will hopefully lay the groundwork for Cotterell Training Systems to impact more clients than ever before. Last year, I made the difficult decision to transition away from in-person, personal training-in a public setting.

Having an infant daughter made this the right short term decision, due to CO-VID, but also an even better long term decision. The hours I was pulling at the gym I trained out of, were flat out not conducive for helping my wife raise our daughter. Therefore, I decided to take advantage of a certification I had attained in 2018, through Jonathan Goodman and the Online Trainer Academy.

Training online is an extremely watered down industry, that just about anyone with an Instagram fitness page offers. Having a certification through a reputable source such as the OTA, was designed to differentiate myself from others. When I sat for this course back in 2018, I figured training online would be a great way to reconnect with clients that I have around the country, and also serve as a great transition to parenthood. I have several fitness certifications through various companies, but little did I know, that CO-VID would make my Online Training Cert the most valuable one I posess.

What Is Online Training?

Online training takes on many different forms- at its most basic level, it’s the sale of workout programs for a client to follow. At its most complex, being an online coach can serve as a client’s “fitness concierge”- monitoring everything from their nutrition intake, daily activity and programmed workouts. The opportunities are endless, and are now coming to the forefront on the fitness industry. With many individuals still somewhat leery of in-person training, or re-joining a gym, an online coach can help customize a workout to your current situation and hold you accountable.

Currently, I specialize in creating customized workouts for clients looking to shed weight, gain lean muscle, and most importantly, get strong! In addition to individualized programs, though, I also have taught two live classes via Zoom for the last year as well.

Both of these classes are minimalist in nature- they’re designed for anyone to perform, with the only equipment necessary being a yoga mat (if you’d like) and a set of mini-bands (which I provide). The purpose of these classes is to enhance your mobility, activate dormant muscles and strengthen your deep core muscles- all in an effort to move pain-free and further through life.

Below I will include the full descriptions for each class. They are both completely original to CTS, and follow a series of mobility and activation sequences that have changed lives by eliminating or greatly reducing lower back, shoulder and knee pain. These are areas of the body that a vast-majority of the population suffer from- which is why I want to cast a wider net of who I can help- so please, if either of these classes interests you, I highly encourage you to e-mail me (tylercotterell235@gmail.com) for more details and to get on the mailing list.

Mobilize and Move! (Monday’s @ 5:30 PM EST)

Do you suffer from chronic lower back pain? Do you work extended periods seated at a desk, on a laptop? Do you normally have a commute that results in sitting for multiple hours per day? ….If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions then Mobilize and Move!  is the class for you! In this body-weight only class, we will focus on mobility from the ankles to the neck with a goal of creating pain free movement patterns. Unlocking the ankles, hips and thoracic spine will not only assist in eliminating chronic lower back, knee and shoulder pain, but it will also optimize your strength training results as well. After an extended full body mobility flow, you will finish the workout with a 15-20 minute bodyweight strength circuit that has a full body focus, with a significant emphasis on strengthening the core musculature. Start your week off right by getting your body functioning properly with Mobilize and Move!  on Monday’s at 5:30 PM! 

Activate and Attack! (Wednesday’s @ 5:30 PM EST)

If you struggle with knee, shoulder or lower back pain, you most likely have underactive muscles surrounding your joints. These muscles are extremely important however they are mostly small, and cannot always be trained with traditional strength work. With a miniband and proper exercise combinations though, you will be able to Activate and Attack life with a new vigor and less joint pain! 

This class opens with about 10-15 minutes of full body mobility, followed by a 20-30 minute activation series that alternates between your lower and upper bodies. Class is finished with 15-20 minutes of full body strength circuits with an extreme emphasis on core! All you need for class are minibands of varying tension, with dumbbells being optional! Put chronic joint pain behind you by coming out for Activate and Attack!

 

In Close…

Even if attending a fitness class is not right for you right now, I will be posting the exercises and variables from each workout to this blog every week. While you may not know all the exercises listed (as some of them are my names), the bulk of it will still provide a resource for you to add to your workouts.

CO-VID altered so many aspects of life around the world, however, the detriments of the collective inactivity from the past year, will unfortunately wreak havoc for years to come. If you’ve struggled with achieving a consistent exercise schedule, I highly encourage you to make a change now. Don’t wait for tomorrow any longer. If you need the motivation, or the “appointment” aspect of training, I urge you to consider getting on the mailing list for either of the zoom classes- as they are a great place to start. (And if these classes don’t interest you, I’d still be happy to point you in the direction of a coach or type of class that may be right for you!)

Please feel free to e-mail me any fitness questions you have- online training related or not!

Yours in Fitness and Health,

TC

Your Final Reward Will Be Heartache and Tears, If You’ve Cheated the Guy in the Glass. 

Back to Basics- Improve These 3 Areas During Quarantine Workouts!

There are so many ways CO-VID 19 has negatively impacted our fitness routines, however, one absolute positive we should all identify is the forced “return to basics.” With all the fancy machines, barbells and dumbbells stripped away for the most part, many are left with their body weight as the only option.

While body weight training is often viewed as rudimentary and basic, I can’t think of a better opportunity to re-build a faulty foundation as a collective fitness population. I look around at gym patrons (myself included) and I can immediately identify 3 areas that need improvement. Some only struggle in one area, but many are deficient in all 3 aspects, yet continue to try complex moves or are desperately seeking “harder” workouts- while ignoring their weaknesses.

If nothing else in your fitness journey comes from this extended social distancing, I implore you to please identify which of these 3 areas you struggle with, and make them a top priority in your body weight training routines:

  1. Hip Mobility
  2. Shoulder Mobility
  3. Perform a PROPER Push-Up 

Hip Mobility

Why It’s Important??

Everything starts with the hips. Pain free movement, both in the gym and everyday life starts with mobile hips. Tight hips will limit your progress in squats, lunges and deadlifts and cause chronic lower back pain. You will also put yourself at risk for injuring yourself in the gym, because tight hips make it challenging to achieve proper movement patterns in compound moves.

For example, tight hips will likely force you to have an excessive forward lean in a Back or Front Squat. An excessive forward lean, with an exterior load puts your lower back in an extremely vulnerable position at the bottom of the range of motion.

(The same can be said for deadlifts as well. Tight hips will prevent a proper hinge, and therefore make it difficult to maintain a flat back throughout the range of motion of a deadlift.)

How to Improve Hip Mobility??

Implement these exercises and perform them daily until you notice a marked improvement. The beautiful thing about mobility (especially with the hips) is: you get out of it, what you put into it. You can’t expect to do hip mobility drills once per week and expect your hips to magically loosen up. They have to be prioritized and taken seriously if you want to see improvement. When you perform these exercises daily for 2-4 weeks, you will notice your hips unlocking and the rest of your strength moves will automatically feel more natural!

Hip Circles

Hip Rolls

½ Kneeling Adductor Stretch

Pigeon Stretch

Hockey Stretch

Spider Stretch w/ T-Spine and Hamstring Flow

How to Implement It??

This hip mobility piece should be the beginning of every workout. Organize it as a circuit, in the order I’ve laid it out. Depending on your time constraints you can repeat through 1-3 times with about 60-90 seconds between sets. Always shoot for 30 seconds for each exercise (total) and keep the transitions fluid with minimal rest in between

Shoulder Mobility

Why It’s Important???

The shoulders are the most vulnerable joint in the body. It has the ability to extend up to 3 inches outside it’s socket and still remain uninjured. In order to keep the shoulders functioning at their healthiest, it is imperative to keep them mobile- in addition to being strong.

Due to the amount of technology we consume daily, many of our shoulders are naturally rolled forward resulting in extremely poor posture. Having bad posture will negatively impact not only your shoulder health- due to vastly under-active and tight muscles- but your lower back health as well. Anteriorly rotated shoulders will put a significant amount of pressure on your lumbar spine. (Combine that with the fact that you most likely have tight hips as well, and you’ve already checked off two boxes that will ultimately result in lower back pain and extreme movement dysfunction.)

Not only is bad shoulder mobility detrimental to everyday life, (brushing your hair or reaching for something on a top shelf) but it also poses an injury risk during resistance exercises. Poor shoulder mobility combined with an attempt to strengthen your shoulders by pressing weight overhead, is the perfect storm for an injury. If you are unable to achieve a proper overhead position without arching your lower back, then you need to focus on mobilizing your shoulders before you start pressing any kind of significant weight overhead.

How to Improve Shoulder Mobility??

I would add the following routine to any warm-up, but especially before I did any sort of pressing. Mobilizing and strengthening the small muscles in the shoulders before you do any resistance training for your upper body, will greatly protect you from potential injury. 

– Band in Fronts & Behinds

– Cat Cows

– Band Pull Aparts

– T-Spine Extensions

– Miniband Touchdowns

Each of these puts a premium on overhead mobility as well as correct postural alignment. The key to increasing your range of motion is first working within your current mobility. Don’t start forcing reps or compensating your movement patterns. If you feel your lower back arching to get your hands overhead, get yourself against a wall to perform Pull Aparts, and Touchdowns.

(*If you don’t have a band, just cut out the Band Pull Aparts, and use a broom stick handle for “In Fronts and Behinds.” Then grab cans of soup or veggies and use that as extremely light resistance to perform the Miniband Touchdowns*)

How to Implement It??

Perform these exercises in the exact order I laid out. You can either do these sets for time or reps. Perform each move for either 20-30 seconds or 10-15 reps for 1-3 sets. Give yourself minimal rest in between exercises and about 60-90 seconds if you do more than one set.

Proper Push-Ups

Why Doing a ‘Proper Push-Up is Important??

Do your Push-Ups look like this?

One of the first strength movements we are taught as children in elementary school is the basic Push-Up. It is a staple of many training programs- and rightfully so. Unfortunately it is taken for granted that everyone knows ‘proper form’ when executing this move. A Push-Up with good form, is a great indicator of upper body and core strength and compliments every resisted strength exercise.

The problem I see so often though is the quality in which Push-Ups are being performed. Just as I demonstrate in the video above, I routinely see elbows flared out, scapulars (shoulder blades) digging together and hips raised or dropping well below the upper body, preventing full range of motion- all in the name of completing a certain amount of reps. Each of these flaws will ultimately result in shoulder pain, back pain or both- without ever getting you better at performing Push-Ups.

For my clients, the focus is not on quantity, but rather high quality. Therefore, we work towards performing a Push-Up as follows:

Elbows at about a 45 degree angle. Hips in line with the upper body throughout the movement, shoulders directly over top your hands. The tempo is controlled on the way down and explosive on the way up. And the depth is about a ‘fist-width’ from the ground.

How to Improve Your Push-Ups

If you cannot perform more than 5 Push-Ups with the parameters I just outlined, you’d be best served to stop attempting full Push-Ups, and instead work from the Push-Up Position Plank. This is an example of giving yourself a sturdy foundation before you “build your house” … or attempt a full set of push-ups. The key to most body weight strength moves is being comfortable with your own body weight. Perfecting the Push-Up Position Plank and all its variations will set you up better for continuing a Push-Up progression down the road.

Push-Up Position Plank Variations

Push-Up Position Plank

Push-Up Position Arm to Side

Push-Up Position Arm out Front

Push-Up Position Opposite Shoulder Taps

How to Implement It??

The other downfall I see regarding Push-Ups is its programming. I’m not sure if it originated with a military boot camp mindset of “Drop and give me 50,” however, watching people painstakingly grind through a set of high repetition push-ups with bad form after the 2nd repetition, definitely makes me scratch my head and cringe.

Always strive for perfect reps with your push-ups. Put your ego aside (which should be easier now without the social aspect of a gym), and first set your sights on achieving a perfect Push-Up Position Plank hold for 40-60 seconds with proper form. Then start working through the progressions that I outlined. Only at that point would I start with an Incline Push-Up (performing a push-up with your hands on an elevated surface) and gradually decrease the angle until you’re on the floor performing a regular Push-Up.

When doing your Push-Up Position Plank variations, keep your sets to 20-60 seconds, depending on ability, for 3-5 sets. Once you progress to Incline or Regular Push-Ups, keep the reps maximally at 12-15 perfect reps. If you can do more than 15 perfect push-ups, it’s then time to start adding weight (via chains or a weighted vest) or hand and feet movement to create further instability.

Final Thoughts

I admire the fact that bodyweight training has jumped to the forefront of the fitness industry again. A return to basics is what so many people need, because for years they’ve been neglected. The issue however, is with more and more “online coaches” popping up every day on social media, I see bodyweight workouts getting crazier and more unrealistic as the social distancing continues. Since you’re not in a gym setting right now, and there’s no competition with the person next to you, I urge you to take this time and work on your areas of deficiency. If you work on improving in the areas I outlined above, when gyms re-open, it will pay massive dividends down the road with improvements in your resistance training, injury prevention and overall body function.  

As always, stay safe and healthy!

Yours in Fitness and Health,

TC

Your Final Reward Will Be Heartache and Tears, If You’ve Cheated the Guy in the Glass.