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LOWER BODY


BACK RACK LUNGE

Rack the bar on your back and stand with feet hip-width apart. Brace your midline and maintain an upright torso throughout the movement. Lunge forward with one foot, bending both knees to 90 degrees. Keep front knee over front ankle and front shin vertical as you lower the back knee to the ground. Press through the front heel and midfoot as you stand to starting position. Focus on using your glutes as you press out of the lunge. Lunge forward with the opposite foot and repeat.


BACK RACK WALKING LUNGE

Rack the bar on your back and stand with feet hip-width apart. Brace your midline and maintain an upright torso throughout the movement. Lunge forward with one foot, bending both knees to 90 degrees. Keep front knee over front ankle and front shin vertical as you lower the back knee to the ground. Press through the front heel and midfoot as you stand to starting position. Focus on using your glutes as you press out of the lunge. Lunge forward with the opposite foot and repeat.


BANDED GOBLET SQUAT

Place a miniband just below knees and stand with feet shoulder-width apart, tows 15 to 35 degrees outward. Hold the top of a single kettlebell in both hands in front of chest, elbows pointing down and tucked into the body. Lower into a deep squat, bringing elbows inside knees as you push outward on the band with both legs. Keep feet flat on floor and chest tall. Drive through the heels and you return to starting position.


BARBELL BACK SQUAT

Place the bar evenly on your back and step back three steps from the rack. Set your feet shoulder width or wider. Depending upon your own unique mobility, it may be beneficial to try a slightly angled foot position at about 11 and 1 o’clock. Before squatting, take a big deep breath of air at the top before you descend into each repetition and hold it until the rep is completed. This will create a more rigid torso allowing you to apply more force with your legs. As you descend into the squat, track your knees with your toes. Desirable squat depth is achieved when crease of hip is below knee when the lift is viewed from the side. Please be aware that you should only squat as deep as you can with the range of motion currently you have. If you cannot maintain a neutral spine, and the lumbar rounds when squatting to depth, reduce your range or motion until you can improve your mobility.


BARBELL BOX STEP UP

Set the box at a height so that your knee angle is not less than 90 degrees when you step on it. Rack the barbell on your back and stabilize your core. As you step onto the box, focus on pressing through the front heel and midfoot. Avoid leaning your torso forward as you step up, and resist the temptation to gain momentum by launching off your back foot. The lead leg should be doing the work. Perform all reps on one side before switching to the other.


BARBELL HIP THRUST

Align yourself on a bench so that your scapula are situated on top. Place a barbell across your hip crease. Many find it more comfortable to wrap the bar with a yoga mat or barbell pad. Lower the barbell under control as far down as you can without losing position. Plates should not touch the floor at all, or should only lightly touch the floor at the bottom of each rep. At the top of each repetition tilt your hips posteriorly towards the ceiling and squeeze your glutes. Pause briefly at the very top of the rep. Done correctly, you should primarily feel your glutes working. If this is not the case, try taking a wider foot position, point your toes out and drive your knees apart during the lifting phase.


DB STEP UPS

Set the box at a height so that your knee angle is not less than 90 degrees when you step on it. Grab hold of the dumbbells and stabilize your core. As you step onto the box, focus on pressing through the front heel and midfoot. Avoid leaning your torso forward as you step up, and resist the temptation to gain momentum by launching off your back foot. The lead leg should be doing the work. Perform all reps on one side before switching to the other.


DEADLIFT

Approach the bar and place your feet at about shoulder width apart, facing forward or slightly turned outwards. The bar should be just about in line with your center of gravity, which is about mid foot. Bend over to grab the bar while keeping your hips high, not yet making an effort to bend your knees, or to set your back position. Your grip should be just about shoulder width. Take a big deep breath, bend your knees just enough to allow the shins to touch the bar, and retract and depress your shoulder blades while expanding and lifting your chest. There should now be a straight line when viewed sideways from your scapula, to the bar, to your mid foot. Initiate the pull. Focus on pushing the floor away. Keep the bar close to the body. The goal is for the hips to meet the bar as quickly as possible. An efficient deadlift is about driving your heels through the floor and your hips into the bar while maintaining a neutral lumbar spine, and not allowing the bar to drift forward. Be sure to maintain some control on the lowering phase of the movement. Avoid bouncing your reps off the floor. Safe performance of a deadlift requires that the starting position described here is maintained on each repetition.


LAYING HAMSTRING CURL

Focus on keeping your torso and hips glued to the bench. This may cause you to use less weight than you expect. Really focus on feeling your hamstrings turn on during each rep.


LEG EXTENSIONS

Using a leg extension machine, adjust the pad so that it falls on top of your lower leg just above your feet. Also, make sure that your knees are positioned in such as way as to allow your legs to form a 90-degree angle between the lower and upper leg. Using your quadriceps, extend your legs to the maximum as you exhale. Ensure that the rest of the body remains stationary on the seat. Slowly lower the weight back to the original position as you inhale.


LEG PRESS

Using a leg press machine, sit down on the machine and place your legs on the platform directly in front of you shoulder width apart. Lower the safety bars holding the weighted platform in place and press the platform all the way up until your legs are fully extended in front of you. Make sure that you do not lock your knees. This will be your starting position. Inhale and slowly lower the platform so that your torso and upper leg form a 90 degree angle. Pushing mainly with the heels and mid foot, focus on using the quadriceps to return to the starting position as you exhale.


LUNGE JUMPS

Brace your midline and maintain an upright torso throughout the movement. Lunge forward with one foot, bending both knees to 90 degrees. Keep front knee over front ankle and front shin vertical as you lower the back knee to the ground. Press through the front heel and midfoot as you explode upward. In the air, switch your feet so the opposite foot is now in front before you land. As you land, go directly into a lunge and repeat. Focus on your power and not the speed of the reps.


ROMANIAN DEADLIFT

Use a barbell and a rack for this exercise. Set the barbell up in the jcups at about mid thigh or slightly below your hands when you're standing tall. Hands should be placed at about shoulder width as you grip the bar. Take three steps from the rack and set you feet inside shoulder width . With a neutral spine all the way to the top of your head (this means you might be looking at the ground in front of you, not the wall or ceiling) and tight but soft knees, lower the bar down to a point where you start to feel your hamstrings and glutes begin to stretch. A super flexible range of motion is not the key to this exercise. Instead, you only want to go as far as you comfortably can or slightly less. Maintain a neutral spine and brace your core as you engage your hamstrings and glutes to lift the bar to starting position. Move at a controlled pace and be sure to squeeze tight at the top of each rep.


RUSSIAN SWINGS

With a neutral spine and engaged core, fee hip width apart, grab the kettlebell with both hands. Keep your shoulder blades slightly pinched together. Slightly bend your knees and hinge upward using the force of your hips and glutes to swing the bell upward. The kettlebell should reach chest level and your shoulders should remain down and back. Return the bell between your legs and repeat. You should never round your spine. The workload should primarily be in your glutes, legs and core, and not in the back, shoulders or arms.


SINGLE LEG EXTENSIONS

Using a leg extension machine, adjust the pad so that it falls on top of your lower leg just above your feet. Also, make sure that your knees are positioned in such as way as to allow your legs to form a 90-degree angle between the lower and upper leg. Using your quadriceps, extend one leg to the maximum as you exhale. Ensure that the rest of the body remains stationary on the seat. Slowly lower the weight back to the original position as you inhale. Complete all reps for one leg before switching to your other leg.


SINGLE LEG LATERAL GOBLET SQUAT

Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell at your chest. Walk your feet out to a wide position, approximately 1 foot outside of shoulder width on each side. Toes should be turned slightly out. Initiate the movement by sitting back and towards one foot. Try to maintain as upright of a posture as possible and allow the majority of your weight to go to the side that you are lunging toward. Come down as far as possible, ideally to at least a 90 degree knee angle. Distribute your weight mainly on your heel and midfoot of the lunging side as you press forcefully back to starting position. Maintain a braced core position throughout the movement.


SINGLE LEG SQUAT

This is also known as the split squat, and you may use a barbell racked in high bar position on your back or a safety bar if available. Position yourself with one foot forward as in a lunge, your weight should be mainly in your front leg. You may choose to either elevate your back foot, or simply come up on to the ball of your back foot to minimize the involvement of your back leg. Lower your back knee to the ground with control and press up through the heel and mid-foot of your front foot as your return to starting position. Maintain an upright posture and braced core throughout the movement.


SQUAT JUMPS

Standing with feet shoulder width apart or in your squat placement. Lower your body down to the bottom of your squat while keeping your torso upright. Explode upward and jump as high as you can in the air. When you land, go directly down into another squat and repeat. Focus on the height of your jump and controlling your trajectory to land in the same place you jumped from. Our focus is to keep form proper and not the speed of your reps.


UPPER BODY


BARBELL STRICT PRESS

Rack the barbell at a height just below your shoulders. Approach the bar and grip it just outside of your shoulders. Use a three step walkout of the rack and set your feet in "power position" just beneath your shoulders. A full range of motion press begins from touching the front of the shoulders, and should be pressed in as straight a line as possible. To avoid being hit by the bar, slightly tilt your head backward on each rep so the bar clears your face. As the bar clears your head, move it back into a neutral position directly below the bar. The barbell should travel in a mostly straight line upward, with minimal changes in your trunk position. Keep your knees straight, glutes contracted, and brace your abs by taking a breath before each press.


BENCH PRESS

Lie down on the bench and set your grip position on the bar so that the joints are mostly stacked when viewed from the rear, meaning when the bar is on the chest, the wrists should be over the elbows. Set you feet on the floor then screw your feet into position, spreading your knees far apart, externally rotating your feet, and putting your feet as close to the rear of the bench as you can while still being able to keep your heels flat. Achieving this leg position will provide the best foundation for the lift. It also makes it harder for you to lift your butt off the bench which is illegal in competition. Before beginning a repetition, inhale maximally, expand your chest and hold your breath. Lower the bar to your chest, pausing very briefly before pressing it back into position while driving your heels into the floor.


CABLE LAT PUSHDOWNS

Stand facing a cable machine with the short bar attached. Grip the bar using a wider than shoulder-width pronated (palms down) grip. Step away from them machine about 2-3 feet. Bend your torso forward at the waist by around 30-degrees with your arms fully extended in front of you and a slight bend at the elbows. If your arms are not fully extended then you need to step a bit more backwards until they are. While keeping the arms straight, pull the bar down by contracting the lats until your hands are next to the side of the thighs. Keep your arms straight as you return to starting position.


CABLE LATERAL RAISE

Set the cable up at the bottom position and attach a single handle. Hold on to the upright on the cable machine with one hand and grab the cable attachment with the other. Lean away from the cable machine so the your torso is at ta diagonal from the upright. With both arms extended fully, slowly raise the handle out to the side and to shoulder level. Position your hand in such a way that you can lead with your pinkie finger. Lower the handle slowly to starting position. Resist the urge to slouch your shoulders forward during the movement and focus on maintaining a tightly braced core throughout.


CABLE TRICEP OVERHEAD

Using a rope attachment, stand facing away from the cable machine with a tightly braced core. Pull the rope over your head and bend forward. Starting with your elbows bent to 90 degrees, pull the rope away from your body to a straight but not fully locked out position. Focus on allowing your triceps to do the pulling and resist the temptation to use your core to do the work. Slowly return to starting position.


CABLE TRICEP PUSHDOWN

Use either the rope or short bar attachment. Stand facing the cable machine with a tightly braced core. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Pull your elbows tightly to your sides and press the attachment forcefully down. Focus on allowing your triceps to do the pulling. Slowly return to starting position.


DB BICEP CURL

From a seated or standing position with an upright posture and braced core, hold the dumbbell securely in your hands. Your palm should face forward and arms should be loose to your sides. Slowly bend your elbow and contract your biceps to draw the weight upward. While lifting, try to keep every other part of your body still. Keep raising the weight until it is at shoulder height, or even touching your shoulder. Slowly and with control, lower the weight back to starting position.


DB LATERAL RAISE

Perform this exercise from a seated position to reduce momentum generated from the hips, and to to reduce momentum generated from the torso, maintain a consistent back position without leaning backward to complete repetition. Throughout your set, lean forward slightly and perform repetitions in the scapular plane while keeping the handles of the dumbbell parallel to the floor. Doing so will keep the middle head of your delt and the line of pull in alignment, allowing more tension to be supplied to the deltoid. Remember the goal is to raise the arm, not just the dumbbell. So envision that you are leading from the elbow on each repetition and complete the lifting phase of each rep with the elbow reaching the same height as the shoulder. As you begin to fatigue, focus on maintaining your torso position and keeping your elbows high. When you reach failure, your elbow and torso positions should stay the same and it should simply look like you can no longer lift your arms to the same height.


DIPS

Movement may be performed either on rings or on a traditional dip bar. Start in top of dip position, with glutes and core engaged, neutral chin and tall chest. Elbows remain tucked close to the body as you slowly lower through full dip into controlled end range. Pause at the bottom before pressing explosively back up to starting position. Do not allow excessive head forward movement, shoulder rounding, or drop of chest and eye line.


DIPS (WEIGHTED)

Use a weight belt or a dumbbell between your knees or fee. Start in top of dip position, with glutes and core engaged, neutral chin and tall chest. Elbows remain tucked close to the body as you slowly lower through full dip into controlled end range. Pause at the bottom before pressing explosively back up to starting position. Do not allow excessive head forward movement, shoulder rounding, or drop of chest and eye line.


FACE PULLS

Face a high pulley or cable machine with a rope attached, pull the ends of the rope directly towards your face, separating your hands at the side of your head as you do so. Keep your upper arms parallel to the ground. Maintain a braced midline throughout the movement.


INCLINE DB BENCH PRESS

Set the bench to incline at a 140 to 160 degree angle. To begin the movement, forcefully kick the dumbbells into position while lying backward and planting your feet. You will not set a large arch when dumbbell pressing. Inhale maximally and lower dumbbells to chest level before pressing back up to starting position.


INCLINE DB ROW

Using a neutral grip, lean into an incline bench set at a 30- 45 degree angle. Take a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip, beginning with the arms straight. This will be your starting position. Retract the shoulder blades and row the dumbbells to your sides. Pause for a second at the top before returning to starting position.


NARROW LAT PULLDOWN

Sit at a lat pulldown station and grab the narrow grip cable attachment. Your arms should be completely straight and your torso upright. Pull your shoulder blades down and back, and bring the handle to your chest. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position. Sit tall with your chest up and shoulders back and avoid rounding in your upper back. Don't use a partial range of motion, instead be sure to pull the handle all the way to your chest.


PREACHER CURL

Sit at a preacher bench and an E-Z bar. Grab the E-Z curl bar at the close inner handle (either have someone hand you the bar which is preferable or grab the bar from the front bar rest provided by most preacher benches). The palm of your hands should be facing forward and they should be slightly tilted inwards due to the shape of the bar. With the upper arms positioned against the preacher bench pad and the chest against it, hold the E-Z Curl Bar at shoulder length. This will be your starting position. Slowly lower the bar until your upper arm is extended and the biceps is fully stretched. Contract the biceps to curl the weight up until your biceps is fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder height. Squeeze the biceps hard and hold this position for a second before lowering back down.


SEATED ARNOLD PRESS

Exercise can be done seated on a bench with a back or standing tall with an upright braced posture. Bring two dumbbells to shoulder height with arms bent and palms facing the body. Press overhead, rotating the dumbbells until the palms are facing forward at the top of the press. Pause, and then slowly lower the weight, reversing the rotating so that the palms end facing the body at the bottom of the press.


SINGLE ARM DB ROW

Brace yourself on top of a bench with with same-side knee and same-side hand on top. Engage your abdominals and be sure that your back is straight. Grab dumbbell from the floor with free hand, with your arm fully extended. Forcefully row the dumbbell to the side of your rib cage, focus on using your lats and upper back to do the work. Squeeze your shoulder blades as you hold the top of the movement for a split second before returning the dumbbell with control to starting position. Avoid rounding the upper back at any point in the exercise. Keep the neck neutral, spine flat, and shoulders back.


SINGLE ARM CABLE ROW

Sit facing a low pulley row machine or cable machine with a single handle attached. Place your feet on the front platform or crossbar provided making sure that your knees are slightly bent and not locked. Lean over as you keep the natural alignment of your back and grab the handle with one hand. Maintain a tall posture as you pull the handle back towards your torso while keeping the elbow tucked into your side. Allow your upper body a slight rotation as you return to starting position.


STRICT CHEST TO RINGS

Grip high on the rings, holding your weight in the heel of your hands. Brace your core and pull strongly and smoothly to get your shoulders above your hands.


STRICT KB PRESS

Begin standing, feet hip distance apart and rack 2 kettlebells in a solid front rack position, meaning, the hands are positioned in front of the clavicle and the kettlebells are resting approximately just in front of and slightly below the shoulder joint. The wrists are in a neutral position (neither flexed nor overly extended). “Wedge” your body between the kettlebell and the floor to get tight and stable prior to initiating your press. Use this full-body tension to increase stability between the ground and the kettlebell to generate more force production as you press the bells up overhead. Maintain a braced core and neutral spine throughout the movement.


STRICT PULLUPS (WEIGHTED)

Securely fasten a dip belt around your waist allowing a weight plate to hang between your legs. Grab the pull up bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. Fully extend your arms and brace your core. Pull yourself up until your chest reaches the bar. Be sure to actively contract the back by pulling through your lats. Lower your body until the shoulders and arms are fully extended. Do not stop short of the bottom position, instead come to a dead hang at the bottom. Do not stop short of the top position. Finish the rep by pulling your elbows behind you as your chin comes over the bar.


TBAR ROW

Load one end of a barbell. Straddle the barbell and push your hips back until your back is at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Extend both arms downward and hook the V-handle under the bar and grab it with both hands. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and drive your elbows back, pulling the bar up toward your chest. Be sure to finish the row by bringing the weight to your chest and your squeezing shoulder blades together at the top. Pause and return to starting position. Do not allow your back to round at any point in the exercise.


TEMPO DIPS

Movement may be performed either on rings or on a traditional dip bar. Start in top of dip position, with glutes and core engaged, neutral chin and tall chest. Elbows remain tucked close to the body as you slowly lower through full dip into controlled end range. For tempo dips, lower down as slowly as possible, usually a 5-10 sec eccentric. Pause at the bottom before pressing explosively back up to starting position. Do not allow excessive head forward movement, shoulder rounding, or drop of chest and eye line.


WIDE LAT PULLDOWN

Sit at a lat pulldown station and grab the wide grip cable attachment. Your arms should be completely straight and your torso upright. Pull your shoulder blades down and back, and bring the handle to your chest. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position. Sit tall with your chest up and shoulders back and avoid rounding in your upper back. Don't use a partial range of motion, instead be sure to pull the handle all the way to your chest.


CORE


BIRD DOGS

Begin on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Pull your abs in to your spine. Keeping your back and pelvis still and stable, reach your right arm forward and left leg back. Don't allow the pelvis to rock side to side as you move your leg behind you. Focus on not letting the rib cage sag toward the floor. Reach through your left heel to engage the muscles in the back of the leg and your butt. Return to the starting position, placing your hand and knee on the floor. Repeat on the other side to complete one rep.


CEILING STOMPERS

Can be done on flat surface holding onto a rack or kettlebell or performed at a slight decline on the bench. Lie on your back and raise your straight legs so that your hips are at a 90 degree angle. Extend your arms overhead to grasp either the rack, kettlebell or handhold at the top of the bench. Using the lower portion of your abs slowly press your heels toward the ceiling. Press up as high as possible without using momentum. Slowly and with control lower to starting position.


DECLINE WEIGHTED SITUP

Set up decline bench at a moderate angle, hold a plate, dumbbell or med ball tightly against your chest. Tuck your chin slightly to reduce neck strain. Contract abdominals and sit up, lower slowly back to starting position. Your spine should remain straight throughout the movement.


EVIL WHEEL ROLLOUT

Position yourself so that you are kneeling on an ab mat or padded surface. Holding on to the ab wheel, lower your torso so that it is parallel to the ground. Contract your abs and tuck your tailbone. There should not be any sway in your lower back at any point in this exercise. Relax your hip flexors, lock your arms and slowly roll out to an extended position. Once you have reached extended position or have reached a point at which your form could become compromised, forcefully contract your abdominals and pull up to roll the wheel back to start position. Maintain your tailbone tuck throughout the movement.


GHD BACK EXTENSIONS

Face down on a GHD machine so that your feet are secured on the footplate and the hips are on top of the curved seat. This serves to keep your hips "locked" so that you can be dynamic at the trunk (torso) and static at the hip. Extend the hips and allow the back to round. Bring the torso up one vertebra at a time. Once the torso is parallel to the floor, continue the motion by bringing the head up so you’re looking straight ahead.To bring yourself back down, go in reverse: bring the head down first, round the back so you’re going one vertebra at a time. Continue the movement until you’re in the starting position. This is supposed to be a slow and methodical movement. Use control and don't let gravity or momentum do the work.


GHD HIP EXTENSIONS

Set up GHD so that your hip bones fall just above the pad, this allows the entire lumbar spine to be free. Start from extended position, similar to a superman pose. Flex at the hip only and lower down to the end range of motion allowed by your hamstring flexibility. Slowly raise back up with a neutral spine and static truck position. Raise only to as high as your spine is parallel to ground, avoid rising to the point of spinal hyper extension.


HALF KNEELING CABLE CHOP

Kneel on one knee to the side of the cable machine, knee on the ground is closest to the machine. Set the cables at the lowest position and use a rope attachment. With straight arms and an upright posture, use your abdominals to draw the rope in a diagonal motion across your body. Resist the urge to let momentum swing you back to starting position and be sure that your hips stay square throughout the duration of the exercise.


LEG LIFTS

Exercise can be performed in a captain's chair or hanging from a bar or rack. If you choose to hang from a bar, consider using chinup grip to minimize momentum and backwards lean. Maintain a vertical back position throughout movement with no lumbar arching.Tempo should be controlled to maximally activate abdominals. Resist the urge to relax abdominals at the bottom of the movement, instead strive to maintain tension to achieve optimal results.


LSIT

L-Sit can be performed hanging from a bar, on parallettes, on rings or on the captains chair as pictured. Focus on: Chest–Up and out (think: proud chest), Shoulders–Pulled back and down (depressed shoulders), Back–Straight (should not be overly arched or rounded), Knees–Locked out (engages the quads and keeps the legs stable), Toes–Pointed (focus on extending through the foot)


MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

Start in a plank position with arms and legs extended. Beginning in a solid plank is the key to proper form and good results in the Mountain Climber. Keep your abs pulled in and your body straight. Squeeze your glutes and pull your shoulders away from your ears. Pull your right knee into your chest. As the knee draws to the chest, pull your abs in even tighter to be sure your body doesn’t sag or come out of its plank position. Quickly switch and pull the left knee in. At the same time you push your right leg back, pull your left knee in to the chest using the same form. Maintain a constant awareness of your body position, be sure to keep a straight line in your spine and don’t let your head droop. Core body stability is crucial.


PLANK LONG LEVER

Consider all Carve & Conquer's plank work to be long lever pelvic tilt planks. Starting from a standard plank position on your forearms, narrow your arm position inside shoulder width and shift so that your elbows are in line with your nose. Squeeze your glutes as hard as possible to draw your pelvic bone up towards your head and your tailbone towards your feet.


PLANK - SIDE PLANK

Starting from a standard plank position on your hand, narrow your arm position inside shoulder width. Squeeze your glutes as hard as possible to draw your pelvic bone up towards your head and your tailbone towards your feet. For the side plank, focus on keeping your core tight and a straight line from your feet to the top of your head.


REVERSE CRUNCH

Lie on your back, knees bent at 90 degrees, arms and head remain flat on the ground. Place a dumbbell either between your knees or your feet (whichever is more comfortable). Contract your abdominals to raise your knees towards your face. Lower to starting position slowly and with control.


RUSSIAN TWIST

Lie down on the floor and for added stability, place your feet either under something that will not move or by have a partner hold them. Your legs should be bent at the knees. Elevate your upper body so that it creates an imaginary V-shape with your thighs. Your arms should be fully extended in front of you perpendicular to your torso and with the hands clasped. This is the starting position. Twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor while breathing out. Hold the contraction for a second and move back to the starting position while breathing out. Now move to the opposite side performing the same techniques you applied to the right side. As you get more advanced, you can hold a weight with both arms for resistance.


SITUPS

Lie down with your back on the floor, either cross your arms at the chest or extend them straight ahead of you. Do not clasp your hands behind your head for this exercise so that we can reduce potential stress on the back muscles and spine. Elevate your upper body so that it creates an imaginary V-shape with your thighs. Breathe out when performing this part of the exercise. Once you feel the contraction for a second, lower your upper body back down to the starting position while inhaling. For a more advanced variation, you can perform this exercise with a weighted plate resting on your chest.


WEIGHTED CABLE CRUNCH

Face away from the cables, kneel down and pull the rope to just over your shoulders. Hinge forward at the hips just to the point that you begin to feel tension in your abs. Exhale as you contract your abs, allowing your upper back to round, bringing your chest towards your hips. Forcefully press all of your air out at the bottom of the movement. Hips should stay in a fixed position to minimize involvement of hip flexors.