Form

Abdominal

  • Standard crunches - Hands are behind the head (NOT neck). Imagine you have an orange underneath your chin. Focus on reaching your chin to the ceiling. This allows for upper abdominal contraction.
  • Leg lifts - Body begins in a laying down neutral position. With hand on the side of body, slowly raise legs so the body and legs are at a 90 degree position. Slowly lower legs until they are right above the ground. Variations - point toes, flex feet, rotate legs out
  • V-sit oblique - Body remains in a v sit position with feet off the floor. Elbows remains close to ribs while rotating side to side. Variations - hold a medicine ball, touch the ground on the side, speed

Chest

  • Push-ups - Hands aligned underneath the shoulders. Ensure total back alignment. Variations - Location of the hands and arms, knees on ground
  • Chest press - Lay flat on bench with feet on the floor. Start with weights at a 90 degree angle. Slowly push weights up to the middle. Do not allow weights to fall backwards.
  • Chest flys - Lay flat on bench with feet on the floor. Start with weights together with straight arms above chest. With a slight bend in the arms let arms fall level to the body. Then slowly return to start position.

Back

  • Pull-ups - Place hands on pull up bar. Using your back lat muscles pull your body up and over the bar. Variations - hand position, foot position, hold weights in feet, wear weighted vest, spotted help
  • Seated rows - Lean forward to pull weight. Make sure feet are equally spread apart. Roll shoulders back and sit in neutral posture. Pull weight back while keeping elbows next to rib cage. Slowly allow weight to move forward maintaining neutral posture. Variations - light weight and allow more back movement
  • Lat pull down - Feet remain flat on floor with equal distance. Cushion should be tightly above the knees. Roll shoulders back and lean slightly back. Pull weight down to chest and release slowly up
  • Dead lift - Hand placed on bar directly below shoulders. With a small bend in knees, lift weight and bring it to neutral spine. Drop weight slowly to ground while keeping bar close to legs. As soon as weight gets near the floor,

Legs

  • Squats - Feet should be directly underneath shoulders. Slowly bend knees and push buttock toward the ground. Knees should never be in front of feet. Once you reach a 90 degree angle begin pushing through your heels and end in a standing position.
  • Lunges - Stand in neutral spine. Step one leg forward and drop back knee to the ground. Your knee should never be in front of feet. Variations - Add dumbbells, jump, one-leg, back foot raised
  • Calf raises - Stand in neutral spine. With feet pointed straight ahead, raise feet and put weight all body weight on toes. Variations - point feet in different directions, hold weights, stand on ledge
  • Hamstring pull - Similar to dead lift with a focus on pulling with the back of the legs. Maintain a straighter leg.

Arms and shoulders - When lifting arms, the focus is to maintain stillness for other body parts. For example, when doing a bicep curl shoulders and back need to stay still. Any swinging can cause injury and lack of strength building.