Top 5 favourite exercises
Nick Townsend, our Director of Personal Training, gives us his top 5 fave exercises:
1. Weighted Cable Crunches: This is an abdominal exercise done under load using the ropes that are attached to the cables. Set the cable to a medium to high weight and take hold of the ropes in a kneeling position – curving through the spine and abs, try to pull your elbows down to your knees. Then straighten up the body to the top and repeat.
2. Bench Press with Feet Off the Ground: The Bench Press is the typical go to compound move for a bigger chest and arms. Set the bar in the rack to however heavy you want to lift; take hold of the bar and lower into down towards your chest whilst keeping your elbows as close to your body as possible. Then push up as fast as you can to take the bar back to the start point. The extra added difficulty comes with the feet off the ground and either propositioned on the bench or in the air; this will test the stabilisers muscles in the obliques and hips; one of the best ways to strengthen in a stable position is to train in a less stable one!
3. Clock Lunges: A personal favourite of my for balance work – there are so many different directions that you can take the lunge in other than forwards. This move puts them through over 10 different directions. Start position is feet together and then stepping into a lunge with one foot according to the numbers on a clock (I.e. 12pm is forwards, 3pm is to the side) – this is performed with one foot in every direction, which makes it a mental challenge as well! Good luck with this one!
4. Pull Ups: In my opinion, the best exercise for upper back and biceps! Holding onto handle bars above your head, pull yourself up through your upper back towards the ceiling till your chin and head goes above the bar. Then lower yourself down in the reverse manner to complete. There are lots of good variations on this for both beginners and advanced lifters; a good beginners method is to perform the move whilst standing in a resistance band – this takes the pressure of your body whilst still conquering the movement pattern. A more advanced pull up could consist of adding additional weight via a weight belt or a dumbbell between your feet.
5. Good Mornings: This is a good variation on the straight leg deadlift of which both are designed to strengthen the hamstrings. The difference between the straight leg deadlift and the good morning is the load position. The bar is actually across your upper back rather than at hip height. Pushing the pelvis back and pushing your straight torso towards the floor as if you are stretching your hamstrings; recoil by lifting your torso back to a straight body position.
Check out our Insta account for demonstrations of all of the above exercises.