Strength phase 1 – upper body / lower body split program
Following on from structural balance we introduce phase one of strength training. This phase consists of 2 workouts done alternately. Ideally this program should be performed 4 x a week.
In this program we introduce an upper and lower body split to maximise results. The premise of each session is to work up to a heavy set.
Workout A – Lower Body
Exercise A: Back Squat – Heels elevated
We like to introduce back squatting early in our programming as it is such a great exercise. The reps are kept high initially so that the movement pattern can be ingrained. Being the first exposure to squatting we have not placed it in a superset.
- Keep wrists and elbows vertically under the bar.
- Ensure knees track over the toes.
- Squat as low as possible with good form – all the way down so that the hamstrings cover the calves.
Some personal training clients take a while to master the squat technique so you need to be patient with the weight on the bar, sometimes starting with just a broom is enough!
Exercise B1: Horizontal Back extension
This is a progression from 45% Back extension, it also has great carry over for developing good hamstring and lower back strength.
- Hinging from the hips not the lower back.
- Maintain a big chest with scapulars retracted.
- Should feel most the work coming from the hamstrings.
Exercise B2: Seated calf raise
This is a great exercise for mobilising the ankle joint, ankle mobility or lack of is a common problem which can affect quality of movement especially in squats. We like to see a definitive 2 second pause at the end of the range to maximise the stretch through the Soleus muscle.
Workout B – Upper Body
Exercise A1 : Dumbbell Flat Bench Press – Neutral Grip
The reps have been lowered to 4-6 and tempo kept slow at 4:1:1:0 with a long 120 sec recovery. All of this is designed to maximise strength. We are looking for the weight to go up with every set in a progressive manner.
- Ensure scapulars are retracted.
- Try to push through your feet to stabilise the body.
Exercise A2: Chin – Up – Neutral Grip
As with squats on the lower body, we like to introduce chin ups early with our personal training clients because it is such a fantastic exercise. If clients are unable to perform a single chin up then we start with doing isometric holds then slow eccentric lowers.
- Aim to drive elbows down and back.
- Ensure shoulders touch the bar at the top.
- Control excessive body movement by turning on glutes and abdominals.
Exercise B1: Seated behind the neck press
This can be a controversial exercise if done incorrectly. However so long as the client has good shoulder function then the behind the neck press is great at building shoulder mobility and strength.
- Ensure wrists are under the bar.
- Keep the chest up and shoulders retracted.
- Ensure full range of motion with the bar touching the upper back after every repetition.
Exercise B2: Seated row to neck – thumbs up
Great for helping develop good posture and healthy shoulders. The thumbs up places a different stress on the biceps.
- Keep the chest up.
- Retract the shoulders with each rep and pause in the end range of the movement.
The ideal split for this program is to train Mon / Tue, then Thurs / Fri.
Aim to complete the program in 3 weeks, let us know how you get on!
If you would like additional support or to learn how you could benefit from a personal trainer, don’t hesitate to contact us.