Unconventional Exercises Using Conventional Equipment

TAGS: unconventional, reverse hypers, GHR, conventional, equipment, Good Morning, training

By Ricky Frausto and the weight room staff at the University of Nebraska at Omaha

We don’t know the guys who run elitefts.com. We only know the material on the website and the people who speak of the elitefts guys. However, what we do know from reading the articles and asking questions is that they have helped us become better strength students. They have also taught us how to think creatively when it comes to bringing up weaknesses or improving our athletes. Sure, if you have a weak posterior chain you can do GHR or reverse hypers. Or, maybe you need upper back strength so you add some type of good morning variation. But, what else can you do?

This article will provide you and/or your athletes with other ways to utilize equipment that you already own. We do our fair share of GH raises and a whole host of other assistance exercises, but we are also consistently trying to think of other ways to get better. For instance, if you want to bring your squat up, then for some people, the upper back strength needs to come up. For athletes, what other ways can you implement dynamic effort into your program besides benching or squatting with bands or chains? So, with that being said…

Reverse hyper machine good mornings: Using the reverse hyper machine, place the strap around your neck and place your feet in a position that allows you to extend without your leg hitting you in the gut. You should be angled away from the machine in both the start and finish positions.

Category: RE

Two-bar press with bands: Place two bars, parallel to each other, on the ground with one end of a mini-jump stretch band around each sleeve. Place your feet in the other end of each band and pick the ends of each bar up so that you are in a standing shoulder press position.

Category: DE, SE, and RE

Supine tire pressing: This exercise is pretty self-explanatory. Lying flat on your back, have a partner slowly drop the tire into the starting position. Depending on your goal for the day, you can do a number of different types of pressing exercises from this position, including high rep presses or clap plyo presses.

Category: DE, SE, and RE

Cable crunch with medicine ball: Using your standard cable machine and any size medicine ball, you can add the stretch-shortening cycle to the cable crunch. (Place the med ball inside a Velcro belt and attach it to the cable with a carabiner.) With the added benefit of grip training, you can also perform rotations, wood-chops, and pull downs from any position. Executing the medicine ball cable crunch involves the normal movement of the standard cable crunch. The only difference is that while you allow the ball to ascend quickly, simulate a med ball slam into the ground before changing directions again. Variations include standing, kneeling, or even sitting.

Two-bar hang clean and jerk: Utilizing the bars as we did in the two-bar press with bands, we start in the hang clean position. The shoulders should be in front of the hands. From this position, violently extend the hips and shrug the shoulders so as to catch the bars in the clean position. (The sleeve of each bar will leave the hands temporarily in order for them to change from a palms facing down position to a palms facing up position at the shoulders.) Once the bars are cleaned, proceed to dip and drive them violently while splitting the feet into a jerk position with the arms extended fully. Be careful when initially performing the clean or jerk portions of the lift that you dip with the hips going back and not the knees going forward.

Category: ME, DE, and RE (lactic acid tolerance)

One-bar press throws: This is performed in similar fashion to the two-bar exercises mentioned previously but using only one bar. (Two bars may be used but only for advanced athletes.) Holding the bar in the cleaned position, proceed to violently dip and extend the body in order to throw the bar while a partner is ready to catch it.

Category: DE

Bent leg back extensions on GH: The starting position for this exercise is the same as the GH raise. While keeping the upper half of the leg in the same position, statically flexed, bend at the waist until the front of your body comes in contact with the pad. Return to the starting position by squeezing your glutes. Be sure to return to the starting position because this requires you to fully extend the hips. (Some try to get away with just coming up three quarters of the way with the ass sticking out.)

Category: SE, RE

Medicine ball pull-ups: Just as we utilized the medicine ball with the cable crunch, we’re using the same setup. But you are attached to a pull-up bar. This exercise is great for wrestlers or anybody who wants to increase the intensity of pull-ups without adding weight.

Category: SE, RE

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