Shoddy training practice will only get you so far in the gym. And doing half-assed workouts or faking your way through a series of sets with gross form is even worse! You’ll look like a gomer and any onlooker within 10 feet of you will think you’re one, too. Don’t let this happen to you.
Using proper form and making sure your muscles are firing on all cylinders can take you a long way. But there’s still one more layer you can add to the cake before it gets iced – Adding some new, game-changing moves to your repertoire.
Below, you’re gonna see some of these first-hand. Be warned; these are outside the box. Chances are you’ve never seen or heard of them before. That’s all good because you should make it a daily habit to go beyond your comfort zone at least once. With that, let’s get started!
1 Spinal bow
This is a more of a general position you should focus on when doing a number of other drills. You may have heard the term ‘bracing’ before. It’s when you squeeze your abs and glutes tightly to maintain proper form or generate more power with your lifts.
That’s all fine and dandy, but it doesn’t address a common structural problem that a lot of people have. Did you ever hear of a condition called ‘excessive lordosis’? If you look at someone sideways, you’ll notice that they have a slight curvature in their lower spine, which is natural.
But when the curve is excessive, it’s unhealthy for the lower back and can cause pain and postural issues. Often times, people try to fix it by doing back extension or expansion drills. On paper that would seem like the right thing to do, but it’s not. It’ll only contribute to the problem.
The correct thing to do is a spinal bow. This drill puts the body in the opposite direction of the postural distortion, which helps correct the problem. And, it strengthens the muscles that are weak while it lengthens those that are tight.
The rectus abdominis is the area that would be weak in this situation, which you may know as the abs.
To perform a spinal bow, tuck your tailbone under, pull your shoulder blades down and back, tuck your chin in, and squeeze your abs and glutes as forcefully as you can. There you have it.
You can practice this drill while standing upright, sitting down, lying on your back or while on all fours. Remember this as we move forward.
2 Floor boobies
Here’s something you’ve probably never heard of before. When you train, you should either be barefoot or as close to barefoot as possible with the use of minimalist shoes. Our hands and feet were designed to grip things and you should use this skill to its maximum advantage.
This is where the idea of floor boobies comes in. It simply means you should grip the ground with your fingers and toes curled up, and act like there are boobs underneath them that you don’t want to harm.
Any drill that involves your toes or hands on the ground will apply, such as squats, lunges, push-ups, hip bridges and so on. As you can see, if you’re wearing big, clunky, thick-soled shoes, you won’t be able to grasp any bobbies. So you best think in terms of going minimal.
And the overall benefit from this is the fact you’ll get more stability, traction and muscle recruitment with your exercises.
3 Slow tension technique
So far you’ve learned a bit about spinal bows and floor boobies. Now you need to know about one element that can REALLY change your game.
Often times, weightlifters miss a very valuable piece of the workout equation – tension. Sure you’ll feel tension when you’re ripping a barbell off the floor that consists of twice your bodyweight. But far too often, there is a force leak with drills.
This simply means you lose tension on muscles and they don’t get an adequate amount of work. You can change that really quickly by focusing on the slow tension technique.
Here’s an example;
Stand with your feet in a staggered stance like you’re going to do a lunge. Now perform, say, five lunges and stop. You’ll feel a decent amount of action on your legs and butt, but you’re still not tapping into the full potential of the exercise.
Now try this. Assume that same position. Do floor boobies on both of your feet and actively pull your front heel backward as you pull your back toes forward. Squeeze your quads, hamstrings, and glutes forcefully and perform a spinal bow.
You should already feel lit up! Slowly lower yourself down until your back knee is right above the ground and come back up. Repeat for five reps and see how you feel. I guarantee five of these reps will trump five reps of the other lunges by a mile!
Think in terms of doing this with every exercise you perform and watch your body transform right before your eyes.
4 Spinal bow push-ups
Now you’re really gonna put some of the above techniques to the test with a spinal bow push-up. This isn’t like your standard, meathead push-up. This one is done with a lot of tension and precision. And it’s these two aspects that make or break an exercise.
Begin in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and feet together behind you. Now curl your tailbone under, round your shoulders and tuck your chin in. Contract your abs as hard as you can and don’t lose this position with your upper body.
Come up onto the top of your toes and lean forward slightly. Bend your elbows to lower yourself down, but unlike a regular push-up, continue to lean forward. Keep fixing your gaze back toward your toes and stop when your forehead is close to the ground. Push yourself back up to the starting point and repeat.
Get to it!
When you’re trying out new moves, it’s almost inevitable you’re gonna get new aches and pains along the way. To counteract this, we recommend taking a look at some of the CrazyBulk products in our strength stack to keep your muscles recovering as quickly as possible.
If you’re willing to think outside the fourth wall of the gym, you were just handed some fun stuff to work on. Go out there and have fun, while also honoring your limitations and only doing what you’re safely capable of.