Archive for the ‘Exercises’ Category

Antonio Cesaro is a beast. Regardless of how you believe the WWE superstar acquired his physique, there’s no doubting that the guy possesses some serious strength.

Here’s a clip of a workout he did recently for the far too many people that were allowed in the gym to film it:

Because this is just a short clip, we can’t accurately determine his set and rep counts, but we can identify the exercises he performs. But you should be determining reps/sets according to your fitness goals anyway, so Cesaro’s counts don’t really matter.

Let’s break down his routine:

1) He appears to start out with some free-standing body weight squats to warm up.

primary targets: quadriceps, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, hips.

2) Pushups. Standard hands-under-shoulders form. Merging into…

3) ….One-handed pushups, merging into…

4)…clap pushups.

primary targets: pectoralis major, triceps, anterior deltoids.

5) Sagittal Plane pull-ups. That is, palms facing his ears.

primary targets: latisimus dorsi, pectoralis minor, biceps, teres major.

6) Clean and Jerk. 15 kg per side.

primary targets: quads, glutes, hams, erector spinae, arms, shoulders…. pretty well everything.

Everything is pretty run of the mill, until he does this next one.

7) Single Arm Barbell Snatch. Both Arms. 15 kg per side.

primary targets:quads, hams, glutes, back, abdominals, and then isolating the arm and shoulder muscles of the specific side arm.

***note: this is an extremely dangerous exercise, with great potential to cause injury. Do not attempt this exercise without supervision.***

8) Deep Squats. Assuming red plate is 15 kg, black 25 kg, and 2x grey @ 20 kg, then that’s 60 kg per side, and a 20 kg bar, that’s 140 kg total/about 310 lbs.

primary targets: quads, glutes, hams…. with this much weight, low back and abdominals will need to be strong to maintain proper form.

There you have it! You can now go workout like a WWE superstar. With the exception of the last two exercises, this seems like a rather light routine, but it’s all in how you perform it, and how many times. You can crank up the intensity on all of these and make it a killer workout.

Stick with it long enough and maybe you’ll be able to do this someday:

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A video recently surfaced of Claude Giroux, the Philadelphia Flyers’ 24 year old assistant captain, and his off-season workout routine, monitored by Tony Greco.

Giroux finished last regular season 2nd in NHL assists (65) and 3rd in NHL points (93), despite missing 5 games.

Here’s what he’s been doing this summer:

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Upon inspection of the workout, and without knowing the particular parameters (sets, reps, time, phase, etc) Mr. Greco has prescribed for Giroux’s workouts, here’s what I see the routine breaking down to, in order of exercise appearance:

  1. Three 1-foot hops, into to one lateral side bound, adding a palms-in 2-arm dumbbell shoulder press. Repeat in the opposite direction.
  2. Low side-to-side skater’s bounds, with 2 hanging dumbbells.
  3. 2-foot side hops, with a 2-arm hammer curl every hop.
  4. Single dumbbell squats (dumbbell held vertically, below chin).
  5. 2-foot hop up onto a riser, to 1-arm explosive front shoulder raises (raise on hop).
  6. Stationary barbell low/explosive hip/stride extensions.
  7. Squat to 2-arm dumbbell hammer curl, to palms-in shoulder press.
  8. 1-foot 3 Bosu hops: Bosus placed on floor in a line, approximately two feet apart. With right foot starting to the left of the bosu, hop on to the ball, and then off to the right of it, then back to starting point, and then hop up to the next ball. Switch feet, and repeat the pattern.
  9. While holding pushup position on two dumbbells, Slider socks 3 quick knee drives (will need special socks or a slider board for this one), then one pushup.
  10. While on a step-box holding a medicine ball, quick strides back and then alternating feet, while continuing to hold the medicine ball in front and above.
  11. 2-foot, weight plate distance squat leaps.
  12. Sled pull.

You’ll also notice that Claude is wearing two different color shirts through this video, indicating to me that this is a combination of multiple workouts — either on completely different days, or perhaps he’s on two-a-days. If you sort them together, the exercise groupings land as follows:

  • Routine 1: 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 12
  • Routine 2: 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11

These routines seem to be primarily comprised of a heavy focus on combination exercises involving linked movements between the legs (glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves), shoulders (deltoids) arms (biceps in particular) and core, in hopes of mimicking the motions of hockey, which are far from isolated. I support this approach, though I do recommend taking the time to isolate single muscle training, so that said muscles are strong enough to perform the afore mentioned combination movements when required.

The equipment used seems to be minimal: dumbbells, medicine ball, barbell, and a step-up.

Serious hockey players are working out 4-6 times per week, so this is also obviously only a glimpse into Claude’s full routine. And as my friend Justin Bourne at The Score pointed out, it’s August, and guys are going hard now to be difference makers come opening day.

And of course, Giroux WORKS OUT WITH A TRAINER. This guy is at the top of his game, and one of the best players in the NHL. He’s not naive enough to think that he can do this stuff on his own. Sure, training with a trainer can be pricy, especially to a young hockey player not making “show dough” yet, but it’s clearly worth the investment, and such a better way to make your workouts efficient and pointed, and to eliminate the guesswork you’d be doing on your own. Think about it.

So there you have a 90 point scorer’s NHL level summer hockey training routine. What do you think? Can you keep up? If it’s good enough for an All-Star NHLer/NHL ’13 cover athlete, it’s probably good enough for you too.

My previous post demonstrated me jumping onto a Swiss Ball, and then to another Swiss Ball. Now I’m going to show you how to do it.

Jumping on to the Swiss Ball is far from easy, and quite frankly, it’s rather dangerous. It’s do-able though, and with enough practice, you can figure it out too.

When I was playing college hockey, one of my teammates could do it – thinking of doing it was scary, yet it was a challenging exercise I wanted to be able to perform. I’m happy that I saw it through, and I now know I can do something that not a lot of others can. It’s fun to pass on my knowledge too.

Major Muscles Involved:

-Core, Quadriceps, Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings, Gastrocnemeus

Major Joints Involved:

-Hips, Knees, Ankles.

Movements:

-Hip Flexion (Iliopsoas, Sartorius, Tensor Fascia Latae, Pectineus, Rectus Femoris)

-Hip Extension (Gluteus Maximus, Semitendiunosus, Semimembranosus, Biceps Femoris, Adductor Magnus)

-Knee Flexion (Semitendinous, Biceps Femoris, Semimembranous, Sartorius, Gracilis, Popliteus, Gastrocnemius)

-Knee Extension (Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, Vastus Intermedius) -Dorsi Flexion (Tibialis Anterior, Extensor Hallucis Longus, Extensor Digitorum Longus, Peroneus Tertius)

-Plantar Flexion (Gastrocnemius, Soleus, Plantaris, Flexor Hallucis Longus, Flexor Digitorum, Tibialis Posterior, Peronaeus Longus, Peronaeus Brevis)

Preliminary Tips: Jumping ball to ball is an advanced technique. Learn how to balance on the ball with your knees first, then progress to standing on it, then jumping. Always use a spotter when available.

When you are starting out learning this move, do it on a well padded floor, if available. Also, select your Swiss Ball wisely – they come in all different sizes, thicknesses, and levels of inflation. Best ball to start out on is a small, thick, ¾ inflated one. As you gain confidence, feel free to attempt the jump on different ball variables.

Concerns: Falling, ankle sprains, injury.

Why Should You Do It?: Because of the number of muscles involved in performing this maneuver, it’s imperative that those muscles are strong before you can pull it off. Thus, if you can do this, you know you’re doing good in the strength and stability department. If not, you now know what you can be working on. It’s a maneuver that shows you what you’re capable of – and if you can do this, you’ve showed yourself that you’re capable of attempting and performing other more advanced exercises too. Core strength and stability is crucial for competitive athletes – especially contact sports where other players are constantly trying to knock you down. If you can do this move, you’ll undoubtedly be able to stay on your feet in other precarious situations as well.

The Breakdown:

1)      As you prepare to leap, bend your knees to 90°, entering into hip/knee flexion, and dorsi flexion at the ankles.

2)      As you jump, your objective will to be to jump straight up in the air, and then descend down, on top of the ball – rather than jumping up and forward, and landing on the ball with forward momentum (which would undoubtedly conclude with the back of your head hitting the gym floor). At this stage, you’ll be in nearly full hip/knee extension, and now plantar flexion at the ankle. Aim to land on the ball with your feet shoulder width apart, with your ankles abducting slightly.

3)      In addition to jumping straight up in the air, you need to jump as high as you can straight up in the air – this will allow you to land down square on the top of the ball as previously mentioned in step 2. You will enter into hip/knee flexion with your knee bend up at 90° or higher, looking nearly identical to your take-off form.

4)      As you now land on the top of the ball, you will basically “stick” the landing, rather than performing a deep knee bend and absorbing the landing. Another way to think of it is as your head reaches its highest point in the jump, extend your legs and put your feet down on top of the ball, rather than letting your body drop onto it. This part of the maneuver will require full engagement of isometric contraction in the core and leg muscles to keep your balance. You’ll be in hip/knee extension here, opening up about halfway to straight or so.

5)       As you prepare to proceed to the next ball, again bend your knees down to a 90° starting position, entering into hip/knee flexion, and dorsi flexion at the ankles.  Mentally prepare to perform the same up-and-on jumping motion; minimizing your forward momentum.

6)      As you leap, you be ready-jumping — that is, ready to land, and jumping nearly in your landing position with a lesser degree of hip/knee extension than in your first jump. You actually don’t have to jump as high or as with much upward force this time, as you no longer have to clear the height of the ball like you did in the original jump. Again, aim to land on the ball with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your ankles abducting slightly. DO NOT RUSH this jump – position your feet, and jump only when you’re ready!

7)      Again, land on the top of the ball, and stick the landing while contracting your core and leg muscles in an isometric fashion. You should land with a little extra stabilizing knee bend this time, as this jump is far more precarious than the first.

8)      &   9) Dismount by abducting your hips straight out to the each side of the ball, dropping to the floor, and landing on the floor with a shock-absorbing knee bend. Congrats, you did it!