Trap Bar Deadlift
Wanna get strong? Load up a trap bar and start pulling. In general I don’t have any real issue with straight bar deadlifting, but I think you can get just as much bang for your buck with less concern for an injury with the trap bar. Unfortunately I don’t think many people have the mobility and flexability to get into the correct position to perform a traditional straight bar deadlift so I would like to see people gravitate to the trap bar more often.
The push up is one of those classic exercises that is always overlooked and underappreciated. It seems like these days all people want to do is bench press, but I would argue you can see some very comparable results from the push up with less risk of injury. You can get really creative and load the push up with some heavy weight to really push yourself (pun intended).
Some people are going to say that because I work for Mike Boyle that I am just toeing the company line on this one, but that’s not the case. Over the years I have made my way from all back squat, to 50/50 back squat and front squat, to all front squat – and for one reason; it made my back happy. I am not built to back squat. I have an excessive forward lean and turn it into a squat/good morning rolled together. The front squat keeps me upright otherwise my only option is to dump the weight. Its become a staple for me.
When it comes to upper back development look no further than the chin up. It’s a basic, nuts and bolts exercise, yet not many people can perform more than 1-2 legit chin ups. I have a feeling most people overlook it because it isn’t flashing and it’s somewhat “boring” but really grind away at these for a couple months and let the results speak for themselves.
It doesn’t take a genious to perform some carries. Grab something really heavy in each hand and walk with it. it’s a great core workout, a great grip workout, and a great trap workout. And to top it off, it’s one heck of a mentally challenging exercise if you really push yourself.
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
I don’t care who you are, single leg training is a must. I don’t care if you want to perform the rear foot elevated split squat with one dumbbell, two dumbbells, goblet, front squat, or back squat – it’s all good in my book. Hammer away at these and watch your weights shoot up on traditional two leg squatting movements.
Single Leg RDL
I don’t care who you are, single leg training is a must (I feel like I’m repeating myself). The rear foot elevated split squat is a great knee dominant single leg movement and the single leg RDL is my favorite single leg movement for the posterior chain. Again, I don’t care if you use dumbbells or a barbell, just do it.
I’m a huge fan of some explosive training. I am also a huge fan of the dumbbell snatch. However, too many people have shoulder issues, whether they know it or not, so I prefer the hang clean. Unless you have wrist issues, I don’t see any problem with someone loading up the bar and doing some hang cleans two times a week – I do.