By Stuart Turner, Jan 22 2013 10:55AM
I know, it's a fair comment, "what the **** is a versa-climber?" Its not the most common piece of fitness equipment and a lot of gyms don't have them, but if your one of the lucky ones to have access to this great piece of kit then feel free to go right ahead and use it.
These are a fantastic all round leg exercise that I don't see nearly enough in the gym. There are plenty of people doing squats and lunges which is great but grab some dumbbells and stride off down the floor with them. It will improve the stability in your hips, mobility in your hip flexors as well as working your adductors, hamstrings and quads and looking awesome.
Nordic Ham Raises
Again this is a bit of a forgotten exercise and a great alternative if yo don't have a glute-ham raise machine. Hamstrings are an important group of muscles for extending your hips and improving your speed and power. Get a mate to hold your feet or put them under a latt pull down seat or bench and slowly lower yourself to the floor, squeezing you hamstrings and glutes. Push back up using your hands if you need to but try and use your hamstrings to come back. Do 3 sets of 10 at the end of your next session. Let me now what you think.
Now I see pull ups in the gym quite often, so technically it shouldn't really count. But I rarely see them done properly, and as its my blog they're on the list. A lot of the time people throw themselves up into their pull ups and use a lot of momentum to get to the bar and then don't go down fully before starting the next one. Now this, is cheating! You need to go all the way down t a full arm hang and then slowly pull yourself up to the bar squeezing between your shoulder blades when you get t the top. Then slowly lower self down to the full arm hang position. It's a tough exercise but that's why it's so good. Start by using a big band wrapped around the bar and around your knees to assist you and build up to sets of 8-10 really focusing on technique. Then try without the band dong low reps and build up.
This is a great progression from the plank for the anterior core. Start by using a stability ball in front of you. Engage your abdominals and your glutes and roll the ball forward. Don't bend your arms and try to keep your shoulders, hips and knees in a straight line. Roll forward until you feel your abs working and then come back. Be sure not to let your hips drop down. Once you can do a plank for 30 seconds look to progress to the rollout with a ball and then on to a barbell or ab wheel.