Categorized as: TECHNIQUE

Easy Tips For Training the L-sit

By: Mario Ashley

We are so used to training the abdominals through repetitive spinal flexion and extension that when we incorporate an exercise that requires a static position we second guess its effects. That is until you try the L-sit. It is the easiest looking, least intimating core that I have known.  That is until you try it for yourself. I have seen younger women master this exercise while I have seen it make grown men cry.

As we know it, the L-sit place the spine in flexion. Although to a smaller degree it is evident when you focus your eyes on the athletes look back. You notice more of around than you do an arch. In gymnastics, we define this as a “hollow body” state. Its a rigid, stable, and entirely safe position for the spine.

The problem is that because this position is rarely ever trained holding this position for 60seconds at a time is impossible. That is where effective, yet challenging regressions are useful.

1.Parallettes (P.Bar) or Boxes?


The chief complaint comes from the difficulty of keeping the legs of the ground. On the P. Bar, the room for error is small. A lack of flexibility in the hamstring and mobility int he hip flexors are the leading cause of strain. For these athletes, the box modification is best suited for them so they can focus more on bracing the abs and legs time to pray your feet do not touch the ground.

2. Where to place your legs?

In a perfect world,  everyone can point their toes and fully extend the knees. This rarely happens. Adjusting the levers, based on where an athlete places their legs while in the static position is crucial because you want them to be able to find a version that challenges them yet allows them to stay up for 20-30 seconds at a time. The three options we use are: double knee touch, semi-truck (one knee tuck, one leg pointed), or both legs fully extended.

3. Applying Time Under Tension

Ultimately being able to fully extend the legs for a few seconds is pointless. There isn’t enough of a stimulus to affect positive change in strength and or stability. Finding the correct modification based on #1 and #2 is ultimately predicted by their ability to keep their feet off the floor for at least 20-30 seconds at a time.

4. Practice. Practice. Practice.

Very few people can set up on a parallette and hold 60 seconds or longer. It takes repetitious practice like any other skill. Mastering this will make situps feel like a big waste of time.

Physical Benefits of Dips Exercise

Dips are intense and effective isolation exercises that help develop powerful and defined triceps. They can be performed on a machine at the gym or at home on a step; both methods use your body weight as resistance Some towers used for dips come equipped with a pulley system and platform on which you stand or rest your legs. The system provides lift support if your own body weight is too much for you.

Muscle Engagement

Dips are a compound push exercise with a small range of motion that primarily works your triceps but also engages your forearms, shoulders, chest and lower back. These muscle groups are engaged from the moment you position yourself on a dip machine, as the muscles are needed to help stabilize and balance yourself on the arm handles. As you lower and raise your body, the muscles provide resistance to the gravitational pull on your body. The lack of momentum during the dip movement keeps the muscles contracted throughout, making it one of the most effective triceps exercises. Read More…


Quite a few folks following our Competition programming have been wondering whether kettlebell swings should be performed as American Swings, Russian Swings or a hybrid. I have procrastinated an answer for long enough, so here it comes . . .


(I know, the least satisfying answer ever . . . but almost always the most accurate and best.)

Let’s take a look at the traditional American and Russian swings first, and then talk about how to determine which of those is best for you, or if there is a hybrid option that might work better.

The Russian Swing
The Russian swing starts with the kettlebell just below the groin (above the knees) and is swung to chest level – approximately a 90-degree angle to the torso. The movement is short, brisk and compact. It is a hip-hinge movement, with roughly 20-degrees (or less) of flexion at the knee. The power of the swing is generated from the hips while the spine is held perfectly stable and neutral. At the apex of the swing, the bell is at chest level, and the athlete’s glutes are contracted, quads are engaged (pulling the knees up), belly is rock solid and braced for impact, and lats are actively pulling the shoulders away from the ears. Additionally, the Russian swing should be performed with rhythmic diaphragmatic breathing – filling the abdomen on the downswing and forcefully expelling through the teeth, while bracing the belly, at the top of the swing. Read More…

Ask Greg: How Do I Get Faster in the Olympic Lifts?

Jessica Asks: I’ve been religiously watching your videos for about a month now and am amazed at the speed at which Aimee gets under the bar!! I’m still a novice at Olympic lifting but have been doing CrossFit here in Miami for over three years. I know she has a huge amount of experience and training but are there any exercises and or techniques that will improve my speed in that area?

Greg Says
: There two main things to consider when we’re talking about speed in the Olympic lifts. First is the obvious: being able to make your muscles contract at a high rate of speed, which makes the associated joint(s) move at a similarly high rate of speed. The second is the speed of changing the direction of movement during the snatch, clean or jerk, i.e. transitioning from moving the body up to moving the body down. This is not really related to the rate of muscle contraction directly, but is a function of timing and skill.

The rate of muscular contraction can be trained of course, but much of an individual’s speed is simply genetic, the result of factors like muscle fiber type dominance, anatomical differences that improve mechanics, neurological function, etc. In any case, there is certainly a genetic ceiling on maximal speed characteristics irrespective of training methodology. This is where truly elite athletes come from: individuals who are genetically predisposed to being excellent at certain physical tasks and who then put in the time and work to develop those innate abilities to the absolute maximum degree. Read More…


Mastering all these boxing jump rope techniques will take a while but it’ll improve your balance, footwork, and coordination. You’ll be able to switch between the different techniques easily and not only does it look amazing, but it presents a thorough workout.


This is the most basic of jump rope techniques and if you’re a complete beginner, then you should start here. It just requires you to stand with both feet slightly apart and jump over the rope, landing in the same position that you started in.


This is another basic jump rope technique and even more common than the previous. It requires alternate feet to leave the ground in a jogging/running fashion while timing your jumps. If you want to intensify your workout, then you can either speed up your pace or bring your knees up.


Starting off in the Two Feet Basic Jump position, begin performing the same jump as normal. As you’re jumping, using both feet, start jumping from side to side. You can start by doing short side jumps first then progress onto longer side jumps.


Starting off in the Two Feet Basic Jump position, begin performing the same jump as normal. You then jump forwards and backwards continuously and like the Side to Side jumps, start off short then progress onto longer jumps.


This technique requires you to hop over the jump rope with either foot continuously, then switch to your other foot. Performing 2 or 3 hops with one foot before switching over is generally common among boxers.


This is a more advanced technique which requires timing and coordination between your hands and feet. Before each jump, you have to bring your left hand to your right side and your right hand to your left side so that your arms are crossed. After you’ve made the first jump, then you resume your normal hands positioning ready for the next jump.


This technique is the same concept as the Criss-Cross Hands but using your feet instead. So before each jump, you must cross your legs and then resume your normal position for your next jump.

It massively helps to practice the Criss-Cross Feet Jumps without the ropes first because your footwork is the most important part for this.


If your legs are getting slightly tired or you wish to switch up your jumps, then the Side Rope Swings will help you do that. It’s a basic technique where the swinging rope passes the side of your body without you having to actually jump over it.


The scissors is very similar to the Criss-Cross Feet Jumps but instead of crossing your feet from side to side, you must cross them from front to back instead. After each jump, you should end up with one foot in front of the other with a bit of distance in between.


Fast swings and higher jumps are the basis of the Double Under Jumps. You must assume the Two Feet Basic Jump positioning, and for each jump, swing the rope fast and hard to make sure that it goes under your feet twice.

It’s not necessary to jump high but as a beginner, it helps. When you master it, you’ll be able to perform the Double Under Jumps with a little gap from your feet to the ground.

Read More…

How to Bench Press with Proper Form: The Definitive Guide

Proper Bench Press form starts lying on a Bench with your feet on the floor. Unrack the bar with straight arms. Lower it to your mid-chest. Press it back up until you’ve locked your elbows. Keep your butt on the bench. Bench Press sets of five reps every StrongLifts 5×5 workout A.

The Bench Press is a full body, compound exercise. It works your chest, shoulders and triceps most. It’s the most effective exercise to gain upper-body strength and muscle mass because it’s the upper-body exercise you’ll lift most weight on (more than Overhead Press). The bigger your bench, the bigger your chest.

To avoid shoulder pain, tuck your elbows 75° when you lower the bar. Don’t try to stretch your chest by flaring your elbows 90° out. You’ll impinge your shoulders if your upper-arms are perpendicular to your torso at the bottom. Tuck your elbows 75° to Bench Press pain-free. Read more…