Changing our training angles

Something that I’m using to mix up my training at the moment is the concept of training muscles by placing my body at different angles in relation to the resistance and gravity.

I was watching the UFC with a couple of my mates and randomly noticed how the fighters have to cope with resistance while their body is at varying angles to the ground and with different levels of support from the rest of the body – e.g. pulling an opponent up from the floor or pulling an opponent into guard both use a ‘rowing’ type movement with the back muscles but one is done leaning forwards and one is done lying on their back. This got me thinking to how I could apply this idea to my training in the gym so I decided to mix things up by varying my exercises with a few examples as below. This style of training also provides a nice variation between resistance exercises and bodyweight exercises and keeps things fresh and interesting. It should also keep things fairly useful in terms of functionality of the training.

Chest

  • cable presses (standing pushing the resistance parallel to the ground)
  • single arm push up progressions (lying forwards pushing resistance “towards” the ground, although of course this results in our body moving away from the ground)
  • single arm bench press (lying facing up pushing resistance away from the ground)

Back (rowing)

  • cable rows (standing pulling the resistance parallel to the ground)
  • horizontal row (lying facing up pulling resistance towards the ground)
  • Single arm bent over row (leaning forwards pulling resistance away from the ground)

Shoulders

  • Handstand push up progressions (upside down pushing resistance towards the ground)
  • Shoulder presses (pushing resistance away from the ground)

Lats (chin up type move)

  • Chin ups (pulling resistance towards the ground)
  • Bent forward (pulling resistance parallel to the ground)
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