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Lifting Technique

RTS Coaching: Low-Cable Split-Squat

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: When it comes to training, I’m pretty vanilla. I’m a big believer in using the big lifts (i.e. squats, deads, chins, rows, push-ups, etc.) with brutally efficient and effective technique. AND In my opinion, split-stance exercises are a must-have in your programming . In case you […]

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RTS Coaching: Reach AND Row

Chances are if you’ve pushed weight for any period of time, you’ve performed some dumbbell rowing variations. The primary focus when rowing is obviously on the upper back, and getting a nice retraction through the shoulder blade. However, I contend that we can get even more out of this exercise by actively reaching with the […]

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RTS Coaching: Push-up to Single-Arm Support

Much like the Renegade Row (which we covered last week), a push-up to single-arm support is a terrific total-body exercise. First and foremost, you get the benefits of reaching which I’ve touted numerous times here. But furthermore, when going into a single-arm support position you really overload the core, and stress its ability to resist […]

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RTS Coaching: How to Renegade Row

I’m a HUGE fan of Renegade Rows. I mean, who wouldn’t want an exercise that can bulletproof your shoulders, strengthen your core, and make you feel like a superstar athlete all at the same time? If you’re a rotary sport athlete (i.e. golf, tennis, baseball, etc.) Renegade Rows will give you the anti-rotary stability that’s […]

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RTS Coaching: Reaching vs. Shrugging

While everybody and their mother likes to talk about the bench press, I’m a huge believer in focusing on reaching exercises to keep my athletes healthy and strong. In fact, if you’ve reviewed my Physical Preparation 101 DVD’s, you’ll remember that I break all of my upper body movements down into reaching and rowing variations. […]

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How to Perform Rear Foot Elevated Split-Squats

I’ll be honest: For several years, I was not a huge fan of rear foot elevated split-squats (RFESS)/Bulgarian split-squats/whatever the cool kids are calling them these days. My biggest issue with the exercise was the execution: If you you do a Google search for the exercise, you’ll see pictures of athletes crushing their lumbar spines, […]

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RTS Coaching – Whole Foot on RDL’s

One of the key things we focus on at IFAST is feeling your feet when you train. Feeling your whole foot is critical for optimizing center of gravity, which in turn allows you to load and feel the appropriate muscles when training. I often joke that strength training is the only sport where it’s beneficial […]

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Deadlift

deadlift

Regardless of whether your goal is to get bigger, get stronger, or to simply shed some body fat, learning how to deadlift properly can help you achieve your goal faster. Unfortunately, a lot of people have no clue how to deadlift properly, and as such, end up getting injured. In this article, you’ll learn how […]

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RTS Coaching – The Breathing Push-up

At this point, we all know that push-ups rock. They train the serratus anterior, strengthen the rotator cuff, and tie the upper and lower body together. So how do we take an awesome exercise and make it even more awesome (and a lot more challenging)? Simple – we add focused breathing into the equation. Below […]

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Simplifying Your Squat and Deadlift

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stop thinking about lifting and training. Even when I’m attempting to zone out or dial in on something else, often my thoughts drift and I find myself thinking about training once again. Lately I’ve been re-visiting my thoughts on squatting and deadlifting. Not only am I working […]

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Mike Rants – Exercise Technique

Last week, Kirsten (my amazing admin and the Wonder Woman of IFAST) posted a picture of me working with one of the new guys for the Indy Eleven. I’m an admin on the page, so I get a notification that another gym owner here in Indianapolis has commented: “Better check on that lunge form.” Now […]

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Push-up

Every single client or athlete I train uses push-ups in their programming. And why not? They are simply a fantastic lift, whether your goal is to get stronger, burn more body fat, or become more athletic. Let’s start our journey by reviewing just a few of the reasons you might want to include push-ups in […]

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How NOT to RDL

The RDL, or Romanian deadlift, is a staple exercise for Olympic lifters and athletes alike. It’s universally popular because it not only serves as a teaching tool for bigger lifts (full deadlifts, cleans, etc.), but it also builds the hamstrings and teaches people to flex and extend their hips properly. However, I will go to […]

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Setting up for a Big Deadlift

Everyone loves a big deadlift. Powerlifters even have a saying – “The meet doesn’t start ’til the bar hits the floor.” Like most lifts, though, many people miss their deadlifts before they even begin to pull the weight. A dialed in and tight set-up will not only reduce the likelihood of injury, but I guarantee […]

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Should You Use Manual Muscle Testing?

Manual muscle testing (MMT) can be a valuable tool in your assessment arsenal. Now I know what the naysayers are going to say: It’s not reliable enough. It’s hard to use between testers. And trust me, I agree with those sentiments. Like virtually any test in isolation, manual muscle testing is not perfect. But as […]

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