Our blog series "3 fantastic exercises" gives you descriptions and details on some of our favorite and most frequently recommended exercises at HAUS No3.
We have chosen exercises that can be done both in the gym or at home and that follows qualifies as easy to learn with a high return.
Enjoy the reading and we hope you pick up a few tips that will help you on your fitness journey!
WHAT MAKES AN EXERCISE FANTASTIC?
We believe that there is a time and place for every exercise and at the end of the day; how you perform the exercise (technique and form) also dictates if the exercise is good or not for you.
However there are some exercises that stick out and have characteristics that we really like. In summary, these exercises are easier to learn (low skill), don't require a lot of equipment or setup and has a high return by consistently producing positive results in strength and fitness.
On this basis we qualify our exercises as a "fantastic" exercise.
THE TOOL; RESISTANCE BAND
Fully equipped gyms with tools such as dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells are fun and allows for a lot of variety and stimulus. But we know that when it comes to training you can also be very effective simply by using your own bodyweight. But using bodyweight only has some drawbacks and one is the lack of pulling exercises, unless you have access to bars for inverted rows and pull-ups you might end up with a lot of pushing a less pulling. Minimalistic workouts are great and resistance bands are especially handy when it comes to traveling. The fact that they are very light and allows you to do movements involving pulling (often hard to achieve with bodyweight alone) a resistance band can be your perfect travel companion to stay fit and keep moving.
In summary, we really like resistance bands as a training tool, both at HAUS No3 and whenever our guests are traveling. Continue below to read the rationale and descriptions of our chosen "3 fantastic resistance band exercises".
1. PALLOF PRESS Named after an American physical therapist named John Pallof, this exercise is very user-friendly, easy to learn and can be progressed or regressed quickly.
This exercise will train your core by resisting rotation provided by the band and since we have yet trained anyone who wouldn't benefit from having a stronger core, the Pallof press is universally a good choice in training programs for people of all ages, goals and experience levels.
Attach a resistance band at the height of your mid-chest, anchored around a squat rack, pole or door securely fastened to a door handle.
Step away from the anchor point to get resistance from the band coming sideways.
Bend your knees and shift your hips back slightly in an athletic stance and grip the band firmly with both fists in front of the chest.
Extend the arms out forward in a straight line (use mirror if available) and prevent any deviation from the straight arm path by resisting the lateral forces from the resistance band with your entire body and core.
Keep the shoulders down and level and avoid swaying of the hips.
Hold the end range (fully extended arm position) for a count of 2-10 seconds before returning to the starting position. Bracing of the core by utilising a rhythmic breathing pattern is essential for this exercise to be performed well.
The Pallof press can also be done in half or tall kneeling postures (or other positions) as well to highlight and challenge the core more specifically, taking the lower body out of the picture.
Perform for prescribed sets and reps (e.g. 3 sets of 10 per side)
2. 1-ARM CHEST PRESS
This exercise can be considered more compound compared to its relative - the traditional bench press - due to the fact that you are standing and pressing. And the asymmetrical pattern of using 1-arm in the press also makes the stimulus from this exercises different from the floor based pushup, involving rotation and a reciprocal upper and lower limb pattern.
By standing you are asking your entire body to contribute by stabilising and with rotation in the upper body (thorax) your core has no other choice than to function as a connection between your lower and upper limbs and effectively transfer force between the lower and upper body, just like it's designed to do.
Although we don't like the term functional exercise (since what is functional exercises varies from one person to the other depending on their needs and purpose) the 1-arm chest press is one of those exercises that could be classified as a functional exercise for most people since we see great carryover from the 1-arm chest press to many sports and daily activities, from throwing a ball (force transfer via the core) to simply walking down the street (rotating the torso and moving in a reciprocal pattern).
Attach a resistance band at the height of your shoulders, anchored around a squat rack, pole or door securely fastened to a door handle.
Step away from the anchor point to get resistance from the band coming from behind.
Grasp the band in one hand and step the opposite foot forward. Bend your knees slightly and reach out in front with the arm not holding the band while the pressing hand begins close to the chest/armpit.
Press the band forward and reach forward with the shoulder while pulling the opposite arm and shoulder back, rotating the upper body (thorax) while keeping the lower body still and stable.
The strength and force will come from the entire pressing side, including the core and hips, hence why you need a stable lower body to maintain good posture.
Aim for a rhythmic and controlled motion that allows the upper body and arms to rotate on a stable lower body while performing the set.
The 1-arm chest press can also be done in half or tall kneeling postures to highlight and challenge the core more specifically, taking the lower body out of the picture.
Perform for prescribed sets and reps (e.g. 3 sets of 10 per side)
The facepull is a working on muscles in the upper back mostly by squeezing the shoulder blades together (scapula retraction). By performing a horizontal pull, this movement pattern can help to improve poor posture and reset some of the daily activities we often encounter such as slouching, forward bend posture and head position when standing or spending a lot of time sitting down in front of the computer.
Overall, horizontal pulling movements should be a dominant staple in your weekly workout routine. A good ratio to go by is to balance your vertical pulling (pull-ups, lat pulldowns, etc) and horizontal pulling (facepulls, ring rows, band pull-parts, etc) to 1:2. In other words, for every vertical pull you should do twice as much horizontal pulling. This recommendation is for the reasons mentioned above; increased screen time, lack of posture strength and awareness and since vertical pulling can lead to increased internal rotation of the shoulders (by engaging the lats = internal rotator of humerus, to a high degree).
Attach a resistance band at the height of your shoulders or slightly higher, anchored around a squat rack, pole or door securely fastened to a door handle.
Step away from the anchor point to get resistance from the band coming from the front.
Grasp the band with both hands and get in to a split stance (for better stability, alternate feet each set).
Begin with straight arms and pull the band towards your face/chin while keeping a stable torso and lower body (don't sway as you pull).
As you pull the band towards your face, allow the elbows to drift up and out, bringing them to shoulder height approximately.
Squeeze the shoulder blades together at the back and hold the end positions for 2-3 seconds.