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pull-ups

Workout from Home Series: Pull-ups and Chin-ups

Make Bodyweight Exercises a Staple

Squats, deadlifts, and presses are great for getting strong and building a foundation, but you need to make sure you balance them out with a steady diet of body weight training. ⁣Bodyweight exercises keep you honest because you can’t just eat your way to improved leverages to see strength gains like you could with the barbell lifts. ⁣

Here are some of our favorite bodyweight exercises for the upper body that should be a staple in any program: ⁣

  • Push-up variations ⁣
  • Inverted Rows⁣
  • Chin/Pull Ups ⁣
  • Handstand variations ⁣
  • Dips⁣
  • Planks

Remember to scale each movement appropriately and progress according to your skill level. There are plenty of variations to keep you busy for months with this list of movements.⁣

Pull-ups and Chin-ups

Pull-ups and Chin-ups are great exercises that target your back and Biceps.  Unless you have a pull-up bar at home, you may need to go to a local park that has a bar you can use.

A Pull-up is performed by grabbing the bar with palms facing away from you. They target the Latissimus Dorsi, Trapezius, and forearm muscles.  Perform the exercise in a smooth controlled movement.  The goal is to pull your chin over the bar (More advanced: touch your chest to the bar).  Make sure to control the "down" phase of your pull-up in order to protect your shoulder joint

A Chin-up is performed by grabbing the bar with palms facing towards you. They target the Biceps, Latissimus Dorsi, and Teres Major muscles. Perform the exercise in a smooth controlled movement.  The goal is to pull your chin over the bar.  Make sure to control the "down" phase of your pull-up in order to protect your shoulder joint

Inverted row

Workout from Home Series: Inverted Rows

Make Bodyweight Exercises a Staple

Squats, deadlifts, and presses are great for getting strong and building a foundation, but you need to make sure you balance them out with a steady diet of body weight training. ⁣Bodyweight exercises keep you honest because you can’t just eat your way to improved leverages to see strength gains like you could with the barbell lifts. ⁣

Here are some of our favorite bodyweight exercises for the upper body that should be a staple in any program: ⁣

  • Push-up variations ⁣
  • Inverted Rows⁣
  • Chin/Pull Ups ⁣
  • Handstand variations ⁣
  • Dips⁣
  • Planks

Remember to scale each movement appropriately and progress according to your skill level. There are plenty of variations to keep you busy for months with this list of movements.⁣

Inverted Rows

Inverted Rows are a great back and biceps exercise that you can do at home.  While the demonstrated video shows a person is using a rack and barbell, you can use a sturdy table at home.  Place a pillow under your head before you begin.  Grab the top of the table while underneath, and from an inverted planking position, pull yourself up to the table.  You can also purchase TRX bands and install them at home

push-up variations

Workout from Home Series: Push-up Variations

Make Bodyweight Exercises a Staple

Squats, deadlifts, and presses are great for getting strong and building a foundation, but you need to make sure you balance them out with a steady diet of body weight training. ⁣Bodyweight exercises keep you honest because you can’t just eat your way to improved leverages to see strength gains like you could with the barbell lifts. ⁣

Here are some of our favorite bodyweight exercises for the upper body that should be a staple in any program: ⁣

  • Push-up variations ⁣
  • Inverted Rows⁣
  • Chin/Pull Ups ⁣
  • Handstand variations ⁣
  • Dips⁣
  • Planks

Remember to scale each movement appropriately and progress according to your skill level. There are plenty of variations to keep you busy for months with this list of movements.⁣

Push-up Variations

Push-up variations are one of the best upper body exercises you can perform to target chest, shoulders and triceps.  While push-ups are a great challenging strength exercise, they are one of the easiest to perform.  Below are videos of 4 push-up variations: Clapping Push-up, Diamond Push-up, Decline Push-up, and Dumbbell Push-up.

Scarecrow exercise

Shoulder Pain Series: Scarecrow Exercise

Shoulder Pain? Improve your shoulder health

In order to maximize back development and maintain shoulder health, make sure to include small isolation movements for the middle and lower traps, rhomboids, and rear deltoids. ⁣
Compound movements will often leave these muscles underdeveloped. It’s essential to train these small muscles with exercises such as:

  • 𝐘𝐓𝗪’𝐬 ⁣
    • Retract shoulder blades prior to initiating movement
  • 𝐅𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐏𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐬 ⁣
    • Use a neutral grip so thumbs are facing you to bias external rotation ⁣
  • 𝐒𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐫𝐨𝐰𝐬 ⁣
    • “Pretend your biceps is a rotisserie chicken” (𝘧𝘢𝘷𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘤𝘶𝘦 𝘌𝘝𝘌𝘙) to maintain joint centration during rotation ⁣
  • 𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐞 𝐅𝐥𝐲
    • Maintain slight elbow bend⁣
  • 𝐁𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐮𝐥𝐥 𝐀𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐬 ⁣
    • Straight elbows, initiate movement with shoulder blades⁣
  • 𝐅𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬 ⁣
    • Hands pull away from body, keep elbows tight to body, maintain flexed elbow ⁣

These exercises can be done twice per week for a few sets of 12-20 reps. ⁣ Make some room for these by adding them into your warm up, in between work sets as a filler exercise, or in between workouts whenever you have free time. ⁣

Scarecrow Exercise

The scarecrow exercise is an excellent exercise for improving shoulder health.  During the scarecrow exercise you target abs and shoulders and also involves upper back & lower traps.  This exercise can be performed using cable pulleys, dumbbells, or elastic resistance bands.  The video below demonstrates the use of cable pulleys.

Total Sports Performance launches new website

Check out our New Personal Training & Sports Performance Programs!

Many of you have known that Chris Matusz, CPT has been a key member of our Total Sports Physical Therapy team since 2009.  But you may not be aware he now runs our Sports Performance & Personal Training programs at our Cave Creek location.  His programs have helped our patients transition from physical therapy recovery into an active lifestyle and improving sports performance.

Chris’s experience working with patients provides a unique approach to his personal training that acknowledges pre-existing conditions and provides a safe, goal-oriented environment for his clients.

His athletic background and experience working with many of the local high school and youth sports leagues programs provides the foundation for his sports performance programs.  These programs are individualized to meet the athletes specific performance needs.

Check out our new Sports Performance & Personal Training website for more information about our programs and pricing!