17 Apr The G-Force Source: accessorise yourself
Spoil yourself by accessorising yourself. We’re not talking about purchasing and donning a Prada man-bag. Leave that delusional idea of fashionable masculinity to others. The accessories that we’re talking about are those that you perform in the gym, not wear over your shoulder to be “cool.”
Last week, we emphasised the importance of adopting goal setting as part of your training and life improvement regime. In this week’s Source, we’re going to add another aspect of training that everyone should also adopt: accessory work.
Hunter Britt, a blog writer for Invictus, has this to say about accessory work:
“…by training and implementing accessories lifts, an athlete is able to substantially improve strength by stressing their body in many different angles and cause different stimulus to a certain area that a classic barbell lift may not be able to challenge as well.”
Accessory work is essential if you wish to strengthen and improve parts of your body that are weaker and cause a detrimental affect on your lifts and gymnastic work.
To help you with some ideas for your accessory work, we’re listing five accessories that we’d like to see everyone try. You may notice that most of these movements focus on the posterior chain and explosive hip drive. This is for a good reason: we tend to see weaker backs, glutes and hamstrings, and explosive hip drive is definitely worth improving as it applies to most lifting and gymnastic movements whether you realise it or not.
Adjust yourself so that your hips are free of the pads on the GHD. Keeping your back flat and tight, lower your trunk, then engage your hamstrings to raise your trunk until you are parallel to the floor, squeezing your bottom at the top of the parallel position. This can be performed with an empty bar if you find the movement too easy.
Also an exercise that can be performed weighted or without weight. Box height will depend on whether you want to perform this quickly for explosive hip drive, or you want to isolate the muscles in your leg with a slower controlled step-up. The idea is to not use the leg that’s on the floor as a propeller. Once you’ve placed your foot on the box, no matter which variation of the movement you’re performing, use the bent leg to drive yourself up.
You can perform this with a barbell or with a band like we have in class. Have your feet under your hips, and whilst maintaining a tight and straight back, sit your booty back and lower your trunk. You can allow for a slight bend in the knees. Keep lowering your trunk until you feel the hamstrings tighten, then raise yourself back up vertically. You can do the whole movement slow, or alternatively, you can lower yourself slow and controlled, then shoot back up quickly. Imagine your hamstrings to be an elastic band. As you lower your trunk, the elastic stretches, but when you come back up, think of an elastic band being let go. Be fast like an elastic band! Jumping good mornings are also a good exercise, but these are a more advanced movement. Consult your coaches before doing anything cray cray.
Set up a sled with some weight on it. Face away from the sled with the rope between your legs. Make sure you’ve got all the slack in the rope as you bend over with the rope in your hands between your legs, and like the good morning, maintain a straight and tight back. Next, explosively thrust your hips through and stand up. What should happen is the sled should pull towards you. If it didn’t, you’ve done a boo boo. This exercise works your posterior chain, as well as your explosive hip drive.
We’ve done these before in class. Similar to a full kettlebell swing, instead of going overhead, we’re only going as far as our hips can take us. Keep the kettlebell close to your private bits on the downward movement, then thrust your hips through hard and fast, and let the kettlebell swing forward. Do not use your arms to swing the kettlebell. We want you to just use your hips and only your hips to get that kettlebell moving.
Please consult your coaches before performing any of these exercises. We encourage you all to give these a go as they will help you immensely. Instead of sitting around for half an hour after a class and flapping your chins, you now have something else to do.
To conclude this week’s Source, check out the gym’s new personal bests below. These are some great numbers, especially at the beginning of our strength program cycle. We look forward to seeing more numbers as we progress through the strength programming.
Remember that this coming Friday, our olympic weightlifting specialist coaches will be starting their six week block at G-Force. There are only a few spots left, so be sure to put your name on the whiteboard. If you want to get better at lifting, it is imperative you commit to this six week block with the coaches coming in.
See you all in the gym.