T Nation

Members Exercises We Bet You've Never Tried?

I love the topic “Exercises I’ve bet you never tried” that is posted by the authors, so lets give the members/readers a turn. Now I’ve searched (so don’t raise hell at me for not searching the site first) for any threads posted by members describing exercises or moves that we have discovered on our own, been past down by our elders, or possibly came to us in a druken stuper.

So get crackin’ I’ve got a notebook(exercise index)and each page is a different bodypart with a list of all the exercises I know to do for that bodypart. Some are the tried and true and some are not. I know it will be somewhat difficult to describe exercises so if you have the capabilities to post pics or possibly video then please do so.

For instance, a good shoulder move I found years ago is sort of a front d-bell raise I call “front sweeps”. To perform this move you would stand with d-bells as if you were about to do a front raise, but instead of the d-bells being raised directly vertical they will “sweep out” a little wider than shoulder width.

I like for the back of my hands to almost touch at the top of the move in which you should have the d-bells a little above eye level. I got more to share so show me what all of you have hidden in those dirty little minds(or notebooks) of yours.

Swinging Sandbags: Hang a sandbag from each end of a bar with about 12" of rope. The bags should total about 1/4 to 1/3 of your bodyweight.
Basic level: Snatch grip overhead carry

Advanced: snatch grip overhead walking
lunges. Hits all 622 muscles.


All right! There is one more! Come on you people, stop stuffing your throats with those Christmas leftovers. HERE COMES NEW YEARS!

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“Water softener salt bag shrugs”… I really do these. Instead of using dumbells or a barbell for shrugs, I grab 40 lb bags of water-softener salt (my gym is in the basement, the salt is handy)and do shrugs. This hits my traps a lot harder than any other variation. I think it is because I can hold on to the bags with two fingers each and instead of focusing on my grip (like I have to do with dumbells) I can put all of my focus into the trap contraction. I do the same with buckets of water when I’m out in the yard. same grip. Don’t laugh until you try it.

One arm keg snatches.

Killer and fun. Add water as you get better try and balance it with one hand above head.

Shovel deadlifts- Much like you might imagine, load a barbell up with lots of weight on one side and lift. Other motions are possible, but they pretty much all start with the deadlift. Twisting like this is killer for the “core”.

Grip curls- I do a lot of my biceps work with my grip. i.e. the wrist roller;
I’ll hold it free (not attached to anything) and, with a supinated grip, grip curl the weight up the bar. The same with the Twist Yo Wrist. A good part of the biceps job is to supinate the wrists as well as curl.

Mixed Keg/Sandbag lifts- I used to load/unload 50# feedbags before I went to school. The damndest thing was these 40# bags of zinc oxide. They were half the size of the feed and much harder to handle. It wasn’t just the weight, the density really changed things. I’ve got water, fine sand, and some shot for my kegs and sandbags. I admit this one isn’t exactly revolutionary.

Post deadlift- I bought a 4x4 post and 1’ round pole both about 4’ long and attached a screw eye to the end. Using a carabiner, I attached it to a loading pin or “pipebomb”;
Fantastic deadlift alternative, IMO.

Lastly, now that it’s cold, sometimes I have to wear gloves (leather) to hold cold steel for very long. Makes the lifts very different, grip isn’t really an issue with gloves on, no matter how I hold things. I just try not to get too used to them.

These may seem, very physical labor oriented, but I’m a farmboy turned lab geek. I, personally, see little need for concentration curls and calf raises.

Tricep wall press.

Lean your right or left side against a wall with arm extended and bent 90 degrees at elbow. Fist/arm is forward like you would be doing a pushup if you were on the ground. Push yourself away with your fist. To add more resistance angle your feet away from the wall.

Neck Strengthner.

Get a swiss ball and a hallway. Place forehead against the ball. Now compress the ball with your head. Work the front and back of your head along with the left and right. This is an amazing neck strengthner.

I like to push my truck around.I go to a parking lot that is level or have my son sit in the driver’s seat and steer.
Or for a change I’ll push it up a slight incline with my 14 yo using the brake to stop it from rolling back.
Or get a chain and pull,or a sturdy piece of rope.

Frog hops.

Rack a barbell on your shoulders. Perform a front squat, ass to grass. Do the front squat hard enough that you can leap forward for distance at the end of it. Let the momentum of the landing carry you straight down into the bottom of your next front squat; repeat. Perform this drill for distance, not for reps; as you get more tired, and your jump lengths decrease, you must perform more jumps (each including a full front squat) to make it to the end.

Start light. I tried this with a third of my bodyweight and paid for it for a week.

Medicine Ball Rollout: Same as using an ab wheel thingy, but your hands walk the ball out, one at a time. I just figured this one out (not saying I invented it though), but I can’t do it much because of a bumb right elbow.

Double Depth Burpee: I love burpee variations. Get two blocks (stack of books, cinder blocks, whatever) and place them at your wide pushup “grip”. Get a box (saw horse, chair, etc) and place it a foot or two in front of the blocks.

Stand in between the blocks, squat down, place hands on blocks, kick back and do an explosive pushup, landing your hands in a narrow or diamond grip placement on the floor. Explode up from this grip, tucking your legs in and under you.

Jump up on to the box in front of you, squating all the way down on top. Jump as high as you can up and backwards to land back in between the blocks. Squat down and repeat.

Walking pullup: This one requires a long bar of some sort (I hang from the exposed floor of the loft in my barn). Take a shoulder width grip (or whatever grip you prefer), pull up. At the top, shift your hands over one at a time and then lower so that you are next to where you started from. Pullup again and shift back to the start.

Switching grip plyometric pullup: Start with a wide grip, do an explosive pullup. At the apex of the “jump”, release the bar and slide your hands in close to decend with a narrow grip. Explode up with the narrow grip and shift out to a wide grip. Repeat.

This last one I don’t know what to call: You need to have to parrallel bars. I currently make use of the exposed rafters of my unfinished deck. Do an explosive chinup (palms towards you) FORWARDS and catch the bar in front of you palms facing away. Lower, explode up and BACKWARDS, catching the starting bar with the chinup grip again. Repeat.

I love variations of common things.

Take it easy,

1 arm Barbell Rows:

I use this one to bring up the size and strength in my left posterior deltoid. Its destructive. Use 3, 5 10 reps.