Strength Innovation – Lawnmower Back Extension & Rolling Dip

Chronic sitting is not only negatively affecting our health and body composition, but it’s producing a deformed physique. As we’re not using our glutes or firing our core muscles, we’re getting tight hip flexors and hamstrings, and it’s putting too much strain on other areas of our body.

One of the muscles getting overworked is the Quadratus Lumborum (or QL), which originates at the hip bone and attaches to the spine. Leaving many of us chronically sore or chronically tight there.

The first exercise I’m sharing today was originally designed to stretch those QL muscles, and give myself and my clients some relief. Although once I discovered the added benefit of some isolated glute work (specifically the gluteus medius) at the top, it quickly became a go-to core exercise.

Notice the full reach across the body to stretch that QL muscle, and SLIGHT twist at the top to experience full glute activation. Also notice I’m using my bodyweight to start and working up to a LIGHT weight choice after that.

This is definitely a high-rep form-first exercise, and we want to be very careful with any spinal torque action. So start with your bodyweight, really work on reaching for distance at the bottom, and enjoy that QL stretch at the bottom!

Rolling Dips

This next exercise is not related to the first at all (and definitely not in the same category of difficulty) but I picked it up a few weeks ago while working out with an old friend of mine, and it’s too good not too share.

Since he’s now in the Special Forces, he shall remain nameless. But hopefully, I can continue to learn some of the uncommon exercises he’s picked up over the last couple years. Not only from his Special Forces training, but because the guy’s always been a strength and conditioning sponge; and he has direct experience applying this knowledge to his own performance in football and martial arts, and the high-level performance of others (including a handful of pro hockey players).

Long story short, here’s the new exercise – which is a variation on the traditional tricep dip (that I decided to call The Rolling Dip):

How cool is that?

It’s definitely not a beginner exercise, but feel free to try it out in place of the standard dips when you’re feeling frisky. Keeping in mind that it will likely be QUITE challenging at first.

Fortunately, my friend assures me that he struggled with a handful of reps at first, and he now does them with ease. Which sounds refreshing, until you remember that he’s in the Special Forces, can bench 2 times his bodyweight, do muscle-ups with ease, and jump through the roof.

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike


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