The perfect program doesn’t exist, but we can always work toward putting together the most optimal program for our athlete during their given health, season, sport and training IQ. These “must have” exercises could find a home in your program and could give some real benefit to performance across the board.
Most program have their pros and cons. If we are not growing and progressing our understanding of our training methodologies, we in turn make repetitive errors and have suboptimal results. Below are several untraditional, innovative, and highly effective exercise modifications and adaptations. By no means are these exercises mandatory, and they must be implemented correctly, precisely and placed correctly within our long term periodization. These exercises yield great results, and most of all, high adherence levels from our clients. Below are four exercises probably missing from your programming and why you may want to consider putting them in.
The Renegade Row exercise combines the benefits of a regular dumbbell row along with the core stability that is required from a plank. I always tell my athletes I don’t like to get them into a >85% load while in unstable environments as it tends to yield less motor until recruitment. With this lift however I can try to push the load amount just for the pure benefits to the core. Remember, cutting, changing directions and moving laterally all place high demand on the adductors and torso (core) Adding exercise to bridge the upper and lower half are always beneficial to our athletes. The Renegade Row is a two-in-one exercise, giving you the benefits of doing a dumbbell row and plank in a single move. The renegade row helps with anti-rotary stability through the thoracic and lumbar spine. The exercise is a great multi-functional exercise to be added to your training program.
This linear motion with this exercises is actually considered a multi-planar meaning, it has the athletes move along multiple planes. We replicate these linear exercises of squats, lunges, and other linear plane motions all in one. It is critical for the overall functionality of our bodies to perform translational movements that offer both strength and mobility benefits. We always preach “strength through length!” The Cross Over Lunge is a great exercise that offers the benefits of several other lifts all wrapped up into one great movement.
This is a dextrous movement pattern that challenges our stability, balance, core, and proprioception all with multi-plane co-ordination of the body. It rotates as well as extends. It pushes as well as stabilizes. It balances us on one foot. This exercise serves as a great adjunct to any movement pattern as it works our proprioception and ability to be unipedal (ability to move on one foot) in motion. This exercise is a wonderful evaluation of core transference and movement ability. It is a must-have in your training programming.
Lastly, we have listed out the Jefferson Squat. This is lift I am constantly forgetting about in my own personal programming. To be totally honestly, I don’t know why. This truly is an amazing lift. It’s a multi-joint lift that that can do incredible things for the adductors and abductors as well as all of the different muscles we use to change direction, jump high, and move linearly. You can literally program this like you would any Squat or Deadlift. Load it the same, add bands, add chains, do it for speed, use it to measure a 1RM This lift can also be be an athletes main lift and focus for the day. Using the Jefferson Squat has been amazing for our hockey, basketball, football and baseball players.. It even toes the line of “sport-specific” in the weight room, without losing its merit giving athletes a closer connection and correlation with their sport.. Definitely give this a try and get creative with your programming.