Tag Archives: weight training

Include these 5 Functional VIPR Exercises into Your Workouts

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

Exercising options and varieties have never been more full of options. Creating new and diversified exercise programs are becoming the norm as people are consistently seeking new ways to achieve their optimum levels of fitness. With all these options, comes exploration, so in this article let’s do a quick exploration on what #ViPR training is. #ViPR (“Vitality, performance and reconditioning”) is that rare thing: a seemingly faddy piece of equipment that actually works. “With the #ViPR, every exercise can become a core exercise, a balance exercise and an agility exercise,”. #ViPR is a round looking hollowed tube with two hand grips on one side and one long hand grip on the other. There are no attachments and it allows for optimum movement sequencing.

Below are Fitness Propelleds 5 #ViPR exercises to get you excited about including #ViPR training to your exercise regimen. 3 sets for 30 seconds per exercise with a 1 minute rest per set.

Squat with ViPR through the legs

11-11-2  Holding the ViPR with a shovel grip horizontally in front of you, descend into a squat with the ViPR through your legs. Then, stand and drive the ViPR vertically upward to the start point. Repeat.

Squat into a double-forward drive

22-12-2  Holding the ViPR in a neutral grip, horizontally in front of you, descend into a full squat, lowering the ViPR to the floor. Stand up and step forward into a dynamic lunge, driving the ViPR forward on the same side. Return to standing and repeat the drive on the opposite side.

Front squat to overhead press

33-1  With a shoulder-width overhand grip, bring your elbows forward so your palms are facing upward and the ViPR is resting on your front shoulder muscles. With a neutral spine, lower yourself as if sitting in a chair behind you. Keep your elbows high as you lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause then push back up to a standing position and perform an overhead shoulder press.

Lunge with lateral rotation

44-14-2  Keeping your chest up high and back neutral, rotate your torso and then return to a upright split stance, repeating all reps on the same side before alternating legs.

Core rolling ViPR plank and press-up

55-15-25-3  Laying the ViPR on the floor vertically, place one hand on the end of the cylinder and one on the floor while in the plank position. Make sure to place the hands under the shoulders. Roll the ViPR underneath the opposite hand, hold again in the plank position for 10 seconds and then do one (super slow) press-up.

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Training Your Biceps Effectively

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

I think it would be fair to say that many of us training fanatics are “Biceps” obsessed.   “Over the past several years , biceps exercises have ranked among the Top 10 most searched moves on Google’s annual Zeitgeist list” (Idea fitness Journal). With such an obsession over that bulging bump in our right and left arms, I felt it interesting to report on a study that examined the effectiveness of eight of the most popular movements used to work the biceps brachii.

The Study, conducted by John Porcari, PhD at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, compiled a listing of exercises that targeted the biceps. These exercises were the cable curl, barbell curl, concentration curl, chin-up, EZ curl (both wide and narrow grip), incline curl and finally the preacher curl.

Examining, 16 healthy female and male volunteers ages 18-24. Researchers set a baseline by having the subjects complete a one-repetition maximum (1RM) for each movement. Electrodes were fixed onto the biceps brachii, anterior deltoid and brachioradialis of each subject as to measure the total muscle activity via a wireless electromyography (EMG) machine. Then, subjects completed a maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) by performing an isometric one-arm cable curl. Finally, researchers randomly assigned four more biceps exercises for the subjects to complete in order to garner the data for their study.

The Results:

Compared to the rest, the concentration curl came out on top, eliciting nearly 90% MVC, with the preacher curl showing as the least effective. According to Porcari, it is important to note that when training the biceps, other muscles such as the anterior deltoid and brachioradialis can become recruited in the lift, effectively taking a portion of the load away from the biceps and hence reducing the effectiveness of the lift. This is where teaching proper lifting form while promoting each type of biceps curl is essential.

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  • Idea Fitness Journal – September 2014
  • Picture from – onlymyhealth.com

5 Strength Training Exercises for Running Enthusiasts

Who knew that in order to increase running efficiency, lessen injury potential and develop more core and lower body stability that we need to incorporate “strength training” as opposed to just running more? Well, if you find yourself on the side of choosing to run more, you might want to consider adding a strength training component to your work out regime. Fitness Propelled has been examining preventative running practices, injury treatments and understanding common running injuries. Now, it is time to take our collective knowledge and become proactive by applying the exercises portrayed below. Recommended 3 sets of each @ time and repetitions listed.

1)      Reverse lunges with overhead presses:


  • Hold a pair of dumbbells straight above your shoulders, with your arms straight and elbows locked. Step backwards with your left leg, and lower your body until your front knee is bent 90 degrees. Return to the starting position, and repeat with your right leg. That’s one repetition. 12-15 repetitions per set.

              i.      Muscles worked: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus, shoulders, core

2)      Planks:


  • Prop yourself up on your elbows with your feet slightly apart. Make sure your body is aligned, your abdominal muscles are tight, and shoulders are directly above the elbows and down and back, not hunched up. Hold this position for 45 seconds to one minute per set. Gradually add time as your core gets stronger.

                   i.      Muscles worked: core, lower back, shoulders

3)      Stability ball back extensions:


  • Lie face-down on a stability ball with your feet spread wide for balance. Your elbows should be bent with your hands lightly touching the ground for initial support. Squeeze your gluteus and lift your torso up until your body forms a straight line. As you lift your torso, allow your hands to come off the ground, keeping your elbows bent. Extend your arms overhead. Hold for one or two seconds. Release your arms and then your torso back down to the start position. That’s one rep. Aim for 12-15 repetitions per set. No stability ball? You can do the movement on an exercise mat: Raise your thighs and arms off the ground while your torso stays in contact with the ground.

                   i.      Muscles worked: lower back, glutes, middle back, shoulders

4)      Kettlebell squats w/ rotational twists

ImageHold the kettlebell with both hands in front of your chest. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back, and lower your body into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Press the kettlebell above your head to the right shoulder rotating through your abdomen, return the kettlebell to the original position and repeat to the left shoulder. 12-15 repetitions per set.

                       i.      Muscles worked: glutes, quads, hamstrings, lower back, upper back, shoulders

5)  Stability ball hip extensions or gluteus bridges


  • Lie on your back on the floor, and place your calves on a stability ball. Extend your arms to your sides to help support and balance your body. Push your hips up so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Without allowing your hips to sag (keep with your body at all times), roll the ball as close as you can to your hips by bending your knees and pulling your heels toward you.

                  i.      Muscles worked: hamstrings, gluteus, core


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Impact on extreme conditioning programs: Crossfit, Insanity, etc

In 2011, the Consortium for Health and Military Performance and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) released the “Consensus Paper on Extreme Conditioning. (Link below).  The paper looked at extreme conditioning programs, including CrossFit and Insanity, and revealed that “physicians and other primary care and rehabilitation providers have identified a potential emerging problem of disproportionate musculoskeletal injury risk, particularly for novice participants.

The ACSM paper recommends that “an effective and safe conditioning regimen must consist of incremental, progressive introduction of exercises and workloads based on fitness and specific conditioning needs and limitations of the individual” (emphasis original).

What’s your take in regards to “Extreme Conditioning” programs?  Are they the proper fit for your every day fitness enthusiast?

Consortium for Health and Military Performance and American College of Sports Medicine consensus paper on extreme conditioning programs in military personnel.