5 Ways to Get Stronger at Every Angle
Sep 08, 2020
By: Venus Lau
Strength at every angle is a motto I train by because it’s truly the difference between the average gym goer and a high performance athlete… And I truly believe EVERYONE can elevate their fitness and move like a high performance athlete!
There are endless ways to get stronger at every angle but I’m doing to talk about
5 basic ways you can start with:
- TAKE ANY traditional exercise like a squat or lunge and EXPLORE DIFFERENT POSITIONS FOR THE FEET OR HANDS... We all know front, reverse, and side lunges but I’m talking about changing the angle of the hips, slightly placing the foot 6 inches diagonally in ANY OTHER direction. The challenge will be can you hold those new positions in full stable control? Different is different even if it’s only 3 inches to the front or back.
- LOAD YOUR WEIGHT UNEVENLY… In the real world outside of a gym you rarely hold equally balanced weight. Example: a gym bag in one hand and a smoothie in the other. So train for real life, like a warrior holding a sword in one hand and a shield in the other… Ok, that’s a little intense but you get the drift. If you’re holding a 16 kg kettlebell in one hand, hold a 20 kg kettlebell in the other. Just this simple difference can make all the difference in how your body reacts to gravity and stabilizing the load under tension and attempting to create movement.
- HOLD END RANGE POSITIONS LONGER… When I say longer I mean looonnngggeeerrr! As long as you can with as much power as you can. Most of the time I find clients are not reaching their full potential with isometrics of holding positions. A pushup for example: At the top of the pushup treat the ground like it is pushing back at you with more force than you are pushing back at it. Protract your scapula, squeeze the heck outta your abs, squeeze your butt like you're trying to grow another booty, engage your quads til you feel your knee power up, lift your heels like you’re Marilyn Monroe! At the bottom of that pushup, do the SAME THING but with your elbows perfectly stacked over your palms. Start with 10 seconds then build to a minute and so on.
- ARTICULATE MOVEMENTS FROM THE GROUND-AND-UP… I’ll use a traditional bridge to demonstrate what I mean. Set your supine bridge position up, feet shoulder width or wider, knees about 90 degrees, palms up, head neutral. Then before you just lift your hips, drive whatever is touching the floor into the ground like you’re trying to make an imprint of your body. Inch by inch, lift the tailbone, THEN articulate your vertebrae one at a time like a wave til you get to the chest. Finally, reverse those movements one at a time back down. Not only will you feel more stable but you will also create synergy and full engagement of the body. Stability also allows for more Mobility because the brain sends a signal saying “oh, I got this, this is safe for me to put more energy in the moves!”
- MAKE THE TRANSITION JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE OTHER MOVES… An easy example is crawling. Can you make the time of the opposite hand and foot in the air just as smooth and controlled as it is when it is on the ground? A simple drill is to lift the opposite hand and foot and count to 5, then slowly and gently landing them on the ground together as you crawl in any direction. The slightest change in stabilizing these angles can make all the difference in the strength of your shoulders, core, and spine. To make it harder hover the knees an inch off the ground… Even harder? Hover the knees AND crawl on your elbows.
These are a great start and an intense challenge when you truly commit to each of the concepts. Make easy hard, and make hard simple! Enjoy these simple yet effective ways of getting stronger at every angle and let me know how it goes!