03 Jul 4 Most Undervalued Exercises
This article will demonstrate the 4 of the most undervalued exercises that I wish I had incorporated into my routine throughout my younger years. You learn from mistakes, but the mistakes don’t have to be yours. These 4 most undervalued exercises are high-value movements that we have found to provide benefit to numerous clients and patients of ours. These are exercises that should be built into everyone’s program to some capacity. These exercises include 2 upper body and 2 lower body movements. For some, these exercises can be the meat and potatoes of a workout, while others may integrate these movements as part of their warm-up or end of workout burner. A little bit of prehab goes a long way! Don’t be that guy or girl that is going to say “I wish I did something about this earlier.” This article will provide you with the 4 most undervalued exercises that you should integrate today!
What Are 4 Of The Most Undervalued Exercises?
The 4 exercises in this video include:
- Banded Face pull
- Split Squat Inverted Kettlebell Press
- Copenhagen Plank On Elevated Surface With Trunk Rotation
- Modified Side Plank With Clam
Most Undervalued Exercises: #1 – Banded Face Pull
These exercises are not ordered in any particular order, for exercise #1 of the 4 most undervalued exercises, we have a banded face pull!
Face pulls are a great bang for your buck exercise. This exercise is effective in targeting the scapular retractors and the often weak posterior cuff. For this exercise, you want to pull your shoulder blades back as you perform the face pull. I like to bring my hands around ear level or higher. As you pull, bring your thumbs towards the back wall- this will externally rotate your shoulder which is the action of the posterior cuff.
Avoid arching the neck as you perform this. If you are having difficulty performing this correctly, start by chin tucking or creating a double chin prior to performing this movement. This image demonstrates what is optimal (for our intent) vs. how many perform this movement with compensation. Then it is shown in a way in which this exercise can be performed with control. It is so important to master this movement with control prior to adding any speed. Finally, there is a progression of this exercise which is performed using some speed! Try this for 30 seconds, you will be burning!
Most Undervalued Exercises: #2 – Overhead Press
The Split Squat Inverted Kettlebell Press can be broken down into 2 separate requirements. The first exercise will allow you to master the stability and control, while the landmine shoulder press will allow you to load the shoulder with the goal of maximizing strength and power.
Part 1: Inverted Kettlebell Carry – Shoulder Flexion 90/90
For this exercise lift the kettlebell up to your shoulder. Keep the scapula neutral and maintain a vertical forearm to the ground for the entirety of this exercise. Maintain shoulder and elbow flexion to 90 degrees as you walk. Avoid excessive shrugging of the shoulder and rounding of the shoulder blade. Make sure to stay strong in the shoulder blade as you perform this! If this is too easy, you can perform this with your arm in an overhead position.
Part 2: Split Stance Single Arm Landmine Shoulder Press
For this movement begin in a split stance position with one leg forward and the other back. Hold the barbell with one hand only (the hand on the side where the leg is back). Let your knees and hips bend a bit and explosive return to starting position to generate power and speed on the barbell. You should think of squishing a bug with your back toes. As your return to your starting position, push the barbell overhead as fast as you can. You should feel all the muscles in your body working. In particular, you should feel like you are generating the power in your hips, transferring through your core, and then into your shoulder and hands into the barbell. Try your best to make it one smooth motion. Do not let your hips and knees overly-bend to generate power. It should just be a little bend/dip.
Most Undervalued Exercises: #3 – Copenhagen Plank
The sample clip in the initial video is a moderate challenging version of the Copenhagen plank. The video here will demonstrate many different variations of the traditional Copenhagen plank.
The groin is an often-overlooked muscle group. Far too often we forget about the hip adductors because there is rightly an emphasis on hip abductors, due to their large role in frontal plane stability. Especially with the extremely high prevalence of groin strain, those meaty insides of the thighs should not be neglected!
READ: [P]REHAB YOUR GROIN PAIN
Most Undervalued Exercises: #4 – Modified Side Plank + Clam
The final exercise of the most undervalued exercises!
Side planks are an excellent exercise to strengthen the entire body, from the hips all the way up to the shoulders. However, not everyone can or should start with the traditional side plank. Also, there are so many variations and side plank progressions to target different body areas that who need the traditional side plank!
One of the easiest (and honestly our favorite) way to modify the side plank is to do exactly that, perform the modified side plank! Modified meaning on knees, the modified side plank is a staple [P]Rehab exercise for many reasons. Typically prescribed in back, hip, and knee rehab, the modified side plank is an excellent way to train anti-lateral trunk lean. This is achieved by the trunk and proximal hip muscles (obliques, paraspinals, glutes).
When performed correctly, the modified side plank is a true lateral butt burner! What we have learned in the clinic is that performing the modified side plank with reps is a good starting point prior to the side plank progressions of holding a modified side plank. Check out this video for standing glute exercises!
We have also dedicated one of our podcasts to the topic of gluteal muscle activation, and how to train it in a [P]Rehab Audio Experience with Dr. Bret Contreras!
By implementing movements like these that target both the upper and lower body into your exercise routine, it can not only make you perform at a higher level, but also prevent future injuries! These 4 most undervalued exercises we have recommended are excellent because they are able to be modified if you are just starting to incorporate them into your routine. Furthermore, it will give you that drive to progress and further improve your exercise performance as you continue to get stronger, more fit, and move at a more optimal level!
Looking For More Shoulder Content?
The Shoulder [P]Rehab Program is a physical therapist developed, step-by-step program that teaches you how to optimize your shoulder health. This 4-phase program will expose you to various scapula and shoulder strengthening and stabilization exercises supported by science. This program will bulletproof your shoulders for anything life throws at you! Learn more HERE
Disclaimer – The content here is designed for information & education purposes only and is not intended for medical advice.