The ‘W’ Exercise – No Money Drill

 

Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, Decemerb

The ‘W’ exercise involves a combination of three motions that place the arms in a ending position that looks like a ‘W’ from behind.  This great shoulder exercise is sometimes referred to as the ‘no money’ drill because it places the arms in a, “Hey don’t look at me – I don’t have your money” position.

 

The-W-Exercise

 

The ‘W’ Exercise is a combination of scapular retraction and posterior tilt as the arms externally rotate.

Instructions

The arms start out in front with the forearms parallel to the thighs – if you hold your arms out in front the elbows are bent to ninety degrees and the wrists will be inline with the knees.  It is important to keep the neck neutral (chin tucked) and maintain thoracic extension (chest forward).  As you perform the three combined motions (see instructions 1-3) the forearms will move out to the sides (external rotation) as the scapular posteriorly tilts and retracts.

Scapular Retraction & Posterior Tilt

Retraction involves drawing the scapula in towards the spine.  Posterior tilt sets the scapula flat on the ribcage.  If you round your shoulders forward you can feel the bottom part of the shoulder blade stick out away from the ribcage (winging) as it anteriorly tilts into a bad position.  If you visualize the scapula as an upside down triangle, posterior tilt involves driving the bottom ‘pointy’ part forward so it lays flat on the ribcage.

The graphic below shows good retraction and posterior tilt of the scapula – as the shoulder blade rests flush against the ribcage.  The illustration on the right shows an anteriorly tilted shoulder blade that is also restricting shoulder flexion.

 

Shoulder-Flexion

 

External Rotation of the Arms

External rotation in this position involves moving the forearms out to the side.  It is important to not try to pull the band apart, but to drive the movement from the shoulder blade in coordination with the external rotation of the arms.  Good external rotation of the shoulders is important for pressing overhead and the overhead squat.

Strengthening the Lower Trapezius

While it is important to include a variety of exercises to enhance scapular stability Mike Reinold points out that the ‘W’ exercise is one of the best exercises to balance lower and upper trapezius strength.

He explains,

“In the opinion of the authors, poor posture and muscle imbalance often seen in patients with a variety of shoulder pathologies is often the result of poor muscle balance between the upper and lower trapezius, with the upper trapezius being more dominant. McCabe et al report that bilateral ER at 0° abduction resulted in the greatest lower trapezius-upper trapezius ratio compared to several other similar trapezius exercises.”

Related Resources

Mike Reinold: The Shoulder W Exercise (link)
Mike Reinold: Two Exercises You Need in Every Program (link)
Tony Gentilcore: EXERCISES YOU SHOULD BE DOING: NO-MONEY DRILL (link)
Current Concepts in the Scientific and Clinical Rationale Behind Exercises for Glenohumeral and Scapulothoracic Musculature
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WARMUP
5 Rounds
5 Tempo Pushup 40×1
5 Tempe Pull Up 40×1
5 Tempo Dip 40×1
45 Second Rest
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STRENGTH
5 Rounds
10 Double KBor DB Walking Lunges
2-10 Strict Sit Ups
Walk Indoor Lap
FITNESS & SPORT: Front Rack
LIFE: Hold Weight by Side
.
CONDITIONING
100 Calorie Row for Time

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New Year, New You Fitness Challenge!

 

This is 2015! Time for a New Year, New You! This is an in house Fitness Challenge designed for all levels to participate! SICFIT Scottsdale invites you to be a part of the fun yet challenging workout to test your physical fitness in two parts. First workout will be on January 24th at 12pm and we will test your time and division you are in. The finals will be February 21st at 12pm, same workout and the most improved time in each division will win a prize!


fitness challenge flyer (2)
Click HERE to sign up NOW!

 

Smokin’ Private Training Deal for 2015

 

Strength in Conditioning for Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SICFIT Scottsdale’s Private Coaching sessions have helped students achieve countless goals: everything from weight loss, to PRing their Olympic Lifts, to rehabbing and strengthening old injuries. Put your fitness goals for 2015 on the fast track by taking advantage of our smokin’ promotional personal training offer: 3 sessions for just $99! Perhaps you want to share the gift of Strength in Conditioning FITness with a family member or friend and purchase this deal for them as well!

 

WARMUP
Lunge Complex
Up Down Dog
Air Squat
Arm Swings
Bottom of Squat Hold for 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 Seconds
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OLYMPIC WEIGHTLIFTING
Clean Progression
3-5 Min rest
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CONDITIONING
EMOM for 10 Minutes
LIFE: 10 Hang Power Cleans
FITNESS: 5 Hang Power Cleans
SPORT: 5 Squat Cleans 185/125
With remaining time perform as many burpees as possible
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Holiday Chaos Messing Up Your Mojo?

 

Strength in Conditioning for Tuesday, December 16, 2014

One of the most stress inducing experiences is our routine getting disrupted. Routines require a lot of time, patience, and discipline to set into place. So when a curve ball comes flying and knocks us out of our zone, it can be pretty annoying!

The mother of all routine-smashing times of year is Holiday Season. But instead of letting all of those Yuletide extras completely throw us off course, why not embrace the chaos and roll with the flow of the season?

Can’t make your usual evening class time due to a White Elephant Gift exchange? Why not challenge yourself to sweat before the sun comes up? If the Holiday Hoopla has got you extra hyped, why not balance yourself out with our yoga class?

 Instead of resisting the change of routine that the holidays bring, let’s change right along with it and challenge ourselves to switch it up.
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ornament

WARMUP
Dynamic Movement
+
2 Rounds
5 Pull Ups
10 Push Ups
15 Air Squats
130 Meter Run
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CONDITIONING A
5 Rounds
Push Press
10 Reverse Lunge Each Leg
260 Meter Run
LIFE: 8 Push Press
FITNESS: 5 Push Press
SPORT: 2 Push Press
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CONDITIONING B
AMRAP in 3 Minutes | 4 Rounds with 1 Minute Rest
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LIFE
3 Ring Row
6 Knee Pushups
9 Air Squats
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FITNESS
5 Pull ups or Jumping Pull Ups
10 Strict to Abmat Pushups
15 Air Squats
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SPORT
5 Hand Stand PushUps
10 Pistols
15 Pull Ups
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12 Days of Xmas… SIC Style!

 

Strength in Conditioning for Monday, December 15, 2014

The time has come yet again for the SICEST Christmas countdown! To help you get into the holiday spirit and stay fit at the same time (who knew these weren’t mutually exclusive?!) our annual 12 Days of Christmas Warmup is back! 

As Christmas nears, each day  you will complete an additional movement from the series listed below. For example, because today is the second day of our tradition, we will complete 25 push ups and 50 overhead squats. Tomorrow, we will add 25 sit ups to the list. Then, on Christmas Day at 1pm, join our family and meet us at Northsight Park for the grand finale — all 12 exercises! If you can’t make it, do the full workout at home!  

  1.  25 Pushups
  2. 50 Overhead Squats
  3. 25 Sit ups
  4. 10 Burpees
  5. 400 Meter Run
  6. 2 Minute Plank
  7. 1 Minute 6″
  8. 100 Double Unders or 500 Singles
  9. 75 Dips
  10. 100 Walking  Lunges
  11. 20 Hand Stand Attempts
  12. 1 Mile Run

FullSizeRender

 

 

STRENGTH
20 Minutes to Build 5 Rep Max Backsquat
15 Minutes to Build 5 Rep Max Strict Press
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CONDITIONING
EMOM for 10 Minutes
5, 8, or 10 Burpees
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STRETCH
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SICFIT Tips on the Evening News

 

Strength in Conditioning for Saturday, December 12, 2014

It’s moments like this that make us proud to be part of the fittest community in Scottsdale! While these tips to avoid holiday weight gain may be the hot topic of conversation around the gym, they are completely new to many of our fellow Phoenicians. If you know anyone who could use to be reminded of these helpful holiday health strategies, share this page with them via social media or e-mail, and then send ‘em on over to SICFIT Scottsdale for their free intro session.

SKILL
1o Minute Agility Circuit
Cone Pattern Sprints
Quick Foot Ladder
Hurdles with Parallel Bars
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STRENGTH
50 Total Partner Tire Flips
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CONDITIONING
Partner Workout | One Athletes Works at a Time
100 Passing Med Ball Sit Ups
100 Ball Slams
100 Russian Twists
100 Wall Ball Shots
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Whose Gonna Be the Baddest of the Brawl?

 

Strength in Conditioning for Friday, December 12, 2014

Our friends over at CrossFit 623 are up to it again and The Westside Brawl fitness competition is coming back for round two on Janurary 17th of next year. All Male Rx and Team divisions are full but all other spots are up for grabs, including Male and Female Teen divisions, Male and Female Scaled, and Female Rx. Use this competition as motivation to keep your training and dietary regimen strong all the way through the most “temptingest” time of year and into 2015! (And yes, I just made up the word “temptingest.” You know what I mean… don’t judge!)

Click the image below to sign up today!

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 7.34.25 AM

 

WARMUP
Row for 15 Minutes
4 Frames: Must get rower to stop on 100m exactly. Number of integers away from 100m is your penalty score.
Odd: 4 Air Squat
Even:2 Pushups
PVC
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STRENGTH A
Bench Press
LIFE: 4×10
FITNESS: 5×5
SPORT: 10‐8‐6‐4‐2 Building
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STRENGTH B
Front Squat
LIFE: 4×10
FITNESS: 5×5
SPORT: 10‐8‐6‐4‐2 Building
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CONDITIONING
5‐10 Minutes
2 Minute Max Calorie Row
1 Minute Rest
2 Minute Max Double Under
LIFE: Singles
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Holiday Travel Guide for Fitness Freaks

 

Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, December 11, 2014

When you think about the holidays, what are a few things that comes to mind? For a lot of us, one of the answers is travel. With hours of sitting cramped in a car or airplane, its important to have a plan of action for being active during your stay at your final destination. Below are some tips from the SICFIT Scottsdale holiday guide that will get your blood pumping while spending quality time with the friends and family you are visiting.
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Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 8.29.54 AM

WARM UP
Banded Iron Cross
Lunge Complex
High Knees
High Kicks
Carioca
High Skips
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STRENGTH
5 Sets
5-8 Partner Strict Weighted Pull Ups
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CONDITIONING
LIFE: Row 2k or Run 1 Mile
FITNESS & SPORT: Run or Row 5k

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The Single Leg Box Squat

 

Strength in Conditioning for Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The single leg squat, also known as the pistol squat, is one of the best lower body exercises you can do in the gym.  The problem is that most athletes lack the stability and flexibility to do a full pistol squat.

While there are many pistol variations and progressions, one of the best ways to work your way towards a good looking bodyweight pistol squat is the pistol box squat with counterweight.  This exercise has long been a favorite of Mike Boyle, which he discussed in his classic text, “Advances in Functional Training.”

Plate-Loaded-Front-Squat.
Three Elements of the Pistol Squat

  1. Improve Ankle Flexibility
  2. Use a Counterweight to Improve Motor Control
  3. Progress Squat Depth with the Box Squat

Ankle Flexibility

Before getting started with pistol squats you may want to improve your ankle dorsiflexion with this lower leg routine.  Good ankle range of motion allows the knee to track forward enough for the hips to shift backwards while keeping your weight on your heels.

The Plate Loaded Front Squat

Many athletes that struggle to keep their knees out, torso upright, and weight on their heels during an air squat have poor motor control.  Performing squats with a plate in front or practicing goblet squats are great ways of improving core stability and motor control.  Holding a weight in front also helps athletes maintain tension during squats for improved control at the bottom to prevent a rounding of the lumbar spine.

Ryan DeBell of, “The Movement Fix” recently wrote a great article called “Squatting’s Biggest Double Standard.”  He points out that many athletes round their lumbar spine at the bottom of the pistol committing what is referred to as the ‘butt-wink.’  He explains that the same standard (neutral lumbar curve) should be applied to the pistol squat.

Single-Leg-Box-Squat

The Box Squat

One of the best corrective drills for a regular air squat is the box squat.  The box squat allows an athlete to progress their squat depth over time by lowering the box as motor control at the bottom position improves. This is key to preventing the butt-wink and maintaining thoracic extension throughout both the pistol and regular squat.

The single leg box squat is a great exercise to improve hip motor control, core stability, and to correct side-to-side strength differences.

Keeping the free leg bent makes it easier to maintain a neutral lumbar curve and thoracic extension.  Once an athlete is able to achieve greater depth with the pistol box squat they can remove the box and focus on extending the free leg for a greater challenge.

- Kevin Kula, “The Flexibility Coach” – Creator of FlexibilityRx™ – www.FlexibilityRx.com

Related Resources

FlexibilityRx™: Improving Ankle Dorsiflexion for the Squat 

FlexibilityRx™: Single Leg Exercises: Bulgarian Split Squat

The Movement Fix: Squatting’s Biggest Double Standard

WARM UP
400 Meter Run
Up Down Dog
Sumo Squat 2 Stand
Arm Swings
Leg Swings
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SKILL
Reverse Tabata
L‐Sit
Top of Pull Up Hold
>
STRENGTH
LIFE: 4×10
FITNESS: 5×5
SPORT: 10‐8‐6‐4‐2 building
.
CONDITIONING
AMRAP in 12 Minutes
3, 6, 9, 12… Ascending Ladder
LIFE: Sit Ups + Knee Pushups + Box Step Ups
FITNESS: Knees-to-Chest + Strict up to Abmat + Box Jumps 24/20
SPORT: Toes-to-bar + Ring Pushups + Box Jumps 30/24
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Reliving the SICEST Moments of the Weekend

Strength in Conditioning for Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The buzz of SICEST of the Southwest III continues to radiate through the veins of SICFIT Scottsdale, and likely will continue to do so for months to come. Though, admittedly, we are a bit biased, but we truly believe that this was the most epic competitive fitness event of the year. If you were not able to get in on the action, or just feel the itch to relive some of the magic, here are some phenomenal videos by Paul Deuchar that will transport you right back to SSWIII!

Jorge SSWIII from Paul Deuchar on Vimeo.

Sean SSWIII from Paul Deuchar on Vimeo.

Dustin Mike Mary Max Brittany Megan at SSWIII from Paul Deuchar on Vimeo.

Team SICFIT EP SSWIII from Paul Deuchar on Vimeo.

SICFIT Team SOS at SSWIII from Paul Deuchar on Vimeo.

 

WARMUP 
Mobility Lunge
Walking RDL
High Knees
Bear Crawl
PVC
.
STRENGTH
5 Rounds
Shoulder Press
LIFE: 10 | FITNESS: 5 | SPORT: 10‐8‐6‐4‐2 building sets
.
Dumbbell or Kettle bell Single Arm Row
200 Meter Run
.
CONDITIONING
3 Rounds | 1 Minute Stations
Squats
Dumbbell Snatch
Lunge
Burpees
LIFE: Air Squats & Lunges
FITNESS: Goblet Squats and Lunges
SPORT: Overhead Squats and Front Rack Lunges95/65

 

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