10 Exercises to Elevate Your Golf Game

10 Exercises to Elevate Your Golf Game

Depending on the era, most casual golfers from the 1970s and 1980s would not equate fitness with improving or elevating their golf game.

However, if you talk to anyone from the late 1990s are early 2000s, this all changed when Tiger Woods hit the scene. He was an athlete playing golf and he aggressively worked on his body to make himself a better player. He changed the game. 

Fast forward to the present day and professional golfers of all levels now have rigorous workout schedules and college golf teams all have strength & conditioning coaches. Professional golfers such as Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Justin Thomas just to name a few are all athletes that have spent time in the gym to improve their ability to compete at the highest level on the course.

If working out can help them, it can certainly help you improve your game. The key is getting stronger by adding speed, increasing stability and flexibility. We break down some of the best exercises that will help loosen your hips, stabilize your shoulders, and help you build power and strength in your golf swing. 

1. Lunges With Rotation

We recommend you use a small medicine ball (heavy ball) to perform this exercise. Stand with your feet together, holding the ball close to your chest. Lunge your right foot forward, with your left knee bending towards the ground. Hold this position and rotate arms, balls, and torso to the right. Rotate back to center and return to the starting position. Alternate legs and perform 20 times.

This golf exercise will help you improve your balance, swing rotation, and strength.

2. Alternate Lateral Jump

A critical exercise for any golf workout, alternate Lateral Jumps will help you develop lower body power that you can leverage for more distance.

Simply put, this is jumping back and forth from side-to-side, but to get the most value from this golf exercise you need to focus on your technique. You want this to be an explosive move. It’s important that you load up for each jump, activating the muscles in your lower body. You don’t need to jump an extreme distance back and forth, but you do want a consistent motion back-and-forth, side-to-side.

3. Medicine Ball Core Rotations

Also known as “Russian Twists”, Medicine Ball Core Rotations are great for your core and for teaching your body to properly rotate with balance.

Start by sitting on the ground with your knees bent and the medicine balls against your chest. Lean back slowly until you are balanced on your butt and your feet are slightly off the ground. While holding the ball close, quickly rotate back and forth, trying to keep your feet off the ground.

4. Split Squat

The split squat exercise is designed to build up leg strength and improve your swing speed. An additional benefit will be improved balance.

While not required, we recommend you leverage a bar for this golf exercise and that you hold it behind your head, resting on your shoulders. You will start in a standing position with your feet together. With one leg, take a large step forward. Now lunge down, with your front knee in front of your front foot, and your back knee will almost touch the ground. Make sure during your squat that your head stays up and you are looking forward. Hold this position for a few seconds before coming out of your lunge. Repeat 10 times. As you get more advanced, you can add weight to the bar you are resting on your shoulders.

5. Sword Draws

The Sword Draw golf exercise will help you with external shoulder rotation and can even assist you in keeping your golf swing on plane.

To perform this part of your golf workout, you will need a dumbbell. Pick the correct weight based on your physical condition. Stand with your feet as far apart as your normal golf stance. Hold the dumbbell in your right hand near your left hip with your palm facing your body and your thumb pointing towards your left hip. Keeping your arm straight, rotate your shoulder, and lift the weight above your head and to the right. When you complete this motion, your thumb should be pointing behind you. We recommend multiple sets of 15 and you can increase the weight of the dumbbell over time.

6. Hip Drops

You may not have given it much thought, but lack of internal hip rotation can cause significant issues in your golf swing. The Hip Drop golf exercise will help you improve this part of your body. This is also a great pre-round stretch.

Sit on the ground, with your legs spread far apart, your feet flat on the ground, and your knees up. Place your hands on the ground behind you. One leg at a time, rotate your knee in and move it as close to the ground as you can. You should feel a nice stretch in your hip. Complete a comfortable number of reps on with each leg.

7. Dumbbell Bench Press

The one-handed Dumbbell Bench Press allows you to strengthen your upper body while also working on core stabilization. A great 2-for-1 golf exercise.

You should lie on a weight lifting bench or the floor with an appropriate weight dumbbell in one hand. Simply perform a bench press with this one arm. Do 3 sets of 10 and then switch arms.

8. Single Leg Deadlift

The Single Leg Deadlift golf exercise will strengthen your lower back, hamstrings, and glutes. Performing these on a regular basis will not only help your swing, but they will also protect your back from future injuries.

Start in a standing position with your feet together and a dumbbell in each hand. The dumbbells should be hanging down in front of your thighs. Bow forward, letting one leg kick back behind you. Keeping your back straight, lower down until the dumbbells get as close to the floor as possible. Return back to your starting position. Try to do 3 sets of 10 on both legs, and you can increase the weight over time. It is more important to do these with good technique than adding a bunch of weight.

9. Pelvic Tilt

Every time you swing a golf club you put pressure on your lower back and pelvis muscles. If not properly managed, these areas can become tender and sore. The Pelvic Tilt is a simple golf exercise to help your pelvic and lower back.

Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Place your hands behind your head (this position is similar to the starting position of a Sit Up). Tighten your abs, buttocks, and thighs to press the small of your back against the floor. Perform 10 reps and try to increase this number as you continue your golf workouts.

10. Squat With Medicine Ball Rotations

This is a great full body exercise that will improve your core and work on your balance. You’ll need a medicine ball and you should pick the most appropriate weight for you.

Start in a standing position, with the medicine ball on the ground, next to your right foot. Squat down low and grab the ball with both hands. In one motion, stand up and lift the ball to the left of your hand, with your arms fully extended. Squat down to return the ball to its original position. Do as many reps as you are comfortable performing and make sure you do both sides.

To customize programming and help improve the strength, stability, and flexibility, consult with one of our Personal Trainers in club and complete your Game Plan Session.

Story Credit: Allen Panuncio – Canadian Professional Golf Association, Senior Instructor, Richmond Hill Golf Club

Stretch and Strengthen Your Way Out of Lower Back Pain


Everybody’s back hurts. Well, almost everybody. Nearly 80 percent of the population will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their life.

Whether it’s dull and achy, sharp and shooting, or tight and stiff, discomfort on your backside is no picnic. But the good news is there are easy ways to strengthen your muscles and kiss back pain goodbye.

A combination of both strengthening and stretching exercises for the lower back can help stabilize the lower spine and support the upper body. Stretching the back muscles after completing a back-strengthening routine can help prevent muscle soreness and injury. It may also provide additional benefits, such as improving range of motion and flexibility.


Strengthening Exercises

Glute bridge

The glute bridge works a person’s gluteus maximus, the largest of the gluteal muscles, or glutes, that form the buttocks. This muscle engages when a person extends their hips, such as when they stand up out of a squat. It also helps with both external rotation, which is when the knee and hip open away from the body, and abduction, which is when the leg lifts away from the body.

The glutes help stabilize the lower back by acting as both a stabilizer and a mobilizer. Strong glutes can stabilize and support the lower back and hips, and they can also help stabilize the knees when they are extended.

To perform follow these steps:

Step 1: Lie on the back with the knees bent and the feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Place the arms down by the sides of the body with the palms of the hands facing downward.

Step 2: Tighten the abdominal muscles and squeeze the gluteal muscles.

Step 3: Lift the pelvis off the floor. Continue to lift so that the body forms a straight line through the shoulder, hip, and knee.

Step 4: Hold the position for at least 2 seconds.

Step 5: Slowly return to the start position.

Step 6: Repeat the steps above 10–15 times.



 The bird-dog works the gluteal muscles. It also exercises the back extensor muscles, which attach to the back of the spine and allow a person to stand, bend, and lift objects.

To perform follow these steps:

Step 1: Begin the exercise on the hands and knees with the shoulders directly over the hands and the hips directly over the knees.

Step 2: Tense the abdominal muscles and stretch the right arm straight out in front of the body.

Step 3: Hold the position while staying balanced.

Step 4: Slowly lift the left leg and extend it straight out behind the body.

Step 5: Hold the position for 15 seconds.

Step 6: Slowly return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.

Step 7: Repeat 5 times.



The plank exercise primarily works the abdominals, but it also engages the arms, shoulders, hip flexors, and feet, making it a good full-body stability exercise. This position may also activate the back extensor muscles and the quadratus lumborum, which is the deepest back muscle. It extends from the lowest rib to the pelvic bone.

To perform follow these steps:

Step 1: Lie on the stomach with the forearms against the floor and the elbows directly in line with the shoulders.

Step 2: Tighten the abdominal and gluteal muscles.

Step 3: Lift the hips and both knees off the floor.

Step 4: Hold the position for 10–30 seconds without allowing the pelvis to sag toward the floor.

Step 5: Slowly return to the start position and then repeat 5 times.


Side plank

The side plank is a modified version of the plank that works the quadratus lumborum as well as the gluteus medius and tensor fascia lata (TFL). These muscles are important for hip stability.

To perform follow these steps:

Step 1: Lie on the right side of the body with the right leg slightly bent and the left leg straight with the foot on the floor. Ensure that the right arm is directly beneath the right shoulder with the forearm extended out in front.

Step 2: Tightening the abdominal muscles, lift the right hip off the floor.

Step 3: Lift the right knee off the floor to straighten the right leg and stack the feet on top of each other.

Step 4: Keeping the body straight, hold the position for 10–30 seconds.

Step 5: Slowly return to the start position and repeat on the other side.

Step 6: Repeat the steps above 5 times.


Abdominal crunches

 Abdominal crunches help develop a strong core that provides better spinal support and hip alignment.

To perform follow these steps:

Step 1: Lie with the back flat against the floor, the knees bent, and the feet flat and hip-width apart.

Step 2: Cross the hands over the chest or reach along the sides of the body toward the feet.

Step 3: Tighten the abdominal muscles and lift the head and shoulder blades off the floor while exhaling.

Step 4: Lower to the starting position.

Step 5: Repeat the above exercise 10–15 times.


Stretching exercises

 Knee-to-chest stretches

 Knee-to-chest stretches can help elongate the lower back muscles, relieving tension and pain.

To perform follow these steps:

Step 1: Lie on the back with both legs flat against the floor.

Step 2: Lift the right leg, bending the knee toward the chest.

Step 3: Use both hands to pull the right knee toward the chest.

Step 4: Hold the right knee against the chest for several seconds.

Step 5: Return to the starting position.

Step 6: Repeat with the left leg and then return to the starting position.


Kneeling back stretch

 The kneeling back extension can help stretch the lower back muscles, easing pain and tension in these areas.

To perform follow these steps:

Step 1: Begin the exercise on the hands and knees, positioning the knees hip-width apart, with the shoulders directly over the hands.

Step 2: Round the back, pulling the bellybutton up toward the spine and tilting the lower back toward the floor.

Step 3: Hold the position for 5 seconds.

Step 4: Rock gently backward, lowering the buttocks as close as possible to the heels. Ensure that the arms are stretched out in front.

Step 5: Hold the position for 5 seconds.

Step 6: Rock gently back up to the starting position. Repeat 10–15 times.


Modified seated side straddle

 The seated side straddle exercise stretches the hamstring, the abductors, and the extensor muscles in the middle and lower back. The seated side straddle requires a person to follow these steps:

To perform follow these steps:

Step 1: Sit with both legs flat against the floor and extended out in front of the body. The feet should be far enough apart that the legs form a “V” shape.

Step 2: Bend the left leg, bringing the left foot up to touch the right knee and letting the left knee fall out away from the body.

Step 3: Keeping the back straight, bend from the hips and reach forward toward the toes of the right foot.

Step 4: Slowly round the spine, bringing the hands toward the right ankle or shin while lowering the head as close as possible to the right knee.

Step 5: Hold the position for 30 seconds, then relax for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Step 6: Perform 5–6 repetitions.


Join MOVATI Today and get Started with This Special Offer. Already a member? To customize programming and help you improve your training, consult with one of our Personal Trainers in club and complete your Game Plan Session or join seminars with one of our fitness professionals.

*MOVATI’s trainers and/or consultants are not health care providers, and do not provide any medical diagnosis, treatment or advice, and any trainer and/or consultant tips are not intended to replace the advice of a health care professional.

 Story Credit: Mayo Clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/back-pain/art-20546859)

Kettlebell Exercises to Include in Your Workout


New exercise equipment can add some excitement to your routine or even help motivate you to start your fitness journey. Kettlebells, which look like cannonballs with handles, have become a popular strength-training alternative to traditional barbells, dumbbells, and resistance machines.

Kettlebell exercises often involve several muscle groups at once, making them a highly effective way to give your arms, legs, and abs a great workout in a short amount of time.

Try to work in different kettlebell exercises 2 or 3 times each week and aim for 6-8 repetitions of each exercise. Once you can comfortably complete the reps, work toward adding more sets as you build strength.

Here’s a look at seven versatile kettlebell exercises to include in your workout. If you’ve been thinking about giving kettlebells a try, or want to learn new ways to use them, we’ll help get you up to speed.

  1. Kettlebell Deadlifts

These exercises zero in on your buttocks, thighs, and back. They may be a good first move to get your kettlebell workout started.

Muscles worked: glutes, quads, back muscles

Reps: 6-8

  1. Kettlebell swing

This is an excellent exercise to boost both your muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. While your shoulders and arms will do some work, most of the effort should come from the hips and legs.

You may need to start with a lighter weight at first to get used to the movement and technique. Keep a firm grip on the kettlebell throughout this exercise.

Muscles worked: glutes, quads, hamstrings, arms, shoulders

Reps: Do as many swings as you can manage in 20 seconds while also keeping proper form. Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat.

  1. Kettlebell goblet squat

Squats are an excellent lower-body exercise that works many different muscles. Using a kettlebell adds more effort to the squat.

Muscles worked: quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, abdominal muscles

Reps: 6-8

  1. Kettlebell lunge

Like traditional lunges, kettlebell lunges target the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. It’s an effective balance exercise, too.

You can hold a kettlebell in both hands to increase the difficulty.

Muscles worked: glutes, quads, hamstrings

Reps: 6-8

  1. Russian twist

If you don’t have a kettlebell, the Russian twist can also be done with a weighted medicine ball or barbell plate.

When using a kettlebell, be sure to keep a firm grip so that you don’t drop it on your lap.

Muscles worked: abdominal muscles, obliques

Reps: 6-8

  1. Kettlebell pushup

When doing kettlebell pushups, be careful to keep your wrists straight, not bent. Stop if you feel out of balance or like your wrists can’t support your weight.

Muscles worked: pecs, shoulders, triceps, core

Reps: 6-8

  1. Kettlebell shoulder press

For this exercise, be sure to use a weight you can manage safely. Your shoulders and rotator cuff will work hard to balance and stabilize the weight of the bell throughout the movement.

Muscles worked: triceps, shoulders

Reps: 6-8

Kettlebells can work several muscle groups simultaneously with a single kettlebell. This makes it a great total-body workout tool. The key is to start slow and, if possible, with the help of a certified personal trainer. Once you know how to do the exercises with the right form using a lighter weight, you can move on to using a heavier weight and increasing your reps and sets.


Join MOVATI Today and get Started with This Special Offer. Already a member? To customize programming and help you improve your training, consult with one of our Personal Trainers in club and complete your Game Plan Session or join seminars with one of our fitness professionals.

*MOVATI’s trainers and/or consultants are not health care providers, and do not provide any medical diagnosis, treatment or advice, and any trainer and/or consultant tips are not intended to replace the advice of a health care professional.

 Story Credit: Kettlebell Exercises For Every Body Part (https://mensfitnesstoday.com/workouts/best-kettlebell-exercises/) & The Ultimate Full-Body Kettlebell Workout for Any Fitness Level (https://greatist.com/move/full-body-kettlebell-workout)



Strength training or resistance training is a type of exercise that focuses on using resistance to strengthen your muscles. Our bodies require regular maintenance for optimal health, especially to build and maintain strong muscles, as people begin to lose muscle mass as well as decreased strength with age.

Two or three 20- or 30-minute strength training sessions every week can result in significant health benefits but always remember to check with a doctor before beginning, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while.

By mixing in weight training to your fitness routine, you’ll improve the following …

  1. Makes you stronger: Strength training helps you become stronger. Gaining strength allows you to perform daily tasks much easier, such as carrying heavy groceries or running around with your kids.
  2. Burns calories efficiently: As you gain muscle, your body begins to burn calories more easily, making it easier to control your weight.
  3. Decreases abdominal fat: Fat stored around the abdomen, especially visceral fat, is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
  4. Can help you appear leaner: As you build more muscle and lose fat, you will appear leaner.
  5. Decreases your risk of falls: Strength training lowers your risk of falls, as you’re better able to support your body.
  6. Lowers your risk of injury: Strength training improves your range of motion, mobility and strength that may reduce your risk of injury.
  7. Helps manage your blood sugar levels: Strength training may lower your risk of developing diabetes and can help those with the condition manage it better.
  8. Improves heart health: Strength training also can help improve blood circulation by strengthening the heart and blood vessels as well as decreasing blood pressure and lowering total and LDL cholesterol.
  9. Promotes greater mobility and flexibility: Strength training helps improve range of motion and flexibility.
  10. Boosts your self-esteem and mood: Strength training can add a major boost to your self-confidence as you overcome challenges, work toward goals and improve how you feel. Regular strength training can also improve your mental health and positive attitude.
  11. Makes your bones stronger: Strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of fractures.
  12. Improves brain health: Those who engage in strength training may have better brain health and protection against age-related cognitive decline.
  13. Promotes a better quality of life: Strength training may increase your quality of life, especially as you age.  Studies have linked regular strength training to increased physical and mental well-being, even reducing the symptoms of arthritis.
  14. Better Posture: By incorporating weight-lifting into your routine with weights, this will help strengthens the muscles that can help pull you out of that slumped-over position, enabling you to stand tall.
  15. Improve Endurance: Helps improve performance and recovery. In everyday life, recreational athletes in particular benefit from strength endurance training due to its improved strength endurance.

This can be achieved by lifting free weights or doing specific targeted muscle workout machines at the gym. However, strength training isn’t just lifting weights, you can get in a great strength-training workout using your body weight push-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, wall sits and planks), resistance bands or even classes that involve strength training (yoga, Tai Chi).

The bottom line is to get moving. Exercise and strength training play an important role in supporting and living a healthy life.

Join MOVATI Today and get Started with This Special Offer. Already a member? To customize programming and help you improve your training, consult with one of our Personal Trainers in club and complete your Game Plan Session or join seminars with one of our fitness professionals.

*MOVATI’s trainers and/or consultants are not health care providers, and do not provide any medical diagnosis, treatment or advice, and any trainer and/or consultant tips are not intended to replace the advice of a health care professional.

Story Credit: National Institute on Aging (https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/how-can-strength-training-build-healthier-bodies-we-age) & Healthline (https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness/benefits-of-strength-training)

Strength Training for Runners

Strength Training for Runners

Do Runners Need to do Strength Training?

Is strength training really necessary if you’re a runner? Absolutely! Strength training is an essential part of a runner’s overall program and one of the biggest factors that will influence your performance because it strengthens muscles and joints, which can improve race times and most importantly decrease the risk of injury. 

If you want to perform at your full potential, you need to take a comprehensive approach to running. That means targeting areas of fitness you may not normally pay attention to, like flexibility, balance, mobility and strength! How much time should you dedicate to strength training? As a runner, all you need is to invest 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week, to reap the full benefits of strength training. In other words, resistance training does not have to be time-consuming.

7 Benefits of Strength Training for Runners

  1. Reduce Injury – Stronger muscles = less impact on your knees. Conditioned muscles also recover faster!
  2. Increase Lean Muscle Mass – Increase your strength while improving your body composition.
  3. Reduce Body Fat – Strength training increases your metabolism which increases calories burned.
  4. Increase Your Endurance – Strength training increases your muscular endurance and maintains your running mechanics.
  5. Fix Muscular Imbalances – Strength training can target specific muscular imbalances which in turn helps to reduce injury. 
  6. Stronger Bones – Strength training increases bone density. Stronger bones will enable you to have a longer running career.
  7. Better Posture – Upper body strength training can lead to better posture when running.

Remember…when you go beyond your physical abilities and become injured, it will set you back in your running more than if you took a little extra time to do some strength training to prevent injury.

Join MOVATI Today and get Started with This Special Offer. Already a member? To customize programming and help you improve your training, consult with one of our Personal Trainers in club and complete your Game Plan Session or join seminars with one of our fitness professionals.

*MOVATI’s trainers and/or consultants are not health care providers, and do not provide any medical diagnosis, treatment or advice, and any trainer and/or consultant tips are not intended to replace the advice of a health care professional.


August 2023 Try it Tuesday: Lifting Essentials


Weight training: Do’s and don’ts of proper technique

You don’t have to be a bodybuilder or a professional athlete to reap the benefits of weight training. When done correctly, weight training can help you lose fat, increase your strength and muscle tone, and improve your bone density. If done incorrectly, however, weight training won’t give you these benefits — and may even lead to injury.


You might learn weight training techniques by watching friends or others in the gym, but sometimes what you see isn’t safe. Incorrect weight training technique can lead to sprains, strains, fractures and other painful injuries that may hamper your weight training efforts.

If you’re just getting started, work with a knowledgeable weight training specialist — a physical therapist, athletic trainer or other fitness specialist who’s familiar with proper weight training technique. If you’ve been using weights for a while, consider scheduling time with a trainer to double-check your technique and identify any changes you may need to make.


When you are weight training, do:

Lift an appropriate amount of weight. Start with a weight you can lift comfortably 12 to 15 times.

For most people, a single set of 12 to 15 repetitions with a weight that fatigues the muscles can build strength efficiently and can be as effective as three sets of the same exercise. As you get stronger, gradually increase the amount of weight.

Use proper form. Learn to do each exercise correctly. When lifting weights, move through the full range of motion in your joints. The better your form, the better your results, and the less likely you are to hurt yourself. If you’re unable to maintain good form, decrease the weight or the number of repetitions. Remember that proper form matters even when you pick up and replace your weights on the weight racks.

If you’re not sure whether you’re doing a particular exercise correctly, ask a personal trainer or other fitness specialist for help.

Breathe. You might be tempted to hold your breath while you’re lifting weights. Don’t hold your breath. Instead, breathe out as you lift the weight and breathe in as you lower the weight.

Seek balance. Work all of your major muscles — including the abdomen, hips, legs, chest, back, shoulders and arms. Strengthen the opposing muscles in a balanced way, such as the fronts and backs of the arms.

Add strength training in your fitness routine. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends incorporating strength training exercises of all the major muscle groups into a fitness routine at least two times a week.

Rest. Avoid exercising the same muscles two days in a row. You might work all of your major muscle groups at a single session two or three times a week, or plan daily sessions for specific muscle groups. For example, work your arms and shoulders on Monday, your legs on Tuesday, and so on.


Follow these tips to avoid common mistakes when you’re weight training:

Don’t skip the warmup. Cold muscles are more prone to injury than warm muscles. Before you lift weights, warm up with five to 10 minutes of brisk walking or other aerobic activity.

Don’t rush. Move the weight in an unhurried, controlled fashion. Taking it slow helps you isolate the muscles you want to work and keeps you from relying on momentum to lift the weight. Rest for about one minute between each exercise.

Don’t overdo. For most people, completing one set of exercises to the point of fatigue is usually enough. Additional sets may take up extra time and contribute to overload injury. However, the number of sets that you perform may differ depending on your fitness goals.

Don’t ignore pain. If an exercise causes pain, stop. Try the exercise again in a few days or try it with less weight.

Don’t forget your shoes. Shoes that protect your feet and provide good traction can keep you from slipping or injuring your feet while you’re lifting weights.

Remember, the more you concentrate on proper weight training technique, the more you’ll get out of your weight training program.

These are just a few tips to help with your weight training. To customize programming consult with one of our Personal Trainers in club and complete your Game Plan Session.

The Andre Johnson football workout for power and strength


Build power and explosiveness with the same offseason regiment the former NFL wide receiver used to dominate the field.

Looking to gain power and explosiveness like some of the top wide receivers in the NFL?

Former NFL great and Houston Texans wideout Andre Johnson was one of the most physically dominating players in the league when he was playing and the reason for that was his commitment to training and staying in shape.

During the offseason, Johnson would train with his old college teammates at the University of Miami four days a week, running in a sand pit, sprinting on the field, and working in the weight room under former Hurricanes strength coach Andreu Swasey. The results were pretty great: Johnson finished his career with 1,062 receptions, good for 11th best in history at the time of his retirement.

How It Works: You’ll train four days per week, focusing on speed and strength. You may not be familiar with some of the explosive exercises such as speed squats or power cleans, so take the time to learn the form precisely.


Frequency: Complete each workout (Day 1, 2, 3, and 4) once per week. You can perform the first two workouts on back-to-back days, rest, and then do the next two workouts.

Time Needed: 60 minutes

How to Do It: Most of the exercises will be done as straight sets— complete all sets for the move before going on to the next. For the shoulder circuit on Day 1, complete one set of each lift without rest in between. Rest after you’ve finished the circuit and then continue with the rest of the workout.

Check out the workouts below.

Day 1

Exercise 1: Bench Press

Sets: 4 Reps: 10, 10, 6, 6

Grab the bar with an overhand, outside shoulder-width grip. Your shoulder blades should be squeezed together and your back arched. Take the bar out of the rack (you can have a spotter help you) and squeeze it hard. Lower it to just below your sternum and then push your feet hard into the floor to help you press the weight up. When the bar is halfway up, begin flaring your elbows outward to lock it out in the top position.

Exercise 2: Shrug

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

Hold a barbell in front of your thighs at arm’s length. Shrug your shoulders as high as you can.

Exercise 3: Incline Bench Press

Sets: 4 Reps: 5

Set an adjustable bench to a 30- to 45-degree incline and lie down on it. Squeeze the bar hard and arch your upper back. Lower the bar to the upper part of your chest, tucking your elbows close to you as it comes down. Once the bar touches your chest, push your feet hard into the floor. Press the weight up, focusing on pushing it back toward your face. When the bar is halfway up, begin flaring your elbows outward to lock it out.

Exercise 4: Seated Overhead Press

Sets: 3 Reps: 6

Sit at a power rack with your feet shoulder- width apart and grab the bar with a slightly wider-than shoulder-width grip. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and push your chest out. Press the bar overhead and slightly backward so that it ends up in line with the back of your head at the top.

Exercise 5: Overhead External Rotation w/Plate

Sets: 1 Reps: 10

Hold a lightweight plate in each hand and raise your elbows out to your sides. Keeping a 90-degree bend in your elbows, rotate your forearms backward until your knuckles point to the ceiling.

Exercise 6: External Rotation w/ Elbows at Sides

Sets: 1 Reps: 10

Keeping your elbows tight to your sides, rotate your forearms outward.

Exercise 7: Lateral Raise

Sets: 1 Reps: 10

Let your arms hang in front of your body and then raise them out 90 degrees.

Exercise 8: Russian Twist

Hold a medicine ball with both hands and sit on the floor with your knees bent 90 degrees and feet raised. Twist as far as you can in one direction and then to the other side.

Day 2

Exercise 1: Power Clean

Sets: 5 Reps: 3

Set a barbell on the floor, crouch down, and grab it with hands outside shoulder width. Your lower back should be in its natural arch. Explosively stand up and shrug the bar, coming up onto the balls of your feet. As the bar rises to chest level, flip your wrists over so that your palms face the ceiling and your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Allow your knees to bend as you absorb the force of the bar at your shoulders.

Exercise 2: Squat

Sets: 4 Reps: 10, 8, 6, 4

Stand with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes turned slightly outward. Bend your hips back and then your knees (push them outward as you go down) to lower your body as far as you can.

Exercise 3: Front Squat

Sets: 4 Reps: 5

Start with the barbell on the supports of a power rack at about shoulder height. Grab the bar overhand and raise your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Now lift the bar off the rack, letting it roll toward your fingers—as long as you keep your elbows raised, you will balance the bar. Squat as low as you can while keeping your lower back flat.

Exercise 4: Romanian Deadlift

Sets: 3 Reps: 6

Hold the bar at arm’s length and let it touch the front of your thighs. Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, bend your hips back and then your knees, lowering the weight until you feel you’re about to lose the arch in your lower back.

Exercise 5: Pull-Up

Sets: 4 Reps: Max

Perform four sets of as many pull-ups as you can. Change your grip each set shoulder width, wide, narrow, and palms facing toward you

Exercise 6: Two-Point Dumbbell Row

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

Hold a dumbbell in one hand and step forward with the opposite leg. Bend over at the hips until your torso is parallel to the floor (keep a safe arch in your lower back). Brace your abs. Row the weight to your side.

Day 3

Exercise 1: Bench Press

Sets: 4 Reps: 10, 10, 6, 6

Exercise 2: Shrug

Sets: 3 Reps: 10

Exercise 3: Incline Bench Press

Sets: 4 Reps: 5

Set an adjustable bench to a 30- to 45-degree incline and lie down on it. Squeeze the bar hard and arch your upper back. Lower the bar to the upper part of your chest, tucking your elbows close to you as it comes down. Once the bar touches your chest, push your feet hard into the floor. Press the weight up, focusing on pushing it back toward your face. When the bar is halfway up, begin flaring your elbows outward to lock it out.

Exercise 4: Dumbbell Press

Sets: 3 Reps: 6

Start holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level. Press the weights straight overhead.

Exercise 5: Dip (Not Shown)

Sets: 3 Reps: 15

Suspend yourself over the parallel bars of a dip station and then lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Do not go lower.

Exercise 6: Plate Raise

Sets: 2 Reps: 10

Hold a weight plate with both hands and raise it to eye level. Rotate it counterclockwise as if you were turning a steering wheel and then rotate clockwise. That’s one rep.

Exercise 7: Medicine Ball Sit-Up

Sets: 2 Reps: 10

Hold a medicine ball with both hands and sit on the floor with your knees bent 90 degrees. Perform a sit-up and raise the ball straight overhead.

Day 4

Exercise 1: Clean Pull

Sets: 3 Reps: 5

Perform the power clean as you did on Day 2 but omit the “catch” portion of the lift—only pull it off the floor and shrug it explosively (do not raise the bar to shoulder level).

Exercise 2: Speed Squat

Sets: 4 Reps: 10, 10, 8, 8

Set up as you did for the squat on Day 2 but place weight plates on the floor and rest your heels on them. Use a weight that’s about 30 percent of your max and perform the lifting phase of each rep with maximum explosivity.

Exercise 3: Stationary Lunge

Sets: 4 Reps: 4

Hold the bar on your traps and raise one leg up until your knee is higher than your hips. Complete your reps on one side and then switch legs.

Exercise 4: Stepup

Sets: 3 Reps: 6

Stand in front of a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Place one foot on the bench so that your knee is bent 90 degrees and your thigh is parallel to the floor. Drive your heel into the bench and raise yourself up so that you’re standing on the bench with your rear foot hanging off it. Complete all your reps on one leg, and then switch legs and repeat.

Exercise 5: Pullup

Sets: 4 Reps: Max

Repeat the pullup circuit as you did on Day 2.

Story Source: https://www.mensjournal.com/sports/andre-johnson-football-workout-power-and-explosiveness



Get ready for the NFL season like the pros and train like your favourite players. 

Across the United States of America, NFL training camps are kicking off meaning the season is drawing closer. The glimpses we’re seeing of running routes, passing plays, and sprints down the field remind us that football might be on TV for half the year, but the training season for players never stops — especially during training camps.

The reality is that players need to come to training camp already in shape for grueling drills and midsummer practices. Training camps are no joke, players must fight to survive as another season begins under the sweltering summer sun. The days are long, the pain is real, and the pressure is incredible.

The hard work pays off, though. There’s no doubt that players in the NFL are some of the most athletic humans, and if you’re looking to step up your workout game, it can’t hurt to take a few pointers from the pros. You might not have the advantage of several months of pre-training camp workouts on your side, but there are definitely ways to adapt those routines to your own gym workouts.

Here’s a few tips and some exercise routines that will make you feel like you’re in the middle of a training camp, unfortunately minus your favourite team’s swag.

Focus on the basics

If you’re looking to get in great shape, don’t think you need an intricate new routine. NFL players train by doing exercises like the bench press, Romanian deadlifts, and ladder drills to name a few. Check out the full workout routine blog of former NFL great Andre Johnson.

Emphasize core exercises

If you’re looking to increase your speed and agility, following tips from the speediest of the NFL players will help you out. Micah Parsons, defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys, does exercises like cable-resisted physioball crunches to help him to make sure he can beat the tackles and get to the quarterback. The majority of the moves he does on the field have an offensive lineman grabbing and tugging on him, so he has to use his core to make an explosive movement to beat the block and get to the quarterback. In other words, even NFL players don’t get out of crunches. They’re just more intense.

With a cable machine behind you, lie with your upper back on the physioball while holding the crunch straps in each hand just above your chest. As you crunch upward into a sitting position on the ball, the cable resistance behind you will help to strengthen your core, especially as you keep those muscles tight the entire time. Include this in your workout by doing 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps each.

Work out in the sand

This tip won’t be helpful if you don’t have access to a beach or a sand pit, but the benefits are huge if you do. The sand absorbs all the force you exert with your feet, which means your muscles have to work harder than when you’re working out on firmer surfaces like rubber or grass. Performing drills on the sand barefoot can also help to prevent injury in the long run because without shoes the muscles in your feet and ankles learn to work in unison with your knees. Your Achilles tendons might complain, but otherwise it’s a great way to get more out of some simple cardio or drills.

If you don’t have access to sand hills can be a good alternative to improve your speed.

Squats, squats, squats

Squats build strength while also improving balance and stability, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that most football workouts include tons of variations. The Kettlebell Bulgarian squat is one, used by former Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk. Numerous variations are also staples in several football-inspired workouts, including box squats and more.

Plus, squats have great implications for everyday life. Building muscles in your legs and back (and really all over) helps to take the stress off your knees. Squats can get a bad rap for being knee-killers, but they’ll actually benefit you when performed properly. Some resources advocate for full-body squats, where you’re going as low as you can go. If your knees are already in bad shape, this might not be a good call for you, but definitely don’t neglect some variation in your typical gym routine.

Mind over matter

Former New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees can slam a 420-pound truck tire with a sledgehammer, but that was just one part of his training routine. In most cases, the mental state dictates how successful a training session actually is. The future Hall of Fame quarterback overcame injuries and was known to be the last one on the field during his training days, completing extra 300-meter shuttle runs. NFL players are always looking for that edge to get one percent better each day.

It’s that one percent better that will make a difference on the field during NFL Sundays, and it’s the same mentality that will make sure your workouts keep improving.

Story Reference: https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a19531639/inside-the-nfls-secret-training-camp/ 


Programming For Success – How To Guide


As certified personal trainers, we have an obligation to our clients—to encourage them, to make them better, to push them beyond their limits, and to keep them safe while doing it.

What makes us as fitness professionals different from the rank and file fitness enthusiast trying to help their friends is the knowledge and education we work so hard to keep up to date. And, that extensive knowledge of exercise science should be reflected in each exercise program we make for our clients. But all too often, we end up seeing the same techniques employed across the board, regardless of the individual fitness goals of the client in question. What we’re going to do today is go over a method for optimizing your program to ensure you aren’t just giving them the same old program they could get anywhere online.

You are the secret sauce. Equipped with the fitness tools you learned when getting your personal training certification, you stand in the unique position to affect positive change in the lives of your clients. And that’s a special responsibility. Sometimes, though, even the best of us run out of creative juices. So, what do you do when you feel tapped out in terms of piecing together a unique program for each individual? The answer comes down to your process.

To Start, It’s All About Listening

 Anyone can go online and find a program for working out. What clients get from you that they can’t get from random articles is your expertise, knowledge, and experience. Whether you’re trying to be the rockstar trainer at your gym or trying to make your own personal training business succeed, everything begins with listening.

What are their goals? What is their motivation? Have they tried to achieve these goals before? What about injuries or health conditions? This might seem obvious, and many trainers ask these questions, but unfortunately, many are only passively listening, just waiting for their opportunity to get in their pitch as opposed to learning about what their clients need.

Some would say that you should begin with a fitness assessment right out of the gate. But, what’s the good of a standard fitness test if the client can’t perform some of the exercises within your assessment? Furthermore, being a trainer isn’t only about doling out workout routines. It’s also about being your clients’ source of accountability.

So, pay attention to what they tell you. Try to investigate their triggers. Where are they vulnerable? What causes them to eat off their nutrition plan? What makes them skip workouts? What workouts do they hate and thus avoid? And what are some strategies they can employ to push through these moments?

Most clients end up terminating their relationship because they fail to get results or because they feel stagnant. Learning about them and what can make them successful will allow you to nip issues in the bud long before they get to this point. Focus on maximizing their health and well-being. Listen well, and you’ll be well on your way to a positive beginning.

Start with a Plan

 Like with the artists, you need to develop a process. Whereas your programming shouldn’t be templated, your process very much can be. Once you’ve listened to your client and learned about their goals and needs, you can start with the physical aspect of fitness training. From their goals, needs, and preferences, you can start developing a workout program that will be the winner.

  • Overall, a successful process, or plan, will usually look something like this:
  • Listen to their goals and needs.
  • Determine exercise metrics in alignment with their goals.
  • Put those exercise metrics together into a fitness assessment.
  • Based on performance in the assessment, develop programming targeted to improvement.
  • Re-test them at regular intervals.
  • Adapt your programming based on performance.
  • Repeat as their fitness level improves.
  • Furthermore, you want to incorporate elements of their life in the plan.
  • Do they spend eight hours a day sitting? See what you can do to encourage them to move throughout the day.
  • Do they already take their dogs for walks? Try to get them to stretch that out a little bit, getting every bit of physical activity you can out of them when they aren’t with you.

Make sure you are targeting your approach to their day-to-day lives as well as what they’re doing in the gym. This type of customization is the nature of what makes your training certification so valuable. Give them in your sessions what they can’t get anywhere else.

Finding the Right Metrics

 Standard fitness assessments test for things like target heart rate, physical strength, balance, and endurance. These elements are all great in generalized fitness, but ultimately, what are your clients’ goals? This will allow you to develop your own fitness assessments that are targeted towards your client seeing the improvements they want to see.

Now, sometimes, you have to push back a little bit. If you’re dealing with someone who only wants to bulk muscle, yet hasn’t ever really performed proper strength training, they’re going to need to start with something much more basic. One way to handle this is to show them the road map. Let them know that in order to get into the type of training they’re asking for, they’re going to need to start with the basics. Otherwise, there could be a serious risk of injury. Make sure they’re heard, but also make sure to manage their expectations.

So, if you have a client who is looking to lose body fat, you know the exercise route to this is going to involve increasing their basal metabolic rate via resistance training. As such, think of exercises that are resistance-based and easily performed at regular intervals. This could be push-ups or squats if they’ve never touched a weight before, or if they have more experience, it could include some more advanced strength and conditioning exercises. The important part is that it should be tailored to what they’re seeking.

Don’t ignore the basics of what the fitness assessment is also tracking. In this technique, we’re just recommending that you adjust what you do to make it as relevant as possible to your client’s goals. This will help to ensure the client understands you have heard them and are working with them towards their specific, unique goals.

Programming for Success and Communication

 Again, this comes down to a process. You don’t exactly have a blank canvas now, with the fitness assessment you’ve conducted, you now know where they stand. And this should guide your programming from day one. Every aspect of the fitness assessment should be targeted and improved, but you should also direct more attention to the elements of the fitness assessment to which they performed worst.

Make sure that, in each step of the process, you’re explaining to them what you’re doing and why. Demystifying the personal training experience for them will make them more confident in your abilities and will make your process easier for the client to understand, increasing the likelihood of their adoption and success.

The fitness industry has a problem with common “rinse, recycle, repeat” where everything is a one-size-fits-all template. This might work for larger group training systems, health clubs, and other such businesses, but they’re targeting a more general consumer. When someone opts to use a personal trainer’s services, they’re looking for your unique style. Imagine how you would feel paying more for a service and still just getting the status quo. Show them your attention to detail in what they’re wanting. Demonstrate your expertise by tailoring their program to their life.

Just remember, at the end of the day, follow the process. Re-administer the fitness assessment at the right periods, every six weeks or so. This is a great way to see where clients are improving, as well as to see where you need to adjust your programming to meet their goals.

If they’re strengthening in one area and staying stagnant in another, it’s time to tweak your exercises to whatever will improve that performance. This process is involved, but it’s going to give your clients a practical way to not only see their improvement but to feel it as well.

Join MOVATI Today and get Started with This Special Offer. Already a member? To customize programming and help you improve your training, consult with one of our Personal Trainers in club and complete your Game Plan Session or join seminars with one of our fitness professionals. 

#LetsMoveCanada – National Health and Fitness Day!


Get out and get active to celebrate National Health and Fitness Day on June 3rd at your local MOVATI Athletic club.

Jayde Kabeya, our Group Fitness Education National Manager has challenged you! Take part in her AMRAP CHALLENGE. How many rounds can you complete in 5 minutes!?

Complete the four workouts below and share your experience on social media using the hashtag #MOVATIMovesCanada #LetsMoveCanada .


10 Squat Jumps

8 Dumbbell Shoulder Presses

6 Goblet Squats

4 Push ups

To learn more about National Health and Fitness Day, check out the Fitness Industry Council of Canada website: https://ficdn.ca/