Fitness Videos

Safely Perform a Squat to Overhead Press with Dumbbells

Let’s Start with the Basics, How to Squat:

Ah, the bodyweight squat. It’s a definite fundamental exercise in any fitness enthusiast’s repertoire. Once you have the basics down there are a whole host of variations you can use to keep the exercise relevant and interesting.

This exercise is great for a beginner, or someone with Atrial Fibrillation. The movement is slow enough to not spike the heart rate too much, and it still gives your quadriceps a nice workout.

Here is a link to the video I did in December on bodyweight squats:

Now Let’s Talk About the Overhead Press:

I love a good overhead press. It is a fabulous exercise that is a compound, full body movement. The legs and core are engaged to help keep the body balanced and stable while the weight is being pressed over the head. Additionally, the act of pressing dumbbells, or a barbell, over your head means more of your smaller stabilizer muscles are being engaged in order to complete the movement- so you may find that you press less weight than you are used to lifting. This is a good thing, we want to strengthen both the large and small muscle groups so the body has more functionality in a variety of movements both inside and outside the gym.

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Creating this functional balance means you get more bang for your workout, and can enjoy your life more fully outside of the gym.

How to Perform a Squat to Overhead Press:

  1. Grab some dumbbells and stand tall with your feet hip or shoulder width apart.
  2. Place the dumbbells at your shoulders with the elbows pointed towards the floor and your palms facing the sides of your head. Keep your feet pointed straight in front of you, and if it helps to keep your center of gravity over your heels you can lift your toes slightly.
  3. Tighten your knees, hips and legs while slowly lowering yourself down and back like you are going to sit down in a chair. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor.
    1. Note: Your booty will be pretty far back behind you, and that’s perfectly alright. Your knees should be relatively straight over your feet/ankles, and NEVER farther forward than your toes.
  4. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position. Make sure your knees stay over your ankles and do not shift forward over your toes, or angle inward toward each other. Try to keep the shins straight.
  5. As you return to a standing position, press the dumbbells straight up overhead until your arms are fully extended.
  6. Hold this position for a second and then bring the arms back to their starting position.
  7. Repeat this movement for 10-15 reps and 3 sets as a part of your lower body workout.

As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

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Fitness Videos

Bent Over Barbell Row With Arm Twist For Back And Spine Health

Hello and welcome everyone to another episode of Fey Fitness!

In today’s video I will demonstrate how to perform a bent over barbell row using dumbbells. I love row exercises. There are oodles of variations you can do to achieve a ton of different outcomes, all dependent on your fitness goals.

For example, seated rows or bent over dumbbell rows are amazing for your back, and getting those sexy V-shaped muscles we see on professional bodybuilders. But it’s more than just looks, rows can help strengthen the erector spinae to help keep your spine strong and healthy- which reduces your chances of getting injured while working out or playing a sport.

Rows are also great for improving the functionality of your everyday life. Think of all the times you need to bend over and pick something up, or get a heavy box down from the top shelf in your closet. Having strong spinal muscles are important to keeping yourself safe while performing these everyday moments.

Some of the main varieties of rows are:

  • Seated
  • Bent Over
  • Yates
  • Pendlay

And some common grips are:

  • Narrow
  • Wide
  • Reverse Narrow
  • Reverse Wide

As you can imagine, changing the stance or grip will affect which muscle groups become the main focus of the exercise. So today we are going to look at a normal grip bent over dumbbell row.

Whew! That was a mouthful to say.

I love bent over dumbbell rows because it allows me to really hone in on my back muscles. The muscles you will be working out for this exercise are: the latissimus dorsi (the middle portion), the rhomboids, the lower trapezius, the biceps brachii and the erector spinae.

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What Grip Should You Use For Rows?

Unfortunately, as you’ve heard before with other health and fitness questions, it depends on your goals. The grip you use, and the width of that grip, will determine which sections of muscles will be the focus of your exercise. If your goal is to have a broad, wide back that is very well defined, then I recommend narrow grip rows. However, if your focus is a healthy spine and good posture, then wide grip rows would be the way to go.

Or, you can be an all-star and do both! There’s nothing saying you can’t do narrow grip rows one day, then wide grips row on your next back training day. But remember, the amount of total weight you will be able to move could be less when you are doing wide-grip versus with a narrow grip, so don’t let that discourage you.

Next let’s talk about what I call “normal” grip versus reverse grip rows. A “normal” grip is when the exterior of your hand faces outward, and your palms are facing your body. This is the most common type of grip you will see at your local gym, or if you Google this term. Generally speaking, when we talk about the muscles used with this type of grip we are looking at the latissimus dorsi (the outer portion), the middle and upper trapezius muscles and the erector spinae. All of which are great muscles to work for a strong and defined back.

Now let’s look at the reverse grip. This grip has the palms facing outward with the exterior of the hand facing in the direction of your body. The muscles that are generally being worked here are the latissimus dorsi (note that it is the middle portion now being worked), the rhomboids, the lower trapezius, the biceps brachii and the erector spinae. See how we are working different portions of the same muscles? This is why you can do rows one way for one workout, then vary the grip and get a completely different outcome from another workout.

Normal Grip Bent Over Dumbbell Row With Arm Twist

Muscles Used: latissimus dorsi (middle portion), rhomboids, lower trapezius, biceps brachii, erector spinae

  1. Come into an athletic stance with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Pick up the dumbbells with your hands shoulder-width apart in an overhand grip (where your palms face your body).
  3. Bend forward at the hip so you have a nice straight spine and your arms are hanging straight down from your shoulders.
  4. Pull the dumbbells toward your sternum by raising the elbows up and back and rotating your hands so that the dumbbells are now parallel to one another and your palms are facing your core. Squeeze your shoulder blades together behind you as the weight is raised.
  5. When the ends of the dumbbell touch your sternum, pause for a second or two before you slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position. When you return to the starting position be sure to not lock your elbows, just keep the arms straight.
  6. Repeat this movement 10-15 times for 3 sets.

Pro Tip: Never let gravity take over as the weight descends. This is how people get injured and have negative impressions of a row exercise. Keep the muscles engaged and strong through the downward portion of the move so it remains as smooth as it was on the upward motion.

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If you have Atrial Fibrillation, be sure to monitor how your heart is doing throughout this exercise. The movements shouldn’t spike your heart rate enough to cause an AFib episode, but still be aware of how you are feeling and stop if your heart starts beating erratically or skipping beats.

As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

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Fitness Videos

Increase Range of Motion and Flexibility with a “W” Stretch!

Hello and welcome to another edition of Fey Fitness!

Today I want to continue on with our discussion from last week about the back. I am a firm believer that most people don’t give enough attention to this important part of the body. Like I mentioned last week, our back is responsible for our posture and for protecting our spinal column from injury. So it is very important that we take care of the muscles responsible for this.

Another reason the back is so essential to long term health and wellness comes from the nature of the jobs we tend to have now. Most people I know are at a desk or computer for some portion of their day. And while there are tons of articles that detail exactly what happens to your spine or lower body when sitting too long (I’ll dive deeper into this later in another blog), another important aspect is what being at a computer or desk does to our upper back and shoulders.

In order to use a computer or write documents we need to extend our arms forward in front of our bodies for prolonged periods of time. This prolonged misalignment of the back, shoulder blade and upper arms puts a lot of stress on the ligaments and tendons around the shoulder and can cause aches and pains, known as frozen shoulder. Repetitive Strain Injury is another way to describe discomfort that arises in the shoulder area for computer users because the muscles and tendons all along the neck and wrist are being held under tension in one posture for long periods of time. Most of the time when we use a computer our shoulder posture is not at rest, but is supporting the arm using the mouse or the other arm on the keyboard.

Because of these factors the muscles and tendons in the shoulder joint become tight and computer users can experience a tight feeling that over time decreases the range of motion and functionality of the shoulder joint. This is where the W-stretch comes in to play. This simple stretch can help increase the functionality and mobility of this joint, while can also reduce the aches and pains associated with this line of work.

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My goal is to help you not only reach your health and wellness goals, but to continue to set (and meet) new goals 20 or even 30 years from now! Fitness is a life long journey, and we need to make sure we are caring for our bodies throughout this amazing ride.

How To Perform A “W” stretch:

  1. Stand nice and tall with your arms hanging loosely at your sides.
  2. Roll your shoulders back and down while bringing your shoulder blades nice and tight against your back.
  3. Bring your arms up to form a large “W” with your fingers pointing upwards and creating the top of the letter w.
  4. Keep your upper arm (the area between your shoulder and elbow) as still as possible, and bend your forearm arm (from the elbow to your finger tips) as far backwards as possible.
    • Pro Tip: It’s perfectly fine if your forearms don’t move backwards very far. Most of my clients with sedentary lifestyles or desk jobs have tight shoulders and perform this move every day in order to increase shoulder function and mobility.
  5. Perform 8-10 reps per side for 1-3 sets as needed throughout the day.

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My goal is to empower you to feel confident and informed so you can get the most satisfying workout possible. So please let me know how I can better help you achieve that goal. As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

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Fitness Videos

Single Arm Standing Cable Press for Back Health

 

Ah, the back. It may be one of the largest planes of the body, but it is often forgotten by many fitness enthusiasts. Why, you might ask? Mainly because it isn’t seen very often. When most people think of fit, lean bodies they think of the “showcase muscles“. Muscles such as the pecs, biceps, triceps, or anterior deltoids. These are the flashy muscles that are easy to show off in a t-shirt (and the easiest to take selfies of).

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However, there is merit in taking care of the back muscles. For one, your back is responsible for protecting your spine and giving you proper posture. Spinal health is very important to long-term wellness and functionality. Our spine helps us bend, twist and do just about any movement you can think of, so we need to keep it strong and mobile so we can enjoy bending down to play with our kids, or twisting to get groceries out of the trunk of the car when we’re older.

My goal is to help you not only reach your health and wellness goals, but to continue to set (and meet) new goals 20 or even 30 years from now! Fitness is a life long journey, and we need to make sure we are caring for our bodies throughout this amazing ride.

How To Perform A Single Arm Standing Cable Press:

  1. Get into an athletic stance with your knees over your shins and ankles and booty back like you are about to perform a squat.
  2. Tighten your core.
  3. Roll your shoulders down and back so you have good posture and the shoulder blades are tight against the spine. Hold the handle to the cable machine in your right hand.
    • Pro Tip: Imagine a string is attached at your elbow and is guiding the weight to you. This can help engage the back muscles better and not rely on the arm muscles to move the weight.
  4. Slowly bring the handle to your body using your back muscles and slowly release the weight until your arm is fully extended, but the shoulder is still rolled back and the shoulder blades are still against your back (no arching the shoulder blades or shoulder joint).
  5. Repeat on the other side.
  6. Perform 8-10 reps per side for 2-3 sets.

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My goal is to empower you to feel confident and informed so you can get the most satisfying workout possible. So please let me know how I can better help you achieve that goal. As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

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