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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Fitness Videos

Standing Bicycle Crunches for Core Strength and Balance, a Senior Approved Exercise!

The Standing bicycle crunch is a great variation of the traditional Bicycle Crunch (where you lay on the floor on your back) for those individuals who are experiencing difficulty with mobility or who want to improve their balance. When I say mobility, I am referring to getting down on the floor and back up again as this can be a major issue for seniors or anyone recovering from an injury.

One of the reasons I like this exercise so much for active aging and injury rehabilitative individuals is because it allows you to increase your core strength and improve balance at the same time. This exercise places an emphasis on the oblique muscles of the core to strengthen them and promote a stronger abdominal cavity. Additionally, because you are standing while performing the exercise you will also burn more calories when compared to laying on your back due to the additional muscles that are involved in the movement. Studies have even shown this exercise to be more effective when compared to standard crunches.

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Furthermore, this exercise is wonderful for those of us with Atrial Fibrillation because it is low enough in intensity to not spike our heart rate, but still provide us with a great workout.

As with most standing ab exercises a standing bicycle crunch reduces your risk of straining your neck or injuring your lower back. Having poor technique with ab exercises which require you to lay on the floor can lead to a variety of spinal problems, which is why I always stress having proper form when performing floor exercises. If you have questions about proper form for these movements, message me in the comments below or review my past posts on ab exercises for the floor.

How To Perform A Standing Bicycle Crunch:

  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart and a nice straight posture.
  2. Tighten your core.
  3. Bring your left knee up and slightly over while bringing your right elbow down and across your core while twisting your core to the left. The elbow and knee should touch gently in the middle of your core.
    • Pro Tip: To intensify this move, hold the contraction for 1-2 seconds before releasing.
    • Balance Tip: Don’t worry if you aren’t ready to perform this exercise freestanding yet. Simply stand with with arm holding onto the back of a sturdy chair or against a wall while performing this exercise until you feel comfortable trying it without external assistance. Practice makes perfect and I know you can do it!
  4. Keeping the core engaged, slowly return the left leg and elbow to their original position.
  5. Repeat on the other side.
  6. Perform 8-10 reps per side for 2-3 sets.

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

Stellar Ab Workout With TRX Straps! The TRX Ab Pull-In

TRX Straps are unsung heroes in most gyms. These amazing exercise tools can give a killer whole body workout to an advanced athlete, or ease someone with health concerns or past injuries back into the world of fitness. The versatility of this tool is practically endless, and they are so much fun to use. Think of them as a playground for adults!

For today’s video I’d like to share how you can use the TRX Straps as a part of your core workout to really give your abdominal muscles a good burn. This exercise is called a TRX Ab Pull-In, and it is perfect for people of any fitness level to incorporate into their workout routine.

How To Perform A TRX Ab Pull-In:

  1. First get on your hands and knees so you can place your feet in the TRX Strap handles.
  2. Next, assume a plank position so your feet are hovering in the TRX Strap handles and your hands are directly below your shoulders.
  3. Tighten your core and bring your knees as close to your chest as possible. Try to keep the back as straight as possible during this movement.
  4. Keeping the abs nice and tight, return your legs to a plank position.
  5. Repeat 15-30 times for 2-4 sets.

It’s that easy! If you are new to fitness, recovering from an injury, or have a medical condition, I would recommend starting out at 15 reps for 2-3 sets and see how your body reacts to that level of intensity. Always be aware of your body and what it is telling you. If you have Atrial Fibrillation and notice your heart rate starting to raise, just slow down the movement or take a break to let your heart rate return to a safer level before continuing on with the workout.

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

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

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

Website: https://www.feyfitness.com

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Fitness Videos

Increase The Intensity Of Your Lower Body Workout With A Bosu Ball Squat

The squat is the foundation exercise of any lower body workout. It’s amazing and simple, which is one of the many reasons why just about every personal trainer I know has their client perform them at some point in time throughout their client’s fitness journey. In case you are unfamiliar with what is worked from a basic squat, the muscles used for this exercise are your legs and hips. Moreover, the gluteal muscles, transverse abdominis, adductors and soleus muscles in your abdomen are also working hard to keep your body in balance during the movement of squatting.

All of these are reasons to add some form of a squat to your lower body routine if it isn’t already a part of your weekly workouts.

And today I wanted to share with you one variation on a traditional squat (in December of 2017 I did a video/blog on how to perform a basic squat. Click here to learn more about it.). Today’s exercise is called a Bosu Ball Squat, and it really kicks a traditional squat up a couple of notches.

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The reason a bosu ball is so great for squatting is that it creates an uneven surface for you to workout on. This results in you using your smaller stabilizer muscles to stablize and balance the body, making them stronger and giving you the added benefit of being more balanced and increasing your flexibility. Additionally, because your muscles (both large muscles, like the hamstrings, and smaller stabilizer muscles) are working harder to keep you on the ball while performing a squat this increase in exercise intensity gives you more bang for your buck in terms of working your lower body and core.

How To Perform a Bosu Ball Squat:

  1. Take a Bosu Ball and turn it over so the flat solid surface is facing the ceiling and the curved ball portion is in contact with the floor.
  2. Get on the Bosu Ball and into a normal squat stance.
    • Pro Tip: To get on the ball, try stepping on the edge of the flat surface with one foot so the flat surface of the Bosu Ball is at an angle to the floor. Then place the other foot on the other edge (the one in the air). This will bring you into a wide stance on the ball and you can move your feet in a heel-to-toe motion until they are at a good distance for your body.
  3. Perform a squat like normal. You may have to move slower at first until your body gets used to squatting on the uneven surface.
  4. Aim for 20 reps and 3 sets as a part of your lower body routine.

Bosu Ball Squats are amazing for those of us with Atrial Fibrillation as the exercise itself will not spike our heart rate, but it will still give us a really good workout.

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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

Fitness Videos · My Life

The Truth About Getting Six Pack Abs

Scenario A:

A client signs up for my services and tells me that they ONLY want to do core workouts because they only care about getting great abs.

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Scenario B:

A client signs up for my services to ask how to get to a point where they can perform 800 sit ups a day, every day. When I ask what on earth for, they reply that they read online that this is the only way to get a six pack.

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Let me just take a moment to face palm and collect my thoughts….

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Okay, I’m back.

If anyone tells you that you can only get a six pack of abs from exclusively performing core exercises, or from doing 800 sit ups each day, please do me a favor and slap them for me.

This is nothing more than lying and spreading misinformation.

Please, please, please! Do not listen to these people. The human body is an amazing system that is highly adaptable and resilient, yet there are some feats that are outside its capabilities.

Why, you ask? Because you already have a six pack! Honest. It is just buried under a layer of fat. Everyone has a sexy set of abdominal and oblique muscles. I just need to give you the tools to be able to see them.

Your core muscles are amazingly strong. They have to be. They are responsible for every bend, twist and breath you take. Yes, you heard right, your abdominal muscles assist you with breathing. These powerhouse muscles also help you with balance and stability. From walking down the street, to getting in and out of chairs.

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However, as I mentioned earlier, these muscles are located under a nice layer of fat. And depending on your current body composition, that might be a little or a lot. People like me tend to store fat in our core (you’ve heard of us referred to as an “apple” body shape), so some people might have a harder time revealing those abs with proper diet and exercise.

But all is not lost. The only two things you need to do are eat a healthy diet and exercise your entire body.

I say this because we want to burn off all of that fat over your muscles to let their tone and definition shine through. And it is impossible to burn fat from just a single, targeted area. The body is pretty all or nothing on this. You either get slimmer overall, or not at all.

As I mentioned, every body composition is different, so your specific needs might differ, but science has shown that the abs are revealed at certain body fat percentages for both men and women. These ab-exposing percentages are between 15% – 20% for healthy adult males and 20% – 25% for healthy adult females.

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So how to we get to the body fat percentages that will reveal our abs? Well, we need to eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly. Both of which sound pretty darn easy.

For food you should try to consume 300-500 less calories a day than you burn. So if you burn 2,000 a day, then try reducing your calorie intake to between 1,500-1,700 calories a day. This calorie deficit will cause the body to burn off any excess fat you might have over time.Losing weight gradually causes less shock to your body, and will ease you into lifestyle changes that you are more likely to keep- so you can kiss those yo-yo diets goodbye.

Try to eat between 1 gram – 1.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This will fuel your muscles and body with enough protein to repair and grow muscles. Also, you can eat as much as you want of fresh vegetables. Some personal trainers might disagree with me on this, but I have yet to encounter a client who actually eats enough vegetables on a regular basis, so increasing your veggie intake is only going to give your body more micro-nutrients that it needs for growth and repair.

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Additionally, you should really try to reduce your intake of sweets, alcohol, processed or fast foods and sodas. This one is hard for most people, but it is a necessary sacrifice for those killer abs.

Lastly, you need to hit the gym. A bare minimum workout routine would be two weight lifting days and two cardio days. Your goal is to shed excess fat, but building extra muscle has the added benefit of burning more calories every day whether you are active or not (because muscles need a lot more calories to sustain themselves than fat), so if you have extra lean muscle mass then you are going to increase your metabolic rate and burn more calories.

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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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