Put your feet up for Fitness Friday!

Put your feet up for Fitness Friday!

Feet-Up Technique

Everyone knows that in order to build something up it takes a strong foundation. Typically, when you perform many exercises you begin by getting your feet and hips set first then perform the set. Most people realize that the stronger your lower body is the more help it will provide with many upper body exercises.

For instance, on a bench press, thrusting your hips upward just before the pressing movement can increase the amount you lift anywhere from 30-50%. Examining this leads to a strategy I came up with after watching some handicap bodybuilders lift in wheel chairs.

Basically, the strategy is to take your legs and hips out of the equation and put the focus back on the specific area of training. For anyone trying this for the first time, you will need to lighten your typical load by 30-50%. It can be awkward to keep your balance, but slowly you can increase the resistance back, but probably never to the levels that you had with your feet under you.

This is one of the reasons I think is why you don’t see this technique done very often. 1. It looks funny. 2. You don’t look as cool lifting light weight. Too many guys lift for the ego and not for the quality of the workout.

For example, when performing the bench press, cross your legs and lift them in the air, making sure not to touch your feet to the bench at all. Now for incline bench, military press, or seated dumbbell curls try placing a box or another bench directly in front of you placing your heels on it with legs stretched out.

You will notice quickly when performing the same exercise in this manner that the target muscles will fatigue much quicker, adding to the strategy of quality over quantity. In a way, I look at our lower half being a crutch for our upper half. Crutches only need to be used for gaining strength back to near 100% then you dispose of them. It makes sense then to try and not allow the lower body to lift a third of the weight.

Now, don’t get me wrong I believe there are times when you need to use the lower body to help with certain exercises or maybe to blast through plateaus, but when you began to use it all the time, then it is a crutch. The other major benefit from performing the feet-up technique is the strengthening of your core. Taking out your base forces your core and stabilizers to balance your upper half, especially if you add weight over your head it can get intense but give you extraordinary results.

List of exercises by body part this technique can be used for;
Chest- Bench and Incline Press, dumbbell fly’s, peck deck, many machines presses. Back- pull-ups, seated rows, lying rows. Biceps-seated dumbbell curls. Triceps-lying skull crushers (triceps ext.), close-grip presses. Shoulders- seated bb or db presses, or side/lying db raises.

…For more information and tips, check my website, www.chadamartin.com & @PROCHADMARTIN. Thanks to OGF for supplying equipment for this show.