Trainer Fitness Guide

– A –

Alternating Dumbell Shoulder Press

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and press one arm overhead.

  2. Lower the weight and then press the other overhead.

  3. Keep your core tight and do not lean to either side during the movement.

– B –

Back Extensions

  1. Hold a weight in front of your chest (hugged close to your chest) and lock your legs into a back extension apparatus.

  2. Allow your torso to bend forward so that your hips are bent almost 90 degrees.

  3. Extend your back so that your body forms a straight line.

Barbell Curls

  1. Grab the bar in the underhand position and shoulder width apart.

  2. With the arms hanging straight down alongside the body and the elbows in close to the body, curl the bar up to the chest.

  3. Keep the wrists straight and locked at all times.

  4. Lower the bar under resistance to the straight position. Repeat.

Bear Crawl

We’d try to explain it…but a video is worth a thousand words!

Bear Crawl Drill for Agility Training — powered by

Bicep Curl (Dumbell)

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at the sides with palms facing toward the side of the thigh and arms straight down.

  2. Position the feet comfortably about shoulder width apart.

  3. Brace the stomach muscles ready to lift the weight.

  4. Bend the elbow of one arm, rotating the arm so that the palm faces upward while raising the dumbbell to the shoulder.

  5. Dumbbell becomes horizontal, forearm pointing upward, thumbs on the outside.

  6. Lower the dumbbell to the starting position and raise the other arm with the same motion. Alternate arms in a smooth progression.

  7. This exercise works the biceps and brachialis of the upper arm and the front deltoid (shoulder muscle) to a lesser extent.

Bird Dog

  1. Kneel on the floor with hands firmly placed about shoulder width apart.

  2. Brace the abdominals, and at first, practice lifting one hand and the opposite knee off of the floor while balancing on the other hand and knee. Half an inch will do until you get the idea of it.

  3. When you’re ready to do the complete exercise, point the arm out straight in front and extend the opposite leg to the rear.

  4. Hold for 10 seconds then return to hands and knees on ground position.

Box Jump

  1. Set up your “box.” This is where the simplicity of the box jump comes in to play since you can use a number of object at varying heights to do the exercise. Use an aerobics step, a workout box or even a park bench to do a box jump. Set the box up so you have at least a few feet to move on either side.

  2. Stand in front of your box with your hands at your sides. With your feet roughly shoulder width apart, jump up onto the box.

  3. Hold your position on top of the box for a count of one second and then jump back down.

  4. Add weight to the box jump by holding a dumbbell in either hand. If you want to add another level of complexity to the exercise, do lateral jumps where you stand to the side of the box and jump up and to the right or left.


  1. Begin in a squat position with hands on the floor in front of you.

  2. Kick your feet back to a pushup position.

  3. Immediately return your feet to the squat position.

  4. Leap up as high as possible from the squat position.

  5. Repeat, moving as fast as possible. You should maintain a fast pace for this exercise. Strive for maximum height with each jump.

– C –

Cable Pull Through

  1. Attach a rope handle to the low pulley of a cable station and straddle it, facing away from the station.

  2. Take a few steps forward to put tension on the cable.

  3. With your lower back in its natural arch, bend your hips backward, allowing the cable to pull your hands through your legs.

Chest Press (Dumbbell)

  1. Lie on the bench or floor with a dumbbell in each hand and your feet flat on the surface. If you use a bench, you may have the feet up on the bench or on the floor, whichever is comfortable for bench height and your body and leg length.

  2. Position the dumbbells at the shoulders with upper arms at about 45 degrees to the body with elbows forward of the shoulder line to avoid stress on the shoulder joint. The palms should face forward.

  3. Brace the abdominal muscles, tilt the chin slightly toward the chest and ensure you have a stable and comfortable position. You’re ready to lift.

  4. Push the weights upward, taking care not to lock out the elbows in an explosive movement. The weights should follow a shallow arc and almost meet over the top of the chest.

  5. It’s okay to straighten the arms as long as you don’t do it with sudden force.

  6. Try to move the weights in a controlled, smooth and not-too-fast lift. The head or shoulder blades should not rise off the bench.

  7. Lower the weights under control and muscle contraction to the starting position.

  8. Try to move the weights in a controlled, smooth and not-too-fast lift. The head or shoulder blades should not rise off the bench.

  9. Lower the weights under control and muscle contraction to the starting position.


  1. Grab a chin-up bar with a shoulder-width, underhand grip, cross your ankles behind you, and hang with your arms straight.

  2. Pull yourself up as high as you can.

  3. Pause, and then lower your body to the starting position. (If that’s too hard, perform the same movement on a lat pull-down machine.)

  4. To add to the challenge, hold a dumbbell between your feet or attach a weight plate to a dipping belt (most gyms have one) and hang it around your waist.


  1. Lie on the floor face up with hands behind the head. Don’t clasp the fingers behind the head. The hands should not propel the head forward in this exercise.

  2. Legs are bent at approximately right angles at the knee with feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart.

  3. Brace the abdominal muscles and hold a neutral spine position with a slight natural curve in the lower back (lumbar) region yet with the back firmly against the floor.

  4. Move the shoulders upward and curl slightly forward as you contract the abdominals until the shoulder blades are about two to three inches (5-7 centimetres) off the floor, or about 30 degrees; hold for about two seconds.

  5. Unlike the squat and deadlift, a curl forward with the upper back and shoulders is necessary with the crunch and an arched back is contra-indicated because of biomechanical forces pulling on the spine.

  6. Exhale as you come up and inhale as you return in preparation for the next repetition. Don’t hold the breath on the up movement. Contracting the abdominals does not mean holding the breath. The head should be kept straight and the chin should not drop to the chest.

  7. Return to the starting position under control. Don’t flop down. Try ten repetitions for three sets starting out and increase it as you get stronger.

Reverse Crunch: A reverse crunch has the arms by the sides and legs bent at the knees, feet off the floor with lower legs parallel to the floor. The legs are ‘reversed’ toward the chest with hips raised slightly from the floor.

Combined Crunch: A combined crunch integrates both shoulder and leg/hip movement in one exercise. This is a very powerful advanced exercise working the rectus abdominis and the external obliques, the muscles at the sides of the abdominal area.

Bicycle Crunch: Lie on your back and extend one leg and bend the other one so your knee is near your chest. With your hands behind your head, touch your opposite elbow to the close knee. Twist your body and touch the other elbow to your other knee.

Weighted Crunch: Hold a weight plate behind your head and perform situps as normal.

– D –


  1. Stabilize the abdominal muscles by bracing them. With feet flat at the bar, squat down, bending at the knees, and grasp the bar with overhand or mixed grip. Note that the form for descending to the bar is similar (but not identical) to the squat, with back straight or arched in slightly and not rounded at the shoulders or spine.

  2. Grasp the bar just outside the line of the knees. (With the Sumo deadlift variant the feet are wide apart but the arms still fall vertically, only now inside the knees.).

  3. Lift the bar by pushing upward with the legs from the knees. Be careful not to raise the hips first so that the trunk moves forward and the back becomes rounded. Breathe out on exertion.

  4. Don’t try to haul the bar up with the arms. The arms stay extended under tension while gripping the bar as the legs push up. Think of the legs and shoulders moving upward in unison with the hips the balancing point.

  5. The bar should almost graze the shins and come to rest around thigh level as you reach full height. Pull the shoulders back as much as possible without bending backward.

  6. Lower the bar to the floor with a reverse motion ensuring a straight back again. With a light weight you can do repetitions in which you lower the bar to shin or even floor and then straighten again without releasing your grip on the bar. This is not really deadlift repetitions. Better to practice a full lift and lower to the floor and then start again from standing position.

Decline Bench Press

  1. Set an adjustable bench to a decline and lie back on it, hooking your feet in the leg braces.

  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and arch your back.

  3. Grab the bar with an outside shoulder-width grip and lower it to your sternum.

  4. Press the weight back up.


  1. Grab the bars of a dip station and lift yourself so your arms are fully extended.

  2. Cross your ankles behind you and then bend your elbows and slowly lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.

  3. Pause, and then push yourself back up to the starting position.

  4. To add to the challenge, hold a dumbbell between your feet or use the dipping belt as described in the chin-up instructions.

– F –

Flys (Dumbbell)

  1. Lie flat on the bench keeping your feet on floor for better balance.

  2. Hold the dumbbells at arms length above you with palms facing each other.

  3. Now lower the dumbbells to your sides without placing strain on your shoulders (your arms should make a “T” at the bottom of the exercise). Bend the arms at the elbows slightly to remove strain from your elbow joint.  The exercise is named “flys” because the movement is similar to the flapping motion of a bird’s wing.

  4. Now return the weight to the starting position by squeezing your chest muscles together.

  5. Repeat this movement to complete the set.

– G –

Good Mornings

  1. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and support the bar on your traps or rear deltoids.

  2. Lift the bar off the supports of the squat rack and step back.

  3. Tighten your abs and bend your hips as far back as possible and lower your torso until you feel your lower back about to round-you must keep the arch in your lower back at all times.

  4. Contract your glutes and push your hips forward to return to the starting position.

– J –

Jump Lunge

  1. Lunge forward with your left leg, keeping your torso upright and abs engaged.

  2. Jump up, switching legs mid-air and landing with right leg forward and left leg back, knees bent.

  3. Try not to let your front knee go past your toes.

  4. Repeat, landing with an alternating stance each time.

Jump Squat

  1. Stand with your arms at your sides and your feet shoulder-width apart.

  2. Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, bend your hips and knees until your thighs are about parallel to the floor.

  3. Explode upward, jumping as high as you can.

  4. Land with soft knees and immediately begin the next rep.

– K –

Keystone Deadlift

  1. Hold the bar at arm’s length and, keeping your lower back arched and chest out, push your hips back and lower the bar until it touches your knees.

  2. Keep the bar in contact with your thighs the entire time.

  3. Squeeze your glutes and extend your hips to come back up.

– L –

Lat Pulldown

  1. Sit on the seat and adjust the thigh pads so that the quads above the knees sit comfortably under the support. This is to prevent the knees rising up as you exert effort to pull the bar down.

  2. Grasp the cable bar with a wide overhand grip, knuckles up and sit on the seat with thighs under the support. Alternative grips, narrow and underhand, are possible, but use the wide grip when starting out.

  3. You should just be able to reach the bar when you stretch up. If you can’t, adjust the seat or bar hanger cable or chain.

  4. A slight stretch upward to grab the bar is not harmful but you don’t want the bar so high that you have to drag it down under pressure so that you can sit down.

  5. Keeping the back straight, pull the bar down to about chin level or a little lower in a smooth movement while squeezing the shoulder blades together.

  6. Try not to force the bar any lower than where the shoulders are naturally collapsed and the forearms are more or less upright. You should not push the arms forward out of the vertical plane in order to drag the bar lower.

  7. Slowly return the bar to full height and repeat the exercise.

  8. When your set is finished, don’t suddenly release the bar and clash the weights. Stand up in order to settle the weights without clashing if necessary.

Leg Press

  1. Sit on the machine with your back and head against the padded support.

  2. Place feet on the foot plate about hip width apart, ensuring the heels are flat. The legs should form an angle of about 90 degrees at the knee with a little variation either way as long as the heels sit flat on the plate.

  3. The knees should be in line with the feet and neither bowed inward nor outward.

  4. Your bottom should not be raised from the seat platform. If it is, and the legs are at too sharp an angle, then you need to adjust the seat back until the correct position is enabled. You can recognize this poor position when the knees seem to be in front of your eyes and you feel cramped.

  5. Grasp the assist handles.

  6. Brace the abdominal muscles and push the platform away with heels and forefoot by extending the knees and hips and pushing the back into the seat pad.

  7. The heels should remain flat on the foot plate and the front of the foot or toes should not be used exclusively to move the pad forward.

  8. Do keep the head steady and back against the seat.

  9. Don’t lock out the knees in an explosive fashion but do express a full range of motion.

  10. Return the foot plate to the starting position by allowing the knees to bend under control while maintaining the feet flat on the surface. Repeat the exercise.

Lunge (Dumbbell)

  1. Choose dumbbells of a weight that will enable you to complete the exersice sets you have chosen. Trial and error will be required to settle on a suitable weight. Start with a light weight.

  2. Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand. Hang arms at the your sides. Palms should face the thighs (hammer grip). Feet should be a little less than shoulder width apart.

  3. Take a big step forward (with either leg) while bending at the knee until the front thigh is approaching parallel to the ground, and the rear leg is bent at the knee and balanced on the toes. Don’t let the knee go past the tip of the toes. This can aggravate the knee joint if done too much.

  4. Step back to your starting position and repeat the motion with the other leg, alternating legs until the exercise program set is complete.

– M –

Military Press

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level with your elbows bent at 90 degrees.

  2. Keeping your abs braced, press the weights straight overhead.

  3. Lower the weights back down to the starting position.  This is one rep.  (Note: Do NOT let your elbows drop below 90 degrees when you lower the weights for each rep as this places excessive strain on your rotator cuff).

– R –

Reverse Flys (Dumbbell)

  1. Lie face down on an incline bench, holding a pair of dumbbells with an underhand grip.
  2. With your elbows slightly bent, raise the weights out from your sides until your arms are in a straight line (like a “T”).
  3. Pause, then lower the weights. Repeat

Reverse Lunge

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand.

  2. Step back with one leg and lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the floor.

  3. Return to starting position.

Romanian Dealift

  1. Hold a barbell in front of your thighs with a shoulder-width grip.

  2. Bend your hips back and then bend your knees while maintaining the natural arch in your lower back.

  3. Keep going until you feel your back about to lose its arch.

  4. Slowly return to the starting position.


Seated Cable Row

  1. Attach a straight bar to the pulley of a cable station and sit down in front of it.

  2. Grab the handle with an overhand, shoulder-width grip, and row the bar to the lower part of your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together as yo do so.

  3. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Bent Over Row (Dumbbell)

  1. Brace the abdominals, keep the back straight and lift the weights straight up then down again in a controlled manner.

  2. The arms should go no higher than parallel with the shoulders. Slightly less is OK. Breathe in to start. Breathe out on effort.

  3. Try to keep the wrists from excessive movement down or to the side.

  4. Don’t squat down and up after the initial pose. No movement of the legs occurs.

  5. Keep bent over until all repetitions are complete.

  6. Try to move the weights in a controlled, smooth and not-too-fast lift. The head or shoulder blades should not rise off the bench.

  7. Lower the weights under control and muscle contraction to the starting position.

Seated High Row

  1. Attach a rope handle to the low pulley of a cable station and sit in front of it with your knees slightly bent and your torso perpendicular to the floor.

  2. Row the cable to your neck, so that your upper arms are parallel to the floor.

  3. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That’s one rep.

– S –

“Seven’s” (Bicep Barbell Curls)

  1. Select the appropriate weight barbell (ideally a bent grip barbell).  You should select a weight that is slightly lighter than the weight you would use for standard bicep barbell curls.

  2. Grab the bar in the underhand position and shoulder width apart.

  3. With the arms hanging straight down alongside the body and the elbows in close to the body, curl the bar halfway up (so that your arms arm bent to 90 degrees) then lower the barbell.  You are completing the bottom half of a barbell curl here.  Repeat 7 times.

  4. Next, starting with your arms bent at 90 degrees, curl the barbell up to your chest (you are performing the upper half of a barbell curl here).  Lower the barbell halfway back down (so that your arms to not lower beyond 90 degrees) and repeat for a total of 7 reps.

  5. Last, perform a full bicep curl beginning with your arms straight down at your side and curling the barbell all the way up to your chest.  Repeat 7 times.

Shoulder Front Raise (Dumbell)

  1. Stand with feet about shoulder width apart with the back straight and feet planted flat on the floor, arms with weights hanging down.

  2. Hold the dumbbells across the thighs horizontally, ensuring a firm grip.

  3. Brace the abdominal muscles.

  4. Lift the weights upward, arms out in front, bending only slightly at the elbows, until the arms are approximately horizontal to the floor.

  5. Start with a light weight and plan to do 10 to 12 repetitions for 1 to 3 sets of exercises to start. Don’t lift weights that are too heavy.

  6. The weights are probably too heavy if you start to rock back on your heels in order to complete the lift. This is an exercise where you should not lift weights that cause you to fail completely at the end of a set.

  7. Return the dumbbells to the starting position at the thighs.

  8. Repeat the exercise for the number of sets and repetitions in your program.

Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)

  1. Stand upright or sit on a bench with the back straight.

  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at the shoulders with an overhand grip. Thumbs should be on the inside and knuckles facing up.

  3. Raise the weights above the head in a controlled motion, ensuring that you do not slam the arms upward and stress the elbow joint.

  4. Exhale as you push upward.

  5. Return dumbbells to the shoulders.

  6. Option: Alternate arms instead of both arms at once.


  1. Hold the bar with an outside shoulder-width grip and let it hang in front of you.

  2. Shrug your shoulders as high as you can.

  3. Slowly return to the starting position.  This is one repetition.

Side Lunge

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and take a wide step to the left with your left foot.

  2. Bend your left knee while keeping the right knee straight, and lower your body as far as you can.

  3. Repeat on the other side.

Side Plank

  1. Lift your body off the ground and balance on one forearm and the side of your foot.

  2. Contract your abdominals and relax your shoulders.

  3. Hold this position for 30 seconds then repeat on the opposite side.


  1. Lie face down on your stomach with arms and legs extended. Keep your neck in a neutral position.

  2. Keeping your arms and legs straight (but not locked) and torso stationary, simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form an elongated “u” shape with your body — back arches and arms and legs several inches off the floor.

  3. Hold for two to five seconds and lower back down to complete one.

Swiss Ball Jackknife

  1. Get into pushup position, resting the tops of your feet on a Swiss ball.

  2. Contract your abs and bring your knees to your chest, rolling the ball toward you.

  3. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Swiss Ball Pike

  1. Get into pushup position and rest your shins on a Swiss ball.

  2. Raise your butt up in the air with your legs straight, rolling the ball toward your arms.

  3. Slowly lower your butt back down, allowing the ball to roll back to the starting position.

– T –

Tricep Pull Down

  1. Face the triceps pushdown machine and grasp the horizontal cable bar with an overhand grip. The bar should be at about chest level.

  2. Tuck the elbows into the sides and position the feet comfortably, slightly apart.

  3. To start with, set a low weight with the pin and plate adjustment and practise a few repetitions to see how the device works. Versions of this machine may include other weighting mechanisms.

  4. Brace the abdominals. Push down on the handle bar until elbows are fully extended yet without snapping the elbows straight and by keeping the elbows close to the body on the way down.

  5. Bend the knees slightly on the pushdown but stay as upright as possible with back straight. Don’t recruit the back and shoulder muscles by bending too far forward.

  6. Allow the bar to return to the starting point under control, and try not to clash the weights.

Tricep “Skull Crushers”

  1. Lie on the floor or a bench and hold a light-medium barbell with the hands close together, about shoulder-width apart.

  2. Extend the arms straight up over the chest, palms face out and thumbs wrapped around so that they’re next to the fingers.

  3. Bend the elbows and lower the the weight down to a few inches above the forehead or until the elbows are at about 90-degree angles.

  4. Squeeze the triceps to straight the arms without locking the joints.

– W –

Wood Chop

  1. Attach a suitable hand grip to a cable at one end of a cable machine frame. Position the cable anchor near the top of the frame using the adjustable mechanism.

  2. Position your body so that the cable movement will be downward and across the body — like a tree-chopping action.

  3. Position the feet comfortably apart and grasp the cable handle with both hands above one shoulder.

  4. Load the machine with sufficient weight to provide moderate resistance. If you struggle to move the handle or if you can only move it slowly, the weight is too heavy.

  5. Swing the clasped handle downward and across the body until it passes the opposite thigh.

  6. Don’t lock the knees and hips. Allow the hips and knees to rotate slightly.

  7. At the end position, allow the cable weight to retract the handle to the starting position.

  8. Do the instructed number of repetitions then reverse your stance by facing the other way and repeat the exercise to the other side of the body.

  9. This exercise is used for power development so be sure to perform the movement at high velocity.

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