Exercise Selection

The following are exercises that I approve of for most individuals. You may need to alter an exercise to meet your needs. If an exercise causes joint pain or discomfort change it. Limit the range of motion or lighten the load to reduce abnormal joint pain.

Chest             Flat, Incline, or Decline Presses (Barbell, Dumbbell, or Machines)

Upperback     Pull-downs, pull-ups, dumbbell rows, cable rows, machine rows

Lower back    Back extensions, Top range of motion Deadlifts (if you can perform safely). Due to back injuries, I only perform the back extension on an irregular basis.

Hamstrings   Same as lower back. 

Biceps           Standing dumbbell curls, Incline curls, some machine type curls

Triceps          Close grip presses, pushdowns, triceps extensions dumbbell, dips

Calves           Calf presses, Standing calf raises

Quads           Squats (dumbbell or barbell), dumbbell lunges, horizontal leg press, some 45 deg leg press. As I have progressed in my years of training the most common exercises we prescribe are dumbbell lunges and a horizontal leg press. I do not like the idea of putting a bar on a client’s back due to several issues long term.

Feel free to use these exercises to form the basis of your strength training program. Find exercises that recruit the desired muscle groups and that do not cause joint irritation. One of the best ways to reduce joint discomfort is to lighten the load and or limit the range of motion.

Stay Strong,


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