Tuesday, July 29, 2008

FitAndBusyDad Exercise of the Week: Blast Strap Dips

I'm a big fan of bodyweight exercises. As a young trainer I was once told by strength & conditioning pioneer Juan Carlos Santana that he determines the skill level of his trainers based on whether or not they could train him in an empty elevator.

Since that time (way back in 1998, I think), it's been ingrained in my training head to try to learn and incorporate every possible bodyweight exercise in my programming. My philosophy in training has changed over the years, but one thing stays contstant...

You must be able to handle your own bodyweight before we add any significant external resistance.

That said, today's EOW is one of the hardest bodyweight exercises I've done. In fact, when it was introduced to me by my friend Craig Ballantyne back in 2002, I almost fell on my face when I tried it. Things have now changed (let's hope, it's been 6 years!) and I can now do these with a 50lb weighted vest.

To perform BLAST STRAP DIPS, you'll first need a set of Blast Straps (you can pick them up at EliteFTS.com) and something to hang them off - soccer goal post, chin-up bar, DoorGym, etc.

• Grab the Blast Strap handles with your palms facing in (the straps should be a little wider than shoulder width apart)
• Stand between the straps making sure that the straps are perpendicular (at a right angle to the ground)
• Straighten your arms by locking your elbows and pushing your shoulders AWAY from your ears and BRACING YOUR ABS HARD
• Now bend your knees so that you are off the ground and fully suspended by the straps
• Initiate the movement leaning forward slightly and bending at the elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the ground
• Push through the straps and straighten your arms out and push you shoulders away from your ears.

At first, you may find this movement pretty hard. For added stability and control try doing the movement with the tips of your toes on the ground. Just remember that it's an upper body exercise, so don't let your lower body assist you too much.

The FitAndBusyDad

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