Posts tagged ‘Exercise’

March 28, 2011

Deadlift

deadlift

The deadlift is a weight training exercise where one lifts a loaded barbell off the ground from a stabilized bent-over position. It is one of the three gauges of powerlifting, and is an exercise for overall body development. The deadlift is a compound movement that works grip strength with the erector spinae, gluteus maximus, adductor magnus, hamstrings, and quadriceps serving as the primary muscles. The remaining muscles are involved in stability control. It is, in a sense, the purest test of strength because it is one of the few lifts of dead weight (weight lying on the ground).

In most other lifts there is an eccentric phase (lowering) followed by the concentric phase (lifting). The eccentric phase essentially stores some amount of energy in the stretched muscles and tendons, making the concentric phase somewhat easier. the deadlift, however, is solely a concentric movement. The lift begins at its most difficult point, with no inertia or stored energy. The record for a raw deadlift (a deadlift performed without the aid of a deadlift suit where only a belt is allowed) is 1015 lbs by Benedikt Magnússon of Iceland.

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October 27, 2010

Clean and Jerk

clean and jerk

The clean and jerk is one of two olympic weightlifting events (the other being the snatch). It is a highly technical lift that is known as ‘the king of lifts’ because more weight can be lifted above one’s head as compared to any other known weightlifting technique. The clean portion of the lift refers to the lifter explosively pulling the weight from the floor to a racked position across deltoids and clavicles.

In early twentieth century weightlifting competitions, a variant movement called the ‘Continental’ (because it was practiced by Germans rather than the British) allowed the lifter to pull the barbell up to his belt, where it could rest. Then with several successive flips, the bar would be moved up the torso until it reached the position for the overhead jerk. The Continental gained a reputation as clumsy, slow, and nonathletic compared to the swift coordinated movement required to lift the bar ‘clean.’ Hence, the clean movement was adopted by the early weightlifting federations as the official movement.

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June 30, 2010

Burpee

jump up burpee

The burpee is a full body exercise used in strength and aerobic training. It is performed in four steps: 1) Begin in a standing position; 2) Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground; 3) Kick your feet back, while keeping your arms extended; and 4) Immediately return your feet to the squat position. The athlete then stands up from squat position and repeats the procedure. There are many variants of the burpee such as the ‘Burpee push up’ (the athlete performs one push-ups after assuming the plank position); ‘Jump up Burpee’ (the athlete jumps up as high as they can in at the end of the movement and before beginning the next Burpee); and the ‘Long-jump burpee’ (the athlete jumps forward, not upward). For the ‘Burpee Mile,’ the athlete performs the Burpee exercise, then performs a Standing long jump. This sequence is repeated until the athlete has traveled one mile.

According to Oxford Dictionaries Online, the exercise was named in the 1930s for American physiologist Royal H. Burpee, who developed the Burpee test. He earned a PhD in Applied Physiology from Columbia University in 1940 and created the exercise as part of his PhD thesis as a quick and simple way to assess fitness. The exercise was popularized when the United States Armed Services adopted it as a way to assess the fitness level of recruits in WWII. Consisting of a series of the exercises performed in rapid succession, the test was meant to be a quick measure of agility, coordination and strength.

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