Strength Performance Network

7 Extraordinary, Simple, Hard Exercises on The Floor – Part 5

Dear Strength Coach and Personal Trainer,

Are you tired of hearing about ways to apply progressive overload? Would you like to hear about something more EXCITING? A new piece of equipment? Or a new APP that counts the reps for your clients or athletes?
I LOVE progressive overload. I LOVE studying it and finding as many ways to apply this NECESSARY principle as absolutely possible. I LOVE knowing as many ways to apply progressive overload for one specific reason.
Knowing as many ways as possible to apply progressive overload gives me FREEDOM and POWER, to systematically train my athletes and clients with ANY exercise in ANY environment.

Here is a third – maybe the most challenging way – to apply progressive overload.

Increase the voluntary intensity of the contraction.

Here is the description of the lower trapezius exercise that I wrote about the in PART III of this series: Lower Trapezius – with the arms in full shoulder flexion, create a fist and press the side of the thumbs hard into the ground to unload the ribcage.

You can create VARIATION with the exercise by, alternating the degree of abduction in the shoulder, so that the arms may either be a direct extension of the body (full shoulder flexion) or form a Y with the body.

Progressive overload can be applied by increasing the volume per set (in this case, mainly time) OR by increasing how hard the fists are pressed into the ground.

Voluntary contraction can be quantified on a 1-5 scale:

  1. = The arms are just resting on the floor.
  2. = Low press into the floor.
  3. = Medium press into the floor.
  4. = Strong press into the floor.
  5. = Maximal press into the floor.

The lower trapezius is a tonic stabilizer of the scapula and when trained isometrically, a protocol of 10 second contraction alternated with 10 seconds of relaxation, 4-8 minutes total, works well.

Any athlete or client, who needs to improve posture or wants to improve shoulder stability for throwing, punching, striking or batting, can benefit from this simple exercise.

You HAVE to try these exercise yourself, to understand how challenging they truly are and if you have tried these exercise, you will need no more convincing that simple body weight exercises, when done correctly, are TOUGH.

Applying progressive overload by increasing the intensity of the voluntary isometric contraction is a key strategy of our Ground Based Abs Program – the HARDEST, SIMPLEST, “on- the- floor-no equipment”- program you will find in today’s marketplace.

With a simple yet powerful technique, the secret ingredient in the Ground Based Abs Program, the intensity of the contraction, particularly in the abdominal exercises, is MAXIMIZED.


 Dedicated To Our Success,

Karsten Jensen,
MSc, Strength Coach, CPTN-CPT.M
Author, Lecturer, Founder of Yes To Strength

Yes To Strength publishes the FREE No Gimmicks Ezine
- dedicated to the education of Strength Coaches and Personal Trainers
(Available at

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