Virginia Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Matt Stemmler demonstrates exercises at Gold Medal Grappling in Woodbridge, Va. Stemmler is an instructor at the 1-183d RTI at Fort Pickett, Va. (Mike Morones / Staff)
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I often walk into the gym and watch clients lift, pull, run, crunch, jump and toss but what I really want to see is something different.
Bodybuilding guru Nick Nilsson, the self-styled "Mad Scientist of Exercise," invents new approaches to many standard lifts and developed the single-side dead lift and the single-shoulder bar squat. You will definitely turn heads in the gym with these.
Take this one outside. You'll need a partner to do the steering. The standard course is 100 meters, and a straight course works best.
Get close to the tailgate and lower your hips to generate the power you want. Your back will be angled, head upward.
Once you have the truck moving, try to hold a steady pace.
Single-side dead lift Folks will really scratch their heads when you set up for this exercise.
Load weight on one side of the bar I put a plywood spacer or 10-pound bumper plate on the other side then get into your regular dead lift stance.
When you start your lift, exert some downward pressure on the hand on the side of the light weight to keep the bar as even as possible.
Lift with your legs, keeping the bar close to your shins.
As the bar passes your knees, come to a full standing position.
Return the weight to the floor, lowering with your legs and keeping the downward pressure on the lightweight end. Take a breath and repeat, then repeat on the other side.
Single-shoulder bar squat
This hits the abs, shoulder girdle and legs. Start light.
Use a power rack aka squat cage or squat rack with the bar set at a moderate height. When you stand by the bar, you will be facing one of the weighted ends.
Start at the bottom of the squat with the bar resting on the rack, the hand of the non-weight-bearing shoulder forward, the working arm with elbow up.
Put one shoulder under the bar; start up slightly to feel your balance point; adjust if needed; then power up to the standing position.
Take a breath, descend slowly to the start position and repeat.
Concentration curls on a low row machine
This set minimizes stress in the back of the shoulder because your back is in an upright, rather than a bent-over, position.
Attach a single grip handle to the carabiner on the low row machine.
Sit down, keeping one foot on the floor and the other on the bench, with the upper knee bent.
Grip the handle, place your elbow against the inside of the thigh and complete a very strict biceps curl. This isolates the lift to the biceps, and using a cable machine keeps the tension uniform throughout the movement.
Bob Thomas is director of the Navy Wellness Center in Pensacola, Fla. Email him at email@example.com.