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Recent Social Media Posts (Updated December 15, 2015)

Recent Social Media Posts (Updated December 15, 2015)

Since I’ve been staying more up to date with Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook posts, I figured I would start placing that exact content here as well. The reason for this, is that I believe will be of great value to you. Any questions, concerns, or comments just ask and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

One day of Jordan’s current training: I will try to keep this post shorter than my normal marathon
like descriptions. Below I give one sentence explanations about why Jordan is performing the following movements.

A1) Goblet squats: Great for teaching and grooving good squat technique, while at the same time delivering a training effect to the quadriceps, core, and upper back.

A2) Prone scapular swimmers: For improved mobility, articular strength, and neurological control. “In the process of developing mobility, all articular connective tissue components are strengthened, and neurological control of said tissues enhanced. These are two factors well known in the scientific literature to enhance joint health, prevent injury, and improve longevity”. – Dr Andreo Spina. For more information about these principles check out @drandreospina.

A3) Single arm cable rows: Used for general upper body pulling/back strength, and for training things like the lats, rhomboids, and lower and middle traps.

B1) Kettlebell deadlifts: To engrain the hip hinge pattern, improve hip extensor strength, and to further develop the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back.

B2) Push ups: To develop upper body strength while integrating the core and lower body.

C1) Plate push conditioning circuit: To improve total body conditioning, endurance, and to increase mental toughness while pushing from a plank position.

#middleschoolathlete #athlete #strength #performance #gobletsquat #FRC #swimming #back #deadlifts #pushups #training #fitness

A video posted by Justin Rivelli (@justinrivelli) on


Do you want more developed glutes? Like do you REALLY, ACTUALLY, want them. (Part 2 of 4) In part one I talked about getting stronger over time, with compound lower body exercises, using a full range of motion. If you haven’t read that, go see Amy, Elena, and Kim deadlifting one post before this. Solution (Part Two) CREATE MUSCLE DAMAGE: Although you create muscle damage using heavy weight with low reps (1-5), you’re missing a piece of the puzzle if you use this style of training only. Muscle damage is also created by emphasizing the eccentric or lowering portion of an exercise (as you see Kim and Elena doing in the video above), by implementing something new or that you’re not used too, and/or by stretching muscles while they are activated. INCORPORATE MODERATE REPS RANGES (6-12): Whether low reps or moderate reps evoke a greater hypertrophic response has been a matter of debate, and both produce significant gains in muscle growth. However, there is a prevailing belief that a moderate range of approximately 6–12 reps optimizes the hypertrophic response. Schoenfeld (2010) USE MODERATE REST PERIODS (60-90 SECONDS): Although long rest periods (2-5 minutes) help with recovery of strength between sets when using lower rep training, moderate rest intervals appear to provide a satisfactory compromise between long and short rest periods for maximizing the muscle hypertrophy. Schoenfeld (2010) TAKE HOME MESSAGE: -Read part one. Using progressive overload, getting stronger through a full range of motion with compound exercises, and training intensely, are ridiculously important when trying to achieve optimal glute development. -Low rep training alone is not enough for maximal gains. High degrees of muscle tension have been shown to increase strength without muscle growth. -Create muscle damage by performing things slow eccentrics and unfamiliar exercises etc., and mix in moderate rep ranges and rest periods if you desire maximal glute hypertrophy. #glutes #booty #bikini #figure #deadlift #strength #hamstrings #muscle #fitness #powerlifting #crossfit #bodybuilding #doms #legs #lowerbody

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Do you want more developed glutes? Like do you REALLY, ACTUALLY, want them. If so, this four part series is for you. While scrolling through Instagram you’ll find “experts” giving advice on how to build a more shapely, toned, bigger keester. They utter statements like “just do squats.”, “use this butt pump routine.”, or “I did this new exercise and my glutes were on fire ‪#‎gluteprogress‬!”. The Problem 1. Not only is most of this advice substandard, deficient, and of low quality, they add to the malarkey that the fitness industry is already oversaturated with. 2. People often portray images photoshopped, or of those using drugs when posting. 3. They often don’t provide you with quality, authentic, true value. THE SOLUTION (PART 1) #1: GAIN STRENGTH/USE PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD If you’re gaining strength, and use more weight over time, you force the muscles to adapt by growing. Common sense but not common practice. Shoenfeld (2010), reports use of high repetitions has generally proven to be inferior to moderate and lower repetition ranges in eliciting increases in muscle hypertrophy. Although such high rep training can bring about significant metabolic stress, the load is inadequate to recruit and fatigue the highest threshold motor units. #2: TRAIN INTENSELY Intensity has been shown to have a significant impact on muscle hypertrophy and is arguably the most important exercise variable for stimulating muscle growth. Shoenfeld (2010). 3. USE LONGER REST PERIODS ONCE IN AWHILE Schoenfeld BJ et. al. (2015) reports longer rest periods promote greater increases in muscle strength and hypertrophy in young resistance-trained men. No not women, and yes, females do respond differently to training certain ways than males do, however many females could benefit from longer rest periods. TAKE HOME MESSAGE (PART 1) 1. Get stronger over time, with compound glute focused exercises, through a full range of motion. 2. If you tend to chase the burn with high reps, don’t ignore longer rest periods with heavy, lower rep training. 3. Train with intensity. #glutes #booty #bikini #figure #deadlift #strength #hamstrings #muscle #crossfit #powerlifting #bodybuilding #fitness

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Why @ilana_devorah3 is crushing some hang power cleans, conventional deadlifts, and single leg dumbbell RDL’s!


Ilana, along with every single one of my other clients, doesn’t need her program filled with fluff to stay interested. She shows great attention to detail, works extremely hard, and listens carefully to instruction. Why is she implementing these exercises, in this order, with these rep ranges? 


Hang power cleans below the knee (3-5 reps): I’m incorporating these to increase total body power, explosiveness, and athleticism. These are great tool for training strength, speed-strength and strength-speed depending on the resistance you use. I’m having her perform these first when she’s fresh because of the simultaneous demand of technique, strength, speed and precision involved with this lift.


Conventional deadlifts (6-8 reps): Included to increase glute, hamstring, and overall posterior chain strength and development. They improve force transfer from the lower, to the upper body. These can also help build confidence, motivation, and mental toughness for many reasons I won’t get into.


Single leg dumbbell romanian deadlifts (8-15 reps): I added these in to further enhance glute and hamstring hypertrophy, and to increase hip extensor strength and stability. I’m also using this movement to challenge balance and coordination while strengthening under heavy loads.


Warm ups, conditioning, and the like were left out of this post. However, any questions will be answered in the comments section below. I hope this was either entertaining, useful, or got you thinking.


A video posted by Justin Rivelli (@justinrivelli) on

Back Extension to Rowing Variations: There are a number of ways you can perform, manipulate, and structure back extension to rowing variations. With that said, do not limit yourself to performing them in the exact fashions I explain below. —————————————- 1. Bodybuilders can use this as a finisher for back day, or to wipe your glutes and hamstrings off the face of the earth. —————————————- 2. CrossFitters can use this as part of a warm up or WOD, as a way of incorporating more horizontal pulling, and to help develop the upper back, glutes, and hamstrings. Also, don’t be afraid to use a different grip rather than often used pronated or overhand. —————————————- 3. For everyone else, use this for any reason above, or to train the lumbar erectors, glutes, hamstrings, and upper body pulling muscles simultaneously. —————————————- I have also grown to like these more as… —————————————- 1. Surprisingly, you can go pretty heavy. —————————————- 2. If you notice yourself falling out of the position you started in, it may be revealing a weak point. —————————————- If you attempt any of these variations, let me know how they went. If you have thoughts or ideas of your own, let me know what they are in the comments section below. This is why I post these videos! -Justin —————————————- #backextensiontorow #glutes #hamstrings #back #bodybuilding #crossfit #powerlifting #fitness #bikini #figure #physique #muscle   A video posted by Justin Rivelli (@justinrivelli) on

@ilana_devorah3 making this grueling complex look wieldy. Total Body Barbell Complex: —————————————- -Front loaded reverse lunges x 10 -Front loaded carry x 40 yards -Bent over barbell rows x 10 -Romanian deadlifts x 10 -Push ups x 10 —————————————- No rest between exercises, 90 seconds rest after each round. —————————————- I created this complex because… —————————————- 1. It hits most major movement patterns including a lunge, carry, hinge, upper body pull, and upper body push. 2. When you perform it in this order, it feels very fluent, smooth, and rhythmic. 3. Your upper and lower body “take turns”, if you follow the exercises in this arrangement or sequence. —————————————- Some other important notes: —————————————- 1. You can make your own using this template (lunge, carry, hinge, upper body pull, upper body push). There are endless possibilities. 2. I don’t often see carrying variations incorporated in complexes (I actually never have) and believe this is sad. 3. These can improve #strength, #hypertrophy, and serve as a great #conditioning tool. —————————————- Any questions regarding this or any other topics will be answered. #soccer #highschoolathlete #barbell #complex #crossfit #powerlifting #bodybuilding #weightlifting #fitness   A video posted by Justin Rivelli (@justinrivelli) on

Here are some of my clients performing push ups. This video also displays a simple progression you can use, as you become better at them over time. —————————————- Since my posts are always lengthy I will say just a few more things. —————————————- Push ups don’t get as much attention as they deserve. Especially when compared to horizontal pressing movements like barbell and dumbbell bench presses. —————————————- Since it’s one of the most underutilized, commonly butchered exercises I see on a day to day basis, I figured I would provide you with some common mistakes and solutions to help fix them. —————————————- Just a Few of Many Common Mistakes: —————————————- 1. Letting the shoulders glide anteriorly (forward) at the bottom of the movement. 2. Extreme arching or rounding of the lower back. 3. Leading with your head, instead of the entire body. 4. Poor scapular movement, and winging. 5. Always using partial reps. —————————————- A Few Quick Cues to Help With These: —————————————- 1. Squeeze your glutes, flex your core, and contract your quads throughout th movement. 2. Keep a straight line from the back of your head to your heels. 3. Lead with the entire body, the sternum should hit the ground first, not the head. 4. Your scapula should rotate towards your armpit as you press away from the floor. 5. Use full range of motion the majority of your reps, and keep your shoulder joint centrated. —————————————- Any questions or topics you would like me to explain in greater detail, please let me know. #pushup #progression #chest #shoulders #triceps #core #serratus #powerlifting #crossfit #bodybuilding #fitness #training #bikini #figure #physique #technique   A video posted by Justin Rivelli (@justinrivelli) on


Why Romanian Deadlifts Are More Awesome Than You Can Imagine: Kim, Sara, Brittany, and Ilana are featured in this video. ————————————- The Romanian Deadlift (RDL), is by far one of the most challenging exercises to both learn and coach. However, since it ivolves the hinge, it's important to do so for both training and life. ————————————- This exercise in absolutely fantastic for many reasons, but I’ll list just a few of them below… ————————————- 1. Since the range of motion you use isn’t determined by the radius of the plates you’re using, almost anyone can do these without compensating in unwanted areas like the lower back. In other words for people who don't have enough mobility to perform a conventional deadlift, this is a great substitution. ————————————- 2. It helps you learn, practice, and improve upon proper positioning of the hip hinge, which will carry over and make you better at other exercises like deadlifts, cleans, snatches, kettlebell swings, and even some back and rear delt exercise etc. ————————————- 3. RDL’s elicit a massive stretch of the hamstrings under load, and are great for developing glute and hamstring strength and hypertrophy. In other words, these give a greater eccentric muscle action of the hamstrings, than when performing conventional deadlifts how most people often do. ————————————- Quick cues: Stand tall while keeping the glutes squeezed and ribs down. From here, soften the knees and push the hips back until you feel an enormous stretch in the hamstrings. Push your hips forward and lockout with a rock solid core and glute contraction that mimics the starting position. The spine should be locked in place from beginning to end. ————————————- In the video: Some of my clients executing RDL’s. ———————————– Any questions will be answered specifically. If you want anything else covered in more detail I will do so. #romaniandeadlift #deadlift #hamstrings #glutes #core #movement #fitness #crossfit #bodybuilding #weightlifting #powerlifting

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Landmine Exercises By Muscle Group: Chest (Part 5 of 5) Clip #1: Landmine 1 arm chest flyes: ——————————- 1. The first time I tried these I screamed YES! (in my head) as they feel even better than I thought they would. 2. I came up with these when thinking about how to implement anti-rotation core work while bridging. 3. These deliver a huge stretch and contraction on the pecs, while at the same time forcing your core to work overtime against the rotational forces being placed upon it. 4. These can also be performed on a bench and from a bridged position etc.. ——————————- Clip #2: Landmine 1 arm floor press: I first saw this exercise being performed by Ben bruno, who deserves credit for coming up with it. After experimenting with many variations of this on both my clients and myself, here is my take on it. ——————————- 1. Many people mainly use a pronated grip for most horizontal pressing variations. This set up forces you to use a neutral grip, which often produces less shoulder aggravation in many lifters. 2. After a couple weeks of performing these, strength and stability will improve in this exercise dramatically. 3. The handle you must grip is thick. It teaches clients to squeeze the bar harder than normal, which can instantly increase strength and scapular stability. 4. It’s an enormous challenge to remain stable while using this style of press. In turn, it causes people to get super tight throughout the entire body while pressing. ——————————- Clip #3: 2 arm landmine press: Since this movement looks extremely simple, I’ll briefly explain how to execute it. 1. Set up with the glutes squeezed and ribs down while standing tall. 2. Clasp the hands together, press, and lower back to the starting position without letting the shoulders round forward at any point. 3. Maintain the position talked about in step 1 throughout. 4. I like the band wrapped around the bar as it increases tension at the top of the lift. Just step on it, and loop it around the bar. Any questions at all, just ask. #chest #bodybuilding #crossfit #powerlifting #fitness #strength #muscle #pecs #core

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Landmine Exercises By Muscle Group: Shoulders and Upper Traps (Part 4 of 5): —————————————- Clip #1: Landmine “Cuban Press”: I couldn’t come up with a better name for this, but since it combines an upright row, and the perpendicular landmine press I talked about in my last post, it closely resembles a cuban press. ———————————————– Clip #2: Landmine “Cuban Press” to Slow Eccentric Lateral Raise: Again, I couldn’t come up with a better name for this, but adding in the eccentric lateral raise is a nice extra component to this exercise. ———————————————- Clip #4: (from last post): Landmine Unilateral Shrugs: I like the idea of using the landmine device for shrugs as it forces most people to use a fatter grip than they’re used too when performing them. These are also a great anti lateral flexion core movement. Also… —————————————- 1. Your grip is in a neutral position, as opposed to a pronated one when using a barbell, which allows for more range of motion. 2. You can brace yourself with your free hand to keep your torso straight 3. Don’t let the head shoot forward, don’t let the bar rest on your hip (keep some space), and try placing the tongue just behind the front teeth on the roof of your mouth as it may help when doing these. ————————————— #shoulders #traps #uppertraps #bodybuilding #crossfit #bikini #powerlifting #figure #physique #training #strength #fitness #cubanpress #sideraises

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Landmine Exercises By Muscle Group: Back (Part 3 of 5): Even though Marchetti PH, Uchida MC 2011, reported more chest activation during dumbbell pullovers, it’s important to note that the back does receive a good amount of stimulation during this exercise as well. ——————————- Clip #1: Landmine pullovers ——————————- Pullovers cause the lats to stretch under load, and get strengthened when initiating and going through humeral extension. ——————————- Keep the glutes contracted and core tight, without letting the ribs flare. ——————————- Clip #2: Hand Supported Landmine Bent Over Rows: ——————————- 1. Set up with a neutral spine, and no excessive arching or rounding of the lower or upper back. 2. Keep the abs and lower back contracted. 3. Think proud chest, stretch the pecs, or push the chest forward to create good scapular retraction. ——————————- In this exercise you should feel things like the lats, rhomboids, and middle traps etc. working. ——————————- By changing your setup position, grip width, or tracking of the arm, etc. you can give the muscles being used a different stimulation than normal. As long as you have access to plates, you don’t have to worry about not having heavy enough weight. This is also a core stabilization exercise through anti-flexion/rotation. Clip #3: Chest Supported Landmine Bent Over Rows ——————————- 1. I came up with this when working with a client who often travels, and only had light dumbbells, a barbell, and minimal plates. 2. This self correcting exercise is great if you want to take some stress off the spine. If your head, chest, or belly come off the bench excessively, you’re probably using a lot of other muscles besides the ones intended. 3. You can use either an overhand, underhand, or neutral grip depending on how you set up. #back #bikini #figure #physique #crossfit #bodybuilding #powerlifting #fitness #training #landmine #rows # rhomboids #bentoverrows #core

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Landmine Exercises by Muscle Group: Lower Body (Part 2 of 5) —————————————- Clip #1: Rear Leg Elevated Split Squat to Single Leg RDL 1. This increases single leg stability and strength, while at the same time sparing the spine. 2. With the back leg supported during the single leg RDL (second half of the movement), it allows you to use more resistance, by removing balance as a large limiting factor. 3. This can improve hip and hamstring mobility, challenge frontal plane stability, and give a huge training effect to the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and adductors, without a ton of plate loading. I first saw the back leg supported, single leg RDL performed by Kevin Carr (visit movementasmedicine to see more about him) and decided to apply this exercise to the landmine. It worked really well with both myself and my clients from all walks of life, so I wanted to share it. —————————————- Clip #2-#3: Landmine Lateral Squats and Lunges 1. After you’ve trained sagittal plane movements like squats, deadlifts, lunges, and the like, it can be of great value to incorporate some direct work in the often neglected frontal plane. That’s where this movement comes into play. 2. By performing lateral squats and lunges with the landmine in the front rack position, it limits the amount of disadvantageous compensations that occur (excessively upper/lower back rounding, heels uncontrollably rising off the floor, etc.) with most loaded lateral squat and lunge variations. 3. This movement also promotes strength and range of motion of the adductors (inside of the thigh), glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. —————————————- You can load all of these movements with two hands, one arm by the side, near a shoulder, or overhead etc. #legs #glutes #hamstrings #quadriceps #adductors #lowerbody #bodybuilding #powerlifting #crossfit #bikini #figure #physique #fatloss #fitness

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Landmine Exercises by Muscle Group: Part 1.5 of 5 (Triceps Science) The most commonly performed triceps movements largely emphasize the medial and lateral heads, neglecting the long head. Below you will find out how to stress all three heads effectively. ————————————————– The long (upper inside), medial (lower inside) and lateral (outside) heads make up the triceps. It is impossible to truly isolate one head from the other, however your execution and exercise selection can change the emphasis, targeting each head differently. ————————————————– Clip #1-2: Landmine close grip bench/JM press: Again these aren't a true “isolation” triceps exercise as they uses the shoulders and pecs as well. However, this set up does force the triceps to perform a large portion of the work. Note that it is much easier to get yourself into position on the floor with these, especially when using a significant amount of weight. ——————————————— Clip #2: Landmine Skull Crushers: Many people don’t realize that besides extending the elbow, the triceps assist the lats in extending the shoulder as well. By pre stretching the tricep, flexing the shoulder, and bringing the elbow overhead during triceps movements like (LSC’s), you target the often neglected long head, which is necessary for maximum #strength and development of the triceps. ———————————————- Clip #3: Landmine triceps kickbacks: Most guys think of this as a female exercise, however it’s one of the few movements that many people actually feel hitting the long head of their triceps. Since the long head extends the shoulder and adducts the arm, you’ll feel a massive contraction occur on the long head. ————————————————– Note: Clip 1, 2, and 3 can be done on a flat, incline, or decline bench, and/or on the floor (easiest way to set up). See part 1 in my post yesterday for landmine biceps movements. If you have any questions, I’ll respond to you specifically. Part 2 coming soon. #arms #triceps #bodybuilding #crossfit #powerlifting #bikini #figure #training #fitness

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Landmine Exercises by Muscle Group: Part 1 of 5 (Biceps and Triceps Science) —————————————- Since the biceps account for a significant portion of shoulder injuries, and a smaller number of elbow injuries, training them directly can be important. —————————————- Your biceps prevent your elbows from ripping apart during things like deadlifts, cleans, snatches and rows. Additionally both heads (long and short) have been shown to have a stabilizing function in resisting anterior head displacement (Itoi et al. 1993, Rodosky et al 1994). They provide anterior shoulder stability. —————————————- Landmine Biceps Curl (LBC) Technique and Info: —————————————- Clip #1: (Elbows in front of the body) Landmine spider curls: Imagine a straight line from the back of your head to your heels, squeeze glutes and keep the ribs down when performing these. Clip #2: (Elbows by your sides) Standing LBC’s: Stand tall with the barbell in the hand furthest away from the landmine device, or wall. Squeeze your glutes and keep your ribs down. Perform curls allowing the bar to travel in it’s natural path. Clip #3: (Elbows behind the body) Seated incline landmine curl. —————————————- *Bonus tip: Squeeze your pinky and ring fingers as hard as you can to cause more supination and biceps activation during any biceps exercise. —————————————- Anyone I have ever had perform direct arm work on the landmine loves it, including myself. If you have any questions, I’ll respond to you specifically. Part 1.5 on triceps coming soon. —————————————- #arms #biceps #bodybuilding #crossfit #powerlifting #bikini #figure #physique #training #fitness #science #landmine

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Forward Weight Shift vs. Hip Hinging (Details Matter): I just had a gym goer who’s been training for 26 years approach me, asking for help with her romanian deadlift technique. Since her mistake is one I encounter far too often, I figured I would make a post for the online community to see as well. Main Message: If your hips are not traveling back as far as they could be during movements like #romaniandeadlifts, #snatches, #cleans, #kettlebellswings and the like, the load, tension, and pressure will predominantly be placed on your lower back, as opposed to your #glutes and #hamstrings. ————————————————– Picture 1) Hip hinge: Displays a posterior weight shift through the hip joint. In other words, the hips are moving back, while the entire spine is locked in place. Picture 2) Trunk flexion: Demonstrates a forward weight shift, along with a greater degree of bending through the torso (as opposed to the hips) when compared to picture 1). ————————————————– Few (of many) Solutions: 1. Imagine this movement as horizontal, not vertical. Think back and forth, not up and down. 2. Soften your knees before pushing your hips back away from your knees, face, and wall in front of you as far as possible. The torso and hips will move around the knees, with the chest up and ribs down. 3. Place a PVC pipe on your back, and keep three points of contact (occiput, upper back, and tailbone) while performing a hip hinge. There should be a small space between the lower back and pipe. Bonus: Reach your straight arms out in front of you while forcing your hips back as you're hinging. ————————————————– Notes: You should feel a huge stretch in the back of the thighs, not so much in the the back of the knees (popliteal fossa). ————————————————– Are you still having trouble? Do you want more posts like this? If so, comment below and I’ll respond to you specifically. ————————————————– #hiphinge #crossfit #bodybuilding #powerlifting #bikini #figure #physique #instafit #training #exercise #workout #justinrivelli

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Walking Split Stance Romanian Deadlifts: An awesome solution for removing balance as a limiting factor, when training your glutes and hamstrings unilaterally. —————————————- Why Perform These: #Romaniandeadlifts (RDL’s) done properly, are an incredibly effective exercise for developing #muscle and #strength in the glutes and hamstrings. However, while doing these on one leg, a large number of clients tend to experience issues with balance, which forces them to use less weight than they could be, and work their #glutes and #hamstrings to a lesser degree than they should be. That’s where split stance #deadlift variations can save the day. —————————————- #Technique: -The starting position will be the same as a traditional RDL, except you will place one leg slightly behind the other. -Hip hinge. Keep both knees soft, and push your butt back as far as you can while keeping your chest up and ribs down. -Lower the resistance of choice (in this case the trap bar) down only as far as you can go and still maintain a flat back. -Keep most of your weight on the front foot. The front leg will receive the majority of the work while the back leg provides #stability. -Your back foot can stay flat on the floor, however it’s okay to come up on the toes of the rear foot. You should feel an enormous stretch in the front legs hamstring. -Stand up, push the hips forward, and squeeze your glutes and #core as hard as possible. —————————————- Furthermore: You can do this with #kettlebells, #barbells, #dumbbells, or in a landmine set up etc. if you don’t have a trap bar handy. You can also do this more like a #conventionaldeadlift, as opposed to an RDL, with the hips a bit lower if you desire. —————————————- More info on my facebook page. —————————————- #crossfit #bodybuilding #powerlifting #fitness #bikini #figure #hypertrophy #physique #fatloss #justinrivelli

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I’ve been fortunate enough to have access to a trap bar, at every facility I’ve been involved with. This has lead me to the discovery of some great exercises through research, experimentation, and coaching others. Below I’m sharing just a few upper body exercises I used this week, with a very brief explanation of why I used them. —————————————- Clip #1: Trap bar floor press A great number of people overuse a pronated (overhand) grip while bench pressing. By using a trap bar, you’re able to train this heavy, open chained, pushing movement from a different angle. Additionally, the neutral grip, combined with a floor press, makes this exercise one of the most shoulder friendly, horizontal pressing alternatives to bench pressing you can find. —————————————- Clip #2: Incline trap bar push ups For people who can’t perform full range of motion push ups from the floor, I often incline their hands on something to make the exercise less challenging. By elevating a trap bar, instead of having them place their hands on a bench or a barbell, this allows you to switch up the grip, and provide some closed chain variety for people of any level. —————————————- Clip #3: Trap bar overhead press When pressing a trap bar overhead, you’ll quickly notice you don’t need to push your head backwards to get it out of the way, like you do when executing other vertical push variations with a barbell. For many people this also feels more comfortable, allows them to move through a greater range of motion, and/or lets them execute and train an overhead movement pain free, as opposed to other styles of vertical pressing. —————————————- There are many more exercises you can perform with a trap. I just hope this was either informative, entertaining, or generated some critical thinking. #trapbar #pushup #benchpress #floorpress #overheadpress #chest #shoulders #triceps #core #training #fitness #bodybuilding #figure #bikini #physique #powerlifting #crossfit #movement #barbell

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For over five years now, I’ve been both performing and prescribing to clients, variations of the #barbellglutebridge. Therefore I believe this particular exercise deserves it’s own post. 1. Before you start, use plenty of padding on the bar to protect your hip flexor and pubic area. 2. Lie face up, slide the barbell towards you, and rest it in your hip crease. 3. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor. 4. Breathe in, brace your anterior core, keeping your ribs down, and then aggressively drive your heels through the floor bridging as high as possible. Not letting the knees buckle inward. 5. During this #movement your spine should remain stable, limiting any excessive extension (arching) or flexion (rounding). 6. Return to the start, and then repeat. I often ask clients to execute this with an isometric hold at terminal hip extension, peak contraction, or in other words the top of the movement. This is so I can make sure they are using full range of motion, not neglecting the region we’ve intended to work. By practicing this #movement over time (with the objective to get better) you should mostly feel this in your glutes. If you cramp or feel this in other places like the hamstrings, quadriceps, low back, or calves, note it may take some experimentation and practice to feel this where you should, and to find out the position that’s best for you. Recognize… – Progress in technique, strength, and performance happens quickly. If you were to look at my client’s training logs, or my own personal data, you would see this is undeniable, evident, and clear. -Balance or core strength isn’t a limiting factor. Therefore you can really focus on solely targeting the glutes without worrying about much else like falling over or coordination. -This supine (lying face up) hip dominant exercise, allows you to train the hips from a horizontal vector. A frequently neglected way to train the glutes, while under a large amount of resistance to boot. If you want to improve upon your #glutes #strength, #performance, or #hypertrophy, I recommend you give these a shot if you’re willing and able. #bodybuilding #crossfit #powerlifting #training #fitness

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“Managing Heavy Involuntary Movement” (Part 2) —————————————- Yesterday I made a post that briefly explained what happens when you hang weights on a barbell, as opposed to placing plates on the end of one. —————————————- In sum, I stated that when you execute this technique, you’ll experience unforeseeable movements, shifts, and alterations during the exercise. This in turn mandates you get super tight, recruit just about every muscle fiber on your skeleton, and disciplines you to sustain this same enormous amount of tension throughout the entire duration of the lift. —————————————- Additionally, it can be used with almost any barbell movement, a large number of set and rep ranges, and with high or low frequency (number of times per week). Therefore you can use this as a main exercise, finisher, or as anything in between. —————————————- It you want to increase your strength, better your performance, or try something new while attacking your #physique #goals (body fat reduction, increased #hypertrophy) give this a shot. —————————————- Clip #1: Amy performing barbell rear leg elevated split squats. Clip #2: Elena executing a strict overhead press. Clip #3: Nicole doing a barbell back squat. —————————————- #training #fitness #fatloss #bodybuilding #crossfit #powerlifting #barbell #movement #strength #muscle #hypertrophy #stability #tension #overheadpress #press #squat #backsquat #splitsquat #rearlegeelevatedsplitsquat #justinrivelli

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“Managing Heavy Involuntary Movement” ————————————————– By hanging weights on a barbell, as opposed to placing plates on the end of one, you construct an unstable environment that can serve as a great teaching and training tool for just about anyone. I’ll explain a few reasons why below. ————————————————– If you choose to implement this, you’ll experience unforeseeable and uncertain movements, shifts, and alterations during the exercise. That said, this technique forces you to get super tight, contract just about every muscle on your skeleton, and disciplines you to sustain this enormous amount of tension throughout the entire duration of the lift. ————————————————– The looser you get, the more the barbell will wobble, and the more it will cause you to shake like crazy, involuntarily. Contrary to today’s post, I’ll show some of my female clients using this training tool in my next one, along with more information about why and how you can use this. ————————————————– Clip #1: Alex performing barbell front squats Clip #2: Garrett executing a flat barbell bench press Clip #3: Myself performing barbell curls. ————————————————– #training #fitness #bodybuilding #crossfit #powerlifting #barbell #movement #strength #muscle #hypertrophy #stability #tension #frontsquat #squat #benchpress #curls

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“Isometrics Can Help You”: An isometric contraction occurs when the joint angle and muscle length do not change during a muscle contraction. It's important to know why you would apply these, and additionally how to deal with the imperfections they may have. Since there are many different methods and manners in which you can implement them, below I will describe a few. ————————————————– Clip #1: Amy has a tendency to raise her hips a bit quicker than her shoulders during deadlifts. Additionally, the position she is paused at, is also where her form usually breaks down under heavy loads. To help with the later issue, she is isometrically holding her body in a favorable position, at the weak point of her deadlift, while focusing on maintaining the same torso angle as her starting position. Clip #2: Sara has a tendency to shoot the front of her shoulders forward, or glide the humeri anteriorly, during horizontal rowing exercises. In this case, the pause at peak contraction during her one arm cable rows, can help ingrain better positioning and technique. Here she is learning to keep the shoulder in the socket, instead of pushing it forward, which can be harmful. Clip #3: Kate is using a pause at the bottom, and at mid point, where her sticking point is in the #frontsquat. The isometric hold in the hole takes out the stretch reflex so she must use her muscles over a full range of motion, and the pause at midpoint is to help with her positioning/technique and sticking point during the lift. Clip #4: Elena is using a pause just off the ground, to simply increase pectoral engagement, during each rep of her push ups. This will in turn force the body to recruit these muscles more throughout the whole range of motion. ————————————————– I use isometrics for almost everyone ranging from beginners, to the advanced, to the injured. By implementing them appropriately, you can take advantage of the benefits this overlooked style of training can offer. #training #isometric #posture #technique #coach #hold #deadlift #pushup #squat #row #glutes #back #chest #legs #strength #muscle

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Hip Thrust & Bridged, Hand Over Hand, Vertical Rope Pulls – Can you create a better name for this? If so comment below. In this exercise, I’ve noticed most clients… 1. Can contract their glutes harder, each time they pull the rope down. The vertical pulling helps with end range hip extension. 2. Can contract the lats harder, as they’re getting a co-contraction of the glutes. By lats, I mean from the bottom of your scapulae, down to your tailbone, not under your armpits. Most combination exercises (i.e. curls on one leg) force you to use substantially less weight than you’d otherwise be able too if you did them separately. For example, you can curl more on two legs than one. However with this exercise, you can use just as much weight as you could without a hip thrust or bridge, if not more. Technique/Tips: 1. If using a bridge, put a foam roller or something else above your head, and towel under your neck, so you don’t crush your skull or burn your neck. 2. Bridge up with the gutes fired hard, and ribs down. Do not over extend with the lower back. 3. With each pulling repetition, utilize a full range of motion. Begin with a straight arm, and end with the shoulder’s down and back. Why Do This? 1. Besides the reasons above, this is great for targeting the lats, grip strength, and biceps while increasing the challenge for the hips and core as well. 2. It can help develop both aerobic and anaerobic capacity depending on what resistance, duration, frequency, and intensity you decide to use. 3. You train the lats over a larger range of motion than horizontal hand over hand pulls mentioned in my last post. A Few More Things: 1. It's great for developing pulling power and grip endurance for grapplers. Use lighter weight more for speed, or heavier weight for strength. 2. There are endless variations. For instance you can use mini bands around the knees, bridge on one leg, etc. 3. It mimics rope climbing more so than the horizontal version I showed a week ago. View my last post to see more about how, when, and who should apply this. #bodybuilding #powerlifting #crossfit #back #biceps #lats #muscle #fitness #strength #training #hipthrust #bridge

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“Hip Hinge Hand Over Hand Rope Pulls w/ #Kettlebells”: Without access to a sled, this alternative can deliver the same training effect. —————————————- 1. If you follow a #bodybuilding “body part” split, this is a great finisher for “back day”. It’s also a great way to add in more upper body pulling work, in general. ————————————————- 2. If you do #CrossFit, this helps you acquire more #movement in the often neglected horizontal plane. Additionally you can train the frequently forgotten about, #supinated or underhand grip position. ——————————————- 3. For anyone else, you can also use it for the reasons mentioned above. Plus, it’s fun (at first), challenging, and can serve as a vigorous #conditioning tool for individuals willing and able to execute it. ———————————————– It’s significant to remember you should… ——————————————- 1. Keep a strong hip hinge position, with tension in the glutes and hamstrings (not lower back), while refraining from excessive arching or rounding of your back. 2. Understand this variation is not a squat. Maintain a neutral spine, with maximal hip bend, and minimal knee bend. Also, don’t let the knees collapse inward. 3. Utilize all of your available range of motion. Begin with a straight arm, and finish with full scapular #retraction (not letting the shoulders round forward) on each rep. ——————————————- Before implementing this, I make sure my clients first… ——————————————– 1. Learn, master, and build a base with a proper hip hinge, and acquire #strength and #muscle development of the glutes, and hamstrings. ——————————————– 2. Learn, master, and build a base with proper horizontal pulling/rowing movements, and acquire strength and muscle development of the upper #back. ————————————————- 3. Then they can perform hip hinge rope pull variations. ——————————————— Your body, #biceps, #forearms, upper back, #glutes, #hamstrings, and #heart will thank you.

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Eliminating Harmful Front Rack Positions: With the increasing popularity of cleans and front squats, this means the demand for proper instruction has amplified as well. That was a nice way of saying, we must spread the word and fix the dreadful bar placements we’re seeing during clean and front squat variations. Why & How Can This Help You? ———————— When working with clients (especially groups) proficient in bodyweight, goblet, and landmine squats, I often progress them to frankenstein squats thereafter. Generally, I do this prior to front squats for a number of reasons… ————————- 1. Frankenstein, Aladdin, or Zombie squats teach you proper positioning of both the bar, and your body, during the front squat. 2. They give people confidence to support the barbell without their hands or arms. Instead individuals learn the resistance is supported by the shoulder, and as a result, by the trunk directly. 3. It’s a self correcting exercise. If the bar falls forward while standing, or with a slight change of direction, bar placement is incorrect. If the bar rolls forward while squatting, bar placement is incorrect, or you need to work on your mobility. ————————- Your front squats and cleans will suffer if you don’t know the correct position of the bar on your body. Hands can be used to correct poor positioning, and provide resistance against bar movement, but they should never be used as direct support. ————————– During the frankenstein squat, the arms should remain horizontal, with the scapulae slightly protracted and elevated. The bar will be resting securely between the highest point of the shoulders and the throat. It will not slide down and forward as you dip or change directions. Once you get comfortable with this, you can progress to different types of front squat grips (crossed, straps, clean). ————————– In sum: Using Frankenstein squats can help eliminate improper, painful, and ugly, front rack positions during front squats or cleans. #frankensteinsquat #frontsquat #clean #olympiclift #weightlifting #bodybuilding #crossfit #squat #justinrivelli #strength #muscle #learning

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“Up” and “Down” – A large number of CrossFitter’s I’ve been working with, often display a great amount of concentric (lifting) strength and power, but generally lack isometric (paused) and eccentric (lowering) strength and motor control. ——————– Why is this important and how can this help you? —————————— Most of these folks push things to the limits, with the bulk of their training “rushing” the lowering or negative segment of movements. They do this because it allows them to move at higher speeds, pay out a smaller amount of energy during training, or just out of habit. ————————————————- Besides movements like cleans, snatches, deadlifts, swings, box jumps etc. that are “generally eccentricless” they also tend to “hurry through” the lowering portion of common strength exercises like overhead presses and squats as well. This is necessary in certain situations, but if you’re constantly experiencing injuries, never progressing etc. eccentric and isometric training may be worth looking into and applying. —————————————- In the video: Emphasized eccentric, 1 leg RDL. Since these people commonly lack hamstrings development, I figured this was a good exercise to show. Don't start but progress to this movement, after you've mastered other less challenging hip hinging exercises first. —————————————— By training to improve strength eccentrically, you can… 1. Strengthen tendons to a greater degree than concentrics and isometrics. Therefore more strength is likely to be developed, with less chance of injury. -Improve efficiency during the amortization phase, perhaps the most crucial in the production of power. 2. Get better at positions you’re struggling with. 3. Develop confidence in your lifts by using more weight than you could during concentric training only. -Create more time under tension and increase muscular development where you want or need too. -Etc. ——————– Main Message: If you’re always giving special importance to the “up”, don’t forget to show some interest in the “down”. #eccentric #deadlift #singlelegdeadlift #glutes

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Here’s a simple reverse lunge progression you can use for both yourself, or your clients. I just noticed I had a phone full of different level clientele performing this movement, so I figured I would post some variations quick. Note there are many more options I both use and recommend other than the ones presented above. —————————————- Like I said in my last post, a lot of the clients I've been working with lately, present with a lack of equivalence between the left and right sides of the body. Especially the individuals who have primarily experienced years of bilateral lower body lifting, and with who have anatomical assymetires and differences to begin with. —————————————- Additonally, for people that need/want knee friendly exercise alternatives, incorporating reverse lunges can help. By stepping backwards, it often makes it easier to maintain a vertical shin, limit the amount of anterior displacement over the knee, and further limit shear stress on this body part as well. —————————————- #training #lunges #technique #reverselunges #lowerbody #progression #regression #CrossFit #bodybuilder #powerlifter #fitness #strength #muscle #movement #exercise #justinrivelli

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Inverted rows are a great exercise you can execute to train your upper back, while removing a lot of stress off of your lower back. ————————————————– Compared to free weight (barbell, dumbbell etc.) rows, this exercise is often useful for clients experiencing, or with a Hx (history) of low back pain. ————————————————–Additionally, it’s a nice alternative for those that want to keep their lower back fresh for other movements like deadlifts. ————————————————- To make these easier, you can either raise the straps or bar you’re using, keep your feet on the ground instead of elevating them, walk your feet back, or bend the knees. ————————————————– To make these more challenging you can do the opposite of what I just mentioned, add weight to your chest, alter the tempo or technique, perform them unilaterally, or change the grip width or hand position. ————————————————– You’ll also notice that even though everyone in this video is different in many ways (age, gender, experience, anthropometry, goals, etc.) for the most part they are sticking to the same basic technique. ————————————————– Their body is straight in alignment from head to heels, they are fully extending their arms at the bottom of every rep, retracting their shoulder blades fully at the top, and keeping everything tight (glutes, quads, core, etc.) throughout the set. ————————————————– Try not to hump the air, curl your wrists, round your shoulders forward or shrug them upwards, or shoot the head forward. ————————————————– If you don’t have access to suspension straps (rings, blast straps, TRX, etc.) you can do these on a smith machine or power rack. ————————————————– #fitness #progression #back #strength #bodyfatreduction #training #technique #bodybuilding #crossfit #row #invertedrow

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Lately I’ve been working with a lot of CrossFitters, who don’t often possess the prerequisites they should to put a barbell over their head. However, once these individuals are capable of pressing vertically again, I often initially prescribe a unilateral (1 arm) Z press variation. —————————————- Since these folks are typically used to bilateral barbell pressing only, this exercise allows us to recognize and improve upon, the differences in both strength and mobility, between the left and right sides of the body. However after years of programming the Z press, this isn’t a movement I prescribe limited to their population. —————————————- I’m also posting this because I notice a great number of individuals turn most overhead movements into something resembling an incline press, (which is great if that’s what you’re going for) and limit the overhead strength and shoulder development they’ve intended to achieve. ————————————— Compared to overhead pressing from a standing, or supported seated position, Z press variations don’t allow you to “cheat” (excessively arch your back, or press your feet into the floor) but instead force you to utilize more of your shoulders when your objective is to target the shoulders and build overhead strength. ————————————— You can execute this exercise with a barbell, dumbbell, bands, or a kettlebell etc. as long as your back is unsupported. Just remember to press in a vertical line, get as tall as you can, maintain an upright posture with the ribs down, and force your hamstrings into the floor to keep your lower back tight. Also imagine the back of your knees and heels are stuck to the floor. —————————————- If you don’t hold the prerequisites to perform this movement, or in other words you lack things like adequate shoulder flexion, hip flexion, or thoracic spine extension etc. work on that, while using other shoulder strengthening exercises first. —————————————- #Zpress #shoulders #technique #muscle #strength #training #CrossFit #bodybuilding #powerlifting #justinrivelli

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Like I said, any questions, comments, or concerns etc. just comment on my Facebook page or any other social media platform I have.



About Justin Rivelli

Justin Rivelli has been training clients online and in-person at his private gym in Berkshire County, Massachusetts for over 15 years. He specializes in helping 35 to 65 year old adults improve their body composition with well-rounded fitness plans that suit their needs, wants, and lifestyle. You can find out more about him at


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