Preparing Americans to Serve in the Military,
Special Ops, Police, & Fire Fighting


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Mission:  We prepare men and women for any tactical profession requiring a fitness test and advanced training. 
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Navy SEAL Info  |   Army & SF Info  |   USMC Info |   Special Ops Info FBI Training Info

Multi-Joint Dumbbell Exercises / Wood Choppers

(complexes / good starter program for olympic lifting) 

Many people like to go to the weight room and start performing the standard isolation exercises either using a machine weight system or even free weights.  Afterwards, they do a 20-30 minute cycle of cardio vascular exercise.  Then, after a normal day of picking up groceries in/out of the car and into the house and some moderate yard work, they find themselves injured.  Usually, this injury involves the lower back.

I have found after a few decades of training that the body really performs best when it is accustomed to movements not joint isolation exercises.   There are training programs out there that focus on Core Development yet really perform standard isolation exercises like crunches or sit-ups and some back extensions.

Now, do not get me wrong, isolation exercises have their place as they are safe, effective ways to train muscles that need rehabilitating.  They are also a great way to build a foundation of training that should inevitably lead to tougher movement exercises.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, check out how you can turn a bicep curl, military press, triceps extension into one steady movement involving several joints and balance if you try in standing on one leg.   I call this one Multi-Joint Dumbbell #1 or MJDB#1:


Now add in a squat to the exercise and a real life movement of picking up something off the floor and lifting it over your head is developing into MJDB#2:

Even more challenging is the MJDB#3 where you add in a squat thrust and some pushups:

*NOTE - if you prefer to go heavier - skip the tricep extension as it can limit the amount of weight you can do.*

It may take some time to build up to MJDB#3, but as you can see all it took was some imagination and you turned a tired old set of dumbbells into a harder exercise full body movement program.  As you progress with your program, add Olympic weight lifting, yoga, and any martial arts movements and you will see a difference in your entire body.  Remember fitness is a journey - not a destination so visit a variety of programs.

(Full Body Lifts Using DB or KBs) 

Wood Chopper Squat with Dumbbell - Hold the dumbbell with both hands over your head in the standing position.  Drop to a squat position and at the same time swing your arms down like you were using an ax.  Keep your back straight, head up.  Use your legs to get the dumbbell over your head by returning to the standing position forcefully.

                                           

 Wood Chopper Lunges with Dumbbell - Hold dumbbell or medicine ball with both hands and step forward to a down lunge position.  Swing dumbbell to the outside of the leg the stepped forward as if you were chopping wood with an ax.

                                            

 Additional Core Workouts – As the wood choppers will work the core as well as your legs, one of the best CORE training devices I have ever used is the TRX.  If that does not interest you, I would consider working the lower back and upper back with standard calisthenics exercise.  See Lower Back Plan - FREE – it works well to build a foundation on which to add more dynamic exercises like the above woodchopper squats and lunges and some of the Olympic lifts.  You want to build the core of the body both horizontally and vertically – meaning it is fine to do leg lifts and situps for abs, but you also want to develop the torso through lifting and movement weights like you will be doing with 50-75lb back packs.  By working your core (abs, lower back, upper back, chest/shoulders), you will help to build proper posture and alignment that will better carry you when running / patrolling with weight.  

Other related programs I recommend that teach movements compared to isolation exercises:

TRX - Suspension Training

TRX Train Like the Pros

The Pre-Habit Workout DVD


Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the
National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy
lifestyle - check out the StewSmith.com
Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at StewSmith.com.

 To contact Stew with your comments and questions, just e-mail him 



Complete List of Books, eBooks, DVDs

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Published Books / DVDs / APPs

NEW - Tactical Fitness - Featuring the Dirty Dozen    |  More Info   |  Book only
The Navy SEAL Weight Training Workout   |  More info   |  Book only
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness
     |    More Info     | 
Book / DVD
Maximum Fitness - CrossTraining     |    More Info     |  Book only
The Special Operations Workout     |   More Info     |     Book only
The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT      |  More Info    |  Book only
The Combat Swimmer Stroke Video     |  More Info   |  Download MP4
The Pre-Habit Workout     |  More Info  |  DVD only

New Fitness APPs Navy SEAL, FBI, Pushup. Pullups   |  More Info    |  APPS

The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks / Books:

* NO EBOOK READER REQUIRED  |  READ WITH ADOBE ACROBAT READER

Fitness for All Levels of Fitness

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness    |  More Info  |  eBook, Book

Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program     |  More Info   eBook only

Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach     |  More Info   eBook only

The Diabetic Prevention Workout   |  More Info   |   eBook only 

The Busy Executive Workout Routine    |  eBook only

Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program   |  More Info   |  eBook only

The TRX Workout eBook     |  More Info   eBook only

  - Circuit Training 101 eBook      |  More Info   eBook only

 Obstacle Course Race eBook      |  More Info   eBook only


The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts

 

Combat Conditioning Workout       |  More Info  |  eBook, Book
 

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1:  Beginner       |  More Info  |    eBook, Book
 

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3:  Intermediate     |  More Info   eBook, Book

 

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT      |  More Info   eBook, Book


Navy SWCC Workout       |  More Info    |    eBook, Book

 

Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout  | More Info SF /  Ranger  eBook, Book

 

USMC RECON Workout       |  More Info  |  eBook, Book

 

Air Force PJ / CCT Workout      |  More Info  |  eBook, Book

 

The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Workout      |  More Info   eBook, Book

 

The Army Air Assault School Workout     More Info   eBook only

 

The Army Airborne Workout     More Info   eBook only

 

NEW - Upper Body Round Robin (UBRR)    More Info   eBook only



 

The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts

The USMC IST and PFT Workout      More Info   eBook only

 

USMC OCS / TBS Workout       |  More Info   eBook, Book

 

The Service Academy Workout     More Info   eBook, Book

 

Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout   More Info   eBook, Book

 

The Army OCS and PFT Workout    More Info   eBook, Book

 

NEW Army PRT and Combat Readiness Test Workout    More Info   eBook only

 

The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT    |  More Info   eBook, Book

 


The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts

 

The FBI Academy / PFT Prep Workout (Vol 1 and 2)      |  More Info   eBook, Book

 

The DEA Prep Workout      More Info   eBook only

 

The FLETC Prep Workout - Ace the PEB      More Info   eBook, Book

 

The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT      |  More Info   eBook, Book

 

The Fire Fighter Workout       |  More Info   eBook, Book

 


 

 

 

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