ON THE BENEFITS OF SUBORDINATE EXERCISES
BOTH IN REGARDS TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BODY AS WELL AS THE WELL-BEING OF THE MIND
BY DONNY SHANKLE CPT
“Familiarity Breeds Contempt.” Anonymous
Peaks and Valleys
Like reverse hyper-extensions, peaks and valleys are one the best subordinate exercises you can do to keep your back healthy. I will go so far as to even say they are one of the best exercises ever thought of. Adding in this exercise in your training everyday religiously shows you are a professional. Anyone tough enough can endure the hammering that comes with being a weightlifter. The best weightlifters pay attention to details however, and take care of their bodies each day. Not only does this exercise keep your back healthy by stretching and decompressing the lumbar at the peak but, it also shapes the curvature of your spine creating a strong back arch in the valley. A strong back arch is the silhouette of a champion weightlifter. The exercise also makes the lockout in your arms stronger as you force your elbows out and isometrically hold the exercise for ten reps. I also use it as meditation before bed. Doing a few of these each night is relaxing and helps me to forget all I did in training for the day as I look forward to tomorrow.
Get into a push up position at the end of the concentric phase and hold a tight plank. From here let your hips drop low enough until they are just off the floor and your body resembles a valley. Do not let the hips or knees touch the floor. Raise your head up high and breathe in deeply through your mouth. Hold for a two count on your toes and locked arms. To move out of the valley slowly bring your hips back up into a plank and continue bringing them up by taking a large step forward with each foot. Bring your head down and breathe out. In the peak position raise up on your toes a little by flexing your calves and be sure the arms and legs are locked. Hold for a two count and proceed to move directly back into the valley. Focus on your back stretching at the top and the curve in your spine at the bottom. Listen to your breathing and build your lung capacity. Let go a little bit mentally as you break a slight sweat.
ADVANCED WAY: N/A
DURATION: 5 minutes
PLACEMENT IN TRAINING: Either directly before training, directly before bed, or both.