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Take Home the Program From Our First RJ/Diakadi Workout Clinic

By Billy Polson

Last weekend, RealJock and Diakadi did our first ever Workout Clinic. This was an hour in the gym designed to diagnose and address imbalances and weaknesses. We had 17 guys and we walked them through the framework for a perfectly designed full body workout.

We started with a series of corrective stretches and muscle work to help align each person's body into correct posture positions (pull shoulders back out of forward posture, lengthen hip flexors out of seated-desk posture). We also walked through how to use a foam roller as a way of correcting postural deviations and muscle imbalances. Then, we walked through a couple of full-body movements to wake up our guys' joints and muscles.

Next we learned a series of six exercises that hit the entire body while also working on individuals' core, lower back strength, spinal stabilization. Each attendee worked with a partner and walked through the six stations for individual form advice and feedback. Finally, we all came back together to walk through a series of abdominal strength tests and exercises to assign each individual the proper core workouts to strengthen his weak areas and not waste time on the strong areas.

All in all, it was a complete, full-body workout where our guys got individual attention while they made friends and worked as a group. We had a great time, and can't wait for the next Clinic! Watch RealJock for details. And to get a taste of what you can expect, we've written up the workout below. Take it to your gym and give it a try, paying close attention to form and balance in each exercise.

REALJOCK/DIAKADI WORKOUT CLINIC
Quadriceps and Hip Flexors Test and Stretch
Test: Lie face down on a stretch or massage table with your right leg off the side of the table in a bent knee lunge position and the left leg straight back on top of the table. You should be able to touch the back of your left heel to your butt when you bend your knee. Try the same test for the right leg's quads and hip flexors by swapping the leg on the table and bending your right knee and trying to touch your heel to your butt. This test is best done with a workout partner, but if you don't have one you can use the stretch below to test your right and left sides by measuring how far away from the wall your knee is for a proper form kneeling stretch.

Corrective Stretch: The easiest way to stretch your left hip flexor alone is to start in a kneeling position with your left knee down and your right foot up front on ground. Sitting tall with good posture, squeeze your glutes so that the front of your hip opens up. If your hip flexors and quads are very tight, this may be all you can do for starters. If this does not feel like much of a stretch, then back up to a wall and, while on all fours, place the front of your left foot on the wall and then slowly come up to the same kneeling position you started in for the easier stretch. Start with your left knee on the ground far from the wall and your left toe on the wall—just as in the floor stretch, squeeze your glutes to stretch the front of the left leg. As this stretch feels easier, back your knee up closer to the wall and sit tall again and squeeze your glutes. Make sure you are never so close to the wall that you cannot sit up straight and squeeze your glutes for this stretch. Repeat the same stretches if your right quad and/or hip flexor are tight. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds squeezing your glutes the entire time. Repeat three times on each side.
Hamstrings Test and Stretch
Test: Lie on your back with both legs extended and try to raise your right leg straight into the air. You should be able to bring your right leg up to perpendicular to the floor without having to bend your knee. Perform the same test for your left leg. Again, this test can be performed with a workout partner or individually—especially if you are using a stretch strap, yoga strap, or towel wrapped under the ball of your stretching leg's foot.

Corrective Stretch: Lying on your back, wrap a towel or stretch strap under the ball of your left foot. Keep your right leg extended on the floor. Keeping your left leg straight, pull your it straight up as high as you can while keeping your knee straight. Then, slightly bend your left knee and pull your left leg a little bit higher, and straighten your left leg again for a ten-second hold. Soften the knee again and raise the leg a bit higher and then push your left leg straight again for ten seconds. Repeat this for three sets. Do the same on your right leg.
IT Bands Test and Stretch
Test: Use a foam roller as a test for tension in your IT Bands. Lie on your side on the floor, and place a foam roller perpendicular to your body under your lower hip. Let your upper leg either lie in front of your lower leg with your upper foot on the floor—or, to really put some weight on the lower leg and dig deep, stack your upper leg onto your lower leg. Propped up and walking on your elbows, slowly start to roll the foam roller down your IT Band towards your knee. You are feeling for extreme tension or knots and adhesions (aka speed bumps).

Corrective Stretch: Using the same test method above, stop and hold for a 20 count on each knot. Roll all the way until you reach the side of your knee. Repeat on opposite leg.
Chest Stretch
Stand facing a wall with arm extended on wall and twist to open chest. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat for each side. If you find one side much tighter than other, then do stretch two times on tighter side. To stretch your pectorialis minor, do this same stretch, but with your elbow bent and hand behind your head. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds
Forward Head Posture Test and Stretch
Test: Stand with your heels, butt and shoulder blades against the wall. Let your hands hang at your sides with palms facing your body. Stand naturally. the lower base of your skull should sit naturally on the wall, without your needing to move your head back to the wall.

Corrective Stretch: In the same position as the test, push the base of your skull into the wall and hold for 10 seconds, 10 times.
Horse Stance Horizontal Hold with Alphabet
Start on all fours and maintain perfect spine posture (again with the dowel style alignment touching three points: base of skull, between shoulder blades, and base of spine. Lay a band or string on the floor to make sure you stay in the same plane and position throughout the exercise. Inhale and charge your abs on, keeping your weight evenly balanced between hands and feet. Try to barely lift your left hand off the floor half an inch and your right knee and foot off the floor also half an inch. Then slowly extend your left arm out from your body at a 45-degree angle, with thumb up, shoulder blade back, arm parallel to the floor. Then extend your right leg straight back so that it is parallel to the ground as well. While holding this position, pretend there is a pencil sticking out of your right heel, and write out the letters of the alphabet without your spine twisting or your weight shifting to one side or the other. Then come back to all fours and repeat the movement by extending your right arm with your left leg parallel to the floor and write the alphabet with your left heel. Repeat for the entire alphabet on each side.
Plank Knee Tuck and Heel Drive
In the top of a push-up position, take your right knee and bring it under your body as far as you can. Then push your leg back and drive your heel up above your body. Do 15 on the same leg, and then repeat with the other leg. You want to keep your leg straight when doing the heel drive.
Single Cable Staggered Rotation Pulldowns
Stand with staggered stance and use a single cable handle set at the high setting, above head height. Pull the cable handle with a twist using the hand opposite your front leg. Keep shoulders back throughout movement. Repeat for 12 to 15 repetitions at 70% of your maximum weight you could lift for one repetition. Then repeat for a second set of 10 to 12 at 85%.
Single Cable Rotation Push, Staggered Stance
Stand with stagger stance and using a single cable handle at chest height. Push the cable handle with a twist using the hand opposite your front leg. Keep shoulders back throughout movement. Repeat for 12 to 15 repetitions at 70% of your maximum weight you could lift for one repetition. Then repeat for a second set of 10 to 12 at 85%.
Barbell Dead-Lift
Start by holding a barbell with palms back grip, hands shoulder width apart. Legs should be hip width apart. Make sure your spine stays in a neutral position, meaning that your shoulders are retracted back and together (not rounded forward) and that your lower back maintains a comfortable curve (not tucking your butt under) as you slowly lower the barbell down to mid-shin height. Then drive through your heels and glutes to bring the barbell up with you as you stand up. As you are standing up squeeze your butt cheeks together as if you are holding your shorts with them. If you cannot maintain neutral spine and bring bar down to mid-shin, then reduce range to higher low position. Repeat for 12 to 15 repetitions at 70% of your maximum weight you could lift for one repetition. Then repeat for a second set of 10 to 12 at 85%.
Alternate Side Lunge with Dumbbell Bicep Curl and Shoulder Press
Perform a side lunge, stepping out to one side with one leg extended and the other bent, and sitting your hips back as your toes remain forward. Return to center and perform a dumbbell bicep curl directly into a military shoulder press, pushing the weights straight overhead. Bring the weights back down to finish the bicep curl and then step into the next side lunge on the other side. Repeat for 20 alternating repetitions at 70% of your maximum weight you could lift for one repetition. Then repeat for a second set of 16 at 85%.
Stability Ball Knee Tucks
Start in a pushup/plank position with your feet resting on the top of a stability ball. Keeping a neutral spine throughout the movement (head in line with spine and a small curve in lower/lumber spine. Slowly roll the ball forward with your toes and allow your knees to dip towards the floor, keeping hips level with spine throughout movement, before returning to straight leg plank position again. Repeat for two 60-second sets.
Off End of Flat Bench Single Dumbbell Triceps Skull-Crusher
Lie back in a bridge position on a flat bench such that only your shoulder blades, neck and head are on the short end of the bench, and your feet are on the floor with knees bent at a 90 degree angle. From here, bring dumbbells vertical toward the ceiling and bend the elbows to lower the dumbbells behind your head, keeping the upper arm still and being careful not to hit yourself. Repeat for 12 to 15 repetitions at 70% of your maximum weight you could lift for one repetition. Then repeat for a second set of 10 to 12 at 85%.
Long Leg Swings With Feet Off Floor
Lie with your back on the floor with palms up and arms extended straight out to the sides. Keep your knees straight and legs long and feet on the floor. Slowly alternate lowering your legs from left to right, touching feet on the ground before moving to the other side. Shoulders and arms must stay on the floor at the botttom of each side. At the bottom of each movement, pull your belly button in using your lower abdominals and use these same muscles to start the movement of the leg lift and swing. Continue to alternate for 20 swings, 10 to each side.
Lower Abs Hold
Lying on your back with your knees bent and keeping your feet flat on the floor throughout this movement, place one hand under your lower back. Take in a big breath and flatten out your lower back against your hand using your lower abs. Be sure that you keep your feet light on the floor throughout this movement so that you are not using your feet to flatten your lower back. Hold this flexion keeping pressure on your hand. Hold for 30 seconds, if possible. Continue breathing during this time.
Lower Abs Single Bent Knee Lifts From Bottom
Again lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place one hand palm down tucked in the small of your back. Inhale and squeeze your lower abs, driving your lumbar (lower) spine flat down onto your hand. Keeping this pressure, slowly bring one leg up and down, keeping knee bent. Then swap for a set on opposite leg, still holding abs tight. Repeat for a set of 20.
Lower Abs Single Straight Leg Lifts From Bottom
Again lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Tuck one hand palm down in the small of your back. Inhale and squeeze your lower abs, driving your lumbar (lower) spine flat down onto your hand. Keeping this pressure, slowly bring one leg up and down, keeping the leg being lifted straight throughout the movement. The knee of the base leg always stays bent, but light on the floor. Then swap for a set on opposite leg, still holding abs tight. Repeat for a set of 20.
Lower Abs Single Bent Knee Lowers From Top
Again lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Tuck one hand palm down in the small of your back. Inhale and squeeze your lower abs, driving your lumbar (lower) spine flat down onto your hand. Keeping this pressure, tuck both knees up to your chest with both knees staying bent throughout this movement. This is the holding start position. Now slowly repeat lowering one heel down to tap the floor, keeping the knee bent and pressure on the hand under your lower back. Then swap for a set on the opposite leg, still holding abs tight. Repeat for a set of 20.
Lower Abs Single Straight Leg Lowers From Top
Again lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Tuck one hand palm down in the small of your back. Inhale and squeeze your lower abs, driving your lumbar (lower) spine flat down onto your hand. Keeping this pressure, tuck both knees up to your chest with both knees staying bent throughout this movement. This is the holding start position. Now slowly repeat lowering one heel down to tap the floor, keeping the knee bent and pressure on the hand under your lower back. Then swap for a set on the opposite leg, still holding abs tight. Repeat for a set of 20.
Lower Abs Double Leg Lowers From Top
Again lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Tuck one hand palm down in the small of your back. Inhale and squeeze your lower abs, driving your lumbar (lower) spine flat down onto your hand. Keeping this pressure, tuck both knees up to your chest with both knees staying bent throughout this movement. This is the holding start position. Now slowly lower both heels down to tap the floor, keeping the knees bent and pressure on hand under lower back. When you are able to do this for 20 reps and maintain pressure, then slowly start to lengthen your legs and do the exercise with a straighter longer leg. Repeat for a set of 20.
Stability Ball Full Sit-ups (Hands Across Chest)
Lie back on the center of a stability ball with your hands crossed at your chest level. From the low position, first tuck your chin completely to your chest and then follow this movement with a full situp. Return to lying fully across the ball at the bottom with each rep, allowing your chin to open up at the bottom each time. Keep the ball stationary and feet still on the floor. Repeat for a set of 20.
Cobra Hold on Top of BOSU
Lie face down, with palms down and thumbs out to sides, on top of a BOSU. Your belly button should be near the peak of the ball. Slowly lift your chest and shoulders off the ball, keeping your legs and feet on the floor. With your hands rotate your thumbs out and up so that your shoulders externally rotate and your shoulder blades wrap together. Keep your chin in and facing down so that your neck stays in line with your spine. Work this pose until you can hold it for three minutes without a rest or a form break.
Note: A reference for this program is Paul Chek's How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy, San Diego, 2004.

About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is co-founder of the award-winning Diakadi Body personal training gym and creators of RealJock's 12-week Workout Programs. Billy is a certified Exercise Coach through the Paul Chek Institute as well as a Certified Personal Trainer through The National Academy of Sports Medicine. Have burning questions about your fitness that you want Billy and Diakadi co-founder Mike Clausen to answer? Send an email to billyandmike@realjock.com.