There is a reason why the classic push-up remains a staple in training regimens around the world. It gets results. But if you're looking to upgrade to a more challenging variation, consider the medicine ball push-up. Keeping your elbows close to the body and maintaining good postures are keys to performing this. Watch Travelle Gaines, the trainer for many pro athletes, demonstrate the proper technique:



As an antidote to the negative effects of sitting all day, trainers often recommend adding the glute bridge to your workout routine. And while that’s a good idea, David Jack, one of the co-creators of Men's Health newest fitness DVD Body Battle, suggests upgrading the movement for even better results.

"Long hours spent parked on your rear can cause your glutes to forget how to fire," says Jack. "The glute bridge turns these powerful muscles back 'on,' making you stronger in every lower-body exercise."

More Men's Health: How To Do 50 Perfect Pushups

But here's how you can make it better: While you're performing the bridge, reach for targets above, below, and to the side of you. This will stretch your chest and enhance your upper back mobility, improving your posture, says Jack.

It also causes your body to be less stable, forcing your glutes and core muscles to work harder with each rep. The benefit: a stronger, leaner body.

Watch this video to see how to perform the glute bridge reach. Then give it a shot today.

As we have documented, Ronda Rousey has become such a force in UFC that she is in demand for Hollywood roles, and already has credits for "The Expendables 3," "Furious 7" and "Entourage."

But Rousey, the first U.S. woman to medal in Olympic judo when she took bronze in Beijing, still takes her training seriously. Check out this exchange of judo throws in a workout with aspiring UFC competitor Pauline Macias:


Nage komi judo drills with @paulinepitamacias #ufc190 Vid via @abletowill

A video posted by rondarousey (@rondarousey) on

Dwyane "The Rock" Johnson has said that his favorite workout routines come on leg days, and a recent Instagram photo does nothing to disprove that fact.

The 42-year-old professional wrestler-turned-actor posted a picture with him posing after a recent workout. And, by the looks of it, he's been putting plenty of work into his legs.


2 weeks away from shooting CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE - big action comedy with Kevin Hart and director Rawson Thurber (We Are The Millers). My character was relentlessly bullied in high school just because he was "different" than the rest of the students and never ran with the "cool crowd". He was chubby, eccentric and enjoyed singing chick songs. He quit high school, changed his name and years later became the CIA's most dangerous contract killer... and also the weirdest. I'm pushing all chips in - 100% committed to this character & story to bring y'all something good. He's dangerous, loyal, lovable, kinda f*cked up in the head and wears a beautiful fanny pack. #HelloMyNameIsBob #AndNoOneBulliesMeAnymore #CentralIntelligence #BOSTON

A photo posted by therock (@therock) on

Even for someone who has spent his life in pursuits that require his body be sculpted -- Johnson played collegiate football at Miami and then transitioned into a WWE star -- this is impressive.

There are several videos of Johnson working on his legs, which he had to sculpt in preparation for his lead in the 2014 film, Hercules.

Here's Johnson's full legs workout, which looks daunting to say the least.


Jason Biles finds himself in the trenches of NBA competition as head athletic trainer/director of performance rehabilitation for the Houston Rockets. He was honored with the 2013-14 National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Year Award. Biles spent three seasons as head strength and condition coach and assistant athletic trainer for the Memphis Grizzlies before joining Houston in 2010. Biles has spent the season preparing James Harden, Dwight Howard and the Rockets for the postseason grind.

ThePostGame: How have you seen James' health and game adjust since he arrived to Houston?
JASON BILES: James is an amazing player. Basically, our job we feel is to support him any way. That's any way from the proper nutrition, the proper corrective exercise strategies we do, the proper lifting techniques, basketball coaching, whatever he needs. I think kinesiology tape, specifically KT tape, is another product that allows him to confident, comfortable when he's on the court.

TPG: What makes James unique in the way he treats injuries?
BILES: Well, with James, I think his work ethic is unmatched. He's very committed to being the best he can be. He has goals both individually and helping the team achieve the goals we have. I think James' No. 1 trait is his work ethic and No. 2, he's very creative. He's an outside-the-box type thinker.

TPG: What makes James different than other players?
BILES:As I mentioned, his work ethic. He loves basketball. There's some people who look at it as a job. For him, that's his passion. He continues to commit to being better. He's not satisfied with where he's at. He's really young. The things that he's accomplished in a short period of time, going from being a sixth man and a backup to having his own team and trying to get us deeper into the playoffs while trying to enhance his individual game, it shows that he's not satisfied. That's one of the best attributes you can have in any profession, especially sports.

TPG: Does he put a little extra emphasis on those Thunder games?
BILES: [Laughs] No, he always downplays that. For him, I think early on, when we were playing the Thunder, when we played them the first year, it was a lot of emotions and excitement. I think that's natural. He's been in Houston longer and is now committed to the Rockets. He basically sees every moment the same and wants to win.

TPG: What are your thoughts on the current prevalence of injuries in the NBA and possibly shortening the 82-game schedule?
BILES: Every year, there seems to be more and more injuries unfortunately. It happens not just to the star players, but everyone, role players, on every team. Injuries are one of the most unfortunate parts of the game. We have to be focused on creating a strategy to keep everyone as fresh and healthy as possible, so they can have productive careers and also long careers. I think that's the most important.

TPG: Who are some players who have stood out because of their training routines?
BILES: I had Marc Gasol in Memphis, and he's known for being one of the best guys in the league as a true professional. He's another guy who's passionate about his work and dedicated to his craft. He would do some outside-the box-training things when I visited him in Barcelona. I'm talking running in the mountains and things like that. He even played a little tennis. He had different cross-training ways to change it up. I think guys, if they just play basketball all the time, they don't get a break. Also, then their bodies get used to those stresses and if they encounter anything outside the norm, their bodies don't know how to handle it. I like to encourage different modes of training both mentally and physically.

TPG: There is a sign outside FedEx Forum right now with Gasol that says "Authentic Memphis." What does he mean to that city?
BILES: He went to Lausanne [Collegiate School in Memphis]. He was there when his brother was there. My first year in Memphis was Pau's last year before we traded him to the Lakers. They're just a great family. They're good guys. He is Memphis. He is authentically Memphis. He's got the work ethic. He's a blue collar-type guy who's had to work for everything he's achieved.

TPG: Marc and Pau will be in the playoffs. So will James. At the start of the postseason, what is your mindset at? How do you prepare the players for the extra set of games?
BILES: Physically, we're just trying to get everyone as healthy as we can heading into the playoffs. Every night, it's a battle because we've got to win games to preserve home court and the competition is fierce. We're just trying to support the guys as best we can whether that's through proper nutrition, proper stretching and exercise techniques, appropriate conditioning, whether it's manual therapy or massage, different taping strategies to prevent injuries. We do so much during the regular season, it becomes kind of routine, but you do what you can to lock in for the postseason run and go to work.

TPG: You may have some bias here, but who are you taking for the MVP?
BILES: Not that my opinion matters, but obviously what James has done this year is unreal considering it seems like every night we've had a different lineup with guys stepping up to support James. On any given night, we haven't known who will be available. James has missed no games this season due to injury (Harden missed one game for a suspension). He's been there and fought through the minor stuff. He's been through things that some guys may say I need some time off. Then his performance as well, getting his teammates involved and committing to the defensive end. I think if you look at the entire body of work he's done and how consistently he's done it, he's obviously the leading candidate for the MVP.

TPG: What is kinesiology tape?
BILES: It's a tape that promotes sort of natural movement in the body by not really restricting motion but encouraging proper motion. It has benefits of helping an athlete or a general person recognize what position their alignment is in. It makes them feel comfortable, confident and aware of how they should move. It sort of supports the natural healing processes if there is any inflammation or acute injury type thing. We do use it sometimes to encourage positioning. For example, if the joint alignment is off, we can sort of use the technique to help the joint move more efficiently.

TPG: When did it become popular in the NBA?
BILES: That's a good question. This is now my eighth season in the NBA. I've been using it since I came into the league, maybe a year in. I think it became popular with guys who realized it was helping them accelerate their recovery. Early on, we had the league basically support us in using it. We had to have their approval before a player could use it. When players realized it was beneficial and obviously athletic trainers and physical therapists thought so as well, it gained enough support that the NBA said, you know what, that's right. Go ahead and use it not just for someone with an injury, but for injury prevention.

TPG: Do you recommend kinesiology tape for every player or just specific players?
BILES: We treat each player individually. Every condition is totally different. I would say we use it most of the time to support the therapy that we're doing and the results that it gives us. James is an outside-the-box thinker I think that's what makes him a greater person to use KT tape. A lot of people don't want to change routines or are open to change. He's always open to ideas and ready to adapt.

TPG: Is kinesiology tape something Harden used before arriving in Houston?
BILES: Not to my knowledge. I do not believe he used it before he came to us.

TPG: Is there a difference between KT Tape and other tapes players use?
BILES: I think so. We've used several in the past, but I think the way the KT Tape is built with the precuts, the sizing is good for these specific players and they're constantly improving the sizes they offer based on the feedback from athletes and trainers. Some tapes are more rigid than others and some are like a cloth material.

Fitness buffs are always looking for ways to improve their workout. For some, the answer might be as simple as changing up your preferred type of weights. Free weights and machine weights each offer their own advantages, but there are drawbacks to be considered as well. In this Fitness Roundtable, the experts offer their own insights and offer some great guidance for future training.

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Fitness

Rory McIlroy was weak.

He was winning some golf tournaments, but ultimately McIlroy realized he needed to upgrade his fitness to stay competitive.

When he started hitting the gym, he struggled.

"I couldn’t stand on one leg for more than 10 seconds and I couldn’t hold a plank for more than 30 seconds," McIlroy says.

That was at the end of 2010. Since then, McIlroy has transformed his body. In doing so, he has also sharpened his mental outlook.

"I’ve always been naturally quite a confident person especially when it comes to my chosen arena, which is that golf course," he says. "That’s where I’m most comfortable, but getting into the gym and building strength has been great -- my posture was terrible when I started, and just having better posture, standing up straight with your shoulders back and your chest out, that gives off the air of confidence.

"That’s one thing the gym has done for me -- you carry yourself better, you feel good about yourself. Mentally it’s a great thing for you as well, as training releases a lot of good endorphins. Training has definitely become a necessity and basically an everyday activity for me – I need to sweat at least once a day to make myself feel good."

McIlroy's enthusiasm for fitness -- and success with four major championships since committing to workouts -- folds in nicely with his Nike sponsorship. Nike Training is producing a new documentary series, which launches Tuesday, to illustrate the unique ways that some of its top athletes train and what motivates them to keep challenging themselves.

With The Masters coming up in less than two weeks, McIlroy was the company's choice to lead off the series. Additionally Nike is hoping to connect with McIlroy's fans by making his path to fitness relatable. His trainer, Dr. Steve McGregor, gave Nike some insight into his approach that weekend warriors and recreational golfers can apply:

  • The one key principle to keep in-mind is range. If individuals have range in their limbs, then they have stability. Without that range and stability, any high-end strength and power work will not only be more difficult to pursue, but it can be less efficient, no matter how hard one works.
  • In basic training, avoid moving too quickly to high-end strength training and focusing on individual body parts; don’t train body parts, train function.

McIlroy's story is also an organic way for Nike to do some cross-promotional marketing for its fitness apparel. One of the booming segments in fashion is athletic gear. In early March, Dick's Sporting Goods made headlines by adding music star Carrie Underwood’s Calia line to its store inventory by reducing the shelf space it had given to Adidas and Reebok. Nike is a leader in this category but competition is prevalent from these brands, plus others such as Under Armour and Lululemon

When McIlroy appears in the documentary about his regimen, most of the time he is clad in Nike workout gear -- shirt, shorts and shoes -- not golfing attire. McIlroy regularly works out five to six times weeks, even during a tournament. Most average people have better chance of working out five to six times a week, even if the activity is something as simple as running around the block, than golfing, so there is also practical element to Nike's series.

On a team with three Pro Bowl defensive backs, there's not a lot of room for error among the backups. And perhaps with that challenge in mind, Robert Nelson is going all out this offseason.

The 25-year-old cornerback, who signed with the Cleveland Browns last year as an undrafted free agent, posted a video of himself pushing and pulling a small car. As if this unique form of strength training wasn't enough, Nelson is wearing an endurance mask that makes it feel as though he is training in altitude.


Sure, this is a smaller vehicle, but it's a car nonetheless. Plus it's a Mercedes, a fact that adds a certain prestige factor to Nelson's workout.

Nelson is going to have to have a stellar offseason in order to see the field in 2015. He's behind Joe Haden, Tramon Williams and Justin Gilbert on the depth chart. The Cleveand secondary was stellar in 2014, leading the league in opponents' QB passer rating (74.1), completion percentage (57.1) and passes defended (99).

Contrary to popular belief, J.J. Watt is human.

The 6-foot-5, 288 pound Houston Texans defensive end has demonstrated his freakish athleticism by jumping over boxes and people:

But there was one challenge that Watt couldn't conquer, and he wasn't embarrassed to let the world know. Watt, who is training this offseason in a secluded cabin in the woods of Wisconsin, posted these photos to his Instagram account:


Watt landed a 59.5 inch jump in the video above but apparently 61 inches was too much for him. That poor spotter can relate to the numerous NFL quarterbacks who have also been taken down by Watt.

The 2014 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Watt has made a name for himself by dominating in all aspects of the sport. In 2014 he tallied 20.5 sacks and forced four fumbles. He even lined up as a tight end and caught three touchdown passes.

He's also a skilled hockey player who wears No. 99 as a tribute to Wayne Gretzky.

It took Mark Jordan one year to train for an astonishing new world record and just one day to break it.

The 54-year-old Jordan has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world record holder for most pull-ups in one day. Jordan completed 4,321 pull-ups, breaking the previous mark by more than 100.

For Jordan, his achievement shows that people are never too old to hit the gym.

“This is about a message that it’s important to be able to take care of your health in many ways, no matter what age you are,” Jordan told the television station KRIS-6. “The benefits are something than can not only help you but allows you to be able to provide guidance and inspire others as well.”


Jordan set the mark in November 2014, but the Guinness Book of World Records didn't certify the mark until Monday.

Throughout his training and during the actual event, Jordan was raising money for a charity called HELP, the Hammons Education Leadership Program.

As for why he stopped at 4,321, Jordan says the consecutive nature of those four digits would make the number easy to remember.

The previous record was 4,210, set by Australia's Caine Eckstein in October.

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