svend press

Uncommon Exercises You Might Want To Try!

By Ares12110 | RSB-Training | 9 Feb 2022

Hi everyone,

As a trainer/fitness enthusiast, I occasionally come across a movement that is quite uncommon to see in the gym but I find incredibly useful in specific applications. There are also lot's of crazy things people think is a good idea but probably isn't.....but I'm going to talk about some useful exercises. 

First up, the "Svend press". I often hear from people, "I don't really feel my chest much on the bench press/chest press machine/pushups". The Svend press is my answer to waking up the chest so it will be the main thing you notice on these movements. It's also great as an activation / pre-fatigue set depending on your intentions for your program. This movement is performed either standing or sitting, placing 2 plates together (start light) using your flat palms to press and hold them together at chest height. Slowly extend your arms out front of you till your arms are straight, out in front of you. Squeeze hard so you don't drop the plates! Then bring it back into your chest and repeat for reps (maybe 12 - 15).

Next up is the Cable J pull. This is a great back movement I recently discovered that wakes up my lat muscles like few other things do. The magic to the movement seems to be that it takes advantage of the direction the muscle fibers run in which causes a very complete feeling contraction. To perform this movement you need a cable machine and I recommend the rope attachment. The pully on the cable machine needs to be set to the highest position. Once set up, you will perform the movement from your knees, and slightly leaned forward. Keeping your elbow locked (slight bend is ok but don't move at the elbow through this part of the movement) pull the cable down toward the ground (this part of the movement is also known as a straight arm lat pulldown). Here is where the twist comes in, half way through the range of motion unlock your elbows and row the row toward you and squeeze. Ideally you want these two movements to flow together seamlessly but it will probably takes some practice to get the hang of it. 


On to some legs! Introducing the Barbell Back Extension (on a glute ham machine).  A few years ago when I was preparing for a charity lifting meet (not really a competition so much), I developed some hip pain that prevented me from performing heavy deadlifts. I was maybe about a month out from the meet so I was concerned I wasn't going to be able to hit my goal weight at the meet. Then I found this variation, which allowed me to keep working the deadlifting muscles hard while not loading my hip vertically (which seemed to cause pain). By the time I got to the meet my hip felt much better and I was able to pull some bigger deadlifts (still didn't hit my target but I was being cautious).  If you already perform deadlifts in your program, give these a try as an accessory, you won't regret it!

Seated Barbell Curls. This is an interesting variation on the barbell curl that I've added in to my bicep day and very quickly saw a fantastic response in the size of my arms after I started doing them. To perform these use a straight bar or an ezbar and sit on a bench. Typically you can go a bit heavier on these. Curl the bar up from your lap, and very slowly lower the bar back to your lap, repeat for reps. Try to keep the bar close to your body. So I know what you are thinking....."That's a tiny range of motion! Isn't range of motion supposed to be really important for building muscle?" Yes it is, which is why this not the only type of curl I do when work my biceps. The advantage of the short range of motion and the application of tension through the top part of the curl only, is that you can more effectively engage and fatigue the muscle responsible for this upper range (the long head of the bicep). On a traditional curl the rest of your arms get tired out before you really fatigue that part of the muscle. 

So if you want to spice up your workout or have trouble getting certain muscles to wake up, give these a try.


This of course is not medical advice(or financial advice) and you should talk to your doctor before taking on new exercise if needed etc. etc... 

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Hi, I'm Rob I'm a certified Personal Trainer and I love helping others achieve new strength they never thought possible. This is my space to share fitness tips and advice to help others get the most out of life!

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