It HIRTs So Good

I just finished destroying two clients with this workout.


Just another HealthHabits HIRT workout

pdf version

Exercise Videos

  • Ab Roll-Outs
  • Hindu Push-Ups

  • Bodyweight Squats (Arms Overhead) – ball not required

  • Inch Worms
  • Body-Weight Row
  • Standing Angled Woodchop (DB/Plate/Med Ball)
  • Push-Ups
  • Side Lunge
  • Shuffle Lunge
  • DB Bicep Curl & Overhead Press Combo

  • Shuffle Lunge
  • Standing Face Pull
  • Glute Ham Raise (on pulldown machine)
  • Bodyweight Skullcrushers
  • Combo Pullover / Crunch on Stability Ball (imagine the ball)
  • Seated Shoulder Press
  • Reverse Flyes (DB, Band)
  • DB Hammer Grip Bicep Curl


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  1. Great post, DR!
    In the ab wheel video, the trainer advises a round back position. I wonder what the logic for the othr things he says is. I do it flat back and roll out all the way forward. It smokes my scapular and shoulder muscles, too. I wonder which is the better way.

  2. The rounded back shortens the length of travel, protects the shoulder capsule, and reduces shear force on the lumbar spine.

    It is a safer way for a beginner to learn the exercise.

    The flat back version is a tougher exercise overall (shoulder girdle, lats & core) but is more prone to developing a sore lower back

    Personally, if I am using roll-outs as part of a HIRT superset or a longer 5 min EDT set, I start with a rounded back for the first set, switch to a flat back for a few sets and if/when I start to fatigue, switch back to the rounded back.

    In the end, neither method is better in an absolute sense. it depends on the application

    Rounded for beginners, or fatigued state or first set to help get you in the groove
    Flat back for maximum difficulty

  3. But rounding the lower back should be stressful for the lumbar spine, is it not? It is flexion that stresses the interspinous ligaments and increases the pressure on the discs. Extension should relieve this. Which is why all the main exercises like the DL are done with a flat lower back, even an arched one.

  4. The big difference is due to body orientation – horizontal vs vertical.

    In a vertical position, flexion of the lumbar spine results in some pretty nasty shear forces leading to all sorts of issues.

    However, in the horizontal position, the gravitational forces affecting our spines are coming in a direction perpendicular to the norm.

    Unfortunately, since our ancestors stood up, we have evolved so that our spines are designed to handle loads in a way that works with our mostly standing, bipedal activities. Unlike a cat, our spines are not well designed to handle gravity (or gravity + extra load) in a horizontal position.

    So, to go back to the roll-out.

    An arched back mimics the physics used in bridge building, The arch of the back tightens all of the paraspinals, lats, etc and prepares them for the effect of gravity.

    Holding a normal S curve during a roll-out results in reduced tension in the paraspinals/lats/etc and puts the load on TA, obliques.

    That doesn’t mean that an S curve in your back during a roll-out is going to result in injury. It just makes it more likely that if there is an existing problem (known or unknown) or that you push hard enough to fatigue the muscles, you are more likely to experience problems.

    Unfortunately, I doubt that there is any research to back me up. It is a pretty fringe exercise and I doubt anyone will spend the money needed to test this hypothesis.

    All I can offer as proof is years of personal and professional experience

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