Reverse Movements | Partial Movements | Isometrics

"Reverse" movements eliminate the built-up negative energy that makes the positive (concentric) contraction easier to perform. What does that mean? Take a normal squat. You begin by unracking the weight, then slowly lower your body as if sitting in a chair before exploding upward to a standing position.

During that downward phase, you build up negative energy—also called "the stretch-shorten cycle" in more technical terms—which helps you powerfully press out of the bottom of the squat. If you remove that energy and begin each rep from the bottom, you start from a dead stop. (That's where the name deadlift comes from, by the way; the deadlift is a prime example of a pure reverse movement.)



Power Rack Training Series Reverse Movements

Watch The Video - 4:47

To try a "reverse" squat, once you press upward to a standing position, squeeze your legs and glutes as normal, then return the bar to the safeties. Don't tap and go, as you would naturally have the tendency to do; instead, allow the bar to settle on the safeties. You can even separate your traps from the bar ever so slightly to completely remove all tension before you begin the next rep.

You'll quickly realize it is much more difficult to begin each rep without the benefit of the negative energy built up during conventional reps. Training this way will cause you to be that much stronger once you go back to conventional squatting, combining the elastic recoil from the negative portion of a rep with your newfound positive strength.

Day 1
1
Barbell Curl
4 sets, 6-10 reps
+ 9 more exercises

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Day 2
1
Barbell Squat
Remember to allow the barbell to settle on the safety bars, releasing the negative energy. From set to set or workout to workout, be sure to vary the level of the safety bars to train as many angles as possible.
6 sets, 6-10 reps
+ 5 more exercises

BodyFit Plus

$3.99/month
  • 2,500+ expert-created single workouts
  • 3,500+ how-to exercise videos
  • Detailed workout instruction
  • Step-by-step workout tips
  • Training at gym or at home

What comes with BodyFit Plus?

  • Instructional Videos
  • Don't risk doing a workout improperly! Avoid injury and keep your form in check with in-depth instructional videos.

  • How-to Images
  • View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise should be done before you give it a shot.

  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Quickly read through our step-by-step directions to ensure you're doing each workout correctly the first time, every time.

Day 3 (rest or optional workout)
1
Hanging leg raise
3 sets, to failure
+ 5 more exercises

BodyFit Plus

$3.99/month
  • 2,500+ expert-created single workouts
  • 3,500+ how-to exercise videos
  • Detailed workout instruction
  • Step-by-step workout tips
  • Training at gym or at home

What comes with BodyFit Plus?

  • Instructional Videos
  • Don't risk doing a workout improperly! Avoid injury and keep your form in check with in-depth instructional videos.

  • How-to Images
  • View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise should be done before you give it a shot.

  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Quickly read through our step-by-step directions to ensure you're doing each workout correctly the first time, every time.

Day 4
1
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
4 sets, 6-10 reps
+ 10 more exercises

BodyFit Plus

$3.99/month
  • 2,500+ expert-created single workouts
  • 3,500+ how-to exercise videos
  • Detailed workout instruction
  • Step-by-step workout tips
  • Training at gym or at home

What comes with BodyFit Plus?

  • Instructional Videos
  • Don't risk doing a workout improperly! Avoid injury and keep your form in check with in-depth instructional videos.

  • How-to Images
  • View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise should be done before you give it a shot.

  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Quickly read through our step-by-step directions to ensure you're doing each workout correctly the first time, every time.

Day 5
1
Bent Over Barbell Row
6 sets, 6-10 reps
+ 5 more exercises

BodyFit Plus

$3.99/month
  • 2,500+ expert-created single workouts
  • 3,500+ how-to exercise videos
  • Detailed workout instruction
  • Step-by-step workout tips
  • Training at gym or at home

What comes with BodyFit Plus?

  • Instructional Videos
  • Don't risk doing a workout improperly! Avoid injury and keep your form in check with in-depth instructional videos.

  • How-to Images
  • View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise should be done before you give it a shot.

  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Quickly read through our step-by-step directions to ensure you're doing each workout correctly the first time, every time.

Reverse Movements | Partial Movements | Isometrics

About the Author

Jimmy Peña, MS, CSCS

Jimmy Peña, MS, CSCS

Jimmy Peña is the founder of PrayFit and has been the exercise physiologist to Tyler Perry, Mario Lopez and LL Cool J. Find out more here.

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