Don Saladino/Men’s Health Composite
Some superheroes are only as good as the tools they use. They might have impressive powers, sure, but they’re most effective with a boost from their special equipment, like Thor with his hammer.
You probably don’t have Mjölnir lying around your house to do your bidding, but you can make the most of the tools available to you at your gym. To unlock your full potential, you should consider using new and different equipment besides just the same old barbells and dumbbells.
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A little variation can lead to big breakthroughs—so he’s introduced the Vipr, a two-handled weight cylinder meant for swinging, for exercises like the split stance chop.
“The Vipr is a great tool in this stance because it forces you to balance and stabilize,” Saladino says. “Because we are rotating through the chop pattern, it forces your hips to loosen as you get core work in.”
To perform the split stance chop, you can use other tools than just the Vipr, which might not be available at your gym. Sub in dumbbells or a sandbag with handles for the same benefits.
- Grasp the implement firmly with both hands.
- Get into a lunge stance, with your right knee bent behind you (but not resting on the ground).
- Swing the weight down to your right side, then twist your trunk to swing it up above your left shoulder, extending your arms with straight elbows. Keep your hips and feet stable throughout the motion.
- Flip your stance, and repeat in the opposite direction.
Add the split stance chop to your full-body workout with 3 sets of 8 reps to start. Keep the weight down until you’ve found your balance, then work your way up to more.