Turning sparks of possibility into flames of achievement

Improve your stability & performance with this 4 week program

 This program is an example of a good place to begin with resistance training for increasing performance in acrobatics or any other sport. Before going into heavier more complex lifts we want to prepare our bodies, condition healthy movement patterns, and promote good lifting posture. In the execution of the exercises it is important to remember to not just “bang out reps” but focus on the particular goal of each exercise.

Lower Body Week 1-4

In this 3-4 week phase we are focusing on improving our squatting mechanics, building strength, endurance and the necessary mobility for progressing towards more intense Olympic lifts in the following weeks.


  • [X] Improved knee tracking
  • [X] Improved Mobility and Squatting mechanicss
  • [X] Improved strength ratios
  • [X] Stronger Posterior chain


Full Program Phase 1

No.ExerciseSet X RepsNotesTempoRest
A1Split Squat (ffe)4 X 10 -15Front foot elevated4101
A2One Leg Deadlift4 X 10 - 15One hand, opposite410160
B1Peterson Step Ups4 X 10 - 15Heel 45 deg2010
B2Back Extension4 X 8 - 10201060
C1Calf Raises3 X 8 - 10
C2Lateral Band walk3 Xback and forth60

Exercise description

The exercises are performed in the order of one set on each leg of A1 and then immediately one set on each leg of A2 followed by 60 seconds of rest, repeated for 4 sets. Then followed by B1 and B2 etc.

 Split Squat (ffe) A1

Split squat is an amazingly effective exercise for improving performance, we will be doing the “front foot elevated” variation. Our focus is going to be enhancing our knee tracking and we will be paying special attention to how our knee is moving during the exercise. By focusing on “pushing the knee out” we are promoting some external rotation through our hips and helping to stabilize
our knees during the lift, the idea is that this way we target the VMO and promote a better balance in the strength ratios of the different heads of the quads. By starting with split squats we are
also actively working on our flexibility/mobility if done correctly we should experience an active loaded stretch at the bottom of the lift increasing our active flexibility for both the split squat and the squat.

NoExerciseSet X RepsNotesTempoFocus
A1Split Squat4 X 10 - 15Front foot elevated40101. Knee Tracking, 2. ROM


Single Leg Dead-lift A2


The single-leg deadlift not only develops hip strength and power, but it also allows the muscles of the hips and legs to act as stabilizers. If you think about it, every time you stand on one leg, you’re using the same muscles for balance and stability that are generally used for force production.

Forcing the body to maintain stability on one leg allows the athlete and coach to see strength imbalances from left to right side. This is extremely important for athletes as well as special populations. And it can go a long way to help reduce injuries and improve performance.1

For added focus, maintain level shoulders and torso at all times when performing single arm single-leg deadlift. You will need to fight the rotational pull with the weight.2

If at all possible, perform your single-leg deadlifts barefoot. The proprioceptive, neurological information from your feet will assist your balance and make you stronger.3

NoExerciseSet X RepsNotesTempoFocus
A2Single Leg Deadlift4 X 10 -15One hand,opposite41011. Neutral Spine,
 2. Hinge at the Hip,
 3. Back leg extension of spine

Peterson Step up B1

The Peterson step-up encourages forward tracking of the knee over the toe, along with a ball-of-the-foot contact point of the working leg, both of which encourage quad activation with emphasis
closer to the distal or knee end of the thigh.

  • Avoid pushing off the ground with the non-working leg. Let the working leg carry the entire load.
  • Stand up tall at the finish position.
  • Remember, the quads are knee extensors. To get the VMO to do the most work, squeeze the knee tight at the top.4
  • Once the reps become easy, increase the range of motion with a higher step rather than add weight.
  • Be vigilant about your knee tracking. A good rep should show no compensatory action, like the knee falling inwards towards the midline of the body. The knee should point where the toe points at all times.
NoExerciseSet X RepsNotesTempoFocus
B1Peterson Step Ups4 X 10 - 15Heel 45 deg20101. Knee Tracking,

Back Extension B2

Loaded back extensions are the most underappreciated assistance exercise for improving your deadlift. They’re also incredibly effective at building the glutes and hamstrings.
Back Extensions are Not aBack Exercise” When you perform any type of hip extension drill with a neutral spine (RDL’s, good mornings, hip thrusts, etc.), the spinal erector musculature acts statically. In other words, they stabilize the spine while the glutes and hamstrings contract dynamically to extend the hips.

So in reality, since dynamic muscle activity trumps static for hypertrophy purposes, the back extension is actually a glute/hamstring drill, and a damn good one at that.

Back Extension Technique

  • Hips must be forward of the pad. This is a pure hinge maneuver, so make sure your ability to flex and extended from the hips isn’t impeded by the pad.
  • Seek maximum range of motion. Go all the way down and all the way up to parallel.
  • Match lifting tempo to resistance curve. As you move through extension, start the concentric rep somewhat slowly, and then accelerate as you move towards full extension to compensate for worsening leverages.
  • Keep your entire spine neutral, including your neck (don’t look
    up as you reach full extension).
NoExerciseSet X RepsNotesTempoFocus
B2Back Extension4 X 8 - 104010

Calf Raises C1

  • Stand with your torso upright holding two dumbbells in your hands by your sides. Place the ball of the foot on a sturdy and stable wooden board (that is around 2-3 inches tall) while your heels extend off and touch the floor. This will be your starting position.
  • With the toes pointing either straight (to hit all parts equally), inwards (for emphasis on the outer head) or outwards (for emphasis on the inner head), raise the heels off the floor as
    you exhale by contracting the calves.
  • Hold the top contraction for a second.
  • As you inhale, go back to the starting position by slowly lowering the heels.
    • Repeat for the recommended amount of times.

Note: As you become stronger you may need to use wrist wraps to avoid having the dumbbells slip out of your hands.

NoExerciseSet X RepsNotesTempoFocus
C1Calf Raises3 X 8 - 102010explosive power

Resistance Band Glute walk C2

The Effect of Body Position on Lateral Band Walking
A recent study in JOSPT analyzed EMG activity of the glute max, glute medius, and TFL muscles during two variations of the lateral band walking exercises.The subjects performed the lateral band walk in a standing straight up posture and a more flexed squat position.A Simple Tweak to Enhance Glute and Reduce TFL Activity
I’ve personally used both variations in the past but tend to perform the exercise more often in the slightly flexed position, which we consider a more “athletic posture,” as we don’t really walk laterally with our hips and knees straight very often.Results showed that EMG of both the glute max and glute medius was enhanced by performing lateral band walks in the partial squat position, and that TFL activity was actually reduced. Glute activity almost doubled.5
NoExerciseSet X RepsNotesTempoFocus
C2Lateral Band Walk3 Xback and forthSquat down


You want to perform this program two or three times per week, alternating with the upper body and shoulder stabilization program,  for the four week period.

If you are interested in continuing the workout and getting a full 12 week program, contact me today at martin@flyinghighacrobatics.com for pricing and availability.

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