I wanted to put together a couple videos that go into detail about the basic exercises.

Mike, this is boring.

Why in the world would I want to watch a video on push-ups, planks and squats? Yawn!

  • All other exercises are based upon these exercises.
  • Master these exercises and you can greatly reduce the chance of injury.*
  • These exercises can translate into increased strength on other exercises.*
  • They can make you look good when you do them. No one wants to look at someone with bad technique.*
    *These are a matter of opinion based on Coach Mike’s training experience and are not guaranteed.

The Plank

If your back hurts when you do a plank, this is a sign there is something bad going on.

  • Either you have a very weak core. (Very Fixable)
  • Your body doesn’t know how to hold the pelvis in a neutral position. (Fixable with a little knowledge)
  • You have some kind of muscular imbalance that is putting undue tension on the lower back. (Fixable with a lot of work and self-rehab)

Watch the video and make sure your form is good. If you are still getting lower back pain, go to the Rehab 101 page and work on rolling and smashing.

Or give me a call and I can give you a specialized workout program. See my Online Training page.

Please don’t tell me you can’t do a push-up.


A push-up is basically a moving plank. It is a great exercise for upper body strength. Pay attention and you can turn it into a core exercise.

Here are the 4 levels of push-ups:

  1. Standing up with your hands against a wall or counter.
  2. On the floor on your knees. No, these are not girl push-ups. This is a way to work on your technique to get you strong enough to do push-ups.
  3. Push-ups on the floor on your toes.
  4. Modified, silly and crazy push-ups.

If you get any shoulder or back pain, pay a visit to my Rehab 101 page. You may have some muscles that are knotted up and need to be freed.


“My knees hurt when I squat!”

Some people who have knee pain when they squat are squatting wrong.*
*This is from my experience as a personal trainer.

Doctors love to tell you not to squat.

Why then after a few minutes of technique training, most of my clients can squat with little to no knee pain?

The ability to lower yourself is a primal movement. You need it to function properly and a leg press is not a good substitute. In fact, leg presses cause more knee issues than squats.

Here are 4 versions of squats that anyone can start with.

Ball Squat

This is a great place to start. By sliding up and down with a ball you are able to take pressure off the knees and still work the quads and glutes.




If you bend your knees first you will end up with knee pain. Instead, sit back into the squat.

Box Squats

Once you get comfortable with the idea of sitting into the squat, it is time to box squat.

Box squats allow you to squat to the same depth in a very safe manner.

Goblet Squats

If you are having trouble going low with your squats, you may want to check out the goblet squat.

This is a slow, and yes painful, exercise that allows you to create hip flexibility in a short period of time.

Finally, if you have any knee pain, check out my Rehab 101 page here.

These are fundamental exercises that need to be mastered.

Ready to get my workouts on your phone? Check out my online training program by clicking here.

If you need help putting a program together please fill out the contact form below and we will get it all sorted out for you.