This is How You Do It! (part one)

I recently wrote about the great experience I had at Power Life Fitness while training with Kelvin “York” Brown. During my most recent trip, I learned how devoted each member of the staff is. Lauren Everhart, a former Tiger soccer and cross country athlete, took the time to run through exercises with me while pointing out the right techniques while demonstrating the things most people do wrong. Aside from her on the field accolades, Lauren is also a Power Life certified trainer and will be attending the University of Memphis this coming school year to earn her physical therapy degree. She informed me that often, when people perform a motion wrong while working out, they can end up injuring themselves. This is why I am appreciative to Lauren for taking the time to instruct me and pose for photographs. So without adieu, here are a few of the many things we went over at Power Life Fitness.

As has been said many times before, Power Life Fitness puts the “personal” back in “personal training.” Lauren Everhart emphasized two things above all else: maintain a fluid motion in your exercises and take your time. People who rush through their workouts will not only waste their time but also run the risk of injuring themselves. The staff at Power Life Fitness truly care about you and your body and will do everything they can to help you maximize your workout sessions. To schedule a session with Lauren, give Power Life a call at 901-454-0003, or email her at


Who hasn’t done a bench press? This is an easy enough exercise when one simply lowers the bar and pushes it back up, right? Wrong.

DO:  Place your hands evenly apart on the bar. Most bars have a dash or line to indicate the center of it. Make sure this line is between your eyes. Lower the bar down to your chest just below the breast onto your ribcage.

DO NOT:  Be sure to not lower the bar too high or too low onto your torso. Above the ribcage or too far below will put strain on your shoulders or arms. Likewise, if your elbows drop below a 180 degree plane created between them and your torso, there will be added pressure to your arms.


This is a great exercise for your back. It will sculpt your shoulder blade region while working your shoulders too. You can do it with either a close or open grip on the bar.

DO:  Slowly and steadily pull the bar straight down to your chest. Be sure that, as you get closer to the bottom, you pinch your shoulder blades to ensure you’re working your back.

DO NOT:  Pull the bar down behind your head. This will cause unnecessary strain on your neck. Also be sure to not jerk the bar down, as you will not work your back, but your arms instead.


This is an easy exercise for toning the legs. All you need is a box that is slightly shorter than a house chair.

DO:  Stand four to five inches away from the box and, with a straight back and your feet shoulder width apart, bend your legs to a 90 degree angle.

DO NOT:  Bend your back over your toes. If you do this you will only strain your lower back. Also, be sure to not plop down onto the box, as this will not work your legs in the proper fashion.


Also known as “bows and toes,” planks is a workout that is great for your car. It is simple and very easy to do and utilizes isometric contractions to tighten your abs.

DO:  Lay your body on the floor then hold yourself up only on your elbows and toes. Make sure your feet are shoulder width apart and you pinch your core while in the position.

Don Not:  Be sure to not raise your butt too high or too low. Too high and you will not emphasize your core muscles; too low and you will strain your back.

By Andy Skrzat, Photo by Mike Bullard.

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