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3 Squats You Need to Add to Your Fitness Routines!

Posted 2 years ago - by Frank Baumholtz

Looking to add new exercises to your students' fitness routines? Learn more about the 3 squats that Personal Trainer, Frank Baumholtz, recommends adding to any lower-body workout. 

TRX® Single-Leg Assisted Squat:

* Shown using the TRX® Pro Suspension Trainer™

Split Squat:

* Shown using PowerBlock® Dumbbells, any dumbbell may be used to add weight.

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Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat:

* Shown using PowerBlock® Dumbbells, any dumbbell may be used to add weight.

Do you have a student who is struggling with squats?

Have you ever heard the saying,  "You're trying to pound a square peg into a round hole"?  Essentially, someone is telling you that your task, goal or idea, just aren't possible. Sometimes this is also the case with students and squatting. How many times have you run into a student that "just can’t" squat and you want to tell them to keep working on it and they’ll get better? After all, practice makes perfect, right?

Well, some never get better, because they just don’t have the prerequisites to complete the task.  It could be because they have poor ankle dorsiflextion or restricted hip, t-spine and/or shoulder mobility. 
Ultimatley, you’ll never know unless you run each student through a thorough screening process (i.e. Functional Movement Screen – FMS) and put daily measures (i.e. Functional Range Conditioning) in place to ensure that the prerequisites are attained prior to performing any movement.

Once you have a solid understanding of where your student, athlete or client is at, then and only then can you regress or progress forward.  


Continue reading the Gopher PE Blog for more great ideas, trends, and tips!

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Enhance Your Power Clean by Mastering this Key Position!

Posted 2 years ago - by Frank Baumholtz

The Rack Position is an important position in our Athletic Development and Strength and Conditioning Programs as it is the receiving position in both the Hang and Power Clean. It's also a versatile position in that it allows students to either Push Press or Squat out of it.  Maintaining proper body position and alignment is essential, especially relating to the elbows and wrists.  

The below movements or exercies can be used to enhance the Rack Position:

  • Press – Barbell, Single Arm or Double Kettlebell/Dumbbell Press or Push Press
  • Squat – Front Squat, Single Arm or Double Racked Kettlebell Front Squat
  • Hang /Power Clean

Thank you to Ashton, Maria, Madalyn and Alivia for assisting!

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Continue reading the Gopher PE Blog for more great tips, ideas, and trends!

Check out more Blogs by Frank!

All Core, All the Time

Posted 2 years ago - by Frank Baumholtz

Check out the video examples below for 3 great exercies to work your core!

½ Turkish Get Up

The Turkish get up is one of the main exercises I utilize in all of my programs.  I wrote a previous blog on the form and technique of the Turkish Get Up.

The ½ or seated position in the Turkish Get Up is a great variation to work on the bottom position of the full exercise.  In the recent phase of our workout, we increased the weight and repetitions.  3 sets of 5 with a medium to intense weight selection.

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Single Arm Dumbbell Bench Press:

The bench press is a mainstay in most strength and conditioning programs.  The Single Arm Dumbbell Press is one of my favorite variations of the bench press- it challenges the core like no other.  As the dumbbell descends, it will feel like you are going to fall off the bench.  Without holding on to anything and using your core, resist that motion and press the dumbbell back to the starting position.  Try it out.  If you’re a bench press fan, You’ll love it! 


Single Leg Squat:

It is always amazing to me that many can squat with a ton of weight on their shoulders, but can’t do one single leg body weight squat.  Don’t get me wrong, we still squat.  However, as we move through life and  athletics  for that matter, we transition to a single leg.  If we never gain control in a single leg pattern, bad things will inevitably happen.  Not only is this an outstanding knee dominant pattern, it will challenge the core as well.  You can even try loading it.

When you start programming your routines, try to focus on how you can challenge the core in each and every exercise. All core, all the time. You'll want to keep in mind that the muscles of the core are not just the rectus abdominis. You've got to think global. 


Continue reading the Gopher PE Blog for more great activity ideas, trends and tips!

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Back Pain: What to Look for and How to Address It

Posted 3 years ago - by Frank Baumholtz

Back pain have you out of the game?
Check out these tips to relieve discomfort!


I see students, athletes and clients on a daily basis that deal with back pain.  It’s not always acute pain from an injury, but rather dull, achy, annoying discomfort.  Many times the cause of the discomfort is unknown.  Students and office workers sit all day, everyday and do very little to gain length and mobility where they need it.  And they’ll usually come in walking funny and/or complaining that their back is bugging them.  My first step is to do a simple assessment and take a look at their posture and movement abilities.  Below is a picture of postures that you might see.

Back Pain, Posture, Back Posture

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(Image Source)

If posture is normal, I’ll move on to the Functional Movement Screen.  This will give me some general information on how to proceed.  If, for some reason there is pain, I stop there and refer out.  It’s always good to error on the cautious side.  Pain is a good indicator that something is going on. Once there is good posture and movement we’re able to determine a starting point, the right exercises can be implemented and the wrong ones can be avoided.  This is crucial in your exercises programming.  The last thing we want is to have exercises reinforcing bad movement patterns. 

Move well and get strong are our two primary goals.  Low Back Pain and discomfort is debilitating if you've ever experienced it.   So first off, If you're having acute pain get it checked out by a doctor.  Once cleared, getting moving again is essential.  Here is a routine I do with my clients and athletes that are dealing with that nagging low back. 9 out of 10 times, opening up the hips and T-Spine will relieve low back discomfort.

Remember, The day to day grind of our lives takes a toll on our bodies. Some people sit too much, some stand all day and some do the same small task, all day, every day. These repetitive patterns are, whether moving or not, are contributors to your situation.  Your training regimen should be specifically designed to help you move better, get stronger and ensure you attain your goals. It should also off set the repetitive and overuse patterns that you do every day. 


Continue reading the Gopher PE Blog for more great tips, trends and ideas!

Check out more Blogs by Frank!

Turkish Get Up

Posted 3 years ago - by Frank Baumholtz

Girl lifting kettlebell above headNeed a new exercise for your strength and contitioning class? Personal Trainer and Physical Education teacher, Frank Baumholtz, provides you with the steps and demonstrates how to complete a Turkish Get-Up! 


One of the best lines I’ve taken over the last few years is one from Dan John.  “If it’s important to you, do it every day. If it’s not important to you, don’t do it.”  In all of my training programs, we always foam roll, warm up, go through dynamic-movement prep and perform Kettlebell swings and Turkish Get Ups.  Everyday! 

The Turkish Get Up is the ultimate core exercise.  It’s the yoga move of strength and conditioning.  You have to have mobility, strength and coordination.  You need to be able to breathe while under load and take the body through the full range of motion.  We don’t isolate muscles and movement patterns, we integrate them. 

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One key note to remember is that bony prominences of the body (Heel, heel of hand, elbow, knee, etc) are points of stability.  Use them to your advantage. 

Turkish Get Up:

  1. Starting Position-- Positioning the kettlebell (KB)

    1. Start in the fetal position
    2. Pull the KB close to the bdoy with both hands
    3. Extend your top leg and roll to your back
    4. Press the KB up with both hands
    5. KB side knee should be flexed and foot flat
    6. Abduct the straight leg roughly 45 degrees from your mid line
    7. Place off hand flat on the ground
    8. Keep wrist neutral (knuckles to the ceiling)
  2. Roll To Press
    1. Control breathing (breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth)
    2. Roll into the off-side shoulder, pressing the KB to the ceiling.
      * This is a very small controlled motion, don't rush
  3. Elbow
    1. Press through the shoulder and up to the elbow
    2. Roll back to your back
  4. Post (Seated)
    1. From the elbow, press through the hand to the seated position
    2. Keep the off-side heel into the ground. It might want to pop up, but don't let it!
    3. Return to your back. Make sure to control through the elbow on the way back down
  5. High Pelvis
    1. From the Post, extend the hips to the sky/ceiling.
    2. Return to your back.  Make sure to control through your seat and elbow on the way back down
  6. Bend
    1. From the High Pelvis Position, Bend sideways placing your knee directly under you.
    2. Return to your back.  Make sure to control through your seat and elbow on the way back down
  7. 1/2 Kneeling
    1. From the Bend Position, bring your torso up into the ½ kneeling position.
    2. Return to your back.  Make sure to control through the bend, your seat and elbow on the way back down.
  8. Full
    1. From the ½ Kneeling Position, stand tall keeping the KB directly above you.
    2. Return to your back.  Make sure to control through the ½ kneeling, bend, seat and elbow on the way back down.

Progression Ideas:

  1. Part: Work only to the position where you can control the kettlebell and return to your back each time
  2. Whole: Perform a full Turkish Get Up, under control, without stopping

Turkish Get Up Progression with Pictures:

  1. Starting Position:

     2. Roll to Press                                         3. Elbow                                                     4. Post

    5. High Pelvis                                             6. Bend                                                      7. 1/2 Kneeling

    8. Full