I love all the fitness “toys” that are available today. While many of them may not make the cut and be included in part of the regular routine; I’ll definitely experiment with all of them at least a few times so I can make an educated decision on their effectiveness.

I think this is really important as it helps you learn more about a particular product. Just seeing it at the gym or reading about it in a magazine is not enough. You hate the Shake Weight?! But you haven’t even tried it so how can you say you don’t like it? At least grab one at Target and play around with it for 5-10 minutes.

shake weight

You can also look at it as research for your clients…perhaps a new piece of equipment will help them reach their goals quicker. My point is, read, learn, and actually use something before you bash it. For the record, none of my clients or athletes are currently using the Shake Weight.

One piece of equipment I do use the the ladder. I use it on occasion in our dynamic warm-up to help increase heart rate and prepare the body for the rest of the workout. I’ve written about what I like and dislike about the ladder HERE.

The purpose of this clip below is to show you a different side of the ladder…using it for upper body movements. Here’s a quick list of the movements in this clip:

Traveling Drills
1. Lateral Hand Walks

2. Lateral ‘In-Outs’ Hand Walks

3. Forward ‘In-Outs’ Hand Walks

4. Bunny Hops

5. 1-Hand Bunny Hops

6. Plyo ‘In-Outs’

Fast Hand Drills
7. In-Outs

8. Lateral Taps

9. Lateral Plyos 

These were a nice change of pace from our more traditional warm up and I really like the “Fast Hand Drills” for the MMA guys. We did 2 rounds of the “Traveling Drills” and just 2 sets of the “Fast Hands” for 5 seconds each. Five minutes total on the ladder, along with some mobility work, and they were ready to go.

Thanks to Ross, Jeff, and Myles for helping me out with this clip. Give them a follow on Twitter:




huey lewis

Also, thanks to Huey Lewis for creating timeless sweet jams.



About Doug Balzarini
Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is the owner of DB Strength, which provides fitness training, education, and resources. He is also the strength and conditioning coach for Alliance MMA where he works with UFC Champion Dominick Cruz, Bellator Champion Michael Chandler, Phil Davis, Brandon Vera, Travis Browne, Ross Pearson, Alexander Gustafsson, and more. Prior to starting his own business, Doug worked at Fitness Quest 10 as a personal trainer, strength coach, and Operations Director for Todd Durkin Enterprises (TDE).

He has completed some graduate work in Biomechanics at SDSU and has obtained multiple certifications including ACE, NSCA-CSCS, MMA-CC, TFW Level 1, TRX instructor training, RIP training, EFI Gravity instructor training, LIFT Sandbag Certification, and FMS training. He has produced his 2 DVD projects on strength training for combat athletes, appeared in many fitness videos and articles, and was a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter” FOX TV show in 2012.

For more information please visit www.dbstrength.com.