The Shovel Lift is my new favorite exercise.
I first heard of this one from Steve Justa in his book Rock, Iron, Steel. But besides trying it out one time I don’t think I used it anymore.
But since I’ve switched my focus for the time being from bodyweight exercises to lots more weightlifting I wanted a good weighted exercise to target the abs.
My favorite bodyweight exercises for the purpose are hanging leg raises and various power wheel exercises. But I’d been doing those for some time so needed to switch it up.
Weighted situps can be great but they’re hard to do logistically, getting the weight in place and having it stay there, especially if you want to go heavy. (Just look at the people required when Bud did 600 lbs in the situp.)
Then I recalled the shovel lift and gave it a try. Wow! I’ve been doing it for a couple weeks now and I love it!
This video shows just one method of doing the shovel lift and that is going overhead. This is one of the harder variations but there are many you can do including thrusting, side to side twisting and more combinations.
I’m working with a light weight, just 20 lbs on the end, and a bit higher reps than I’d done before. This is a lift where you can go both heavy and light. Of course those are relative terms. With the leverage involved just two plates would be very heavy.
This barbell exercise works the grip, forearms, upper arms, shoulders and entire torso. A phenomenal ab exercise including the obliques. Even the legs are involved as they must press into the ground to fight the leverage.
Give it a try the next time you grab a barbell and post your comments below.
(If you workout in a commercial gym I’m going to guess that this exercise will not be appropriate for that space. Do it anyway 😉