Exercise Tutorials Strength Training

Prevent Back Pain in Deadlifts! | Strength Training for Women

Many women complain of back pain when performing the dead lift. More times than not, this happens because of one or both of these things.

1. Proper setup and technique
2. Improper or lack of activation of proper muscle groups

In this video, Hunter Grindle of Hybrid fitness addresses solutions to both of these problems!

Exercise Tutorials Strength Training

11 Best Arm Toning Exercises | Arm Toning Exercises For Women

In this video, you are walked through the top 11 Arm toning exercises that can be used by women to tone all areas of the arms, including the shoulders, triceps, and biceps.

You don’t have to worry about getting BULKY ladies 🙂 You will have to worry about all of the compliments you’ll be getting from your friends though 🙂

Exercise Tutorials Motivational

Top Content from Week 12/8/18

Here are this weeks Top Videos and Articles we think you should read to help you reach your goals!!!









In one of this weeks youtube videos, I share with you a story about persistence that proves that if you just keeping working on your goals… no matter how many times you get hit with adversity, you will reach them eventually










This article gives you 3 home exercises you can do to

BOOST your strength! It was featured on!









Here we go over the top 3 tips I think people should consider when beginning an exercise program! This is a short interview done by Village Soup TV.

I hope you enjoy all of the new content!

Have a Fantastic Friday!!!

Exercise Tutorials Flexibility/Recovery Strength Training

This is How I Roll

I like to treat myself to a massage three times a week, and not just an absent-minded shoulder rub. I’m talking about a deep tissue, muscle relaxing, performance-enhancing massage. Sounds heavenly, right? Where do I find the time and resources to indulgence myself like that? I’ll share my secret with you…This is self-massage and it’s free with a foam roller. This is such an easy way to treat our bodies right, not only with extra TLC but potentially by promoting healing and recovery.

What is foam rolling and how does it help?

Using a foam roller, or for more precise targeting, a lacrosse ball, apply low pressure by rolling in a long smooth motion across different muscle groups. This action massages the fibrous layer of connective tissue (the myofascial tissue) that surrounds the muscles. By massaging this tissue and smoothing out any knots and binding, we increase blood flow which helps with recovery and increases range of motion.

When should I foam roll?

In a perfect world, foam roll before and after each work out. I like to hit the tight spots coming into a workout. My top three restricted areas are my calves, quads, and upper back. Even with a standing desk, I find my ankles could use a little more mobility after a day at the office. I’ll get a fine looking squat with a little more movement in my joints. So many movements in my daily life are quad dominant so they get knotted up easily and affect my hip flexor mobility and lower back. Sometimes I use the heel of my hand or a lacrosse ball on my legs before a workout if I don’t have time for a full foam roll session. The upper back, or thoracic spine, likes a little attention after hours of phone calls, meetings, and desk fatigue. Even with good posture awareness, this area gets stuck from the occasional slouch or hunch. If I have the roller handy, a nice long roll over my upper back with my neck cradled safely in my hands, I feel all the day’s tension fall away- like water off a duck’s back.

After a workout hit all these spots again and add a nice long roll on the IT band down the side of your leg. For me, with a tricky knee, so much tension builds there and the massage of that tissue makes me a better person. Complete the roll out with the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.

How long should it take?

For a pre-workout roll, take about 5 minutes, and spend up to 15 minutes as part of a cool down. Roll at a pace of about 1 inch per second, or slower. If you hit a very tender spot, try rolling the area around that first to avoid doing any damage. A little discomfort is normal, but severe pain is not what we are going for here.

Beginner tips:

If you are new to rolling, start slowly. Ask your trainer for instructions and to check that you are hitting the sweet spots. Be sure not to aggravate anything that is already inflamed. Find a way to incorporate this into your training during a dynamic warm-up or a cooldown, or both. Take your time with it, and breathe.


Remember this is your indulgence. Your deep tissue massage. Digging deeper into a painful area can cause tissue or nerve damage, so steer clear of the “no pain, no gain” mentality. If you listen to your muscles and the myofascial tissue surrounding them, you want to hear them take a little breath and then sigh out a sweet, “Thank you for taking care of me.”

Exercise Tutorials Strength Training

Dumbbells vs Barbells for Fat Loss

I once heard the saying – “If your workout programming is the same as it was a year or two ago, you’re probably not doing a good job as a trainer”. Our members at Hybrid Fitness certainly have seen some changes in programming over the past few years – and it constantly changes as we:

  • Get smarter
  • Have access to different and new equipment
  • Have more or less space available to us
  • Have higher or lower attendance in our classes

One of the most effective changes we have made is moving to more dumbbells and kettlebells and less barbells in our large group classes. I want to share with you why we’ve made the changes, and how this has benefited our members.

Whenever we do make changes at Hybrid Fitness, we always keep the most important thing in mind – and that is… as our membership as a whole, what is the main goal?

Is it to be power lifters?

Is it to be as healthy as possible?

Is it drop fat?

Is it to look better?

Is it a combination of these things?

I would say it is certainly a combination of things. The high majority of our members what to:

  1. Burn Fat
  2. Add Lean Muscle
  3. Look Better
  4. Feel Better
  5. Be Healthy

And improve in those five categories in a safe manner.

While there are certainly some exceptions to this (we have some members who want to get super strong), we still have to keep in mind who we are. We are a gym for the every day person who wants to get in better shape and can do that In a fun, judgement-free environment.

Now don’t get me wrong, we have some strong men and women at our gym. We certainly do prioritize resistance training. The way we are doing it, however, has changed.

Keeping our main goal, fat loss, in mind – here is the reasoning behind our programming changes.

Less Barbells, More Dumbbells

1. Dumbbells Are Safer

Bottom line, dumbbells are safer. In a large group setting of 10+ people where you may or may not have a spotter, you are not going to get pinned under a bar if you don’t complete your repetitions. Furthermore, the majority of dumbbell movements are much less technical than barbell movements. The more technical the movement is – the more chance there is for error, and with a large amount of members in one class, it is very hard to make sure everyone is completing the repetitions with proper form – especially with a single trainer.

2. Transition Times Between Exercises Are Quicker

When it comes to fat loss, having your heart rate up is key. If you can keep you’re heart rate up and do strength training at the same time, you can really make some awesome progress in a reasonable amount of time. With barbells, there is much more transition time between exercises. Because you have to switch weights and put clips on, you are unable to go straight from exercise to exercise. With dumbbells, you can simply drop the dumbbells on the ground and pick up heavier ones. They are already preset and ready to go. This allows you to do more work in less time.

3. Progression is Simpler

In order to maximize barbell work, it can take a lot of hands on help to make sure people are progressing correctly. We constantly found that people would struggle with pushing themselves because of fear (a barbell for a person who hasn’t ever worked out can be intimidating), and lack of knowledge in progressing (we put in multiple efforts to educate people but it still wasn’t happening). The only time we were able to have people work optimally is when they had hands on work with a trainer – and again, with 10-15 people in a class, it’s very hard to give everyone that personalized guidance. Because many people weren’t working with the proper load, their heart rates were low, and their workouts (for fat loss) were ineffective.

Dumbbells are much less intimidating. Also, to progress to a higher weight, you just pick up the ones that are five pounds heavier. Its super simple and easy for a beginner to understand. In the past few months we’ve seen some amazing progress from people who were otherwise at a stand still.

4. Smaller Footprint

Barbells can take up a lot of space, and that can be a safety problem as well as effect transition times between exercises. The we have a very narrow gym, so when someone is deadlifting, they take up the majority of the room. It limits us from doing other movements that could be more effective, and it also lets that heart rate drop back down if you’re waiting in traffic. With dumbbells, we can stack 3 movements together, and you almost wouldn’t have to move.

The Downfalls of Not Using a Barbell

1. Lower Body Exercises

Doing lower body exercises with dumbbells can eventually become a problem when you start to get really strong. You find very soon that you are working more of your upper body than your lower body trying to hold them. When our members get more advanced, we move them to more unilateral (single leg) movements, which essentially doubles the load to their legs.

2. More Technical

Most barbell movements are much more technical – and therefore more dangerous without proper technique and guidance. In a large group setting with one trainer, it is very hard to manage a large number of people performing these movements at the same time.

How We Plan to Overcome the Down Falls

For most, bottlenecking in the dumbbells will only come in the lower body, not the upper body. In this case, we are going to put an order in of trap bars. Here’s why trap bars are awesome.

  1. They allow you to use heavy loads
  2. They are much safer to use than barbells
  3. They take up less space

By using the trap bar, we can get all of the benefits of the barbell, with barely any of the downside.

What About the Small Percentage Who Have Other Goals

Even for those who want to primarily focus on strength, this program is going to be awesome. They will still be able to get stronger, still build plenty of lean muscle, and feel great. The only downside is there won’t be the traditional powerlifting lifts that come with strength training – but that is not needed.


Overall, utilizing dumbbells more in our large group workouts instead barbells will make our workouts safer, more effective for fat loss, and simpler. Along with that, we’ll be adding in alternatives like the trap bar to get the benefit of heavy weight without the downsides of increased technicality, increased time in between exercises, and taking up a large amount of space.








Exercise Tutorials

The Cossack Squat

Looking for exercise movements that are hidden in our everyday lives is like a treasure hunt. We train at the gym to prepare us for the other 23 hours in our day, but we don’t always recognize those exact movements. It’s fun to spot them when we can. Ever compare when you are walking up your front steps with your groceries hanging at your side to walking lunges or farmer carries?—similar movements. Or how about that awkward hover you employ so you never have to touch a public toilet and a traditional squat? –yes, same movements. One of my recent finds in my daily treasure hunt is the Cossack Squat. Not only was it fun to discover, but I am also excited to share it with you here. This exercise was in our programming over a year ago, and might not be something you have done in a long time, if ever. I highly recommend it, and have a link below for instructions on form and technique.

This particular variation of squat prepares us to be ready and strong no matter what direction life comes at us. I love a good exercise metaphor! The Cossack Squat is a lateral squat movement where our weight is shifted to one side, keeping the knee over the toes while the other leg is straight out and with its toes pointing straight up to the sky. What’s happening here? Increased range of motion, opening of the hip flexors, ankle flexibility, while also engaging hamstrings, quads, glutes, and core. It’s a powerhouse movement. Being ready for anything, flexible, and strong are exactly why I work out- and I also aim to have that same mental readiness, flexibility, and strength. In my mind those characteristics are parts of the best version of myself. Ta-da! My perfect metaphor exercise all rolled into one.

Much to my delight I realized I spend hours doing Cossack Squats when I sail. I often find myself in this position on the leeward side of the boat when trimming the jib. I hold this position for as long as I need to get the sail properly trimmed. On the next tack I pivot to the other side. Throughout the season I have gained stability in this position and increased my range of motion exponentially. I have seen this movement in lots of sports and I understand the value of training in 3d, as opposed to just front and back, or up and down.

As a student athlete my son was a soccer goalie and a first-baseman in baseball. The Cossack Squat was a staple in his dynamic warm-up. Every game I saw him employ this lateral movement, a reach for a play at the plate, or a stretch for a save in the net. Its always been apparent that the ball, and of course life, doesn’t just come straight at you in a soft lob down the middle. I encourage you to work the Cossack Squat into your warm up too.

What movements that you do at the gym can you find in the treasure hunt of your everyday life?

For a tutorial on how to do a proper Cossack, click here:


Exercise Tutorials Flexibility/Recovery Strength Training

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness: DOMS

We just returned from a two-day adventure around Penobscot Bay. The winds and skies were varied and we adjusted our course accordingly. Day one was a smooth ride around the south side of Vinalhaven, where our hardest decisions were regarding snack management and music choices. In the evening we explored our anchorage, read books, and watched the shooting stars. After a calm night and placid morning the wind picked up and our sail home was sporty and challenging. It was quite a romp across the bay for the quick return to Rockland Harbor. Day one was filled with subtle sail trim and a few bow maneuvers. Day two had a lot more action, quick decision making, but still enough time to think about a few things. I started thinking about cause and effect that is obvious in sailing. When you trim the sail, move the tiller, or gybe the main you get instant feedback from the boat, you know what is going to happen and there is an immediate outcome. In contrast this is not the case this week at the gym for a lot of people.

I heard and saw countless stories of the dreaded Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) after this and last week’s workout. DOMS has a way of sneaking up on you long after your workout. It can begin anywhere from 6-8 hours after exercise to 24-36 hours later. This is nothing like the immediate response of a well trimmed sail. DOMS is pretty mysterious. Several studies try to pinpoint cause and variables of severity with inconsistent findings. Let’s just say it is a scientific perfect storm in our muscles perhaps a result of metabolic stress, trauma, and other factors. Despite the inconclusive findings, there are a few things we know about DOMS.

For many people DOMS occurs after a hard workout, with new exercises or a particular challenge. Anything beyond one’s normal range of intensity can cause soreness. (Always seek medical attention if you suspect an acute injury or something serious.) In particular we experience this type of soreness after a series of eccentric exercises. The eccentric phase of a lift occurs when a muscle contracts when lengthening, for example the downward motion of a biceps curl. Eccentric training is where we achieve our greatest muscle growth, so we certainly don’t want to skip it, and it makes sense it would hurt the most.

Things to know about DOMS:

  • Everyone experiences DOMS differently: onset, duration, intensity.
  • The severity of DOMS is not necessarily a reflection of how hard you worked.
  • The severity of DOMS is not a testimony of your strength or lack of it or your fitness level.
  • DOMS will decrease as your muscles adapt to the same motion. (subsequent weeks will hurt less)
  • It is impossible to avoid DOMS, even for competitive athletes.
  • The best thing to do for DOMS is to keep moving, gently.

While inconclusive as to whether or not it helps, it is best to stay hydrated and well rested, do a full dynamic warm-up, and stretch and foam roll after a workout.

I always get excited when I see “tempo” written on the board. I know I’m going to get some good work in with anything that has this kind of directive. These tempos remind us to slow down on the negative, the lengthening motion, and not just let our muscles fall with gravity. By doing this we are maximizing our gains from the movement. Unlike adjusting a sail, I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to experience after I’ve done 10 reps of a dumbbell incline bench press with a 1 up, 3 down tempo.. And personally this never hits until 36 hours later. Sometimes I’ll go to get out of bed, and I will wonder how I managed to get myself under a turf roller and home again without waking up in the middle of the night. Then I’ll remember I didn’t sleep walk and get rolled over, I just have sore muscles from the gym two evenings ago.

So while you are wobbling a little this week, and putting things on close surfaces with your t-rex arms, take solace in knowing your muscles are strengthening; you’re not the only one; and it will get better even though you didn’t see this coming.

Exercise Tutorials Strength Training

We Were on TV!


Guess What?? We were on TV!

Village Soup TV, our local television channel, has been doing a health series with us called Workout Wednesday!

This week, I walk you through a home workout that works your entire body… but really on those outer thighs and your core muscles.

Even if you have injuries or a beginner, I give you modifications to help you out.

You can watch the video here! Click Here to view

Or if you’re not into home workouts and need some extra push, we are running some 4 week challenges in both Rockport and Camden starting next week!

All the details are at

We have limited spots available to give it a look if you are interested!

Have a great day,

Hunter Grindle

Exercise Tutorials Flexibility/Recovery Strength Training

Floor-play for Strength and Mobility

Remember the feeling of complete abandon rolling down a grassy hill as a kid? I love the memory of those moments – full of glee, completely carefree. Put me at the top of a hill and prompt me to roll down today, I might think twice about injury, or even if I would know how to actually roll effortlessly to the bottom. Not that we have lots of opportunities to roll down hills, but moving effortlessly enhances so many other activities like playing on the floor with children or puppies, gardening, kayaking, tent camping, beach combing, and more.
Here’s where Floor-play Friday comes in. I’m so excited about my new Friday morning routine. This is one of my workout at home days, and I want to use the time filling in some of the gaps I don’t fill at the gym. One of my goals when I started working out at Hybrid was to increase my mobility. I read an article about a “sit down, stand up test” study that gauges our longevity by measuring our ability to move from the floor to a standing position. The premise is that as we move from a cross-legged seated position to a standing position, we assess our musculoskeletal fitness and deduct a point for each time we use a limb to assist. The fewer assists, the higher the score. The higher the score, the more mobility we have. And finally, the more nimble we are, the better we age and insure our autonomy in our later years. So one thing I check on Floor-play Friday is how nimble I am by taking into account my flexibility, balance, motor coordination, and muscle power.
The test is simple, if you’d like to try: From a standing position, lower yourself to the floor into a cross legged seated position without using your hands, arms, or knees to slow your descent. Then stand back up without using your hands, arms, knees to boost you, if possible.
The moment of truth…how is your get up and go? You might find that over the years you have adopted a way of getting up and down that compensates for an injury or imbalance. The good news is with a little practice and simple awareness you can probably increase your score by one or two points right out of the gate. I would guess that many of us have gained points since we started Hybrid, and if you are looking to gain a few more, my top four exercises for this are the squat, the plank, forward lunges, and the superman. Lucky for us, we do those at the gym. But what else can we do on Floor-play Friday to help us ace this test?
As an infant, it took us about a year to master the get up and go. We first learned to sit up, and then to crawl, and finally to walk. Breaking down our movements into deliberate, simple sequences we can master this again with strength and fluidity. I break down Floor-play into two categories: a planned, controlled sequence and a free form session.
The controlled sequence is the Turkish Get Up. In this exercise we move from floor to standing while balancing a weight overhead. It is total body exercise that improves mobility, stability, balance, and flexibility. I do a few on each side (I notice one side is more challenging than the other), and feel my entire core muscles firing throughout.

My free form session includes natural ground movements with little to no impact, but great benefits. I make up my own movements combined from Floor-play sessions I’ve done in other workout classes that include rolling, rocking, stretching, arching, lunging, squatting, engaging everything from toes to fingertips, creating a sequence connecting one movement to the next from sitting to standing and back again with fluidity. I notice my hip flexors opening, my core stabilizing, and an ease of getting up and down from the floor. Rotating my knees from side to side while on my back provides a gentle flex of the spine and feels like a massage of my lower back. I might rock from a child’s pose to a cobra, and roll back up to a squat, and then move forward on to a knee and reach one arm up to the ceiling. Floor-play is about following pleasure cues; I do what feels good for my spine, my joints, and my muscles, and in the end my senses are awakened, my spine is supple, and I have a vitality to bring to my day.
I’m pretty sure if I do this for a year, I’ll master the toddler’s sit, crawl, walk, sequence like a boss, and I will be ready to roll down a grassy hill. And hopefully I’ll be nearing a perfect 10 on my get up and go score. Who’s with me?

Exercise Tutorials Motivational Personal Development Strength Training Uncategorized

Why is my trainer happy that I’m not at the gym?

When I broke the news to Hunter that I was going to miss class because I would be out of town, he was so happy for me. I joke about my perfect attendance when I sign in at the gym, but my commitment to wellness, all kidding aside, is a priority. I’m not just a fair-weather exerciser. So when I lamented I’d be missing class because I was traveling I was surprised by his response. “Great,” he said, “Go do what you love.” My first response was, “Aren’t you disappointed I won’t be keeping up with my workouts this week?” And he simply reminded me, “Dorrie, you don’t come to the gym to come to the gym.” What a simple, brilliant, statement.

I don’t come to the gym to come to the gym.

Like any of us, I come to the gym for all sorts of reasons, many of which support my mission to be healthy so I am able to give to my community and to live a full life. This month at Hybrid Fitness we are talking about why we do things, so I wanted to take a look at the exercises I do and why I do them. I don’t just deadlift so I can walk around town and deadlift. That would be weird! All of these movements improve my overall strength which in turn support me in being able to give the most of myself and have a full life. Of course I love the big, complex movements and the measurable gains of the isolated movements, but today I want to talk about what keeps it all together-the core. This is the foundation of our exercise regimen.

What is our core?

Our core is made up of a series of muscle groups, including the upper and lower abdominals, internal and external obliques, lower back muscles, hip flexors, pelvic floor, and I like to include on my list, the powerful glutes.

Why is core strength important?

These muscles provide a framework of support for our inner organs; they protect our back; and a strong core improves balance and stability; promotes better posture; and lessens our risk of injury. We don’t just need a strong core to be able to protect our back or have balance at the gym. A strong core helps us shovel snow, carry groceries, help an injured pet, carry bags of mulch for the garden, hike a mountain, put a suitcase in the overhead compartment, tie our shoes, cross the deck of a moving sailboat, or hold a child in our arms. A strong core impacts our lives every day.

How do we strengthen our core?

The following core movements are the favorite five at Hybrid Fitness. These are all body weight exercises. If you find that you might miss a week at the gym because you are off doing what you love, you can always do these core strengthening exercises on your own.

  1. Plank- targets the upper and lower abdominals and the glutes
  2. Russian Twist- targets the obliques
  3. Superman- targets the glutes and lower back
  4. Dead bug- targets the pelvic floor and promotes hip stability
  5. Glute bridge- targets the hip flexors, the pelvic floor, and fires up the glutes

While I don’t have to know all the what, why, and how of the exercises, I think it helps. Giving your body the cues to engage certain muscles sets up a pathway from your brain to the muscles in a way that supports them. Paying attention to building your core through these movements helps you put the extra effort and intention into those twists or lifts rather than just going through the motions. Knowing why your core muscles matter for you can help keep you motivated to do these motions as much as knowing why you come to the gym. Remember you don’t just do planks to do planks, and you don’t just come to the gym to come to the gym.