Simple tips on improving your mobility

In a previous article I put together a structure for a typical week of training.You can find all that detail here in this previous blog.I highlighted looking after your body for at least 15 minutes each day.Most of the time I would have this as a priority before looking at any other areas like strength training or conditioning work etc.You need to ask yourself if you only had 15 minutes each day to train what would you do?People need to start doing things they really need rather than what they want to do a lot of the time.

Mobility/flexibility standards are always the first thing I will assess when working with any client on their first visit.I generally assess the client in different movements,positions  and stretches and this can really show up where the client needs to work on first before moving on with increased movement,load,volume or intensity.A lot of the time when it comes to training and exercise people get injured purely down to doing poor movement/technique on top of a very tight and stiff weak body.From rounded shoulders,tight hamstrings/hips,inactive glutes to a very weak core are some of the areas that really need daily attention before moving onwards. As I say time and time again “Sometimes you’ve got to slow down to speed back up again” I generally would bury a lot of this mobility/flexibility work into my warm up or would even look at doing some yoga every now and then.Here is a very good video that could come in use for you.You find yourself sitting down or even excessively standing up in your day then this might just help you out.

In the video above you noticed I had access to a couple of pieces of equipment from different resistance bands,trigger point balls,a PVC pipe and a foam roller.These are great tools to have assess to in your gym and perfect for working on your mobility especially if you are quite tight and stiff in many areas of your body.A foam roller can help with massaging out the thighs, glutes and hamstrings which all directly relate to hip mobility but overall the missing link for most people is that they simply need to do targeted mobility work more often and ideally daily.

Having said that,using foam rolling or soft tissue tools, such as, a hard rubber ball, can and are useful to break down adhesion’s and scar tissue that limits mobility but if this is a constant issue then you need to get yourself off to a physical therapist that can really help you get to the point where you can self maintain your muscle tissue quality.

A lot of us find ourselves in the seated position for a lot of the time in our day.All this excessive sitting down really puts our body into very unnatural lazy positions resulting in parts of our body becoming very inactive,shortened and weak  which all really lead to the problems above which then lead to poor posture,low back pain and many other issues.Stats shows that the majority of us will experience back pain at some point in our life.I did a piece on lower back pain before and some of the drills and tips included might just help you out.Go check that out here.Like I said above if your tight,stiff or weak and your going about workouts with lots of intensity and poor technique or movement with little to no stretching/mobility work then your on the road to risk an injury.

Most of the time you don’t even need any equipment to work in some mobility work into your daily routine.Here are 4 super drills I would suggest you doing once or twice a day from the office to help you stay on top of things.

I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a direct message from the links below. You can also get more advice on my social media pages, which are also linked below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send me a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.


Over the last few articles I’ve highlighted how to look after your nutrition,provided you with tips on how to incorporate mobility/flexibility work into your daily routine along with giving you some of the best exercises giving you the biggest bang for your buck in your gym program.

Scroll though any of my articles here from my column and I am sure you will find something that can help you out.Lets say your overall goal is to feel fitter,get a little leaner,drop some bodyweight and overall just have more real energy feeling far more healthier and better about yourself.Nutrition,training and recovery are all areas that need to be dialed in the right way in order to achieve your goal.

I have already covered the nutrition 80/20 approach that I feel is the best path to take.Read this article and no doubt it will help you out.Now for the training part.Its all well and good knowing the mobility drills or even the best 5 exercises for your gym program but you maybe wondering how to do you actually program this correctly into a typical week.Lets focus on a typical week on how you could look at approaching things.

A lot of the time I get asked how many times a week should I be training?

In my opinion a good target is to exercise at least 3-5 times per week.This does not always need to mean 4 visits to the same squat rack doing the same amount of reps with relatively the same load,heading out doing your same run 3 times per week or even jumping on the same spin bike 5 times a week nor relaying on the same yoga class all the time.The best approach to being well rounded in your fitness and to try and have a structure in place where you get to tick all the boxes you need to work on.The best way is to keep your training varied,effective and relative to your goal.Doing roughly the exact same style of training session after session might not help your overall goal out.

Here is a smart approach that might just help you structure out your training week a little better.



I generally recommend people to look after their body at least 15 mins every day.This could be anything from meditating every morning to getting up off your desk at work and stretching out your glutes,hip flexors or hamstrings for 5 mins every hour or two.I would also suggest to bring some mobility drills into your 10-15 min warm up or cool down every time you do exercise.Your not too sure on how to warm up then go watch this video.On top of that I feel doing at least one hour a week of Yoga is great.You look after these areas and I guarantee you that it will transfer into other areas of your workouts like improving your squat to even recovering better with your training sessions.I have also found people that go focus on yoga/mobility can really them out when it comes to low back pain.


Strength work/weight training/bodyweight drills

I have given you the top 5 exercises to have in your gym program.Most of them fell into this bracket above and where a combination of squats,deadlifts,push ups,pull ups,presses,carries and a couple of good drills for using resistance bands.You can find the the top 5 exercises you need in your gym program here Ideally I would recommend doing 2-3 sessions a week which focus on increasing your strength.In these sessions I would  focus on big compound movements first and work from there.One day you could set aside 20-25 mins and focus on doing 4-5 decent sets of goblet or back squats pairing these up with some ring rows or negative chin ups and finishing the set of 3 exercises working on some pall of presses.Another day you could totally choose a different compound movement and perhaps look at Deadlifts,pairing that with a single arm presses or push ups and topping that set of 3 exercises off with some hollow holds.Ideally I would aim to keep your reps relatively low and moderate to heavy relative to your strength levels.On top of that I would have another session or part of your session doing some general hypertrophy work.This is where you don’t necessarily need to focus on the big lifts and aim to work on the smaller muscle groups so exercises like lateral raises,bicep/tricep work or even some single leg work,core or glute work.The reps can go a little higher here keeping the rep range anything between 12-15.

Conditioning work

I guess this area of the workout feels like the most important part as generally speaking this is the part of your session where the heart rate goes a little higher,face becomes a little redder and overall you seem to be struggling that bit more as your heart rate continues to elevate.A lot of the time this isn’t where you need to bring your main focus on.From my days of working in main stream gyms this is where I noticed people have tended to feel where they need to work on all the time.I always encourage people to focus on mobility/strength work first and every now and then get their heart rate up doing some conditioning work.Go by feel and rate how your feeling on the day.There will be days you feel great have lots of energy and this is where I would suggest you to look at doing some anaerobic/HIIT style/conditioning workout which could be anything from 8-12 mins long which could really be any style of workout that could involve running intervals,hill sprints,kettlebell swings,box jumps,rowing,push ups,ring rows,or even the dreaded burpee. Try and put relatively smart structure to your workout here with the exercises you choose,the reps you do to the amount of time you spend on the overall workout.Ideally I would choose 2-4 exercises in this workout and work around them.There is no really no need to bring in a serious high volume of high reps here.As always never let the intensity take over too much so that its going to effect your technique.I would tend to bring these style of workouts after your strength work.If on the day your not feeling the best energy wise or a little sluggish then this is where I would suggest a few different things instead.Continue to work on some extra mobility work,or even spend a little time doing some extra core work as this wont be as taxing as getting your heart rate up in a conditioning piece.Or even better go bring in some extra skill work.This could be a time you could put in some work working towards that goal of getting your first pull up by bringing in some negative chin up/pull up drills.Another session fora different day I would recommend doing at least once per week would be aerobic/LSD work.This is where I suggest you give yourself 60 mins and aim to keep your heart rate 120-140 BPM.It could be anything from going for a light paced jog,Trail run,a cycle,swim or even doing a yoga class.

Overall conclusion

Mix up your training as much as you can.

  • At least 15 mins of mobility/stretching/meditation each day
  • 2-4 sessions working on heavy strength work,bodyweight drills,hypertrophy work
  • At least 2 sessions a week of a high intensity workout
  • At least 1 session a week of a 60 minute easy/moderate session
  • At least 1 session a week of very easy/light active recovery
  • 80/20 approach when comes to your nutrition
  • Recover strong.Sleep,stretch,meditate,eat the right foods,drink water
  • Go by feel sometimes and listen to your body on how you should approach your session
  • Keep a training log

I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a direct message from the link below. You can also see more advice on my social media pages, which are linked below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send me a direct message here.


My top 5 exercises

In a previous article I mentioned the importance of focusing on the basics building a strong base and working from there.A lot of time I see people on the gym floor not having a clue on where to start when it comes to the right training program and just end up jumping on the nearest crosstrainer. I included videos of a warm up you should be doing along with a handful of exercises with the best of technique.All that info can be found HERE 

Go read that article,watch the videos and work on the exercises mentioned then I suggest you move on into these 5 exercises which I feel are the best for your gym program.

Here are my top 5 you need in your gym program.

  • Squat

The king of all exercises and something everyone should be working on whether that’s a basic air squat to a heavy weighted front squat.If I only had to choose one exercise for most people to do it would be this movement.There isn’t a better exercise for development of full body strength,improving core strength and lower body muscle development.Start by working the basic air squat.Get that movement right first then look to advance.There are many variations of the squat.Generally I start with air squat then progressing into a goblet squat working my towards a barbell back or front squat.All the usual set up rules need to apply when setting up for your squat from the correct stance,bracing yourself before you descend into the bottom of the squat,keeping the back tight,sending your knees out and sitting your weight into your heals aiming to break parallel once your mobility allows you.If not go work your mobility every day such as tight ankles/calves,or possible even tight hip flexors. You want to work on your basic air squat technique first then just watch video HERE then once you got that right you should work towards some extra load with a goblet or barbell back squat below.


  • Deadlift

Huge fan of this compound exercise and another great movement you need in your gym program.I always recommend to pull from the floor at least once a week.As for the deadlift itself there are many variations from the KB deadlift,straight bar to the hex bar deadlift.I use the hex bar myself and would use this bar with 80% of my clients with the other 20% doing a straight bar as they have great range in their hamstrings to allow them to pull from floor in that position.The deadlift is a super posterior chain exercise for improving overall strength and it is for sure an exercise that provides you with good confidence being able to pull a heavy weight from the floor.A good set up is feet under your hips,toes point forwards,hingeing with the hip as you sit into the bottom position keeping your back flat, chest up all with your head in neutral.A lot of the time I do hear of people complaining of low back pain after deadlifting.This could be down to something simple as not bracing yourself before you set up,poor technique,going too heavy or perhaps you should go look at even using a hex bar as your just not mobile enough to find the correct position at the bottom of a straight bar.

Quick clip of a hex bar deadlift is below.

  • Pull up/Chin up

Another classic exercise that everybody has the ability to work towards and when you do eventually hit your first chin or pull up it really is a pretty good feeling.For most this movement will take time to build towards.Majority of us cant just rock up to a bar and hammer out full strict chin/pull ups for reps.We all need to start somewhere.I generally recommend working on basic things like ring rows,single arm rows or even just hanging from a bar or even looking at doing some negative chin/pulls up which you can see a client of mine perform here below.

  • Overhead pressing

In the previous article mentioned above I highlighted the importance of working on push ups and doing them right.In that video HERE I covered all different progressions of push ups from beginners to advanced and hope all those tips helped you out.Moving on from the push up I would like to see at least another form of pressing movements in my gym program.This could be anything from standing barbell overhead press to a favorite of mine the kneeling barbell/dumbell single arm press.

  • Core/carry movements

This list here is endless but here are 2 drills that I would certainly have in my program.

Farmer Carries 

This is a exercise I rarely see performed any more in most mainstream gyms. At our gym, we include some form of weighted carry in almost every workout, so I am used to seeing people do them. It doesn’t matter what your goals are, the loaded carry has some benefits for everyone.Excellent all round exercise for improving your grip strength,increasing shoulder health and superb drill for engaging and working on your core.There are so many variations of carries from

Pallof press

Really good exercise to have in your workout for developing and improving your core strength and a drill that forces you to learn how to brace better.All you need here is a basic medium resistance band.You are a golfer,tennis player or any other rotational sports person that needs a strong core then would highly suggest you get on this exercise.Demo below



I hope you find this information useful and if you need any more advice just pop me a message. You can see more advice from me on my social media pages, which are linked below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send me a direct message here.





If your going to do it then surely you are going to go about it the right way and relative to your goal.

But what is a good approach?

Over the past 3 weeks I’ve created a numerous amount of videos to help you out with a couple of your movements in your gym program.These drills are the basics and nothing really too complicated.Yet a lot of the time I see these movements done incorrect purely down to 2 reasons.

1.You aren’t or haven’t been taught or guided right initially. 


2.You didn’t dial the basics in long enough and wanted to move onto the more complex stuff straight away.

However,believe it or not LESS is MORE most of the time and all of these exercises are the ones that will give you the biggest bang for your buck,allow you to build a good solid foundation and will enable you to build on from there once you get consistent and stronger at them.

Movements like a basic squat,push or pull up are things you should be looking to work towards getting right and eventually building on from there. Other areas like basic flexibility/mobility standards like being able to touch your toes while in a seated floor position or be able to get into a basic couch or pigeon stretch to even something simple as performing shoulder dislocates correctly are all standards I like to see ticked off or working on before going anywhere else.



Time and time again all I am seeing now is people doing movement after movement not spending enough time working on basic technique and looking to dive straight into increased intensity and all with pretty poor technique.Over time all this is going to lead to risk of injury or burnout.

Sometimes you got to slow down to speed up and this is where you need to stop rating how good your workout was by how sore you are the next day or how much you sweated in that workout.What you really need to do is work on your mobility more,find out what areas you need work on,build some strength and every now and then get your heart rate up

The right approach is this and something I do with any client I work with from the start.

1.Get a mobility screening done and find out what areas in your body need attention before starting to bring in increased movement,load and intensity.This could be anything like tight hamstrings,tight and inactive glutes,stiff low back,or even tight ankles.The list goes on.Any good trainer should do this in the early stages and if there not I would advise you to move on and find someone who is going to properly assess you first.

2.Work and learn the basic movements Build a good foundation focusing on your strength.Mechanics (or technique),consistency following then by intensity should be the 3 step process here.Meaning work on basic bodyweight movements,learn the best technique and scale/level you should be working on before moving onto the next progression. Unfortunately I see people jumping ship early and diving into more of the complex movements that their body isn’t ready for.This is only going to lead to a risk of injury down the line.A lot of the time I am seeing people get stuck into movements such as kettlebell swings,olympic lifting with pretty poor technique and they should have done far more work at the start working on their mobility and mastering basic movements first.Below I include a great selection of videos covering how your warm up should look like,how your squat can improve,how to get better at push ups and finding the right scale/level for your pulls ups finishing off with Kettlebell swing tips.


What your squat should look like starting off

How to get better at push ups

How to scale your pull up for your level

Kettlebell swings

Hope all this info above has helped you out and if you need any more advise just pop me a message.If you enjoyed this content you can see more from other social media pages here below

For more information you can follow me on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Or come send me a direct message————-> HERE

20 fitness learning curves experiences

20 fitness learning curves experiences

I’ve been about sport,health and fitness since day 1 kicking and chasing a ball around the family home as a bambino. The footie days are over but I am still very grateful to have gotten all the opportunities I had and the way it has shaped me as a person.The gym was always a place I felt was quite an important part of my sporting upbringing and straight away took a liking to it. I’ve been about 100s of gym floors since the age of 16 and then entering it as a place of work since ending my days at UCD in 2008 after a very short 6 month stint in the Monday to Friday financial world.

My dad used to always tell me experience was important and how having older experienced players in your football team was a real bonus.I never bought into it.I always felt young players were far better to have in your team.I now look back on days like that and see how he really was right.They say as you get older you get wiser and you start to look at things differently and maybe even look back on things that you wished you done differently.

Damn I’ve a few.

I don’t look at these as failures.Its life,we all go through this process.

Here are a couple of things around sport,health and fitness that I now look at towards a different angle.

  • Fitness doesn’t always mean being around weights,trying to achieve 6 pac abs,eating chicken and broccoli,hammering yourself every day chasing new times to even competing with yourself all the time.Its a whole broader picture and is something that can actually really help everybody.
  • It should never be a chore.If it is then you got to jump ship and move on.
  • Sometimes you’ve got to slow down to speed up.
  • Less is actually more and quality  beats quantity all day long.
  • Mobility,yoga,meditation and practicing gratitude do actually have an important role in life and fitness.
  • Cherish the health you have right now.It may not always be around.
  • Sometimes you really just got to listen to your body.
  • Consistent hard/smart work overcoming adversity beats talent in the long run.
  • You won’t see the fruits of your labor until down the road when you least expect it.
  • Pull the trigger NOW and quit talking about it and making sure everything has to be perfect or “ready” before you start.There never is a perfect time,place or moment.
  • Its actually good to FAIL and a lot too!
  • Obstacles,challenges and failures are not negative.Its not what happens its how you react that matters the most.
  • Cheap gets you cheap.You pay far more in the long run.
  • Value your time more and quit being a YES person.You really cant please everybody.
  • You have got to invest in yourself.
  • CrossFit,bodybuilding,bootcamps,zumba,TRX,spinning,MMA,circuits,running,biking are all good but there could be smarter options out there for you.
  • Bicep curls actually do have a role to play🙂
  • Reach out,listen and actually take advice from people who are 20 years ahead of you.
  • You can loose 10 stone in a year and the goodness you see that comes from that is priceless.
  • Sometimes the people you meet in life that you expect the least from can be the ones that surprise you the most

Thanks for reading and hope some of this might just help you out.






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I’ve mentioned before in a previous article on how bringing your fitness outdoors can be of a huge benefit to you both physically and mentally.Sure the gym floor is a good place to spend some time but every now and then I like to recommend people to actually get outside and use their fitness elsewhere.Sadly the summer has been and gone and we now approach the winter months ahead but this should not put you off from getting out and keeping active.Over the past few weeks I’ve checked out various different locations and activities that are on offer.Whether your a road runner,biker,trail runner,hill walker,active outdoor enthusiastic or even a adrenaline junkie I feel I’ve got you covered with some ideas here.

I generally try and bring my fitness outside at least twice a week mostly hitting a trail run or a Sunday morning hike.The options on locations here are endless.At this stage most of us all know about the popular outdoor locations that can be done dotted around Ireland like a hike up Croagh Patrick,a hill walk along the famous sleepers at the spinc in Glendalough,a run along Dublin’s busy canal to a swim in the forty foot or maybe even a climb up the sugar loaf.Here are a couple of different venues that you may not know about and that cater very well for all parties.

Nestled in the foothills of the Dublin mountains,Ticknock really is a very popular destination for a lot of people at the weekends.This area that has some remarkable views overlooking the city caters for people looking for designated hill walks,separate bike trails and trails too for the runner who likes to explore.

Normally I go up here to run but recently I decided to change it up and took on the challenge of a mountain bike ride through the various different trails on offer.I rented a bike from the biking company and must say it was a super 3 hours.I was quite hesitant about trying at first as really thought these trails up here where for the pros!To be honest it really caters for everyone and the guys at looked after me really well.The area you ride are purpose-built singletrack trails and forest roads that are designated for use by mountain bikes on a waymarked circular route of 8km in length.  The trails take the rider through beautiful forest with fantastic views over Dublin City and the Wicklow Mountains beyond.  Forest road climbs lead you into tight twisty singletrack with loads of fast descents, ups and downs, tight turns and technical rocky bits, guaranteed to leave you smiling! All info on bike rental,pricing and trails can be found at their site below


A short distance away you will find Zipit forest adventures located in Tibradden forest which again is on the foothills of the Dublin mountains.This time I decided to totally change it up and get after my adrenaline side of things and test out my fitness,mental strength along with upper body strength. Zipit is Ireland’s first high-wire aerial forest adventure. This type of activity is for the outdoor person who’s into their fitness and enjoys some adrenaline.There are five different circuits, with each circuit getting a little bit more challenging than the previous one but you probably won’t even notice this as you move along, activity by activity. Be prepared for up to 4 hours of adrenaline-fueled fun as each activity builds your confidence.They also have 2 other locations outside of Dublin and you can find all the other info you need at their web site here below.


Another really good day out was my day spent at “The Wall”.The Wall,located in Sandyford is Dublin’s best and biggest bouldering wall gym with over 1000 square metres of climbing surface and a wide range of angles and features.It was great to test out my upper body strength here while having some fun with friends and the staff looking after us.Really cool activity I would recommend to anyone.All the info you need to know can be found on their site beneath.

There are so many options and locations to look at now when deciding to go for a trail run.Glendalough,Ticknock,Masseys wood,Knocksink wood are all great places I like to check out for some great trails.


Along with that I always find the parkrun a great way to start your weekend. Parkrun is a series of 5k runs held on Saturday mornings in areas of open space around Ireland.I believe there are now over 50 parkrun locations dotted around Ireland now.My favorite is my local,Marlay park and its always great to see so many people attend every Saturday morning. They are open to all, free, and are safe and easy to take part in.

Hope you found some of these ideas useful and you can find time to give one or two of them a try.If you know of any other great outdoor activities that you feel will give some ideas to the readers would love if you commented below.

Thanks for reading.




Summer travel gym equipment

The summer months have kicked in, the sun is shining and you want to keep active. In a previous article I have given you some workouts for you to try outdoors and hope they went well for you.

In this article I will include some of the best equipment out there for people who are on the road, away on their summer holidays or people who just want to train outdoors with little to no equipment.

When going abroad to the sunshine on your holidays I like to encourage my clients to spend as much time outdoors doing workouts with little to no equipment or even doing some swimmimg,cycling,running and so on. Enjoying your holiday with good food and drink, switching off,reading, taking in some sun by the pool and overall spending  good quality time with family and friends should be your priority but still allow some time on your health and fitness. Some of you readers spend enough time training indoors during the winter months in the gym, now is the time to get outside and use your fitness while getting in some vitamin D.

Below are some great pieces of equipment you can use while away from the gym floor. All the equipment mentioned here are easy to carry around and pack away into a bag, don’t cost that much and are highly effective tools to give you a good workout.

TRX suspension trainertrx-home-training-photo2.png

A super tool that fits very handy into your bag. It comes in a small netted bag that you could easily cram into a backpack, and is lightweight. You can simply hook the TRX up in any door frame, tree, or railing and you’re good to go. Great piece of equipment that can be used for all fitness levels and can literally train any body part with it from upper body to lower body to a challenging core workout.Squats,pistols,rows,presses,planks,holds you name it most drills can be done using this piece of equipment.

There are so many workouts out there now online.Here is a video below showing you 50 exercises using the TRX.

Resistance bands


Another great tool to have in and don’t cost that much at all.So many options here on what to use bands here for. From warm up drills to mobility exercises even to assisting you with some pull ups the resistance band is something to throw into the bag. They come in varying degrees of tension (resistance).

Here are a handful of great drills you can use.

Banded pull aparts.

Super upper body pulling exercise excellent for improving posture,increasing shoulder health and overall a general good exercise to incorporate into your exercise routine.


X-Band walks

Another great lower body exercise that will activate your glutes and is a good prep for you before you squat or deadlift.Great drill to bring into your warm up

Pall of press

Super midline core exercise where all you need is a band tied around a poll.Keeping tension in the band,core tight and sending band out and straight while holding out in front for a couple of seconds and then returning to start position.

Bodyweight drills

Bands are also great for assisting with chin ups/pull ups and push ups and for the person looking for more of a challenge they can be ideal for making your push ups more tougher like the video below.

Jump rope


Slip one of these into your suitcase and you’ll have an intense cardio workout wherever you go. Jump ropes are great for circuit training or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).  Not only will you give your cardiovascular system a run (or jump) for its money, but jumping rope is great for improving coordination


green-valslide-product-500x500 (1)

Another great and super portable tool that can be thrown into the travel bag.Perform exercises with these gliding tools under your palms, knees, or feet, you can work an area from every angle—a basic lunge,mountain climber,seal drags,push ups with a knee tuck.

Client of mine here using the valslides here with a push up and seal drag combo

Along with these tools above I also suggest staying on top of your mobility and flexibility drills.Stretch daily,do some yoga and even use the bands to assist you with some mobility exercises.Have a mini foam roller/lacrosse ball with you to stay on top of things keeping your body loose and injury free.


Hope this info can help you out.

Thanks for reading and sharing it on.