Today’s going to have to be a quick one, folks, as I had to work all day (I know, poor me) and should probably get to bed prior to midnight at least once this week. So, I will leave you with this quick blurb on three exercises that I have grown really fond of, with the promise that I will come back with a kick-ass post tomorrow.
Zottman Curls: Best bicep/arm exercise I’ve done. It feels pretty weird at first, especially if you have a structural imbalance with the muscles in your arm (ie one muscle is stronger relative to another), since it works multiple muscles (brachialis and biceps brachii) Here’s a link to a solid explanation and tutorial video.
Lean-Away Chin-ups: Chin-ups/Pull-ups are hugely underrated as back exercises. I like this one because it’s a variant and throws a curveball at your muscles, so to speak. It also hits the abs more and requires some intense time-under-tension during the eccentric (lowering) portion of the exercise. Here’s a link (bottom of the page) with pictures and an explanation, and here’s a video of a really strong dude who has great form.
Glute-Ham Raise: This one’s just straight killer. The first time you try this, odds are you will cramp up big-time in the calves and hamstrings. It will hurt. A lot. But fight through it, because this hits those two muscles incredibly well. I like to compare it to the cable crossover in that it’s an exercise where during and afterwards you can feel that you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Here’s an in-depth look at the exercise from Charles Poliquin. Note that if you don’t have this machine in your gym (as my school sadly does not), you can still perform variations of this exercise. For example, you can kneel on a mat while a partner holds down your ankles behind you. You do it exactly the same way–resisting on your way down and raising your trunk up (with a slight push-up off the floor if necessary) by flexing your knees.
Bonus Tip: Switch up your exercise repertoire every six workouts. So, if you’re doing an upper/lower split (for the sake of simplicity), after you’ve completed six separate workouts of the upper body, incorporate some new ones and/or change up the reps/sets. You’re muscles get accustomed to the movements and will plateau eventually–changing up the protocol will lead to greater increases in size and strength, and also keep your mind and CNS fresh, since you’ll be avoiding plateaus.