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Exercises

Squats

Squats

Description Barbell Squats are an advanced form of the squat that requires stabilization, flexibility, and leg strength. If you are a beginner, you should not try this exercise. Only after you can comfortably use the Smith Machine with proper form should you consider the barbell squat, which many consider to be the king of all exercises. Technique Stand upright with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, toes pointed slightly outward. The bar should be rested against the muscles at the top of your back, secured by your hands on both sides. Do not rest the bar on your neck. Keeping your head straight, shoulders back, chest out, hinge your hips so that your hips go backward. Squat down until your hamstrings are close to parallel with the floor Push yourself back up to the starting position, pushing through your heels. Tips If the bar hurts your upper back, most gyms have a foam pad you can use to put over the bar. Make sure to hinge your hips, or your knees will…
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Pull-ups

Pull-ups

Description Pull-ups are a staple exercise that effectively works the entire back, with the latissimus dorsi being engaged the most when using the traditional wide overhand grip. This exercise can help you get the desirable “V” shape to help your waist appear smaller. Technique 1. Grasp the pull-up bar with the desired hand grip with your arms fully extended. 2. As you lift your body up, squeeze your shoulder blades together. 3. Pull your body upward until your chin is over the bar. 4. Slowly straighten your arms as you lower your body downward to the starting position. Tips 1. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you lift your body. 2. Keep your head straight, shoulders back, chest out. 3. Complete this exercise under control, with arms fully extended at the bottom position. 4. Some gyms have assisted pull-up machines to help decrease the difficulty.
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Barbell bench press

Barbell bench press

Description The Barbell Bench is considered the king of all upper body pushing exercises because it heavily involves the chest, shoulders, triceps, and to a lesser degree the trapezius. If you do not have access to a barbell, just use dumbbells instead, or perform pushups. Do not complete this exercise to failure unless you have a spotter to help assist you with the lift. Technique 1. Lie backwards on a bench with your head towards the top of the bench, eyes in line with the bar. 2. Feet should be planted firmly on the ground with lower back in contact with the bench. 3. Place hands on bar a few inches wider than shoulder width apart. 4. Pull shoulder blades together, keep your lats tight. 5. Lower the bar to an inch or two below the middle of your chest andpress firmly up and repeat, under control., Tips 1. Your hips and butt should never come off the bench. 2. Prevent the bar from bouncing off your chest by controlling the descent. 3. Keep your head on the bench at all times. 4.…
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Seated shoulder press

Seated shoulder press

Description The Shoulder Press is a vertical pushing motion that works your shoulders, trapezius, and triceps intensely. Different grips emphasize different parts of the shoulder. A neutral grip (palms facing each other) emphasizes the front head and a pronated grip (palms facing outward) emphasizes the middle head. The neutral grip puts the least stress on your shoulder joint, so if you have any shoulder stiffness, use the neutral grip. Technique 1. Position bench so that it's close to 90 degrees upright. 2. When you sit on the bench, your butt should be a far back as possible. 3. Hold the dumbbells facing outwards (pronated grip) right above your shoulders. 4. Push the dumbbells up in a natural arc, bringing them together at the top of the motion, until just before locking out your arms. 5. Slowly lower the weight until they are about level with your ears (or what feels comfortable). Tips 1. Your forearms should be perpendicular to the ground throughout the motion when completing…
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Barbell biceps curl

Barbell biceps curl

Description The Barbell Biceps Curl is the classic biceps exercise that hits both heads of the biceps intensely. An EZ Bar can also be used instead of a straight barbell to help take the pressure off of your wrists. By holding the bar with your hands shoulder width apart, you effectively hit both heads. Holding the bar wider works the short head more, while a narrow grip emphasizes the long head. Technique 1. Using an athletic stance with knees slightly bent and wider than shoulder width apart. 1. Grip the bar with an underhand grip, hands shoulder width apart. 3. Lift with barbell up to shoulder height while keeping your back, head, and neck straight, elbows at sides. 4. At the top of the movement, you squeeze the contraction of your biceps then lower the weight down slow and controlled. Tips 1. Don't use your lower back, or any momentum, to help lift the weight. 2. Keep your elbows at your sides, without swinging them too far forwards, which takes emphasis off of the biceps. Your…
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Triceps pressdown

Triceps pressdown

Description The Triceps Pressdown is one of the most basic triceps exercises you can complete that effectively engages all three heads of the triceps. It's also a very smooth motion because you are using a cable machine and there are many variations (different types of bars and different hand grips) to change the stimulus to your triceps. Technique 1. The cable should be positioned at the highest setting on the cable machine 2. Attach a bar (straight or curved) and stand about 3 feet from the machine 3. Grasp the bar shoulder width apart, palms facing down 4. Your elbows should be positioned at your sides, with your forearms slightly above parallel to floor 5. Keeping your elbows at your sides, press the bar down 6. Just before your arms lockout, slowly raise your hands back to the starting position Tips 1. Remember to keep your back straight (don't round it or lean forward to help push the weight down). 2. Don't round your shoulders and keep your head and neck straight. 3.…
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