Over the last few years training I have come to realizations over which exercises work and which don’t. Maybe they are specific to my body but all I know is that they are four of the most effective movements for building mass, getting in an exciting workout and getting the metabolism boosted for the day!
1 - Front Squats
If you Haven’t learnt how to do this exercise then ask a PT in the gym for a quick guide on how. They are superb when done correctly and in my opinion blow and normal squats out of the water for the following reasons:
- Less Spinal Load: Basically meaning your less likely to do any damage or compressions to your spine that ordinary squats.
- Works Your Abs: Front Squats require better posture and therefore activate your abs way better than most any other exercise. Front Squats will build an awesome core!
Never have I seen such an effective upper body exercise. Dips are amazing at working your; Core, Chest, Triceps, Shoulders, Upper back and Sternum. Nothing will make your upper body look as impressive as doing dips. I love doing them either weighted for low reps in the gym or on any bars I find when out free running for high reps.
If you can continue to add weight to your dips and maintain good form then your set for some great progress in terms of your bodies function and looks. I know Keith at TTP is a big fan of dips and regularly combo’s them with Deadlifts. A workout of purely weighted dips and deadlifts is unrivaled in terms of functional upper body building in my opinion.
The famous deadlift. Once perfected its a superb movement to make you more functional in everyday life….Think about it what could be more useful than being able to lift heavy stuff from the ground. Its a movement we have all evolved to be doing and it works your whole body especially the Hips, Upper Back, Forearms, Lower Back, and Hamstrings. Basically the most functional muscles in your body.
Recently I have been reading Paul Chek’s great book entitled How to Eat, Move and be Healthy its something that everyone should pickup as an overview of the important things for living a healthy lifestyle. In the Excercises chapter the first one listed is the deadlift as its such a natural movement for Human Beings.
Just be sure to perfect your form and take it slow when starting to deadlift.
4- Shoulder Press and Hold
This is an exercise I have evolved myself and do it once or twice a week when in the gym. I mentioned it previously in my article on abs but I will go into it in more detail now.
Basically its a simple shoulder press with a heavy weight, a weight as heavy as you can Push Press up. Once the weight is up just hold it above your head and brace your abs and feel the tension. After 10-20 seconds your abs and legs (stabilizers will start to shake) when this feeling comes along its time to stop. Do a negative with the barbell (take down the weight slowly) and mount it on the rack.
Obviously there is no video for this one as its a hybrid exercise. It does an amazing job at activating all the muscles that normally stay dormant during a workout, and if doing a few sets of this doesn’t get you abs of steel I don’t know what will….
“All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.”