As we’re now in the midst of summer (unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere) you’ll probably be starting to get a little agitated with regard to your summer body. Even if you aren’t quite ‘beach body ready’ as the saying goes ‘don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today’. Basically, this means that it’s never too late to start training to get in shape, no matter what your fitness goals and objectives may be. If you’re looking to build a lean, aesthetic, muscular physique, but aren’t sure where to begin, you’ve come to the right place. To help make your workouts fun, enjoyable, exciting, and productive, here are several new exercises for your workout, that you can try the next time you hit the gym.
You’ve heard the expression ‘sun’s out, guns out’ and as the sun is indeed out for the next few months, it’s time for you to consider working the guns. Guns, by the way, is a slang term used for arms – specifically the biceps. In terms of popularity, the barbell bicep curl is probably the most popular bicep-training exercise currently in existence. The idea is that you take a barbell, load it with a manageable weight, and slowly curl so that you engage your biceps until the bar reaches shoulder height. Hold for a second until you feel a squeeze in the biceps, and slowly return it back to the starting position. This exercise will work the long and short head of the biceps and is great for adding mass to the target muscle group while hitting multiple muscle fibers at once.
Seated dumbbell shoulder press
Next up we have the seated dumbbell shoulder press, which is perfect for working the shoulders. To perform this exercise you will need an adjustable bench which is set to an upright position. Take a seat, place your feet firmly on the ground, while grasping a dumbbell in each hand (of the same weight, obviously). Next, while keeping your chin up and your back straight, rotate your palms so that they are facing forwards, as you hold the dumbbells level with your shoulders. Slowly press both dumbbells into the air at the same time, in a slow and controlled motion, stopping just before you lock out your elbows. Hold for a second and slowly return the dumbbells down to the starting position, and repeat for as many reps as required. Do not arch your back to press the weight. If you do so, the weight is too heavy, so go for a lighter weight instead.
Flat bench barbell press
There are few exercises out there more beneficial than the flat bench barbell press, and we aren’t just talking about training the chest either. The flat bench barbell press is a compound exercise that packs heaps of mass onto the upper, middle, and lower pectoral muscle, while simultaneously hitting the triceps, working the core, and even bringing a little deltoid and back training into the mix for good measure. To perform this exercise, lay down on a flat bench with a barbell racked up ready to be lifted off. Place both hands on the bar, a couple of inches or so wider than shoulder-width, and carefully lift the bar from the rack. You may wish to ask somebody to give you a spot and a lift-off, especially if you’re training fairly heavy. Inhale and slowly lower the barbell down until it grazes your chest. Do NOT bounce it to gain momentum, as this will hurt, it’s dangerous, and it will negate the effects of the exercise anyway. Hold for a second and press the bar back above your head, and repeat for as many reps as required, while exhaling as you go.
When people think of squats, they think of squat racks and heavy barbells loaded full of weight, resting on your traps (trapezius muscles). While the barbell squat is indeed a very beneficial exercise for training legs, in reality, you can work the legs without having to use any weight at all, other than your own body weight for resistance. Sumo squats work the quads, glutes, and hamstring muscles beautifully, and they’re simple to perform. Begin by standing with your feet in a wide stance, a good four-six inches wider than the hips. Next, rotate your feet 45-degrees and hold both hands down by your sides. Next, slowly squat down by bending the knees and hips, making sure to keep your core nice and tight and your back straight. Squat down until your thighs are at least parallel with the ground and hold for a second. Next, making sure to keep your head up and your back straight, slowly return to the starting position by driving up from your heels, and repeat for as many reps as required.
Even though your triceps will already have been worked somewhat through bench pressing, you haven’t yet isolated them, though that’s about to change. Bench dips are a very simple exercise for working the triceps, and they also happen to be very effective. Simply find a bench, place both hands on the edge of the bench behind you, so you are looking in the opposite direction of the bench. Staying as close to the bench as possible, slowly dip downwards until your shoulders are at the same height as your elbows. Hold for a second until you feel a deep squeeze in the triceps and then slowly bring yourself back up, squeezing through triceps as you return to the starting position. When you reach the top of the exercise, make sure you DO NOT lock out your elbows. Repeat for as many reps as required.
The above is just a typical example of several new exercises for your workout, that will target all of the major muscle groups in your body.