Compound lifts are great for building muscle, but are you doing the right ones in the right way? Here are 5 of the best muscle-building movements and techniques to help you reach your muscle-building goals! 1 THE SQUAT The squat is the foundation of any good muscle-building program. Its an amazing lift not only because it hits huge muscles like the glutes, quads, and hamstrings, but because it requires almost every single muscle in your body—from your calves to your shoulders—to turn on. I also love the squat because the movement pattern can be altered to fit each individual lifter. 2 THE DEADLIFT The two exercises that incorporate the most muscle mass and the greatest number of joints are the squat and the deadlift. Just like the squat, the deadlift can be adapted to an individuals ability level and orthopedic restrictions. You can use trap bars, kettlebells, or adjust the starting position by placing the bar at a higher position on a rack. 3 THE PUSH-UP Nothing against the bench press, but I feel that the push-up has done more for improving my size and definition. I think the efficacy of this exercise comes from the fact that push-ups can be performed for high volumes, and require more stabilization from your legs and core than the bench press. Furthermore, push-ups allow the scapula to move freely, which is healthier for your shoulders than the scapula-restricted exercises you do on a bench. The downside of the push-up is that it is not as easily loaded as other chest exercises. But, with some chains, a weight vest, or a weight plate, push-ups can be loaded effectively. 4 THE REVERSE LUNGE Single-leg exercises require twice the duration and effort of bilateral exercises. This high energy expenditure results in a large accumulation of lactate in the working muscles and throughout the body. Of all the single-leg exercises, barbell reverse lunges are my favorite, because doing them calls for the use of multiple joints and a lot of muscles. I also like them because they recruit your glutes and hamstrings as the prime movers. Your quads, which have a habit of taking over leg movements, are relegated to an assistant position. You can perform a reverse lunge with dumbbells held at your sides, a barbell in the front rack position, or with a barbell on your back. 5 SUSPENSION ROWS Similar to the push-up, I prefer suspension rows to machine or dumbbell rows because they require stabilization from your core and lower-body muscles. The handles of the suspension system also allow for various hand positions, which make the exercise easier on the shoulder joint. If your body weight isnt enough, increase the load by elevating your feet or using a weight vest, chains, or weight plates.
Posted on: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 05:27:33 +0000
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