Front leg hack squats
. This one's definitely not the leg exercise to start your day with. Warm-up first with leg extensions and some regular or
hack squats to prepare those muscles and joints for this unorthodox move. Position your feet low on the platform. Keep your legs wide and spread
them like, well, frog legs. Go slow and feel the exercise hit your quads in away you've never experienced.
Front squats with Smith machine
. Front squats are notoriously hard to perfect. The balance is different, and the bar position can put a real strain
on your Wrist. I avoid the problems by doing the exercise on the Smith machine. Mr. Smith takes care of the balance part, and the bar rests
comfortably across the front of my shoulders. With the machine's help I can go heavier than I can when I do front squats with a barbell.
. This is a great finishing move for me. Sometimes I like to go heavy on it, so I use straps to hold the weight. You should too.
Otherwise those giant quads you're building will be held back by the lesser muscles involved in the grip. Keep your shoulders back during this exercise
to prevent too much forward lean.
HAMSTRINGS & GLUTES
Heavy, high deadlifts
. In order to go heavy on stiff-legged deadlifts, I keep my range of motion in the top half of the movement. The lower part
is where you can have trouble if you go too heavy. I come down about halfway, letting the bar get to mid-thigh. Then I straighten up, thrust my hips
forward and squeeze my hams and gluteus. If you want to do even more reps, shorten the movement further and do quarter moves up high. Later you can
drop to a lighter weight and finish up by performing deadlifts in the lower range, which guarantees that you work the whole back of your leg. As a
result you'll soon have thicker and stronger legs.
. Heel raises are as straightforward an exercise as you can get, right? Well, almost. The trick is to pay very close attention to the
muscles that are actually doing the work. Too many guys try to go really heavy on this exercise and wind up with their upper legs doing most of the
lifting. It's better to use lighter weights and make sure that your calves are working. You've got to find that sweet weight that's not too heavy and
not too light.
I also like to hold a static rep at the end of a set of these. Remember, you can train the calves hard and often because they're not a large muscle
group. They're used to hard work because they carry the body around all day, and they recover quickly.
Toe raises on the leg press machine
. Here's another great finishing exercise. I like to do reps, say, 50 for three sets. Sometimes I slow the tempo
so I can really sizzle. You can also try different leg positions, like toes in and taps out. I've found that if! knock the knees and lock the legs,
it isolates the calf muscles. Basically, I look for ways to make sure the rest of my legs are totally taken out of any calf exercise.
Warm up on the chinning bar
. Sometimes I like to open my biceps routine with at least two sets of reverse-grip chins. Chins have a high neuromuscular
activity quotient and can really prime the pump for working the biceps. You'll feel the difference when you launch into the curls after you've fried
your upper arms on the chin bar.
. Keeping your elbows quiet is the key to making sure the rest of your body stays out of a curl movement, There are several ways to do that,
but one simple answer is to back up to a preacher bench. Make sure the bench is bolted to the floor, or you risk a nasty or hilarious pratfall.
Another routine that gives the guns a great pump is to run a rack of dumbbells. You can start at the low end and rep your way to the heavy side or vice
versa. It's also fun to start light, work your way up the rack and then work back down again. Those dumbbells on the light end sure feel a lot heavier
at the end of a rack run.
A good way to vary your curls is to use a low-cable machine. Squat on your haunches, put your elbows inside your knees and start curling. When you're
about out of gas, use a rocking motion to cheat out a few more repetitions. Here's one last biceps trick, and it's one that comes from Vince Gironda.
Use wrist curls as a precursor to biceps work. They put lust enough strain on the arms to heat up the biceps for the tough work that's coming.
Angled triceps extensions
. Straddle an incline bench and lean back against it with your head extended over the end. This is a great position for triceps
extensions performed with either a straight bar or an EZ curl bar. Even if you regularly work your triceps hard, you'll definitely feel this move. Soreness
the good kind in your triceps will tell you that you've touched those muscles in a new way. I really like to use the rope for pushdowns. Pull the ends apart
and bring them to your sides, turning your hands out, to take advantage of the full range of motion a rope allows. It lets you go beyond the spot where a
bar or other type of handle would stop you.
. Do your sit-ups or crunches on a decline bench. Go all the way back and then generate speed with a ballistic burst. Explode up and return
to the starting position slowly. The bounce at the bottom takes advantage of the muscle spindles.
Roman chair twists
. Don't forget to twist and shout on the old Roman chair. The twists will work your rotators and intercostals. Add a weight to increase
the degree of difficulty. Playing medicine ball catch on the Roman chair is fun too. Have a partner hit you with a medicine ball as you come up toward him.
Hold the ball as you go back down and toss it to him as you come up. The added stress of the catch and the plyometric generation of force from the toss make
the abdominals work very hard. What's more, the game of pitch and catch takes the tedium out of generally boring abs work.
I try to think about my abdominals no matter what exercise I'm doing. Often there's a way to tighten and stress the abs even if the exercise is designed for