7 Brutal Exercises Guaranteed To Improve Your Athleticism
Are you frustrated with your results in the gym? Spinning your wheels, struggling to build athleticism or the body you want?
You’re not alone; I’ve worked with hundreds of guys in the same situation.
When it comes training, we’re all after the same thing: A body that looks and performs like our favorite athletes. With that said, I’d be willing to bet you’ve spent a good amount of time with your basic exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. Great — those exercises are the building blocks of a show-and-go physique. But they’re not your only or even your best options to bridge the gap between performance and physique.
That’s why I’m here: To hook you up with six exercises to maximize your training for a more muscular, athletic body.
1. Dumbbell Split Row
Rows are a cornerstone movement in most workouts for a good reason: They help build the coveted V-taper physique, thicken forearms, and strengthen the traps, lats, and rhomboids — all important muscles for posture and performance.
Problem is, most guys butcher exercise technique, severely limiting their results. Most times, this becomes evident when torso rotation (like pulling the cord on your push lawn mower with every ounce of strength you can muster) replaces scapular retraction as the primary mover of the weight. Using every bit of body language to hoist a dumbbell a few inches is a waste of time.
The solution is changing your dumbbell row to a dumbbell split row. By splitting the legs, your hips work alongside the abdominal core muscles to prevent rotation and flexion. This teaches your hips and core to work together, stabilizing your midsection while you pull heavy weights. The end result is an exercise that lets you build tons of strength, reinforces posture, and builds total body stability.
2. Barbell Reverse Lunge
Most guys have tons of asymmetries from years of sitting in the office chained to their smartphones, with heavy, unbalanced lifting making things worse. While this paints a grim picture, certain exercises — like the barbell reverse lunge — will help you improve performance and fight back.
With the barbell reverse lunge, you’re training a major multi-joint movement, which makes it one of the best bang-for-your-buck exercises. Then, by stepping backward instead of forward in your lunge, you’ll stretch the front of the hip while keeping the shin on the front leg vertical. This reduces stress on your knees, while the heavy loading strengthens your glutes, hamstrings, adductors, and abductors. Furthermore, because the exercise requires single leg movement, your body learns to coordinate total body movement while generating power — two huge factors in improving your athleticism.
3. Jump Rope
Most guys spend tons of time getting stronger and building the “engine” for performance. This is great, but your ability to stay athletic requires timing and coordination — two qualities that are dearly neglected in most training programs.
Moreover, as every guy loves being big, strong, and fast, these qualities become nearly useless without the ability to consistently express those physical qualities on demand.
Jumping rope not only allows you to develop these qualities individually, but also trains your body to seamlessly integrate them in concert with one another. How does this help you? Simple: spending five minutes before lifting sessions skipping rope will help avoid being the dude who gets juked and pops a groin playing pick-up basketball.
4. Front Squats
I love back squats as much as the next coach, but when it comes to maximizing the rewards of training while minimizing risk, the front squat takes the throne.
The front squat is everything you need in the gym with less overall joint stress than back squats. Because front squats hold the heavy loaded barbell in the front of the body, your anterior core works double time to prevent you from bending forward and wrecking your back. Equally as important, you’re forced to keep your elbows high to hold the bar in proper position, strengthening the traps and rhomboids, vitally important muscles that will help improve your posture.
Leave your ego at the door and emphasize front squats over back squats: You’ll build massive strength, reduce joint stress, improve core strength and battle caveman posture.
Source by askmen