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Switching up your workout routine produces consistent results. But that doesn’t mean you always have to seek out new exercises. Every so often, you should circle back to classics – like the lunge, chin-up, dead lift, and push-up. “They hit the big muscle groups better than most other moves,” says trainer Nick Tumminello. Try this workout to build muscle the old-school way.
Directions: perform each exercise pair as a superset (back-to-back). Do the first superset as many times as you can in seven minutes. Rest one minute and then do the same with the second superset. With such a brief rest, you’ll tax your muscles and crank your heart rate.
Dumbbell Reverse Lunge
Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides, palms facing in. Step back with your right leg and lower your body until your left knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Pause, and then quickly push back up. Do three to six repetitions, switch legs, and repeat.
Grab a chin-up bar using a shoulder-width, underhand grip and hang at arm’s length. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull your chest to the bar. Pause, and slowly lower your body. Do six repetitions (or as many as you can).
Barbell Straight-Leg Dead Lift
Grab a barbell using an overhand grip that’s just beyond shoulder width and hold it in front of you. Push your hips back and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor; the barbell should be just below your knees. Pause, and return to the starting position. Do three to seven reps.
With your left hand on a small box or step and your right hand on the floor, do a push-up. Now move your right hand to the box and your left hand to the floor and do another push-up. That’s one rep. Keep switching hand positions after each push-up. Do one to six reps.
You can bench your body weight, but are you truly fit? If you can’t complete four sets of the anti-rotation seesaw swing, then the answer is no. That’s because this exercise tests the most important kind of strength: dynamic core stability. Performed regularly, it also teaches nearly every muscle in your body to work together to stabilise your spine. That will make you stronger in every exercise you do – and shred your abs like never before.
How to do it: hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides, keeping your feet no more than hip-width apart.
Tense your entire body (brace your core, clench your thighs, squeeze your glutes, tuck your tailbone, and pull your shoulder blades back and down) and swing your left arm to shoulder level as you swing your right arm behind you. Make sure your arms are the only parts of your body that move.
Then swing your right arm forward and your left arm back.
Repeat this sequence for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds. That’s one set. Shoot for four sets with perfect form – that is, without twisting your torso, bending your back, moving your feet, or letting your shoulders sag.
Too easy? Increase the weight or hold a slightly heavier dumbbell in one hand, switching sides after each set.