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It takes more than a steady diet of presses and curls to reach your full potential for size and strength. “You need to challenge your upper-body muscles in fresh ways to stimulate new growth,” says Sean De Wispelaere, a coach for Men’s Health Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Enter the three-move chest and shoulder blaster. Your muscles won’t know what hit them.
“Using the dumbbell chest press, the feet-elevated TRX pushup, and the bear crawl, you’ll target both your fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers,” explains De Wispelaere. “The unique combination of exercises increases your power, size, and endurance, and bullet-proofs your shoulders, making you stronger in all upper-body lifts.”
Ready to try it? The circuit works like this: Perform the following exercises in a row, moving from one to the next without rest. That’s 1 round. Complete 5 rounds total.
1. Dumbbell Chest Press
Lie on a bench holding a pair of dumbbells with your arms straight above your chest, palms facing forward. Lower the dumbbells to the sides of your chest, and then push the weights back up to the starting position. That’s 1 repetition. Do 8 reps per set and increase the weight you use for each set.
2. Feet-Elevated TRX Pushup
Grab a TRX and lower the handles until they’re even with the middle of your shin. Assume a pushup position with your hands on the floor and your toes resting in the handles of the TRX. Keeping your back flat and your core tight, bend your elbows and lower your chest towards the floor. Pause and then reverse the movement to the starting position. That’s 1 repetition. Perform as many reps as possible.
3. Bear Crawl
Assume a quadruped position with your hips slightly elevated and your knees hovering just above the ground. Simultaneously move your right hand forward and your left foot foward a few inches without allowing the position of your torso to change or your lower back to round. On your next “step,” move your left hand and your right foot foward. Continue to crawl forward by switching the positions of your arms and feet, moving your opposite arm and leg with each “step.” Travel a total of 10 metres, and then travel backward for 10 metres.