Strength Exercises

There is risk of injury involved in these exercises. Start with little weight to get used to the movements and coordination. Pay great attention to proper technique. Always warm up and stretch before completing these exercises. If done correctly with reasonable amounts of weight you can reduce your risk of injury.

Terminology:
Dumbbell = typical one handed free weight
Barbell = typical two handed free weight

Entire Body
Chest
Shoulders
Legs
Arms
Triceps
Biceps
Forearms
Back
Stomach
The Pelvic Floor: exercises for sex and pregnancy

 

 

 

Entire Body

Related Info

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Change just a few aspects of your diet & exercise to achieve a flat stomach

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Clean & Press (2 sets of 8 to 12)

Clean and Press

Good for warming up. Use a light amount of weight to avoid injury.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart.
  • Hold a barbell with an overhand grip, hands slightly more than shoulder width apart.
  • Rest the barbell across the fronts of your thighs.
  • Bend at the hips and knees, keeping your back straight, and lower the barbell toward the floor until you've reached the following position:
  • Legs bent at 90û
  • Hips bent as far as possible without sacrificing a straight back and square shoulders
  • Head kept up facing forward
  • Shoulders above the level of the hips
  • Hips above the level of the knees so the thighs are not parallel to the floor
  • Barbell should reach or almost reached the floor (You could start the exercise from this position if you wanted to.)
  • Vigorously, but with balance and control, lift the bar, using the legs and back.
  • Slightly bend the knees to receive the bar at the top of the chest.
  • Stand tall with chest high and shoulders down, chin tucked close to your neck.
  • Press the bar with the heal of your hand over your head.
  • Lower the bar to your chest and to the floor.
  • Repeat.

For a warm-up, you might try a clean and press with light weight, only once you've raised the barbell above your head, lower it behind your neck, press it above your head again then lower it to the floor and repeat. 2 sets of 12 reps each.

Dead Lift

Main Target: the spinal erectors (back muscles along the spine) Be careful! Also targets the buttocks, quads, forearm for gripping, trapezius (upper back) and the calves. The rest of the back is used for stability.

Similar to the first half of the clean & press Ð be very careful whenever supporting weight with your back. Make sure you always keep it straight!

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart with a bar on the floor.
  • Insteps under the bar.
  • Knees bent, shoulders above the hips and hips above the knees.
  • Back retaining good flat posture.
  • Head up. Face forward.
  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly more than shoulder width apart.
  • Lift the bar, straightening your legs and then rotating your upper torso to an erect stance.
  • Carefully lower the bar to the ground.
  • Repeat.

Chest

Push-ups

Main target: chest, shoulders and triceps. The abdominals and lower back are used for stability.

  • Hands shoulder width apart placed on the floor.
  • Body perfectly straight.
  • Feet shoulder width apart, balls of the feet against the floor.
  • Lower body, until arms reach 90û angles.
  • Push body until arms are straight.
  • Repeat.

If you want to simultaneously develop your forearms, try pushups using your fingertips.

Bench Press

Main target: the pecs or pectorals (the chest) and triceps.

  • Use a spot if necessary - at least make sure others are available for help.
  • Lie on a bench with both feet on the floor over shoulder-width apart for stability.
  • Grab the bar with hands placed slightly over shoulder width apart
  • Lower the bar under control until elbows are bent at 90û (any more is unnecessary and may risk tearing tissue or sacrificing form).
  • Push bar up while breathing out.
  • Repeat.

Hand placement variations offer added benefits by targeting different muscles

Wide Grip Bench Press

Main target: chest, front shoulders
Hands placed a bit farther apart than regular bench press position

Close-Grip Bench Press

Main target: chest, front shoulders, triceps
Hands placed a bit narrower than shoulder width apart or 2 hand widths apart

Watch your balance, as it becomes more difficult using a narrow grip! Using an EZ curl bar can help you balance and retain a natural position.

Incline Press

Main target: the upper pectoral muscles, deltoids (shoulders) and triceps.

  • Make sure a spot is available.
  • Perform bench press on an incline bench or use an incline press machine.
  • Start with your back straight, flat against the incline bench, feet on the floor, hands just over shoulder -width apart. Lift the bar to the starting position directly over your eyes.
  • Lower the barbell toward your chest, until your arms are roughly bent at 90û.
  • Pause.
  • Push the bar back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

This exercise might be hard to do with little experience. A spot can check your form.

When starting out, be conservative on the weight as people are generally weaker at incline press than at decline or regular bench press.

Wide-grip Incline Press

Main Target: chest, triceps

Same as above only place hands a bit farther apart.

Decline Press

Main target: lower and outer sections of the pectoral muscles helping to define a chiseled border, and the triceps.

  • Perform bench press on a decline bench or on a decline machine.
  • If using a decline bench, you need a spotter.
  • Lie on your back on the decline bench.
  • Secure your feet in foot braces, either at the end of the bench or wrapping your legs over the end and securing your feet below. See diagram.
  • Have your spotter(s) hand you the weight making sure you have control of it.
  • Press the barbell vertically into the air.
  • Lower the bar until your upper arms are in line with your chest to avoid over-extension.
  • Repeat.

Dumbbell Bench Press

Main target: the pecs or pectorals (the chest) and triceps.

You can do a bench press, incline press, or decline press using dumbbells in each hand. Using dumbbells can be safer than using a barbell when you do not have a spotter beside you. Rotating the dumbbells during the exercise helps squeeze the chest muscles.

Regular Dumbbell Bench:

  • Use a spot if necessary - at least make sure others are available for help.
  • Lie on a bench with both feet on the floor over shoulder-width apart for stability.
  • Hold dumbells at arms length directly above your shoulders and chest with palms facing each other.
  • Lower dumbbells under control to a height just above the height of the chest, and to positions on either side of the chest with palms facing forward (this requires you to rotate the dumbbells 90û during the descent). Breath in as you lower the weights.
  • Push dumbbells back to the starting position while breathing out.
  • Pause while pressing the chest muscles.
  • Repeat.

For incline and decline dumbbell bench press, follow positional instructions for barbell bench press above. Just replace the bar with dumbbells obviously. Dumbbell rotation is optional.

Pullover

Main target: back, chest and triceps.

  • Grab a barbell with overhand grip, hands shoulder width apart.
  • Lie back on a bench.
  • Hold the bar at arms-length above your chest bending elbows slightly.
  • Slowly lower the bar behind your head keeping the elbows slightly bent, while taking in a deep breath.
  • Feel the stretch in your back and sides (latissimus dorsi).
  • Exhale as you raise the bar back to its position above your chest.
  • Repeat.

Decline Pullover

Main target: a sharp delineation around and under the pecs.

Perform pullover on a decline bench raising the bar straight above your chest.

Dumbbell Pullover

Main target: back, chest and triceps.

  • Lie back on a bench. It might be more comfortable if you lie perpendicular to the bench, with only your upper back against it, supporting the rest of your body with your legs.
  • Hold a single dumbbell with both hands at arms-length above your chest bending elbows slightly.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head keeping the elbows slightly bent, while taking in a deep breath.
  • Feel the stretch in your back and sides (latissimus dorsi).
  • Exhale as you raise the dumbbell back to its position above your chest.
  • Repeat.

For an extra tricep burn, each time you complete a pullover, lower the dumbbell straight down until it touches your chest. Do this twice after each pullover repetition.

Dumbbell Flies

Main Target: Isolated chest.

  • Lie back on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Keep your arms straight or your elbows only slightly bent.
  • Hold the dumbbells above your chest, palms facing each other.
  • Lower your arms out to the sides until they are parallel with the floor.
  • Return them to the position above your chest, hold and flex for a seconds or two.
  • Repeat.

You may also rotate the dumbells during the exercise so your palms face each other when extending above your chest, and your palms face forward when extending out to the sides.

Unilateral Cable Crossovers

Main Target: chest Ð The universal stack provides a more constant resistance at every point in the motion as opposed to dumbbell flies, which create less resistance as the arms come together.

  • Stand between two overhead pulleys.
  • Grab each handle.
  • Bend forward slightly placing one foot slightly in front and the other slightly behind.
  • Start with hands extended out to the sides.
  • Keeping your arms straight, draw your hands together in front of you allowing them to cross over each other.
  • Hold the contracted position for 1 second.
  • Return your arms to the starting position.

Shoulders

Military Press (free weights)

Main target: the shoulders (the delts or deltoids).
Correct back posture is a must!
Your military press should be a lot weaker than your bench press, so be careful with the amount of weight you use.

  • Use the clean and press technique to raise the bar to the top of your chest:
  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart with a bar on the floor.
  • Insteps under the bar.
  • Knees bent to 90û, hips above knees, shoulders above hips.
  • Back retaining good flat posture.
  • Head up. Face forward.
  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly more than shoulder width apart.
  • Vigorously, but with balance and control, lift the bar, using the legs and back.
  • Slightly bend the knees to receive the bar at the top of the chest.
  • Stand tall with chest high and shoulders down, chin tucked close to your neck.
  • Press the bar, with the heal of your hand, over your head.
  • Lower the bar to the top of your chest.
  • Repeat.

When finished, return the bar to the floor under control keeping the back straight.

Seated Military Press

Main target: the shoulders (the delts or deltoids)

Sit erect on a bench with a shoulder high barbell support or sit on a bench at a universal military press station.

Start with your upper arms in line with your shoulders (any lower and some shoulder muscles will collapse).

  • Press the bar with the heal of your hand over your head.
  • Lower the bar to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

Make sure to keep your back straight.

 

Military Press Behind the Neck

Main target: the shoulders (the delts or deltoids)

Lifting a bar with the heals of both hands from the back of the base of your neck, above your head.

Available on Universal machines.

Once again, correct back posture is a must!

Start with your upper arms in line with your shoulders (any lower and some shoulder muscles will collapse).

  • To perform using free weights use the clean and press technique to raise the bar above your head.
  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart with a bar on the floor.
  • Insteps under the bar.
  • Knees bent to 90û, hips above knees, shoulders above hips.
  • Back retaining good flat posture.
  • Head up. Face forward.
  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly more than shoulder width apart.
  • Vigorously, but with balance and control, lift the bar, using the legs and back.
  • Slightly bend the knees to receive the bar at the top of the chest.
  • Stand tall with chest high and shoulders down, chin tucked close to your neck.
  • Press the bar with the heal of your hand over your head.
  • Lower the bar behind your head to the base of your neck.
  • Then proceed to lift the bar above your head repetitively returning to the base of your neck.

On the last rep return the bar to your chest and to the floor.

Dumbell Shoulder Press

Main target: shoulders, triceps

  • Grab 2 dumbells.
  • Sit with back straight, holding dumbells just outside of shoulders with palms facing forward.
  • Push dumbells straight up.
  • Pause.
  • Slowly lower weights to starting position.

Variation

  • Sit with back straight, holding dumbells just outside of shoulders with palms facing each other.
  • Push dumbells straight up.
  • Pause.
  • Slowly lower weights to starting position.

Standing Lateral Dumbbell Raises

Main target: shoulders, upper back

  • Stand erect, feet shoulder width apart, with a dumbbell in each hand hanging at your side.
  • Keeping your arms straight and without leaning back raise the dumbbells to each side with your palms facing down until your arms are in line with your shoulders.
  • Pause for two seconds at this position parallel with the floor.
  • Rotate the dumbbells so palms face up.
  • Proceed to lift dumbbells to a position directly over head.
  • Then reverse the process lowering the dumbbells to lie even with the shoulders.
  • Pause.
  • Rotate dumbbells so palms face down and lower the weights to your sides.
  • Repeat.

Inhale on the way up and exhale on the way down to exercise the breathing muscles.

The Shoulder Burn Routine with 2 Dumbbells

This is an exercise swimmer's use to beef up their shoulders and improve endurance. It won't burn like hell until the last 10 reps so be conservative with the weight the first time you try it. Start with 5 or 8 pounds in each hand and work your way up to 12 or 15.

  • Perform the following 3 exercises back to back with 10 reps each.
  • Rest.
  • Then repeat the entire set of 3 exercises again.

Exercise 1

  • Stand erect with feet slightly over shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. hold the dumbbells against the tops of your thighs palms facing down.
  • Keeping your arms straight, raise your right arm in an ark until it reaches straight above your head.
  • As you lower the right arm, raise the left in the same fashion.
  • Repeat 10 times with each arm.
  • Immediately move to the next exercise.

Exercise 2

  • Bend over slightly at the hips with your knees slightly bent, back straight and head up.
  • Hang the dumbbells straight down.
  • Pull the dumbbells out and up so your arms point straight out to your sides.
  • Lower the dumbbells to the hanging position.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Immediately move to the next exercise.

Exercise 3

  • Stand erect.
  • Hang the dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms facing up (or forward).
  • Raise both arms in two wide semicircles, bringing your arms straight out to your sides and continuing until they extend directly over head.
  • Lower the dumbbells under control back the way they came ending at the front of your upper thighs.
  • Repeat.
  • Retain good posture.

Take a rest and repeat all three exercises again.

If you think that burns, try

Bruce Lee's Shadow Boxing Routine

Perform 12 sets of 100 punches each back to back

  • Set 1- holding 1 pound weights
  • Set 2- holding 2 pound weights
  • Set 3- holding 3 pound weights
  • Set 4- holding 5 pound weights
  • Set 5- holding 7 pound weights
  • Set 6- holding 10 pound weights
  • Set 7- holding 10 pound weights
  • Set 8- holding 7 pound weights
  • Set 9- holding 5 pound weights
  • Set 10- holding 3 pound weights
  • Set 11- holding 2 pound weights
  • Set 12- holding 1 pound weights
  • Oh Mercy!

To be a little more humane toward your body, you might want to turn this into a pyramid interval-training workout with weight-free punches in between each set.

Legs

Leg Extensions

Main target: the quads or quadriceps (the front thighs).

  • Start with knees bent at 90û.
  • Extend lower legs as far as possible.
  • Return to starting position under control.

Leg Curls

Main target: The hamstrings (the back of the legs).

  • Start in slightly flexed position (not over extended).
  • Curl legs toward butt as far as possible.

If you can't fully complete the exercise, decrease the weight.

Seated Leg Press

Main target: the front of the upper legs (the quads) and the back of the lower legs (the calves)

  • Sit with your torso erect.
  • Grab the sides of the seat for stability.
  • Start with knees bent at 90û.
  • Always keep your back straight.
  • Straighten your legs under the resistance.
  • Return to starting position under control.

Squat

(3 sets of 10) Main Target: the quadriceps or thighs Ð also works the glutes, hip flexors, hamstrings, calves, lower back, trapezius, abdominals (for stabilization), shoulders and breathing muscles.

  • Use a spot.
  • Place a barbell on your shoulders (use a pad for comfort).
  • Hold the barbell firm with your hands.
  • Lower yourself to a full squat position (knees bent at a 90û).
  • Keep your back in good posture, your head facing forward, and your heals on the ground.
  • Return to standing position.

Jumping Squat

Main Target: quads and calves, improving explosive jumping power.

  • Hold a single dumbbell with both hands hanging in front of you.
  • Squat, bending knees to a 90û.
  • Explode and jump upward.
  • Land and repeat.
  • Do as many as possible within 1 minute.

A great exercise to incorporate into a circuit training routine.

Lunge

Main Target: quads

  • Hold a dumbell in each hand with arms hanging down at your sides and palms facing each other.
  • Keeping your face forward and back straight, take a lunging step forward as far as you can with your left foot.
  • quickly reverse the motion returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat.
  • When finished, repeat the exercise with the right leg.

Another good exercise to incorporate into a circuit training routine.

Calf Raises

Version 1: Standing with Weight

  • Apply weight resistance using one of the following techniques:
  • Holding a barbell across your shoulders
  • Wrap a belt around your waist attached to a floor pulley
  • Another form of gym equipment
  • Stand with the balls of your feet on a block or step shoulder width apart. Allow your heals to lower below the balls of your feet.
  • Lock your knees and flex your calves until you're heals are fully raised. Make sure you don't lean forward. Rise straight up.
  • Hold for a second.
  • Lower your heels to starting position.

Try one set with your toes pointed straight ahead, another set with your toes pointed out and another set with your toes pointed in to work all sides of the entire gastrocnemius muscle.

Version 2: Standing Endurance Exercise

  • Stand with the balls of your feet on a block or step shoulder width apart.
  • Lock your knees and flex your calves until you're standing on your tippy toes.
  • 5 sets of 20

Seated Calf Raises (using leg press equipment)

Main Target: Calf muscles
This exercise is easy on the back.

  • Lie in the leg press machine. With knees slightly bent rest the balls of your feet against the platform near the edge with the arches and heels of your feet hanging off the edge of the platform.
  • Allow your heals to extend as far as possible with the balls of your feet remaining stationary. This helps you achieve a maximum range of motion.
  • Raise the weight by extending the balls of your feet.
  • Pause.
  • Lower the weight to the starting position.

Seated Calf Raises

Same as seated calf raises using leg press equipment only with the weight resting on the tops of your knees and thighs.

This is another method that is easy on your back.

Martial Art Kicking Exercises Using the Floor Pulley

Main target: hip and thigh.

You should first do the exercise without resistance. simply practice kicking by itself. 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 20 reps each. Once you can accomplish 20 reps with ease, then start to use the floor pulley to add resistanceÉ

  • Fasten a strap around one of your ankles and attach it to a floor pulley.
  • Place your free foot 2.5 to 3 feet from the pulley and face away from the weight stack.
  • Grasp a sturdy vertical pole for stability.
  • Start with your bound foot behind you.
  • Option 1: Complete a front kick by quickly raising your knee high, then extending your lower leg as high as possible in front of you, pointing your toes. Return foot to starting position and repeat.
  • Option 2: Complete a round-house kick. We recommend you get martial arts training for this particular kick to avoid injury due to improper technique. A brief description can be found under self-defense.
  • Option 3: Complete a sidekick. Once again, training is recommended. A brief description is available under self-defense.
  • For either option do 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps each.

Arms

Triceps

Tricep Extensions

Main target: the triceps (back of the upper arms).

  • Stand a foot or two back from the pulley, to avoid rubbing the cord on your face.
  • Feet shoulder width apart.
  • Grab bar or tricep rope attached to an overhead pulley.
  • Start with elbows bent at right angles.
  • Keep elbows close to the body at all times.
  • Keep your shoulders down.
  • Push the bar or pull the rope down.
  • Feel it in the back of your upper arms.
  • Return to starting position under control.
  • Repeat.

Lying Tricep Extensions

Main target: triceps

  • Grab an EZ curl bar with overhand grip and lie on a bench.
  • Hold the bar with straight arms directly over your head.
  • Keep elbows stationary while slowly lowering the bar just beyond your forehead.
  • Pause.
  • Raise the bar to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

This can also be done with a bar attached to a low pulley.

French Press

Main target: the triceps.

  • Stand or sit erect.
  • Grab a barbell with both hands two hands width apart, or grab a single-handed barbell with both hands.
  • Raise the weight above your head.
  • Keep your elbows close to the side of your head.
  • Lower the weight behind your neck until the elbows are bent at a 90û.
  • Raise the weight above the head and repeat.

Dumbbell Kick-backs or Leaning Tricep Extensions

Main Target: triceps.

  • Grab a dumbbell with your right hand.
  • Stand with your left leg forward and right leg back.
  • Lean forward bracing yourself with your left arm, pressing your left hand against your left knee.
  • Keep your right elbow firmly pressed against and in line with your right side.
  • Start with your right forearm hanging straight down from your elbow.
  • Straighten your right arm rotating your forearm in a backward ark.
  • Once your arm is straight hold briefly and slowly lower your forearm back to the starting position.
  • Pay strict attention to proper technique. You probably need to start with less weight than you expect, in order to retain correct form.
  • Repeat.
  • When finished, switch arms and legs and repeat the exercise.

Dips

Main Target: triceps, lower chest, shoulders.

  • Grab the parallel dip bars
  • Lift yourself so arms are fully extended
  • Slowly lower your body by bending your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
  • Pause.
  • Lift yourself to the starting position.

Biceps

Two Hand Bicep Curls

Main target: the biceps (front of the upper arms/ the pythons!)

Always support the bar or dumbbells with your shoulders between reps.

Always keep your elbows at least slightly bent to avoid over extension.

  • Stand erect retaining good back posture, with head facing forward and shoulders square.
  • Rest bar against front thighs.
  • Lift bar to the front of your shoulders.
  • Lower the bar in control.

Do not tilt back or forward during the exercise. Keeping the body completely still, while only the lower arms move will give the biceps the best workout.

Never use your back to whip the bar up Ð this does you absolutely no good and can cause injury.

Important note: When you use free weights for curling you don't do much work at the beginning and end of the motion. The point at which your elbows are bent at 90 degrees requires the most effort. To get resistance at every point during the motion use a bar attached to a floor pulley on a universal machine or any other various bicep curl machine available at the gym. This goes for the reverse curl as well.

Preacher Bicep Curls

Main target: the biceps

Always keep your elbows at least slightly bent to avoid over extension.

  • Sit on the preacher bench seat with your elbows resting on the front of the pad and your back straight, bending forward at the hips.
  • Hold EZ curl bar with underhand shoulder width grip.
  • Lift bar toward your chin.
  • Pause.
  • Lower the bar under control.

Incline Curl

Main target: biceps isolated.

  • Sit back on an incline bench.
  • Take a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Let arms hang.
  • Curl each arm alone alternating arms.

Do not swing the dumbbells once they are lowered.

Concentration Curl

Main target: biceps isolated.

  • Sit on a bench.
  • Bend forward, holding a dumbbell in your right hand with your right elbow resting on the inside of your right thigh.
  • Curl the dumbbell to your shoulder.
  • Repeat.
  • Switch hands and repeat the exercise.

Reverse Curl

Main target: upper and outer forearms, brachialis and biceps.

This is a weak position for your biceps so start with little weight and use caution.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart.
  • Take a shoulder width over-hand grip of a barbell resting the bar on the upper thighs.
  • With your elbows close to your rib cage, curl the bar to your chin.
  • Lower the bar in control to your upper thighs.
  • Repeat.

Forearms

Each exercise uses 5 to 6 sets of 15 to 20 reps or more.

Thick handled dumbbells give you a greater range of motion. You can thicken a narrow bar by rapping padding and grip tape around it.

Wrist Curl (4 sets of many)

Main Target: the flexors (belly of the forearms).

  • Grab a barbell with an underhand grip.
  • Sit on a bench.
  • Rest your forearms on your thighs with palms facing up.
  • Hands holding the bar hanging in front of your knees.
  • Curl the weight into the palm of your hand flexing only at the wrist.
  • Lower the bar to hang in front of the knees.
  • Don't allow the bar to roll down the fingers. Keep a firm grip.
  • As mentioned, a thicker bar will give you greater range of motion.
  • Repeat.

Reverse Wrist Curl (4 sets of many)

Main Target: the extensors (top of the forearms).

  • Grab a barbell with an overhand grip.
  • Sit on a bench.
  • Rest the belly of your forearms on your thighs with palms facing down.
  • Hands holding the bar hanging in front of your knees.
  • Flex the wrist as far as possible lifting the bar.
  • Lower the bar to hang in front of the knees.
  • Repeat.

Wrist Roller

Main Target: forearms.

  • Grab a thick handle bar with both hands using an overhand grip.
  • You can sit with your forearms resting on your thighs or stand holding the bar in front of you.
  • Roll the bar with both hands.
  • Tension can be supplied by attaching a weight to the bar using a cord, which wraps around the bar as you roll it, or some machines offer a tension dial to set before performing the exercise.
  • Roll your wrists in as large a motion as possible.
  • Avoid moving your elbows to isolate the exercise to the forearms.

Gripping

Main Target: Forearm flexors (belly of the forearms).

Any exercise requiring a strong grip such as pull-ups or bent over rowing can help develop your forearms.

There are also specific apparatus made to grip against resistance:

Bruce Lee designed a gripping machine consisting of a fixed upper bar, and a moveable lower bar attached to weight. By pulling the lower bar up to the fixed bar using the fingers, he received a great gripping workout. Lee developed his forearms immensely to increase his forearm mass and thus the force of his punches (force = mass * velocity) and to increase the strength of his wrists.

Portable gripping tools are also available and can be conveniently used at any time throughout the day. One such tool consists of two small rods separated with tension supplied by a spring. The user grips the two rods, forcing the two rods together using his thumb and fingers against tension.

Zottman Curls

Main Target: entire forearm.

  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Stand erect with feet shoulder width apart and dumbbells hanging at your sides.
  • Always keep your upper arms fixed to your sides.
  • Curl the right dumbbell in an ark toward your left side and ending at your right shoulder with palms facing up.
  • Rotate your right hand so your palms are facing down and lower the dumbbell in an ark to the right.
  • As you lower the right dumbbell, begin the same exercise with the left arm by raising the left dumbbell.
  • Repeat in alternate fashion one arm after the other in smooth circular movements.

Wrist Twists

Main Target: entire forearm.

  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Stand erect arms bent at 90û, holding your upper arms against your sides and your forearms extending in front of you, palms facing each other.
  • Rotate the dumbbells back and forth in opposing directions.

Thor's Hammer

Main Target: entire forearm.

  • Grab Thor's hammer (a small bar with a weight attached securely to the end) with your right hand.
  • Stand with back straight. Hold right elbow stationary close to your side while you rotate the bar from a palm-up position to a palm-down position and back again.
  • Once finished, switch hands and repeat.

Back

Lat Pull-downs

Main target: The back (the lats or latissimus dorsi muscle).

  • Use a wide grip bar attached to a high pulley.
  • Stretch before you start and between sets by standing, grabbing the bar overhead and bending at the knees and hips, pulling at your arms and lats.
  • Sit down with back erect and hands holding the bar overhead with an overhand grip Pull the bar to the top of the chest.
  • Pause briefly.
  • Slowly let your arms return to their extended overhead position.
  • Repeat.

Parallel-grip Lat Pull-downs

Main target: upper back, biceps.

  • Use a parallel grip handle attached to a high pulley.
  • Stretch before you start and between sets by standing, grabbing the bar overhead and bending at the knees and hips, pulling at your arms and lats.
  • Sit down with back erect and hands holding the handles overhead with an overhand grip Pull the handles to the top of the chest.
  • Pause briefly.
  • Slowly let your arms return to their extended overhead position.
  • Repeat.

Behind Neck Lat Pulls

Main target: latissimus, forearm gripping muscles, biceps, and other associated muscles.

The middle and lower trapezius and rhomboids (back muscles) are strengthened by pressing at the end of the motion.

  • Use a wide grip bar attached to a high pulley.
  • Stretch before you start and between sets by standing, grabbing the bar overhead and bending at the knees and hips, pulling at your arms and lats.
  • Sit down with back erect and hands holding the bar overhead with an overhand grip.
  • Pull the bar to the back and base of the neck.
  • Pause at the bottom for a second or 2.
  • Slowly let your arms return to their extended overhead position.
  • Repeat.

Pull-ups

Main target: the back, biceps and abdominals.

  • Hands just over shoulder-width apart.
  • Overhand grip.
  • Knees together.
  • Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.
  • Pause.
  • Lower yourself in control.
  • Repeat.

Start with 3 or 4 sets of 6 or more repetitions.

If you are a bonafide monster and can easily do 4 sets of 12 reps, add weight around your waist or in the crook behind your knees.

Bicep Pull-ups

Main Target: biceps receive more of a workout in this version of pull-ups. Lats are also strengthened.

  • Grab the bar, this time with an underhand grip, hands 6 to 8 inches apart.
  • Do pull ups, raising your chin above the bar and holding it for a moment before lowering yourself.
  • Repeat.

Behind Neck Pull-ups

Main Target: the back.

  • Once you're comfortable with the "behind neck lat pulls" try pull-ups, pulling the bar to the back and base of your neck.
  • Repeat.

Bent Over Row with Dumbbell

Main target: Latissimus dorsi (back muscle) and biceps.

  • Grab a bench and a dumbbell.
  • Kneel on the bench with your left knee and brace yourself with your left hand on the bench.
  • Keep your back perfectly straight at all times.
  • Head up.
  • Grab the dumbbell with the right hand and lift it straight up to the side of your rib cage.
  • Hold for a second or two and lower under control.
  • Repeat.
  • Always keep your shoulders in line with your upper body while doing the exercise.
  • When finished, switch hands and repeat the exercise.

Bent Over Row with Free Weight Rowing Apparatus

Main target: trapezius (upper back muscle) and anterior deltoid (front shoulder muscles).

  • Lean forward onto the rowing apparatus, placing your chest on the large pad and grab the handles attached to the weight.
  • Keep shoulders in line with your upper body. Don't allow your shoulders to slouch forward at any time. This places stress on the ligaments and tendons of your upper back. Always support the weight with your back. Never let your back fully relax as long as you are still supporting the weight.
  • With back straight and head up, pull the handles toward your chest.
  • Lower the handles until your arms are straight, keeping your shoulders in line with your upper body.
  • Repeat.

Upright Rowing

Main target: trapezius (upper back muscle) and anterior deltoid (front shoulder muscles).

  • Stand holding a barbell resting across the front of your thighs with an overhand grip. Hands close together.
  • Raise the bar keeping your elbows above the bar at all times.
  • Bring the bar to the throat or chin.
  • Lower the bar to the thighs.
  • Repeat.

This can also be done with a bar attached to a low pulley.

Wide-grip Seated Row

Main target: trapezius (upper back muscle).

  • Grab bar with wide overhand grip
  • Keep your back straight and face forward at all times.
  • Pull the bar to your torso.
  • Pause.
  • Slowly return bar to starting position with arms extended
  • Repeat.

Parallel-grip Seated Row

Main target: back, biceps.

  • Grab parallel grip handles with palms facing each other.
  • Keep your back straight, shoulders back and face forward at all times.
  • Pull the bar to your torso.
  • Pause.
  • Slowly return bar to starting position with arms extended
  • Repeat.

Underhand Seated Row

Main target: upper middle back, biceps.

  • Grab a straight bar with palms facing up.
  • Keep your back straight, shoulders back and face forward at all times.
  • Pull the bar to your torso.
  • Pause.
  • Slowly return bar to starting position with arms extended
  • Repeat.

Upright Rowing with One Hand

Main Target: Lats, rear deltoids, biceps, brachialis and forearm flexors. This exercise allows a greater range of motion than the two handed upright row.

  • With your right hand, grab a handle attached to a low pulley.
  • Stand facing the pulley with your right leg forward and your left leg back.
  • Start with your right palm facing the floor resting on your right knee.
  • Pull the handle into the side of your right waist while rotating your hand so it ends palm facing up.
  • Reverse the motion to bring your hand back to the starting position.
  • Repeat.
  • When finished, Switch hands and repeat the exercise.

Upright Rowing

Main Target: upper back.

  • Grab a free weight barbell or a bar attached to a low pulley with both hands placed at shoulder width apart.
  • Stand erect facing the mirror (for free weights) or the pulley apparatus with head up, face forward and bar lying across your thighs.
  • Pull the bar up to your neck or chin.
  • return the bar to starting position under control .
  • Repeat.

Back Extensions

Main Target: spinal erectors, hamstrings and glutes.

  • Use a back extension bench.
  • Lean forward onto the bench placing your hips or upper thighs (which ever is more comfortable) on the large pad and allowing your heals or legs (depending on the design) to rest under the small pad.
  • Position your hands according to the resistance you desire:
    For the most resistance, place your hands behind your neck and flare out your elbows. For slightly less resistance, cross your forearms in front of your chest. For the least resistance, clasp hands behind your butt.
  • If you don't have a back extension bench, lie on a high bench or other surface with a partner holding your ankles down.
  • Raise your torso upward to a position parallel to the floor.
  • Lower your torso.
  • Repeat.

Stomach

Main target: abdominals (stomach muscles).

Down the center:
Rectus abdominis
Usually referred to as upper, mid and lower abs

On the side:
External oblique
Internal oblique
Transversus abdominis
Obliques are named because of the slanted (or oblique) angle of their muscle fibers

These exercises can seem like a pain in the ass, until your abs become stronger. Then you might just become addicted.

Repetitions: 15 to 20 repetitions at a time with rest in between. Do as many sets as you can do with good form, possibly 4. You might try a few reps completing half the motion at the end of a set when you can no longer complete the full motion. Once again, these are all toning exercises and require high repetition. The abdominal muscles do not need a day of rest between workouts. You can perform these exercises daily to achieve the best toning results. Practice healthy nutrition by avoiding fatty high calorie foods and do regular aerobic exercise if you want your abs to become ripped.

There are a million and one different exercises for your abdominals so you should never get bored. Concentrate on the technique and area of the abs that you're working on. Do not rest in between repetitions.

Good Ol' Fashion Crunches

Main Target: upper abs.

  • Lie on your back.
  • Bend at your knees.
  • Place your arms across your chest or clasp hands behind your neck.
  • Slowly raise your shoulders toward your knees during a two-count, keeping your lower back firmly against the ground.
  • Count to two again as you lower your shoulders back to the ground under control.
  • Never pull with your hands behind your neck. This forces your neck vertebrae into a bad position. They should simply rest behind your neck to add weight to your upper body.
  • Keep your lower back firmly against the ground to avoid using your back and concentrate the tension within the abdominals.
  • During the exercise, focus on the contraction of the abdominal muscles.

Decline Crunches

Main Target: upper abs and back.

  • Lie back on a decline bench, knees bent and feet locked behind ankle pads.
  • Place your arms across your chest or clasp hands behind your neck.
  • Slowly raise your shoulders toward your knees.
  • Lower your shoulders back down without touching them to the bench.
  • Never pull with your hands behind your neck. This forces your neck vertebrae into a bad position. They should simply rest behind your neck or across your chest to add weight to your upper body.
  • Repeat.

Bar Rollout

Main Target: front abs

  • Grab a barbell with 10 lbs weights on each side and affix collars.
  • Kneel and grab bar with overhand shoulder-width grip.
  • Roll the bar to the starting position: directly below your shoulders
  • Slowly roll the bar forward as far as you can without falling to the ground.
  • Focus on using your abs to roll the bar back to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

One legged Crunches

Main Target: obliques. This exercise is nice and easy on your back.

  • Lie on your back with your right leg straight and your left leg bent with the left foot resting on the floor.
  • Raise your right leg a foot off the ground.
  • Do a crunchy with your upper body while bending your right leg, bringing your right knee to your midsection.
  • Do as many repetitions as you can. Then repeat with the left leg.
  • Do not twist.

Lying Leg Raises

Main Target: lower abs.

  • Lie back on a bench grabbing hold of the the barbell supports or the bench behind your head.
  • Start with legs straight pressed together and 4 inches off the ground.
  • Raise legs together in a pike position until your hips are almost bent at 90û.
  • Lower under control to starting position and repeat.

Hanging Leg Raises

Main Target: lower abs.

Cycling or weight lifting gloves make this exercise more comfortable when using a pull-up bar.

  • Hang from a pull-up bar or from a leg raise station where you rest on your forearms.
  • Your legs must be able to hang straight down without touching the ground.
  • Raise your legs in the pike position until they extend horizontally in front of you.
  • Lower them under control and repeat.

If you're too tall to hang your legs straight down, try bending your knees when you lower them, or try frog kicks (see below) instead.

If you're really burly, you can incorporate hanging leg raises into your pull-up routine. Raise your legs as you pull your chin above the bar.

Hanging Leg Arks

Main Target: lower abs and obliques.

  • Place a stool in front of the leg raise station (or imagine one there).
  • Hang your legs from the leg raise station resting on your forearms.
  • Keep shoulders down and head facing forward, with elbows at right angles and back firmly against the back pad.
  • Sometimes the handles are in a less than ideal location, so you might want to just rest on your forearms with your hands extending past the handles.
  • Lift legs together, looping them over the stool to one side and then back over to the side you started on, keeping them straight at all times.
  • Repeat.

The Frog Kick

Main Target: lower and mid abs, and forearm flexors.

  • Hang from a pull-up bar using an overhand grip.
  • Draw your knees up to your chest.
  • Hold briefly.
  • Lower knees until they hang straight down, and immediately repeat.

Some people have trouble with swinging during this exercise. Avoid any problems by incorporating a slight swing into the exercise: When knees are pressed into the chest your torso should slightly swing backward. Before it returns to the center, extend your knees toward the floor. This should swing your torso slightly forward. Immediately press your knees to your chest again, during the back swing, and repeat extension and flexion in synch with the forward and backward swing (see diagram).

This bent knee exercise is helpful for those people whose feet may touch the floor when hanging their legs straight down from a pull-up bar.

If you're really burly, you can incorporate frog kicks into your pull-up routine. Pressing your knees to your chest as you pull your chin above the bar.

Sideways Frog Kick

Main Target: obliques.

  • Hang from a pull-up bar.
  • Bend your knees as far as possible and twist your hips to the right.
  • Do a crunch bringing your knees up while keeping them to the right side.
  • Lower your knees to the starting position under control and repeat.
  • When finished, switch to your left side and repeat the exercise.

Side Raises

Main Target: obliques

  • Grab 2 benches
  • Lie sideways with your hip resting on one bench and your feet locked under the other bench.
  • Lower your torso as far as you can.(This brings you to the starting position.)
  • Raise your torso as high as you can.
  • Pause.
  • Than lower under control and repeat.
  • When finished, switch sides and repeat the exercise.

Side Bends

Main Target: obliques.

  • Stand with feet a shoulder width and a half apart.
  • Hold a dumbbell in one hand at your side.
  • Keep your legs and the hand holding the dumbbell straight.
  • Bend your torso directly to the side the dumbbell is on.
  • Slowly rise back to an erect posture and repeat.
  • Once finished, grab the dumbbell with the other hand, and repeat the exercise on the opposite side.

Trunk Twists

  • Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Hold a broomstick resting across your shoulders.
  • Rotate the upper body smoothly to bring the right shoulder to the front and the left shoulder to the back.
  • Hold and crunch 2 to 3 inches for a couple seconds.
  • Rotate the upper body smoothly to bring your left shoulder to the front and right shoulder to the back.
  • Hold and crunch 2 to 3 inches for a couple seconds.
  • Repeat.

The Pelvic Floor:

exercises for sex and pregnancy.

Kegel Exercises

Main Target: the pelvic floor.

The strengthened pelvic muscles resulting from this exercise can supposedly provide a man with more control over the time at which he ejaculates.

The same exercise can provide a woman with the ability to tighten her vaginal hold on her partner's penis during sexual intercourse, and can provide a pregnant woman with the muscular conditioning to support a fetus and avoid problems associated with pregnancy.

  • Simply flex the muscles you would use to hold in urine.
  • Relax.
  • Repeat.

Like using a portable wrist flexor, this exercise can be performed anywhere, only nobody has to know you're doing it.

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