Some exercises have been around for years… that’s because they really work
What’s great about press-ups is that you can do them even though you may be weaker than Mr Puniverse. Start with a few, and over time increase repetitions at a good, even pace that builds muscle in the places that count your chest, shoulders and triceps. The exercise can work the abdominals as well, says strength trainer Eric Ludlow.
If you aren’t doing squats in your workout, then you don’t have a workout. “Squats shape the body and develop performance power,” says physical therapist Don Chu. To get the most out of your squats, focus on squatting deeper, rather than heavier. The key is to descend until your thighs are parallel to the floor, while still keeping your heels on the floor and maintaining the natural arch in your lower back. This deeper squat builds muscle faster and is safer for your knees than a squat in which you stop before your thighs are parallel to the floor. When you cut a squat short like that, you turn your knees into brakes. And you know what happens to brakes: they wear out.
For the biggest arms add an arm blaster to your curls. This thin strip of metal that hangs from your shoulders and prevents your elbows from moving forwards and back during a curl – forces your biceps to work much harder than they would if allowed to swing a little. Consequently, this curl is the best single exercise for working all parts of the biceps with maximum intensity, according to analysis conducted by Per Tesch, author of Target Bodybuilding. And the biceps are the best muscles to display on the beach, especially if a fight breaks out over the beach hottie – the stronger your biceps, the faster you can punch.
Clean and jerk
This used to be a staple move in hardcore gyms where men named Big Chris threw around weights the size of buses. But it’s making a big comeback in some weights rooms,” says exercise physiologist Dave Pearson. So go ahead and jerk! But use dumb bells instead of a bar bell. Start with light weights and focus on building speed more than building strength. Add weight only when your form is fluid and the move feels natural.