One of the biggest reasons that people “plateau” with their fitness progress is that they get too stuck into a routine. We often like to switch it up when working each muscle group, so we thought we’d show you a couple of exercises that we think are highly underrated. Here is a layout of our workout and then some brief explanations and tips on each exercise.
- Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
- Lat Pullovers: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
- Low Cable Rows: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Lat Pull-downs (3 grips): 4 sets of 12 reps with each grip
- Single Arm Curls (with a chain and plates): 4 sets of 10
- Hammer Curls: 4 sets of 12
- Reverse Grip EZ Curls: 3 sets of 15, 4th set go to failure.
- The first exercise in this video is Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows. They seem like an exercise that is simple enough, but you can do different things to really maximize your results! For instance, let your arm extend all the way down and fully straighten out. This allows the entire muscle to stretch and be put to work, rather than doing half reps. A great way to achieve full extension and contraction is to actually let your shoulder drop lower than the one at rest.
- Lat Pullovers are highly underrated and often times skipped over. Many professionals give this exercise full credit and responsibility for their massive lats. We like to lay on a bench press, with our feet where your spotter would normally be standing if you were benching. With this exercise, getting a full extension of the muscle is crucial. In order to do this, you might have to go significantly lighter than you think, but that is OK! Keep your elbows slightly bent, let the weight go almost all the way to the ground behind your head, and pull the weight back up over your face using only your lats.
- Low Cable Rows are a great alternative to any other lat pulldown exercise, and they hit your lower lats harder than others. Get a dumbbell (usually anywhere from 45-60 lbs) and set it at a comfortable distance from the foot rest. This exercise can be done with either a wide or narrow gripped cable attachment (we decided to go with the close grip). An important thing to remember: pull the cable to your belly button. Pulling to any other area greatly lessons the amount of work that your back is doing.
- Lat Pull-downs are pretty basic and can be pretty boring sometimes. We wanted to challenge ourselves a little bit, so instead of just doing 4 sets of wide grip pull-downs, we decided to make each set a superset. We used the normal pull-down bar and did one set of wide grip, one set of medium grip and one set of close grip pull-downs with about 5 seconds of rest between each different grip. After the close grip, we took our normal rest period. This exercise will definitely target your lats and burn them out pretty well.
- This next exercise is a bit different than what you might see most people doing for Single Arm Curls. We transitioned into biceps by using a handle from the cable attachments, attaching it to the chain from the dip-belt, and putting some plates around the chain. If you want to do this right, you will have to go light because if you start cheating on the reps, the weight will start swinging and you won’t get a good contraction; balance and control are key. So concentrate on going slow enough to keep the weight from swinging and you will start to feel the deep contractions.
- Hammer Curls were next after getting warmed up with single arm curls. Something many miss out on with this exercise is the nice squeeze at the top of the rep. If you focus on keeping your wrist stiff the entire way to the top and then tilt your hand back towards your elbow, you will notice considerably more bicep pump!
- Finally, we ended the workout with Reverse Grip EZ Bar Curls, typically a forearm lift. Many people don’t know the benefits of working the brachialis muscle (which is just below the bicep). The brachialis actually plays a huge role in pushing the peak of your bicep up higher, which in turn makes your arms look even bigger. Not to mention, the bigger your forearms are, the bigger you appear to be!
Hopefully what we shared here helps you get passed any annoying plateaus, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org