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Showing posts with label Exercises. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Exercises. Show all posts

Saturday, February 2, 2019

9 Trap Exercises You Should Start Performing

Your traps are muscles that add an instant air of dominance, power, and masculinity to your physique. And when it comes to building them, there are three key factors you need to implement.

“First, it’s important to target your trap muscles from a variety of movements that include loaded carries, shrugs, Olympic lifting variations, upper back exercises, and overhead movements,” says Joel Seedman, Ph.D., strength and performance specialist and owner of Advanced Human Performance in Atlanta, Georgia.

“Second, you need to incorporate proper posture, spinal alignment, and scapular positioning on all exercises to activate your targeted muscles efficiently,” he says. “And finally, it’s critical to include the key mechanisms for inducing maximal hypertrophy, such as overload and mechanical tension, constant/continuous tension, metabolic stress, and stretch-induced micro trauma.”

Don’t worry. It sounds more traumatic than it really is.

The following exercises employ all of these components.

To maximize the growth of your upper back, you’ll want each of your trap workouts to include one Olympic lift variation, deadlift variation, shrug variation, overhead movement, row, pullup or pulldown, and loaded carry. For the best results this type of workout should be performed twice per week with at least 3 days of rest between workouts, incorporating different movements on each of the days, Seedman says. To avoid overtraining limit each workout to no more than 9 different exercises. 

#1 - Deadlifts

I don’t have massive traps, but for someone who hasn’t been in a gym consistently for a while, I still have decent traps.

Heavy deadlifts train your entire body, but your posterior chain and back really get worked.

If they aren’t already, adding deadlifts into your current routine will start upping your gains and building a great strength base.

Try performing deadlifts with a wider grip — this will create more tension on your upper back and traps.

When you are using a lighter weight, you could add in a shrug every rep for that extra bit of contraction.

#2 - Dumbbell Farmer’s Walks

Loaded carries are a great way to improve core strength, improve your grip strength, and will force your traps to grow.

Grab a couple of dumbbells and walk for 50-100 yards, or as far as you have room for. The amount of carries you can perform makes this a potent mass builder for traps.

This exercise is actually best for strengthening the muscles around your spine, so there are more benefits than just huge traps.

Want to up your core training? Carry just one dumbbell for an uneven load. An uneven load will force your core to keep your body erect. As we walk, our stabilizer muscles work and get stronger.

Keep a tall posture and walk with a fluid motion. It will feel different than a regular walking pace, but with some practice, you can get it.

#3 - Power Shrug

How to do it: Begin with the same partial hinge position described for the hang cleans and hang snatches above: Assume a tall standing position with the bar in your hands, hinged at the hips so the barbell is just above your knees. From here, extend your hips forward, and flex your feet as if you were going to jump; then shrug your shoulders forcefully by really engaging your trap muscles.

Why it’s effective: “The power shrug is an explosive exercise that involves powerful hip drive followed immediately by an aggressive shrug at the top of the movement,” Seedman says. “This move is exceptional for targeting the fast-twitch fibers of your upper back and traps since the high power output forces you to activate so many of them.”

#4 - Barbell Shrugs

Barbell shrugs are an obvious choice for building big traps.

Load the bar up and perform quality reps. Simply loading the bar as heavy as you can lift and attempting to shrug won’t cut it — you will need a full range of motion and quality contractions.

Play with tempo and pause reps to get a good squeeze. If you’ve got it in you, pause the contraction for one second every rep.

#5 - Dumbbell Farmer’s Walk

How to do it: Choose a total load that’s equivalent or greater than your body weight. Hold a dumbbell in either hand, and walk quickly yet smoothly with them for 50-100 yards.

Why they’re effective: “If you’ve ever watched the world’s strongest man events you’ve probably noticed that every competitor has enormous traps,” Seedman says. That’s because of the sheer number of farmer’s walks and loaded carries they perform. “Besides being a highly functional movement, the farmers walk is one of, if not, the single most potent mass builders for the traps, upper back, shoulders and neck. It’s actually an excellent exercise for strengthening the muscles along your spine, safeguarding against injury or strengthening your back after a pre-existing one.

#6 - Face Pulls

I personally love face pulls.

#7 - Rack Pulls

Rack pulls are basically a deadlift with the bar higher than on the floor.

Get into a power rack and set the catches around your knee level. This is going to be where the weight will start.

Since there is a shorter range of motion, you’ll be able to safely lift a little bit more weight than you can on a deadlift. This can help overload your traps and push you to the next level.

#8 -Hex Bar Deadlift

How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your hips back to lower your hands and grip the bar’s handles in the middle. Your lower back should be flat. Inhale and engage your abs. Stick your chest out and look in front of you, not at the ground. Drive your heels into the floor as you begin lifting the bar. Stand up, squeezing your glutes as you lock out your hips.

Why it’s effective: “If you’re looking for an all-in-one move that crushes your entire body while inducing hypertrophy in your traps and upper back, the hex bar deadlift is it,” Seedman says. It’s also safer than a typical deadlift. Rather than having the barbell loaded in front of your body, which puts you at a greater risk of hurting your lower back and spine, the hex bar fits around your body, placing the load to the sides of your torso. Better yet, this lets you lift heavier loads, complete broader rep ranges, and create high levels of tension and stretch throughout your upper back and traps. 

#9 - Push Press

How to do it: To perform this movement effectively you’ll either start by cleaning the weight to your upper chest and shoulders, or you can unrack the barbell from a power rack, Seedman says. From there, move into a partial squat by slightly dipping at the knees, then forcefully driving the weight overhead in one swift motion. Once you lock the weight out overhead, pause in the top position for several seconds to gain complete control of the weight. 

Why it’s effective: “The barbell push press is one of the single most effective strength and mass builders for the entire upper body,” Seedman says. “It also does wonders for crushing your traps—particularly at the top of the movement as you drive the weight overhead.”

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Best Chest Workout: Follow The 9 Chest Exercises

So you religiously go to the gym every Monday to train chest, right? You hit the flat bench, hit the pec deck, and smash a few sets out on the cable cross machine.

So why isn't your chest growing?

While progressively overloading with weight or reps, chest growth could be slow due to genetics, poor quality contractions, or you simply aren't doing enough. Below are 9 different chest exercise variations you should try if you want to build a shredded chest.

Before we get started, a question. High volume or high intensity?

In the case of building your chest, you cannot choose one or the other. Including both high-volume and high-intensity training into your chest workout will elicit a growth and testosterone response.

9 Best Chest Exercises

#1 - Weighted Chest Dips

When done properly, weighted chest dips really puts some great tension on the pecs and they also develop huge arms at the same time.

Can't do weighted dips?

Find a hammer strength machine or an assisted dip machine and work your way heavier. The goal is to maintain proper form, increase intensity.

#2 -  Barbell Bench Press (Flat and Incline)


Barbell bench allows you to lift the heavyweights. It can be learned easily and accordingly, you can introduce variations in it to challenge your body. For doing an incline barbell bench press, benches are fixed at steep angles. You can also do low incline bench press by adjusting the angle. Start with a flat bench press moving onto inclines.

#3 -  Dumbbell Bench Press (Flat and Incline)


It helps greatly in developing the chest, biceps, and triceps. You should try to maintain the proper posture. It is great for building mass. You only need to ensure that the muscles are getting stretched properly.

#4 -  Low-Incline Barbell Bench Press


It is the best chest workout which targets the upper body and its muscles. Low Incline Bench Press helps in targeting the upper portion of the chest. It also safer and more joint friendly. To do this exercise, you need to lie down on an incline bench. Grab a barbell and hold it above your chest. Move your arms upwards and then again get into initial position. Do the number of repetitions required.

#5 -  Seated Machine Chest Press


Seated machine chest press is basically for beginners who want to increase strength and focus on strength. You must set up the machine correctly. Since the machines vary greatly you must get the help of an instructor. Sit on the seat and select an appropriate weight. Take hold of the handle and release the pedal taking the weight with your arm. Inhale and press forward while exhaling.

#6 -  Incline Dumbbell Press


You can do this exercise by using several angles on the bench. To do this exercise, grab the dumbbells and sit down on the bench. The palm of your hand will be facing each other. Using your thigh lift the dumbbell and hold them at shoulder width. Rotate your wrist and then lift your hand up with the help of your chest. Lock your arm and hold for a second and then lower the weight. Repeat the movement up to the repetitions that you have to do.

#7 -  Incline Bench Cable Fly


They are a great finishing move to wind up all the exercises that you have been doing. They hit the upper chest at the proper angle. To do the exercise, wheel a bench in between the cable stand and perform them at a lying position. A Proper movement will benefit you in building up your chest.

#8 -  Kettlebell Fly


The kettlebell is an efficient equipment and can be used in several ways for gaining strength. It is usually done by dumbbells but doing it with kettlebells will prove to be more beneficial. It works on your abs, triceps, and shoulders. Here is how you should do the kettlebell fly.

#9 -  Weighted Push-Up


Certain weight, when added to the body while doing pushups, is bound to make your muscles put in more effort. The more effort they put in, the more worked up they get which makes them grow. You must start in a normal push up position and add resistance by wearing a weighted jacket or adding a weighted bag on your back. Continue repetition as you would do a normal pushup.

Points To Remember before doing best chest workout:

  • A chest is divided into three parts – upper, middle and lower portion.
  • Different variations of bench press will help in the growth of upper chest.
  • Middle chest grows from exercises done on the flat bench.
  • Decline bench press stimulates the growth of lower chest.
  • Go for heavyweights to build a strong core.
  • Do the exercises in the proper form.
  • Take short rest in between.
  • Eat right to grow right.
  • Do not go for high reps.


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