Variety is also important in the gym. You can't just go about your training with the same mundane techniques and attitude. Eventually your muscles require some new form of stimulation. This is where the real growth begins.
Exercises come in many different forms. Some exercises are very focused, targeting only specific areas of a muscle group.
This article will give you a few underutilized exercises. Incorporate them into your weekly routine for a unique style of stimulation.
From this starting position you will now need to pull the cables apart. It is crucial that you keep tension throughout the movement and make sure to squeeze your rear delts.
Exercise #1 - Rear Delt Cable FlyesThis is a great exercise to help build and enhance the rear head of the deltoid. It is good for developing a well-rounded delt, giving it that 3D effect that many of today's great bodybuilders possess.
This particular exercise is easy to perform and it produces excellent results. Rear delt cable flyes can be added into your usual shoulder routine as a finishing exercise, or even used as a main working exercise. Either way it is highly effective.
To perform this very much overlooked exercise you will need a set of cables. That's it; you are ready to go.
Grab each cable with the opposite hand. The left cable is held by the right hand, and the right cable is held by your left hand.
Now, once this has been achieved you should center yourself so that the cables are stretched out in front of you and are about parallel with your shoulders. Maintain a slight bend in the arms to avoid placing stress on the elbows.
From this starting position you will now need to pull the cables apart. It is crucial that you keep tension throughout the movement and make sure to squeeze your rear delts at the end of each rep. Try not to squeeze the scapulae together because that will release the tension from your posterior deltoid. Make sure to keep a solid focus on the muscle you are contracting.
There aren't many exercises for biceps that remain unexplored, but this one however is guaranteed to leave your muscle fibers engulfed in lactic acid.
Exercise #2 - Hammer Curls With Dumbbells Squeezed Together in FrontThere aren't many exercises for biceps that remain unexplored, but this one however is guaranteed to leave your muscle fibers engulfed in lactic acid!
Hammer curls are not unheard of, but there is a certain technique that can increase the stress placed upon the biceps. This variation involves squeezing the dumbbells together at contraction. This specific type of hammer curl can be done as a stand alone exercise, or supersetted with regular hammer curls for an extra burn.
To execute said curls: hold the dumbbells in the same way you would during a normal hammer curl, with each head of the dumbbell parallel with both the floor and ceiling. But instead of holding them apart, you press the dumbbells together out in front of your body keeping them squeezed tightly.
This means that you will not be able to go all the way down during the negative, but this is not a big issue. Start holding the dumbbells in the pelvic region (this is the furthest towards the bottom of the movement you will be able to achieve) and then, keeping them pressed together, curl them as you would a normal hammer curl.
This extra squeeze will add extra tension to your biceps and will stimulate some serious growth.
The incline front raise takes the standing front raise (pictured above) and moves it into a seated position using an inclined bench unit.
Exercise #3 - Incline Barbell Frontal RaisesAnother exercise for the deltoids, this time targeting the frontal delt as opposed to the rear of the shoulder.
The front of the deltoid is often stimulated through pressing movements, and a lot of people manage to work the muscle just through pressing. However, some of you will require the isolation of your front deltoid in order to grow the seemingly reluctant shoulder muscles. Front raises are a perfect way to do so.
To perform this exercise hold the bar at about shoulder width using an overhand grip. Extend your arms with a slight bend at the elbow.
Start with the bar resting on your legs, then raise the bar up until it's parallel to the ground. Focus on the contraction.
I recommend starting with a light weight. Take time to learn your capabilities on this life, as it can be difficult. Your form will slip when performed with too much weight.
Similar to the lunge position, a Bulgarian split squat is performed with your rear foot on a bench. From this position you squat up and down using only your forward single leg.
Exercise #4 - Bulgarian Split SquatsThis final exercise targets the quadriceps, and is a great movement to perform after some intense and heavy squatting when your muscles are exhausted.
Bulgarian split squats are brilliant for bringing the pain. They can be performed with minimal weight while still remaining effective.
Perform this movement in a squat rack or Smith machine. People who are new to this movement should stick to the Smith machine before moving onto the free weight version of this lift.
In both instances, center yourself under the bar. With a bench behind you, or using the support beam across the back of the Smith machine, rest one of your legs on a bench or beam.
Assume a comfortable position on your standing leg and squat down until your hamstring is parallel with the floor. The negative is to be performed slowly.
When you reach the bottom of the movement, power back to the starting point and repeat. Bulgarian split squats are an excellent addition to any leg routine and will really make those legs grow.
Now Hit the Gym and GrowThe previous list of exercises are great for any routine and can be effective for people of all abilities. They are a perfect way to properly stimulate your muscles and a lot of them can be used as finishing exercises or during supersets.
These exercises are guaranteed to have you gasping for breath and crippled in pain after each set. They promote maximum muscle growth and allowing you to achieve your long and short-term goals.
Give them a try and feel your muscles contract and ache in a way that you have never before experienced.
Editor's note: Have any questions about the performance of these exercises? Head over to the Tiger Fitness forum.