Taking the tough road to total fitness is about lifestyle. During your journey, you may encounter problem areas around your body that you’ll need to focus on to reach your training goals. Achieving a healthy body is not an overnight thing. Also, flat tummies and toned arms can’t be attained through random sets of workouts. Just like with everything else, there has to be a thorough plan that focuses on critical areas that you want to target as well as your overall fitness.
In line with this, different workout routines and exercises target different muscle groups. By knowing how to address your problem areas moves you beyond the beginner stage. With the right fitness equipment and exercise plan, these advanced workouts bring you closer to your fitness goals.
The ever-reliable bench press is a compound exercise that really helps your pectorals gain muscle mass. However, you should keep in mind that the pecs are a group of muscles with each needing the attention it deserves to achieve a well-defined chest.
To augment your flat bench press exercise, you can do an incline press using dumbbells or a barbell. Sit on a bench with your back at a 45-degree angle and lift to target the upper chest muscles. You can do a drop set, where you add more weight as you move on to the next set, or do a superset, where you finish three full sets with no rest in between.
If you are interested in developing your shoulders, the standing military press is a reliable muscle builder that focuses on the deltoids. To execute it correctly, you’ll need to be standing, with hips at natural to avoid stress on your lower back. With the bar just off your upper chest, push straight overhead, stopping just short of a lockout while maintaining slightly bent knees.
Biceps give your arms firepower, so a focused exercise is needed to make them swole. The incline dumbbell curl is a great exercise. You do this by sitting on a bench with the incline at 40 degrees and doing curls with barbells. After hitting your maximum number of repetitions, set the bench to 45 degrees, only resting long enough to adjust your bench. After finishing your sets in this angle, move to a 60-degree incline as you reach your repetition capacity. Three sets of 10 reps are enough to work on this muscle group.
That group of muscles at the back of your arms make up the triceps, which, together with the biceps, make up the muscle mass of the upper arm. To bring out all three heads of the muscle group, the skull crusher is an effective exercise. Using a closed grip on an EZ bar, your starting position should be lying on a flat bench with the bar held above your head. While keeping your upper arms stationary, lower the bar by flexing your elbows. Pause once the bar is directly above your forehead then lift back to starting position.
The forearms are primarily used for grip, improving your capacity for lifting. The barbell reverse wrist curls can help you increase the muscle mass of your forearms. Lay your arms on your lap while holding a weighted barbell with your palms facing down. Using the muscles on your wrist and forearm, curl the barbell upward as high as you can go. Lower it to the starting position and repeat in sets.
Your back has a number of muscles you’ll have to work on to give you a broader appearance. You’ll have to emphasize compound movements and heavy lifting to build them. This is where the deadlift comes in handy. Make sure you are in good form to reap the benefits of this advanced exercise for the back and reduce the risk of injury.
Position your feet so they’re slightly closer than shoulder-width with your back arched and hips pushed back. Lift the bar with a double-overhand or over-underhand grip just outside your shins, keep your shoulders back and engage your lats. Make sure your head is in a neutral position. As you approach the top, hold it, then slowly bring the weight down with your hips while maintaining a stiff arch in the lower back.
The quads or the upper legs are a large muscle group that also need attention to maintain a proportionate physique. The dumbbell stepping lunge can help build the muscles in your quads while strengthening your balance. Instead of your standard lunge, you’re holding a pair of dumbbells to increase the difficulty level. It looks simple till you actually feel the burn.
The hamstrings are muscles that are often overlooked and relegated to leg curl machines. The problem is they don’t allow for much free motion and tend to lock you into a specific position hoping to isolate the hamstrings with no hip and lumbar movement. The solution? Ball leg curls.
Lie on the ground with your lower leg on top of a stability ball. Begin by raising your butt off the floor and forming a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. Curl your lower legs toward your butt by rolling your heels on the ball while keeping your body straight as you curl in. Pause at the top then slowly return to the starting point.
Calves are important if you don’t want to have chicken legs. One great advanced exercise is the hole calf raise where you stand on an elevated surface with feet shoulder-width and toes turned out. Lower yourself into the bottom position of a squat (called the “hole”) and execute a calf raise, coming up as high as you can without extending your hips or legs.
The abs are a tricky group of muscles. They say you earn them in the kitchen and not the gym. But when they do start popping out, one of the best exercises that you’ll need to include in your repertoire to give you a ripped core is the jackknife sit-up.
Position yourself flat on your back with both your hands at your sides for support. Flex your lower abs and raise your legs until they’re perpendicular to the floor. At this time, raise your shoulders and torso as far away from the ground as possible in a curling movement without raising your back from the floor. Maintain tension as you lower your legs back to the starting position.
The key to focused workout movements is form. Make sure you are experienced enough to try these exercises without the risk of being injured. If you’re having a hard time doing them, ask a gym trainer to help you out. You can also do these advanced workouts at home. If you’re planning to build your own home gym, get in touch with Indoor Sport Services for the best in home hire fitness equipment. You’ll have everything you need at home to get into the shape you want!