Recharge a tired weight lifting workout and sculpt total-body strength with 5 fresh exercisesBy: Jill Yaworski
If it weren’t for mirrors and women, many men wouldn't bother with muscle building. But for all their bench presses and biceps curls, few guys see consistent results. The reason: all those bench presses and biceps curls. "To stimulate new growth, you need to mix things up every 4 to 6 weeks," says Jeremy Frisch, USAW, owner of Achieve Performance Training. You don't always have to radically alter your routine—the fix can be as simple as altering your grip or tempo—but if you've been doing the same moves for months, it's time for a bigger change. Hit the refresh button with these five fast muscle building moves.
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How to do it: Hold a heavy dumbbell by its ends in front of your waist and stand with your feet twice shoulder-width apart. (Search: What’s better—heavier weights or higher reps?) Now lower your body until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Pause for 30 to 45 seconds, and then return to the starting position. That's 1 set; do 3 or 4. "Holding the bottom position increases the intensity," Frisch says, "leading to greater gains in power, strength, and stamina."
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How to do it: Sit with your palms and feet on the floor. Raise your hips; this is the starting position. Lift your left foot and right hand and flip over to your left, placing your right hand back on the floor and kicking your left leg out behind you. (Keep it elevated.) Flip back to the start. That's 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 8, switch arms and legs, and repeat to your other side. "It focuses on your core but challenges your entire body." (More: Pair core moves with the right eating plan—try the Flat Belly Diet for Men)
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How to do it: Stand with a pair of dumbbells just outside your shoulders, arms bent, palms facing each other. This is the starting position. Press the left dumbbell overhead and lower the right one to your side. Reverse the move as you return to the start; then press the right dumbbell overhead and lower the left. That's 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 16 to 20. "One exercise works both arms from wrists to shoulders," says Frisch.
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How to do it: Grasp the arms of a dip station and lift yourself so your arms are straight; cross your ankles. Lower yourself until your elbows are bent 90 degrees, pause for 30 to 45 seconds, and then push back up to the starting position. That's 1 set; do 2 or 3. "The pause increases the strain on your triceps and pecs at the hardest part of the move," Frisch says. The harder they work, the stronger you become.
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How to do it: Using an overhand, shoulder-width grip, grab a bar that is secured at waist height. Hang with your arms straight, hands above your shoulders, and feet on the floor. Now release your left hand and lift your right foot. Pull your chest to the bar, pause, and lower yourself. Do 3 sets of 12 reps (6 per side). "Using one arm and leg creates instability," says Frisch, "increasing the difficulty of the move."
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