Posts Tagged ‘technique’

How to do Dips

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

How to do Dips

Muscle Building DipsDips are listed in a previous post as one of the top 5 best triceps exercises. They can be useful for both chest and triceps training.

Based on the principle that exercises in which you move your body through space are better than the exercises that keep you in a stationary position, dips are actually better than push ups. It is also easier for you to add weight to your dips than it is to add weight to a push up.

What are Dips?

Any exercise where you use your triceps to elevate your body is a dip.

To execute a traditional parallel bar dip, find a set of parallel bars and climb up. Start at the top position with your arms straight, elbows locked and body hanging in space. Lower your body until your shoulders are parallel to your hands, then push yourself back up to the top, stopping just short of lockout.

In this post I want to discuss how to do dips the right way, several variations of dips, how to do dips if you can’t do dips, and what to watch out for when first learning how to dip.


Top 6 Leg Training Mistakes

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Don’t Waste Time Training Legs the Wrong Way!

Leg Training Mistakes
Your legs are the foundation of your physique. With their bulging tear drops, incision-like cuts, and shredded striations, prize leg development can win you a contest. Lagging leg development can also lose you a contest. Additionally, having strong legs makes it that much easier to develop a strong upper body. Here are 6 mistakes most athletes make when training their legs. These tips apply both to active bodybuilders and newbies, so pay attention!

The Top 6 Leg Training Mistakes

  1. Not Training Legs At All

    A lot of people completely avoid leg training. Why? Personally, I find it hard to understand. But there’s obviously a reason why they do; theories are they already have some preconceived notion that their legs are developed beyond what they are in actuality, or they see leg training as “hard”.

    It’s true that leg training can be painful, and you generally are sore afterwards, but many bodybuilders grow to love that soreness, as with other muscles. Avoiding leg training is a critical mistake, and you can’t build a house without a foundation.


How to Squat

Monday, July 20th, 2015

How to Perform Squats

SquattingThere are many different lifts that a weightlifter can do to increase their strength, speed, and power. All kind of weightlifting is great for your body, but I prefer to not waste time in the gym lifting with tunnel vision, going from machine to machine and seeing little results from my hard work.

Instead, I would rather do 3-4 exercises with maximal intensity to wipe out my whole body in order to reap a maximal anabolic effect. The most well known and most dreaded of these exercises is the squat.

Rules to remember when squatting:

  • Keep the lower back straight and mostly flat; do not round your back!
  • Keep knees pointing out slightly, do not let them creep inwards as you push yourself up.
  • The bar should rest on upper trap muscles and the rear heads of the shoulders.
  • Push from your glutes (butt), not your knees; your hips should raise first and everything else should raise with them.
  • Fill your stomach with air before descending and keep it tight with your chest out while pushing up.
  • Push up with your eyes focused 30-45 degrees above normal eye level.
  • Try to keep your knees behind your toes to avoid injury.


5 Squatting Mistakes

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

How NOT to Squat

Chick Squatting
8-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman said it best: “shut up and squat.” [1] After all, there’s nothing better for building lower body mass. Squats force you to use numerous stabilizing muscles and exhaust hamstrings, quads, and glutes.

To get the most out of squats, however, they must be executed with correct form. Avoiding these common squat mistakes will take both your performance and physique to the next level.

Mistake #1: Not Engaging Your Core

The core is the body’s center of gravity and is where movement originates. [2]If you have a weak core, it will be much harder to keep the weight stable. It also places you at a greater risk for hip or lower back injury.
To properly engage your core when performing a squat, concentrate on sucking your belly button towards your spine. A strong core will be able to maintain this posture throughout the exercise. If you have a weak core, using a weight belt around the waist protects the spine and keeps you from relaxing the core.


The Importance of Proper Form in Crossfit

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Crossfit WomenIf you are the type of person who enjoys physical fitness, then you’ve no doubt tried several different types of exercise, from basics like jogging, cycling, and swimming, to instructional classes in yoga, Pilates, and step aerobics, to workout DVDs for P90X or Insanity. But if you’re looking for an up-and-coming exercise regimen that is going to continue to challenge you for a while, then perhaps Crossfit should be on your radar.

The only real caveat with this intense form of exercise is that it is all too easy to injure yourself if you’re not careful. Since you are pushing yourself to your physical limits with timed circuits that require you to fit as many reps into the allotted time as possible, you’ll find that you tire long before you’re through. So it’s not only important to know your limits, but also to observe proper form in every exercise. Here’s why.


Push Ups

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Push Ups - You're doing them wrong!

This dude was voted most likely to fall on his nose.

Dumbell Squats

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Dumbell Squats - You're doing them wrong!

How to do Inverted Rows

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
Sexy Back Muscles
Build Back Muscles

Along with pull ups, rowing is one of the best exercises to train the back. The king of rowing exercises is the standing barbell row, but the problem is that too few people perform them properly.

You might see the following common technique flaws in people executing barbell rows:

  • standing upright – you gotta bend over just short of 90 degrees
  • rounded back – lower back weakness or hip tightness can cause this
  • momentum – using the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings for momentum

You can fix all of these issues by changing your barbell row into an inverted row. The inverted row is not a perfect replacement for the barbell row – it removes posterior chain stabilization from the movement and limits the load you can use – but it is a suitable replacement if you need one, and believe it or not it gives us yet another reason to accept the existence of the Smith Machine… OK, maybe not.

Let’s find out why and how to use inverted rows in our training routines.


How to Bench Press

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

How to Bench Press

Update: I found a sweet How to Bench Press video by elite powerlifter Dave Tate today. The video appears about halfway through this post. If you want to bench press for max strength and “think” you have perfect form, you NEED to watch this video. Therefore I am republishing this article today for every Swole Bench Presser’s benefit.

Your Questions
Your Questions

I get plenty of questions in various comments throughout the website, but I also get comments and questions via the Project Swole Contact Form.

Generally I address those questions through e-mail, but often I do not have the time to reply to each and every question personally.

From now on I want to take a more proactive approach to answering Your Health Questions by posting them separately in the blog. This way we can be sure that everyone benefits from the Q & A.

Kyle wrote:

“Hey Steve, OK me and a friend got into an argument about how to bench. I said you should touch your chest and he said you shouldn’t because it can injure your shoulder you should stop like 1 inch away from your chest? What is the right way to bench?”


So, you want to know how to bench press properly?

How to Bench Press
How to Bench Press

The bench press is the most popular exercise in the gym among men. It is the strongest upper body exercise for most people, and has been a social gauge (and wrongly so, in my opinion) of male strength and fitness for more than a century. Fortunately, bench presses are the #1 best exercise for building upper body strength and size, and so should be included in nearly all strength training routines.

On the down side, benching is responsible for many weight lifting injuries, especially in the shoulder area. Hopefully this post will educate you as to how you should be bench pressing to avoid injury.

How to Bench Press

A concept of a bench press is simple:

Start by laying down on a bench. Place your hands on the barbell with your palms facing away from you (this is a pronated grip). Unrack the barbell and hold it straight up over your upper chest. Bend at the elbows to lower the barbell until it touches your mid chest. Press it back up over your upper chest. That’s a rep.

In reality, using proper form on the bench press can be difficult to master, as you will see when you read this post in its entirety.

Now, to answer your questions…