A squat is a strength training exercise working on glutes, hamstring, calves, and quad muscles and includes the hip, knee, and ankle joint. It is one of the best exercises for leg strength, building muscle in the lower body, and strengthening the core. Literally an entire encyclopedia can be written about the benefits of squatting and proper squat form. We will try to provide a simple squat guide that is simple and easy to digest.(more…)
Archive for the ‘Exercise Technique’ Category
Just like you should not skip leg day, you definitely shouldn’t go easy when it comes to your shoulder workout. Not that you need a dedicated “shoulder day” but at least try to hit them from all directions with proper intensity.
Properly building shoulder size and strength makes for a vital part of that lusted-after “V-Shape” body physique. That physique starts with a wide top, and big shoulders make up a wide top.
But despite the importance of training shoulders, they are often done wrong, which makes you vulnerable to injury and a frustrating lack of growth. It is very easy to stumble into a pretty severe injury if you train shoulders wrong.(more…)
Do you ever wonder which muscles are used during deadlifts? Well, you need to start with understanding the muscles that get affected by the ‘King of all Exercises’ to know about their role in your workouts. There are many grips, foot positions, bars, and acceleration techniques that can be used to target different muscle groups in different ways. Let’s examine the techniques and learn which muscles are directly affected when deadlifting.(more…)
A major concern for all of us big-shot men is how we can bench press when we are training alone. Chest day has always been an important day in the weekly training regimen. It might fall on a Monday, a humpday, or even a Friday, but it is and has always been one of the most exalted workout days of the week for those training with a partner, buddies, or teams.
This is a day when we can walk in the gym with our chests puffed out.
This is a day when we can train those all-important show muscles… the pecs.
This is a day when we can perform the “manliest of exercises”… the bench press!
Let us examine some alternatives to bench pressing flat with a spotter.
(Of course for those of us who already know how to bench press, the bench press is really no big deal. There are about 7 other exercises I’d rather do than bench and at least 5 other goals that are more important to me than having a big chest or a big bench… but I digress… this article is about bench pressing after all.)(more…)
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.
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 answer Your Health Questions by posting them separately in the blog. This way we can be sure that everyone benefits from the Q & A.
“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?
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 downside, 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…(more…)
Along with the squat and bench press, the deadlift is one of the most common and useful strength training exercises. A deadlift requires muscles all over the body to perform. The arms, legs, core, and back are all strengthened by regularly performing increasingly heavy deadlifts. However, the deadlift can be of little benefit if one does not do it correctly, and without proper form, there is the risk of injury. You should always try to do what you can to improve your deadlift technique.
With these five tips, one should be able to perform deadlifts in a way that increases their strength with little chance of harm:(more…)
How to Sprint Faster
Sprinting is the foundation of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and will make your legs big, strong, fast, and powerful. Sprints are great for developing endurance, but also for developing lean muscle mass and speed strength. Even if you already know how to sprint, these tips will teach you how to sprint faster.
Ever seen a skinny sprinter? I didn’t think so.
Sure, squats are the almighty kings of the Gym Exercise Kingdom; but sprints are like the kings of the Functional Exercise Kingdom whose jacked-up, super-lean army of massive wheels is constantly trying to overthrow the squat as the #1 top leg exercise.
You think you know how to sprint right, but do you?
Too many times people throw themselves into an exercise routine with the expectation that if they heave as much weight as possible, enough times, they’re going to see the results they want. In reality, the result they’re likely to see is an injury that sets them back significantly in achieving their fitness goals.
Whether you’re just starting out or finessing your current exercise routine, it’s essential that you always take the time to ensure you’re practicing proper form. If you don’t, you are cheating yourself by lessening the positive effects of your workout and opening yourself up to serious injury. Aside from maintaining proper technique as you build strength and flexibility, you should also focus on the nutrition your body needs to function, recover, and grow. (more…)
Strength training is a popular, effective and growing form of exercise which aims to use different apparatus in order to strengthen and refine your muscles. Often relying on body weight and muscle control, one of the benefits of strength training is that it teaches users to get to know how their bodies and muscles work and to focus on how different muscles work together to initiate movement. One of the best bodyweight grip strength exercises, and arguably one of the best back exercises is hanging.
As with any form of exercise, different moves and sets develop popularity, based on their perceived efficacy. A form of strength training called ‘hanging’ is one such exercise. Below we’ll take a look at what hanging is, and why it’s a good thing to integrate into your routine.(more…)
Bodybuilding is a great way to sculpt and tone muscles, but the strain that it places on the body is sometimes too much to bear. Injuries are not uncommon among bodybuilders, and lower back pain is one of the most common problems experienced by lifters everywhere.
If you’re experiencing lower back pain, you don’t have to stop your workout routine. However, you should remember these tips that will help you manage your back pain and heal quickly. Warming up, stretching properly, and maintaining strict formex will go a long way, but try these too: