Archive for the ‘Exercise Technique’ Category

How to Bench Press Safely Without a Spotter

Saturday, August 31st, 2019
Heavy Bench Press

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.)

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How to Bench Press

Monday, August 26th, 2019

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

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.

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?”

Response:

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

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 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…

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Five Tips To Improve Your Deadlift Technique

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019
deadlift technique

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:

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21 Tips on How to Sprint Faster

Monday, September 17th, 2018

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.

SprintingFemale Sprinter

You think you know how to sprint right, but do you?

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Use Proper Form and Nutrition to Prevent Injury

Friday, November 24th, 2017

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.

gym injuries

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…)

Lift Your Game – Why Hanging Is The “Missing Link” Of Strength Training

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

pullups chinupsStrength 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.

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.

What Does ‘Hanging’ Mean, Exactly?

Hanging is almost exactly what it sounds like – it involves using the grip strength in your hands and forearms to suspend your body from an object. As an exercise, the main use for it is to really develop our often-underutilised grip strength; a type of strength which has been eroded by modern life as it’s not something which we use much in our domesticated lives.

Hanging can be performed as a passive exercise or as an active exercise (or even combined with a power band). In the passive form, once you have ably suspended yourself from a bar or an object using your hand grip strength, your concentration moves to relaxing your muscles – apart from those in your hands and forearms. Pay particular attention to any tightness in the shoulders and trapezius muscles – this is a good opportunity to focus on keeping these muscles relaxed and disengaged.

The active form of hanging introduces extra tension into the body. In this version of the exercise, concentrate on flexing each of your muscle groups, including your abdomen muscles, your biceps, and your glutes. Flex your shoulders while keeping their posture fixed back. (more…)

5 Tips for Bodybuilding With Lower Back Pain

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

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.

Back Workouts

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:
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7 Effective Exercise Proven to Shred Those Lady Thighs

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Here’s one for the ladies of Team Swole – a guest post by Emily of Body Shape 101

One of the biggest problems that women face is inner thigh fat. Flabby inner thighs that rub together while walking are not only a sore but irritating as well. Most people can relate as this quickly jogs their mind to painful friction burns especially when wearing a dress or skirt.

Besides this painful fact, inner thigh fat interferes with your figure and self-confidence as well. However, you’d be pleased to know that inner thigh flab is not chronic and that you can easily get rid of it through simple exercises. There are leg exercises and equipment purposely meant to curve and tone your legs, such as recumbent bikes, but you may need to indulge in some cardio exercises as well. 

1. Cossack Squats

This is a highly effective workout that targets your lower body. It will shape the glutes and thighs on all angles by burning the excess fat and in this case, inner thighs.  (more…)

Tips For Protecting Your Knees While Working Out!

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Keeping Your Knees Healthy, Happy and Functional

Girl squatsAre you experiencing unpleasant pain in the knee while training legs? In this article, we are going to tell you how to protect your knees from any unpleasant injuries as they are very common.

As you may already know, legs are one of the most important parts of the body, and it must be regularly trained, even though that it can be quite unpleasant from time to time. It’s not fun, and it’s painful to train legs, and that’s why many people neglect them.

For maximum effects, legs must be trained heavily until exhaustion. A serious injury in the area of the knees can stop your muscle growth and prevent you from training properly.

Here are some tips shared by experts in the industry:
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The Best Pull-Up Workout You Can Do at Home

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Build Upper Body Muscle & Strength At Home

Pull Up Workout at Home

Pull-ups are simply one of the finest body weight exercises that can be carried out for your upper body. Pull-ups workout your core, back, arms, and shoulders working out almost every muscle in the upper body. Pull-ups can be performed virtually anywhere that you can locate a bar to cling from.

We all know about the normal pull-up; how tough they are! This exercise in itself demands great power, and if you cannot perform at least 20 standard pull-ups in a row, then I suggest you do not attempt any of these advanced pull-up versions until you can.
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