Archive for the ‘Exercise Technique’ Category

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…

(more…)

Share the Swole!

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:

(more…)

Share the Swole!

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…)

Share the Swole!






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

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017
bodyweight grip strength

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…)

Share the Swole!

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:
(more…)

Share the Swole!






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…)

Share the Swole!






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:
(more…)

Share the Swole!






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.
(more…)

Share the Swole!






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.

(more…)

Share the Swole!






How to do Barbell Rows

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Back MusclesLike pull ups, heavy rows are one of the best exercises to train your 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:

  • momentum – using the posterior chain to generate momentum, instead of using the muscles of the back and arms
  • rounded back – weakness in the lower back or hip tightness can cause your lower back to round, which is bad for the spine
  • standing upright – you have to bend over nearly parallel to the floor in order to work the upper back properly

As I mentioned last week, you can fix all of these issues by switching from barbell rows to inverted rows, or you can learn how to perform barbell rows correctly.

Let’s talk about how we can best use barbell rows in our training routines.

(more…)

Share the Swole!