When you think of calves, you picture the part of your leg that everyone else can see when you’re wearing shorts. Sure, you can have a huge upper body and quads, but if you have the calves of a 10-year-old boy, then people may often chuckle. To get past walking around with cringe-worthy chicken legs, you better employ a few of these best calf exercises as soon as possible to kickstart your calf growth.
Women prefer to have slim, shapely calves, and these exercises can help the females to accomplish their goals too. Ladies, don’t be afraid of training your calves just like men do… strong calves will even help you to walk better in high heels.
Of course, calf development is highly dependent upon your genetics. You can have very strong lifts, but the insertion points of the calf muscles are all that matters. Judges in bodybuilding competitions often do not put a lot of weight on the calves as a judging factor, but they do matter and are always good to have. And let me tell you, for those guys who think calves aren’t important on the beach, the women DO look, and, yes, they DO judge you for it!
Never fear though, if you do not have aesthetically pleasing, low insertion points, you can still bring your calves up quite a bit.
The core performs many important functions, such as energy transfer and stabilization. There are many core exercises that athletes use to make their cores stronger. However, many people who lift as a hobby, and even some professional bodybuilders and athletes, look at the core from a more aesthetic point of view. So, they only do exercises that promise a six-pack rather than highly effective core exercises, such as Anti-rotational Press, which strengthens accessory muscle groups rather than just 6-pack “show muscles”.
One thing to note is that the core is more complex than a six-pack. To optimally maximize core usage, you not only need exercises like crunches and hanging leg raises. You also need to work your inner core; the parts that connect to the lumbar vertebrae (located around the lower back).
This is where core exercises like the anti-rotational press come in. In general, anti-rotational movements work the core by forcing it to stabilize your body regardless of strong resistance from one side. In the process, they work other muscles in your core apart from the rectus abdominis (the six-pack muscles), such as the Erectus spinae, transverse abdominis, and your obliques.
The calves are a serious problem area for most bodybuilders. You can win or lose a contest depending on whether or not you have put some time into building thick slabs of beef on the back of your legs. Women tend to have calf issues as well; many are sporting the dreaded “cankles”. Both sexes often suffer from skinny little twiggy leg syndrome, sometimes known as “bird legs”. What do these folks have in common? They are probably all making the same calf training mistakes day to day, week to week. So how can we fix it?
To build marvelous calves, you have to put time into training them frequently and from a variety of angles. First and foremost, you can’t make the following 6 calf training mistakes and also hope to build world-class wheels. Train your legs right and you will prosper. Make too many mistakes and they will continue to lag.
Grip training: it has to be the most ignored type of training in gyms all over the World. Seriously, how often will you see someone working on their grip in the gym? Almost never, right? No one really seems to care. How much you bench press is all that really matters anyway – which is sarcasm if you didn’t catch the drift. That can all change for you if you start using this list of best grip training exercises along with the additional tips to make the most of incorporating them into your workout.
While grip training does not really have much of an impact on how much you can lift, it still can be important. A lot of people use straps as an excuse not to work on their grip. I mean you can deadlift 600 lbs with straps, so why would you work on your grip? Well, if you are ever planning on entering some type of powerlifting competition, then you will not be allowed to use them.
How to Develop a Strong Grip
The only way to make sure you get a more effective grip is to just work on your forearms with grip training. This can be done with any type of forearm exercise really. When you are doing deadlifts, you should try to never progress without straps.
It may be a pain in the ass not being able to bust past a plateau because your grip keeps giving out, but that is why you have to keep working on it! Don’t be that guy who can deadlift 500 lbs with straps but can only deadlift 3 plates without them.
The neck really is an important muscle. Think about it; unless you are wearing a turtle neck, everyone will see your neck. It can distinguish you from a bodybuilder to just a normal person. Furthermore, next to forearms and calf training in muscles being neglected, neck training is next in line. Actually, I would say that people neglect neck training more than anything else. Many people have never even heard of it or would even know what to do. This is why we are mandated to publish this list of the best neck exercises with guidance for how to build a tree trunk neck.
Are you feeling a little flabby after the winter? Maybe you’ve been working out but want to change up your routine without breaking the bank. Skip the gym with its fees and sweaty bodies competing for machines.
Working out at home or on the go with bodyweight exercises is convenient, free, and will help you achieve your fitness goals. Building muscle mass and losing weight has never been so accessible with these proven bodyweight exercises.
Who doesn’t want bigger, stronger arms? Almost everyone who lifts weights will, at some point, do exercises for their biceps and triceps. Unfortunately, doing the same old curls and push downs won’t produce the results you want. If you are stuck in an arm-building rut, use the following six exercises to breathe life back into your workouts.
Arguably the most famous muscle in your body, if you ask a child to show you a muscle, they’ll probably throw up an arm and do a biceps pose. Make your biceps something to be proud of by adding these unusual exercises to your arm training program.
The biggest drawback of most curling exercises is that the amount of weight you can lift is limited by your ability to keep your body upright. Weighted pull-ups eliminate this problem so you are free to focus on curling your chin up to the bar.
Start out by strapping on around ten percent of your body weight, so if you weigh 80 kilos, grab a 7.5-10 kg dumbbell or weight plate. There is no need to be exact; round up or down according to the weights you have available.
Grab the pull-up bar with an underhand, shoulder-width grip. Without kicking with your legs, smoothly curl your chin up to touch the bar. Slowly extend your arms and repeat. Sets of 4-6 are ideal with this exercise.
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
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.
Deadlifts are one of the primary, fundamental exercises for all serious weight training programs. Deadlifts work 100% of your legs and they require functional stability from 95% of the rest of the muscles on your body. Using proper form, deadlifts will help you get stronger, gain more muscle, and burn more calories than any other single exercise after the squat.
Deadlifts build lower back and hamstring strength, and they teach you to keep your lower back tight against a heavy load, which is critical to avoid injuries when lifting objects from the ground or floor. Unfortunately, this is also why deadlifts have gained a bad reputation of causing a variety of injuries, including spinal injuries and hernias.
Want big arms? Want lean, shredded arms? Then don’t make any of these arm training mistakes. Here are 6 great arm training tips for bodybuilders, fitness athletes, sports athletes, and newbies alike. Forget the myths, stop the mistakes, and train your arms proper!
Having great shoulders really makes you appear sleek and powerful. However, chest and back training does not suffice when attempting to build spectacular shoulders. You must train the shoulders directly, intensely, and often. Be attentive of these 6 common mistakes that people make when training shoulders.
Your chest is a large and complicated muscle. Considering its size you would think it would be easy to stimulate growth. Do some flat bench, another secondary movement, and your chest starts growing. Unfortunately the pecs are a much more muscle group area than that. In fact it is downright complex.
Training the pectoralis is a major puzzle to most bodybuilders, thinking a couple sets of bench press is all it takes, or going to the other extreme by dedicating a full day to 20 sets of different bench press variations. In this piece we would like to expose the answer to this puzzle by discussing the six most prevalent chest training errors and then providing tips to avoid them.
Read carefully; you will be surprised how many mistakes you are likely making.
Do you limit yourself by avoiding horizontal or vertical back movements? Did you know that your traps and lower back also need to be strengthened? Are you stuck on lat pull downs as your main back exercise? Can’t do a pull up?
Tsk, tsk, tsk…
Avoid these 6 common back training mistakes and you will have a much better chance of looking like Atlas and performing like an Olympian.
Every serious lifter would love to have massive forearms. It just adds to an already good physique, and would seemingly increase all of your other pressing lifts as well. The problem that most people have is that they aren’t sure how to attack their forearms. Either that, or they are not as consistent with their forearm training.
Forearms should be trained just as often as any other muscle. It shouldn’t just be something you work every couple of months whenever you are bored. Take your forearm training seriously, and you will be on the right path to adding some size on them.
How to Get Big Forearms
Many people think they have to do only direct forearm exercises such as wrist curls, and those will work to an extent, but with forearm training, you have to think outside the box and dumb things down. What is the one major exercise that requires you to have some strong ass forearms? Did I hear someone say deadlifts? That is correct.
Deadlifts, just like they work every other muscle in your body, they also work your forearms. Many people don’t get this much work because they decide to use straps whenever they go heavy. If you can deadlift a ton of weight without straps, then you are sure to have a great grip and huge forearms.
Aside from deadlifts, which you will read about more in a minute, I want to introduce you to 5 other exercises and a variety of techniques that you can use to build great size and strength in your forearms.
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.
Chin-ups are a basic exercise that you were probably taught early in your life, possibly as a kid. They are pretty simple, and fairly difficult, though not as hard as pull-ups.
To perform a chin-up, hang on to any bar, doorway, tree branch, etc… with your arms straight and your palms facing towards you. Using your back and biceps, pull yourself up until your chin passes the bar. It’s that simple.
Chin-ups can be performed on anything that allows you to hang with your arms straight and your knees not touching the floor.
Beginners usually can’t perform many chin-up, if any. This post intends to be a proper tutorial for increasing chin-up strength using optimal chin-up technique.
Proper Chin-up Technique
Now that you know how to perform a chin-up, let’s examine proper chin-up technique.
Pull-ups are very simple, but very hard. To perform a pull-up, hang on to any bar, doorway, tree branch, etc… with your arms straight and your palms facing away from you, and pull yourself up until your chin passes the bar. That’s it.
Pull-ups can be performed on anything that allows you to hang with your arms straight and your knees not touching the floor.
Beginners can’t typically do a single pull-up, which is why we need a proper tutorial for increasing pull-up strength. This post will teach you how to do increase your performance with pull-ups using the correct technique.
Proper Pull-up Technique
Now that you know how to perform a basic pull-up, let’s consider proper pull-up technique. No need to waste your time performing half reps or place your shoulder health in jeopardy.
The following tips should be used for optimal pull-up technique:
In weight lifting, the lower back does not always receive much attention, unless it is injured. Experienced athletes know enough to include deadlifts, stiff legs, good mornings, glute-hamstring raises, and pull throughs into their routine, but maybe that’s not always enough.
The posterior chain is used in many pulling and lifting movements, so making it a priority to strengthen the lower back will help to prevent serious injuries in future. Aside from those listed above, one exercise that can help strengthen, rehab, and prehab the lower back, is the reverse hyper. Additionally, the reverse hyper strengthens the entire posterior chain including the hips, spinal erectors, glutes, and hamstrings. (more…)
The shoulder press; also known as the press, overhead press, barbell press, and standing press; is often confused with the military press; and is quite possibly the best upper body exercise known to man.
The bench press gets all the glory, but this is only because it is easier to lift more weight benching than pressing. Shoulder presses can help you build fully developed shoulders, and will keep your shoulders healthy and strong, especially if you spend the majority of time bench pressing.
How to do the Shoulder Press
Add 2-3 sets of shoulder presses into you routine once a week, or at least as often as you bench press. It will keep your shoulders broad and healthy.
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