Guys, your arms, chest and shoulders (aka gunz, pecs & boulders) are your male ‘show muscles.’ They set you apart from the average Joe couch potato and you work hard at them but are you maximising your potential?
Here is a tip for each to maximise your gainz!
Point your elbow at the floor. When performing any variation of bicep curls whether it be barbell, dumbbell, standing or seated. You should always keep your elbows pointing at the floor and also lead with your little finger.
One of the main roles of the biceps muscle is to supinate (turn your palms to face up) the hand, so when doing any kind of bicep curl, especially dumbbells lead with your little finger! Imagine trying to turn your little finger out all the way through the movement to recruit the most amount of fibres and also involve the short head of the bicep which will give you a great pump!
Know your anatomy. If you stand in an anatomically correct position – shoulders back and down with fingers pointing down to the floor, your elbows point out and away from the midline of your body.
If you bend your arms whilst keeping your elbows down your hands naturally travel closer together so you want to chose exercises which match this movement.
So try these:
- Rope push downs – try it with two ropes attached to the cable stack so you can go wide at the bottom.
- Cable X push downs – stand between two cable stacks and hold a cable attachment in opposite hands (left cable in right hand, right cable in left hand so that they cross in an X in front of you) then perform a pushdown as you would like a wide rope push down.
- Over head rope extension with two ropes – keep your elbows pointing straight up and split your hands and the ends of the ropes wide at the top.
If you’re unsure of technique and want to build some serious muscle just ask – HERE
Perform ‘Inward intent’ on the bench-press.
Sorry to tell you guys but if you are trying to get a huge chest just by performing a barbell bench-press you aren’t using your time in the gym as efficiently as you could be.
The problem with the bench press is that the triceps and front deltoid (shoulders) muscles are heavily involved and can sometimes take over from the chest. But there is a way around this and it’s called ‘inward intent.’
Lay yourself on a bench with the bar at arm’s length as you normally would set yourself up for a bench press. Now as you lower the bar to your chest try to squeeze your hands together. Obviously your hands won’t actually move along the length of the bar but the brain will send messages to your pectorals to contract as you ‘intend’ to move them ‘inwards.’
You will definitely feel this one! Don’t be disappointed if the amount of weight you can lift decreases. It won’t matter to much if size is your goal as the inward intent will be activating more pec muscle anyway.
Pour a big jug of water. When doing lateral raises its very easy for you to allow your traps to take over and minimise any effect that the exercise will have for widening the look of your deltoids which let’s face it guys, it’s why we do laterals.
So with that in mind, when doing lateral raises start with the dumbbells next to your body & tuck your shoulders back and down into their anatomically correct position (lift your shoulders up, round, back and down). This will ensure that the deltoids have to work harder plus you will find it harder to recruit your traps to do the work as they are already recruited to keep your shoulders back.
Lift the dumbbells laterally away from the body and keep your little finger higher than the rest of your fingers at the top of the movement, like pouring a giant jug of water. This will ensure you maximally recruit the medial head of the deltoids and you should feel the difference.