- First and foremost, if any exercise causes pain, even with proper form, discontinue and find a solution.
- While you can spot enhance (build muscle), you cannot spot reduce (lose fat in a particular place).
- These are part of my own personal training program. What works for me does not work for everyone (but most likely will forÂ many).
Physique building, on paper, isn’t hard; in practice, it can be as confusing as how Trump won the Republican nomination.
Too soon? LOL
While I don’t know if America will be great again, I do know that there are certain exercises that are your best bang for the buck in the training economy with high investment and a great return.
Many people suffer from the following lagging bodyparts:
- Rear delts
- Lateral delts
- Upper back
Basically everything on the backside.
Here are my favorite exercises for each lagging body part and how you can incorporate it in to your training.
Making Your Body Great Again
If there were exercises that I feel “bring it all together” in their respective muscle groups, here is what I would chose.
Rear Delts: FACE PULLS
Why? Because too many people walk around with rounded shoulders from sitting at their desks all day. Also, there is a huge emphasis on the chest and anterior (front head) of the shoulders when you’re doing chest press variations as well as shoulder presses that that back part of the shoulder get completely forgotten.
Without healthy shoulders, you are setting yourself up for disaster not only in your training but daily life.
I would put them in the middle or end of my workout because they can be worked in the mid-rep as well as high-rep ranges.
There are 3 ways you can do them: Standing/Seated/Suspension Trainer
Lateral Delts – CABLE LATERAL RAISES
Why? Because everyone wants to claim “boulder shoulders” but their shoulders aren’t proportionate and the lateral delt is a main reason why.
I love the cable lateral raise a bit more than the dumbbell lateral raise (although they both a good) because of the constant tension when performing and the ability to control the movement through the entire range of motion whereas many people I see with a dumbbell, tend to throw it with no control on the way down.
Same thing as the face pulls, you can use them in the mid and high-rep ranges.
Upper Back – RACK PULLS
Why? If there is one exercise you can just straight up pick up something heavy and rock out while strengthening the upper back/traps, it’s rack pulls.
A note to add is keep the upper back tight as if you were deadlifting (but the range is definitely shorter and the rack pull doesn’t have carry over to your deadlift regards to how much you can pull your deadlift).
You can use rack pulls in every rep range of a program from the low-end strength ranges to mid range and high-rep ranges.
Glutes – HIP THRUSTS
This isn’t even a debate.
Too many people say, “squat to build a booty” and while yes, the glutes get stretched as they hit parallel and go lower, squatting isÂ still a quad-dominant exercise; not a hip-dominant exercise. Like anything in bodybuilding, whether you are one who trains “movements” or “muscles” you still need to justify the exercise and use it for the goal at hand. Hip thrusts allow you to isolate the glutes.
Anecdotally, it’s also helped me strengthen my deadlift because why? The glutes are usually the weak link in getting past the sticky point as you are pulling the weight.
Hip thrusts can be used as a strength movement working in the low-end rep range up to mid and high-rep ranges as well.
Hamstrings – 45-DEGREE BACK EXTENSIONS
There are a bunch I could put here but for me, personally, this is one exercise that when done right, SMOKES the hamstrings. It doesn’t take a ton of weight and because of the fixed position, as you go down, you just get the biggest stretch in the hamstrings.
“What about Romanian deadlifts?”
Grip is a limiting factor here and if I had to chose an exercise that not only returns big gains but also offers control and time-under-tension, this is what I would choose.
These do fair well in the high-rep ranges but if you hold on to weight (dumbbell or plate), you can certainly challenge the mid-rep ranges.
If you start incorporating these, you may start to see some glimmers of a better looking, stronger muscle.
If I had to say, “hey, invest this amount, and I can guarantee a much better return”, I would certainly put my investments here.
There are tons of exercises I could’ve put above but these right here will make your gainz great again.