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Exercises for the arms and butt

Published:Monday | April 9, 2012 | 12:00 AM

1) Close grip chin up: This is the king of biceps exercises because it allows you to use the most weight and move your body through space. Any time you can move your body through space, instead of just moving your limbs, there is a higher level of neuromuscular activation which leads to greater muscular development. If you want to build huge arms, this has to be in your arsenal.

2) Barbell curl: As far as isolation movements go, this is the best one there is when it comes to building big biceps.

3) Dumb-bell curl: Another isolation movement that is nearly the equivalent to the barbell curl. The added advantage is that when you can no longer complete another rep, you can stop doing them simultaneously and switch to alternate curls to cheat a few more reps out. (You can substitute heavy water bottles).

4) Incline dumb-bell curl: The added stretch here makes this a very effective biceps-building exercise.

5) Hammer curl: If you really want to build huge arms you need to include some work for the brachialis muscle. Hammer curls target the brachialis muscle which, when developed, can add a great deal of mass and thickness to the upper arm.

6) Parallel bar dip: Again, this is an exercise where you are moving your body through space instead of just moving your limbs. If you need proof of the effectiveness of dips, you need to look no further than the incredible arm development of male gymnasts. Like the close grip chin up, this has to be a regular in your muscle-building workouts if you want to build huge arms.

7. Close grip bench: This is another compound movement which will pack slabs of muscle on the triceps as it allows you to use a ton of weight.

8. Half-range close grip bench press, aka lockouts: This exercise is done by setting the pins in the power rack so that they stop the bar about a third of the way down from the top. This greatly overloads the triceps and allows you to use extremely heavy loads. The end result is that you will build huge horseshoe triceps.

9. Angled bar pushdown: I prefer the angled bar to the straight bar for pushdowns because it is much less stressful on the wrists and much more comfortable to handle heavy weights with. This is a highly effective isolation movement which is pretty easy on the elbows; a rarity for isolated triceps exercises.

10. EZ Bar lying triceps extensions: This is another highly effective isolation exercise for the triceps. Unfortunately, this exercise can lead to elbow problems. For this reason, it should be used less frequently than the others and the reps should be kept a bit higher; preferably in the eight-15 range.



11. Squats: Squats are a staple buttocks exercise that you can do with or without weights. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Hold your hands up by your shoulders, optionally grasping weights. Slowly bend your knees to lower yourself toward your heels. When you go down as far as you can without falling, use your leg and glute muscles to push yourself back up to a standing position. Repeat for two sets of 15.

12. Squat kickback: In squat position, bend your knees so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your arms straight in front of you. Pick up one leg and extend it behind you, leaning forward. Extend your arms over your head so that your body is in a straight line from the tips of your fingers to your heels. Lower your leg and return to the squat position. Repeat for two sets of 15 on each leg.

13. Plies: Stand with your feet slightly farther apart than shoulder width and your toes pointing forward. Place your straight arms in front of you and lower yourself as far into a squatting position as possible. Rise to return to a standing position. Do two sets of 10.

14. Touchdown: Stand with your feet shoulder-length apart and facing forward. Lower into a squatting position, your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Step one leg back into a reverse lunge and place the adjacent hand next to your forward, bent leg for support. Raise your other hand straight in front of you. Rise up and return to a standing position. Repeat for two sets of 10 on each leg.

15. Explosive lunges: From a standing position, lunge forward with your front knee bent to a 90-degree angle, directly over your ankle. Jump up and push off the floor with both feet, switching your legs in the air. Land with your other leg forward and bent at a 90-degree angle. Repeat for two sets of 15 on each leg.

16. Toe taps: Lie on the floor with your arms straight by your sides. Bend your knees to a 90-degree angle so your feet are in the air and your lower legs are parallel to the ground, with your thighs perpendicular to the floor. Slowly bring one foot down to tap the floor and back up. Repeat with the other leg for two sets of 15 on each side.

17. Hip-lift progression: Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and your knees bent, feet on the floor. Lift your hips towards, the ceiling, holding for one second. Lower back to the floor. Repeat for two sets of 15.

18. Clam dig with rotation: Lie on one side with your head propped up and resting in your hand, your elbow bent. Bend your knees in front of you at a 45-degree angle. Hold a dumb-bell in your upper hand, keeping your elbow by your side. Lift your upper arm and leg towards the ceiling and hold for two seconds. Return to your starting position. Repeat for two sets of 15 on each side.

19. Single-leg squat: With your feet together, place one foot on the end of a towel, hold the other end in your hand, on the same side and shift your weight to your other leg, bending the knee while sliding your straight leg on the towel out as far as you can to the side. Hold for four seconds. Bring your leg back in while straightening the other leg. Repeat for a total of 20 on each leg.

20. Single-leg front raises: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumb-bell in each hand. Bend one leg and raise it behind you about three inches off the floor. Raise both arms in front of you to chest height. Bring one arm up above your head and hold for three seconds. Alternate arms to do four reps on each side. Switch your legs and repeat the cycle.