Regardless of how much you like your regular training routine, progress calls for a good dose of variety and if you want to keep growing like a pro, you’ll have to shake things up now and then by introducing some fresh new moves into your program. Today we’d like to encourage you to try out two great, all-around exercises that don’t usually don’t make it to the most popular list but are as challenging and effective as any of your favorite moves, if not more. In fact, these two are rather unique in their ability to powerfully strengthen your upper body and core while tremendously boosting your posture at the same time. Let’s dig in!
#1. The Zombie Press
If your headstand is pretty solid and you’d like to take it up a notch, this is the perfect exercise for you. This badass move can be best described as a happy marriage between an ab wheel rollout and a press to handstand, and it mostly engages the upper body, particularly the lats, and the core. And all you need to perform it is a smooth floor. While it’s evident that the zombie press demands a certain amount of strength and balance in order to be performed properly, it’s also a fact that almost anyone can learn it with the help of consistent practice. The list of benefits include strengthening the lats, triceps, shoulders, core, as well as enhancing your inter-muscular coordination and overall mobility.
How to perform it:
Lie on the floor with a flat body and arms stretched forward. Press into the floor using your open palms to lift your body up in the same manner as you would during a superman push-up, then start pulling your arms straight down towards the waist. Once your hips come over your hands and your toes are almost touching your hands, press up into a handstand. Return back to the starting position by reversing the previous steps.
If this proves too hard for you at first, make it easier by bending the elbows as much as you need and moving into a headstand or a frogstand instead of pressing all the way up.
OK so let’s get down to it. For zombie press, the majority of the work is in the upper body. I feel it in my upper back – particularly my lats. The rest of the work is in the core. It takes a lot of strength, balance and breath, but if I can do it, I swear anyone can do it with consistent practice. Promise.
#2. The Shank Lever
This move will fortify your shoulders, strengthen your core and advance your deadlift like no other exercise on the planet. And in just a few weeks, it will teach you to use the big muscles during your major lifts, which will ultimately make you a lot stronger.
At first glance, the shank lever looks like the perfect exercises for people who haven’t yet developed the mechanics and strength required to perform front levers correctly, since the vectors of the shank lever match those of an actual front lever and front lever pull while the shank lever itself is less demanding. But if you give it a chance, you’ll notice that it comes with a big bag of other important benefits, such as hitting your lats big time, enhancing your deadlift by teaching you how to set the back and shoulders for optimal efficiency and improving the mechanics of your bent-over rows. But most important of all, it does a great job at strengthening your shoulder extension, a crucial movement that poses a crippling weakness for most people.
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