Deep barbell squat
True strongmen will laugh it off when they see someone putting a lot of weight on the bar and then doing a nosebleed squat. It’s called a nosebleed squat because it has a very high altitude in comparison with real squats. Anyway, when you want to grow and improve the strength in your hamstrings and your glutes, you will do much better if you try to make use of the lower starting altitude that a deep barbell squat offers you with the extra space to go.
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This means that your hips will be on a lower point than your knees, so to initiate the squat you will need to start with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width, with your toes slightly pointed outwards. If you want to do a traditional low-bar powerlifting squat, put the bar on your shoulder blades but if you want to do a high-bar squat you want to put the bar a little higher, on the little shelf created by your trapezoid muscles.
Developing big traps requires a lot of work with deadlifts and farmer’s walks but in the end you’ll certainly be there. Lower your body as much as possible like when you’re sitting down, with your knees pointing straight out. When you’re at the bottom, stretch your leg muscles and try to rise up – you will need to drive your hips forward and consistently keep your head up the entire time.
Barbell bench press
The barbell bench press is a great exercise when you want to develop extra chest muscles and also more brute strength. You will need to be able to get drive from your legs, so practice this by putting your feet soundly on the floor when you lift. Also, you will need to take a grip wider than your shoulder width and you will need to squeeze your shoulder blades as close as possible, as if you were that one thing stopping the bar from falling down so it bends on both sides.
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Also, keep you back arched so that your behind is touching the bench surface at all times. To initiate the lift, squeeze the bar and tuck your elbows down when you’re lowering the barbell. Bring it at the level of your solar plexus and then blast it back up and a little towards your head so that it comes somewhere around your chin in level. When you lift, for maximum effect, try to spread your hands as much as possible as if you were tearing the barbell in two pieces.
Barbell shoulder press
This one has a distinct name – the military press. I’ve seen a lot of people doing this while seated because they think they will be able to lift more from a seating position – this is wrong. This exercise has to be done while standing upright, like they stand at attention in the military. When you do this exercise while seated, you put a lot of pressure on your spinal discs, meaning you might hurt yourself much more easily. You should be standing with your feet apart at shoulder width, or they should be staggered with one in front of the other so that your lower back won’t arch when you don’t want it to.
If you do this, make sure to make changes in your stances with every set – you should switch your legs for maximum effect. Bring your barbell down to your collarbone for a best lift, your chin for a medium level of difficulty and the middle of your face for the easiest one. When you bring the bar only to the middle of your face, your shoulders won’t be as stressed and you will be able to do more.
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