Smart Bodybuilding Workouts

First and foremost, body building workouts must be personalized and annotated on a chart where you will be keeping record of the progress made in muscle mass augmentation and resistance. As long as you are making progress you can keep on with the routine. If you notice there are some areas where you are not improving you can consider adjusting exercise, weight, number of reps etc.

Make sure you first train on compound exercises (involving at least 2 joints) before you move onto isolation exercises involving one joint and few muscles.

Also be careful about technique. I have taken a little more time to give you technique tips over ceratin exercises where mistakes are most common below:

Chest

The bench press is a classic and it can be done with barbells or dumbbells. Inclining the bench press will work your upper chest and shoulders better, and declining will work lower chest and triceps.

Mastering the bench press is not as simple as it seems. It can be dangerous, especially if you are working out on your own and using a barbell.

Lie on the bench press and find the proper grip of the bar without putting any weights on. If it is too wide you will strain your chest and if is too narrow you will strain your triceps. Unrack the bar and lower it to your sternum. Bring your forearms in close and vertical. Remember that position. Place your weights, lock your body to the bench and your feet flat on the ground (do NOT put your feet on the bench). Inhale when the weight is on its way down. When you have finished the downward phase, push on your legs to help you bring your arms up. (This is a pro secret from Lloyd Strang – British Powerlifting Champion 2008)

As isolation exercises you can go with a dumbbell fly and a dumbbell pullover.

Back

Chin ups (or pull ups) to widen the back and strengthen the lateral muscles. If you can’t manage them use the cable pull-down machine and keep adding weight.

Another alternative for preparing your body for chin ups is the supine row. You can just lie down and pull yourself up onto anything. You can use the edge of the table if you train at home or the pull yourself up from the barbell bar whilst lying on the bench press. Also just hanging on the bar is very good for getting the muscles to start developing.

To thicken the back go with rows: barbell bent over, cable rows, one-arm dumbbell rows and also stiff legged deadlifts.

Shoulders

Military Press (also known as overhead press and shoulder press) using dumbbells or barbells. This exercise works the front, middle and back part of your shoulders.
A good isolation exercise is a lateral raise. A lateral raise targets the middle of the shoulder and widens the shoulders, a front lateral raise targets the front of the shoulders and bent over lateral raise targets the back of the shoulder. To avoid shoulder injury when doing lateral raises with heavy weights, keep your arms slightly flexed and don’t lift any higher than parallel to the ground.

Biceps

The bicep curls are the basic and best exercise for biceps, try experimenting with variations (Pracher curls, Gironda drag etc) so as to work the biceps through all the various angles.

Triceps

The ideal compound exercise for triceps is the close grip bench press, which is good for shoulders and chest too. Apart from that you can go for all the variations of triceps extensions such as lying triceps extension, French press and cable push down.

Legs

Squats and deadlifts are the main compound exercises you will want to be doing for the legs.

When performing a deadlift keep your back straight to avoid injury and strain. Use a mixed grip, one hand over and one hand under and change only at end of set. Keep your feet planted on the ground and your weight centered. Keep your head in line with your spine to prevent strain in this area.

Lunges, leg extensions, leg curls, leg press, glute-ham raise are isolation exercises that you may want to add in.

Executing these basic exercises using proper technique will make a world of difference. It will prevent injury and the results will be visible in very little time.

Are you still here? Go workout!

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