One bodypart that a lot of bodybuilders do not train is the forearm. If you don't train your forearm with the same intensity as other muscles then you should start to do so. It is almost vital to train your forearm with the same intensity if not more, I say this because you need a strong forearm to get the most out of your training, but also it looks quite stupid to have a huge biceps and triceps which build up a huge upper arm and then skin and bone from the elbow down. When looking at professional bodybuilders , it is muscles like the forearm that put these bodybuilders at the top. Here are a few exercises to help you build a great set of forearms.
1. Wrist Curl/Reverse Wrist Curl - This can be done with a dumbbell or barbell. Grip the weight with your palms up or palms down and rotate your wrist up and down slowly without jerking the weight.
2. Farmer's Walk - Grab a dumbbell with each hand and walk around the gym/room until your forearms feel like they are on fire. If you can do this exercise for more than 30 seconds, the weight you are using is not heavy enough.
3. Pinch Grip - Standing up straight, grab a barbell and hold on to it with the palm side of your hands brushing against your thighs. Without moving your shoulders, raise the bar by moving your elbows until the barbell is nearly touching your chest.
4. Using a Gripper - You must have a gripper to do this exercise. Use it by opening and closing your hand as if you were squeezing a guy's hand as hard as you could and then releasing.
The triceps is the large horseshoe muscle beneath your shoulder and is one of the favourite muscles to a bodybuilder. No bodybuilder is complete without a large well developed triceps. The tricep is involved in a lot of other exercises for different muscles. Any exercise that requires a pushing motion is working the triceps. Some people think that a flat bench press only works the chest. This is not true, not only do your triceps get a workout by flat bench pressing but your delts also get a good workout to. Here are a few exercises to help you develop a better triceps.
1. Pressdown - This is done on a machine with cables. By grabbing the handle, you simple press it down by moving your elbows and keeping your shoulders still.
2. Cable Kickback - With your elbow stabilised, extend your lower arm straight back until your arm is fully extended. Most people do this exercise on a cable machine, but it can be done with dumbbells.
3. One-Arm Extension - Grab the handle of the cable. With your palm facing your body and your elbow bent, extend your arm until it's fully extended.
4. Decline French Press - This exercise is done usually with a barbell but can be done with dumbbells. Lay down on a declined bench. With your arms straight above you, angle them back so the bar is over your face. Bend your elbows slowly to a point beyond and below your head. Then, raise the bar back to the starting position.
5. Flat Bench Press - The main muscle targeted here is the chest. Your triceps do get a decent workout but this exercise should be done as a warm up before your serious tricep exercises begin.
The Biceps just may be the most popular and most recognised muscle. When a person is asked to "flex," usually he or she will flex their biceps. Biceps, along with triceps and not to mention delts are what make up "guns." All exercises done to train the bicep are fairly simple and can be done with almost any form of weight. The only true way to work your biceps is by doing some kind of curl. I don't think I need to explain how to do curls, but I will list the different types and what is required to do them.
1. Dumbbell Curl - A dumbbell, hence the name.
2. Standing Barbell Curl - A barbell.
3. Concentration Curl - A low pulley and a suitable surface to lie down on.
4. Incline Offset Dumbbell Curl - An inclined bench and preferably a set of dumbbells.
Without a doubt, the most important bodypart is your back. Your back is what allows you to maintain an upright position. Your back also plays a very important role in lifting objects. If you ever seriously hurt your back, there's a good chance your life could be changed forever. The Standing T-Bar Row is probably the most important exercise you can do for your back. It targets many of your back's primary muscles and can add massive size to your lats. I will explain how to do this exercise along with other exercises you can do for your back.
1. Standing T-Bar Row - With firm footing, position yourself over the T-bar apparatus. Bend down and grasp the handles maintaining your spine's natural curvature while doing the movement. Pull the handle up so your elbows will be pulled behind your back as far as you can. Let the weight down slowly and repeat the movement. This exercise can also be done with dumbbells.
2. Deadlift - This exercise is targeted mainly towards your lower back. Drop down into a squat position and grasp the barbell. From this position, push the floor away from you and simultaneously drive your hips forward. Once your legs are straight, repeat the motion.
3. Standing Lat Pull-Down - Grab the long pull-down handle. Lean back approx 10 degrees and slowly pull the handle towards your chest. Let the handle up slowly and repeat the exercise.
4. One-Arm Cable Row - Grab a stirrup handle attached to a low pulley with your closed palm facing your body. Pull the handle into the side of your waist until your elbow is past your body. This exercise can also be done with dumbbells.
The Chest is one of the favorite body parts to work among bodybuilders. This is ironic because it is also one of the more difficult bodyparts to develop. Gym rats often like to brag about how much they can bench press and without a strong and powerful chest, you won't be able to bench press that much. There aren't that many exercises you can do for your chest compared to other bodyparts, but if you do these exercises right, you can expect results.
1. Flat Bench Press - I don't think I need to explain how to do this. Not only does this exercise give your chest a great workout but it also works your triceps and delts.
2. Rotational Dumbbell Press - For this exercise, dumbbells are a better choice than barbells because they allow for a greater range of motion. Start with the weights at your chest. Bring your arms over your chest and rotate your upper arms inward.
3. Flyes - Grab a set of dumbbells and lie down on a bench. Keeping your elbows slightly bent, spread your arms as if you were a bird spreading your wings. To target different areas of your chest, try inclining the bench at different angles.
So there we have it, everything you need to know about training the upper body. Once again I am going to remind you how important it is to stretch off before performing any exercise. The upper body is the most concentrated part of the body and a lot of people forget to train the lower body so I really do suggest using a lower body workout.
So until next time, goodbye from me,
Michael Pope bodybuilder and athlete.