Pump It, Push It, Squat It!
There are certain exercises that need to be a constant in everyone’s training regime. They are classics that will never fail to help you achieve gains in size, strength, and definition. Here are the classic three: the bench press, the seated military press, and the barbell squat.
Each of these three is a multi-joint movement that blasts several muscle groups at a time. They are also great natural testosterone blasters because they require you to work your muscles deeply and relentlessly.
For massive pectorals, shoulders and triceps, nothing beats the flat bench barbell press. Lie on a flat bench with a rack and place your feet flat on the floor. Grab the barbell with an overhand grip outside shoulder width. Lift the bar off the rack over your upper chest. Lower the weight by bending your elbows until the bar barely touches your chest. Once you’ve reached the bottom, press the bar up and in an arc toward the rack, flexing your pecs until you reach starting position. This exercise can be performed in the same effective manner and form using 2 like weight dumbbells.
To avoid injuries while benching, never lift your butt and lower back off the bench. Inhale as you lower the weight and exhale as you push it back up.
The seated military press will widen those deltoids as well as train your traps and triceps. Sit upright on a bench and place your feet flat on the floor. With your back slightly arched, chest up, shoulders, back and arms extended, hold a barbell with a wide overhand grip. The weight should be directly above your head. Now lower the bar in front of your head by bending the elbows until the bar is just below your chin. Press the weight back up explosively, keeping your elbows pointed out, until you reach starting position. Like the flat bench press for chest, this exercise can also be performed with dumbbells.
If you have shoulder injuries avoid bringing the bar too low – in that case, try stopping it at around the nose level. Never do this exercise as a behind the neck press or you will face rotator cuff injuries.
The squat is great for targeting lower body strength and development. Stand facing a squat rack and set the bar to about shoulder height. Position the bar across your traps and grasp it with a wide overhand grip. Stand up with the bar and take a couple of steps back, aligning your feet under your hips with toes pointing slightly outward. Now with your chest out, back slightly arched and your butt out, bend your knees and slowly lower your body (like you’re sitting in a chair) until your upper and lower legs form 90degree angles. Once at the bottom, explode upward by pushing through your heels until you’ve reached starting position.
For a safe effective squat, keep your back straight and refrain from leaning over. Keep your eyes facing forward and avoid looking down at your feet in the mirror. Push from your heels and don’t roll forward on your toes.