THE classic of bodybuilding. For both newbies and those accustomed to gyms, pushups are a must. What makes it an exercise not to be missed? First of all, the simplicity of the movement, which consists in leaning on the arms, lowering then raising the torso, taking care to keep the back straight so as not to suffer from back pain. Another advantage: no equipment is needed and the “push-ups” are accessible even to beginners. Finally, doing push-ups is the certainty of stimulating many muscles of the upper body – pectorals, triceps, deltoids in particular – and allowing a harmonious development of the body. Especially if you vary the movements: with the hands spread apart, with the hands clenched, inclined push-ups, declined push-ups …
The search for the famous “chocolate bar” is often one of the reasons that pushes you to start bodybuilding. To get a developed abdominal band there is no miracle: it must be worked often and effectively. This is why there are dozens of exercises that allow the work of the “abdominals”: straight, oblique, crunches, leg lifts … Also in this case, it is important to vary the exercises to work the entire abdominal belt and not develop a “zone” to the detriment of another. Be careful, for example, to use the obliques, which are sometimes neglected in favor of the rectus abdominis muscle.
The girdle is the ideal and essential complement to the “abdominals”. The two exercises are complementary, since the sheathing allows you to stimulate the deep abdominals, thanks to the work in isometric contraction (the working muscles are not in motion). In its classic position, the sheath consists of maintaining a horizontal position, resting on the elbows and on the toes. The advantages of the sheath are numerous: your trunk will be more toned, your stomach flatter and this prevents back pain in particular. Above all, don’t limit yourself to the “traditional” position and use the variety of sheath exercises to work the entire abdominal belt.
Unlike the first three exercises, pull-ups require an investment in equipment. But it’s minimal since you can get a pull-up bar for around 20 euros. And the investment pays off quickly given the effectiveness of the tractions. If you are unfamiliar with the basic movement, it is very simple: it involves grasping the bar and lifting your face above it with only the strength of your arms. With pull-ups, the back muscles are very stressed, as are the biceps and pectorals. Depending on your abilities, you can also try different pull-up variations, which will allow you to fully work the muscles of the upper body.
In bodybuilding it is important to work on all parts of the body so as not to create a dangerous imbalance for health. The squat is therefore not far from being the king’s exercise because it allows a whole body work at once even if it focuses mainly on the thighs and buttocks. The movement consists of bending the legs, with the feet resting on the ground, while carrying a pull-up bar on the back, loaded or not. The squat is both a simple and a technical exercise. Improper execution of the exercise can be very dangerous. But once mastered, the squat will give you satisfying results.
The leg press
To strengthen the legs, what’s better than the leg press? Lying on the machine, back and lumbar stuck on the backrest, feet resting on a platform with the legs bent, the movement consists in pushing on a load until the legs are fully extended before returning to the starting position. Considered less risky than the squat, because the load is distributed over the entire back thanks to the back of the machine, the leg press promotes the development of the quadriceps, glutes, back of thighs, calves, lower back and abdominal muscles.
When it comes to strength training, it’s nearly impossible to overlook the bench press. This very popular exercise is also very effective because it allows you to gain both mass and power. Lying on a bench, the movement consists of lifting a loaded pull-up bar, then holding it in a high position before lowering it to chest height and then raising the bar. The bench press works on the muscles of the trunk – small and large pectorals – but also the shoulders and triceps. It is recommended to bench press with the assistance of a partner to avoid accidents, especially if the loads are heavy.
Like the squat, the deadlift is an exercise that works multiple parts of the body – glutes, quads, rear thighs, back, abs, and forearms – in one motion. As the name suggests, the movement consists of grasping a pull-up bar, hands shoulder-width apart, at ground level, then lifting it up to the knees using the quads and then straightening the torso. This exercise requires perfect technique as it can be dangerous if performed incorrectly. It is for this reason that beginners will need to turn to state-certified trainers to learn how to perform the movement perfectly.
Are you looking for a way to develop triceps, pectoral and shoulder muscles? Try the dives! For this, the ideal is to have a diving machine. But if you train at home, all you need is a place where you can do this exercise, which consists of resting on two parallel bars, going down and then going up using the strength of your arms. Chairs or easels can do the trick.
Like the bench press, the curl is one of the classic bodybuilding exercises. Ideal for the development of the biceps, the execution of the curl is simple and consists in bringing the dumbbell to shoulder height, using the strength of the biceps, while rotating the wrist. During the exercise, only the forearms should move and momentum should not be used to lift the dumbbell. The exercise can also be performed with a pull-up bar.