Flip Your Grip!
Some routines are meant to be broken!! You need to be applying the Progressive Overload Principle to your training in order to see progress through various training modalities, loads and intensities. It’s easy to get comfortable with an exercise routine that you perform day in and day out, without really paying attention to your form, fatigue levels during various movements or lifts, the order of your exercises and the intensity of your loads. Exercise is science, so if you aren’t getting the gains or losses in some cases that you desire from your program, the culprit is usually in not properly maximizing or executing these components. Progressively overloading your program could be as simple as changing your grip, for example, so check out these exercises below to flip the script on your routine and keep that exercise rut from growing roots and strangling your progress!
Barbell Reverse Shoulder Press
Chest-Deltoid Tie-In—This is where the front delt meets the chest, and unlike the overhand grip, the reverse grip with your palms facing in forces your elbows out in front of your body. Suddenly the focus shifts from the middle of the delt head to the front while also synergistically working the chest.
- Sit on a bench, feet flat on ground and back adjusted to 90 degrees
- Use slightly wider than shoulder-width, underhand grip and begin with the bar under your chin and just above your chest
- Press the bar straight up until your arms are fully extended
- Using a 3 count tempo, return to start
Reverse Grip Incline Press
Upper Chest, Triceps—Unlike the overhand grip, which focuses on mid-to-lower chest) the reverse-grip emphasizes the upper portion of the muscle, which ladies, will help to firm and raise your breasts a bit
- Lie face-up on an incline bench, 45 degrees, and feet flat on the floor
- Hold bar with a shoulder-width, reverse grip (palms facing up)
- Lift the bar from the rack and fully extend your arms so that the bar is above your chest
- Slowly lower the bar toward your chest, but KEEP ELBOWS POINTED FORWARD, NOT TO THE SIDES
- Pause, then press bar toward ceiling in a SLIGHT ARC using a controlled motion
- Stop just short of locking your elbows
Reverse Grip Barbell Curl
Lower Lats that wrap around Core Band—while this is a common exercise, it often gets neglected in a training program, as the lat pull-down takes most of the credit for building a broad, sweeping, upper body visual line. But this grip keeps your elbows closer to the body, generating more power and engaging the back muscles that wrap around the core band.
- Attach a V-handle, or close-grip handle onto the lat-pulldown machine
- With your arms fully extended overhead, engage and brace your core, with back slightly arched and feet flat on floor
- Squeeze shoulder blades together while simultaneously pulling attachment to chest, with ELBOWS BACK AND DOWN
- Squeeze at the bottom of the movement for a 2 or 3 count and then slowly return to the top of the movement
Close Grip Pull Downs
Isolate Biceps Brachialis (side of arm between biceps and triceps) which will add more overall size and shape than the traditional biceps curl, while focusing on the outer, “slope” of your arm
- Stand holding a barbell with an overhand grip
- Engage and brace abs, chest proud and head in a neutral position looking forward
- Contract biceps to curl bar toward the tops of your shoulders
- Hold for a 2-3 count at the top and then return to the bottom of the movement
*You can also perform this on the Preacher Curl Bench, but again, with the reversed grip, you focus less on the inner portion of the biceps, and focus more on the long head of the biceps!
Yours in health and fitness,
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