If you want real muscle gains, try swapping the machines with bodyweight exercises once in a while – classic exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups will help you improve your muscular balance, coordination, strength and endurance, and give your core development just the push it needs for a safe and effective performance at all the major lifts.
Machine-assisted movements offer a lot of advantages, but they can’t be a replacement for the key role of bodyweight exercises in any athlete’s routine, so step back from the machines and challenge yourself with this routine that will engage your entire body and help you train even the most stubborn muscle tissues!
Day 1 – Chest
#1. Wide-grip push-ups: 4 x 12
Placing your hands wider than shoulder width will engage more of your chest fibers, while placing them narrower than shoulder width will shift the emphasis to your triceps. Go wide to really make your chest burn.
#2. Elevated push-ups: 4 x 12
Elevated push-ups are performed by placing your legs on any kind of elevated platform. This places a whole new type of stimuli on the chest muscles, working them through a different range of motion that will encourage better growth.
#3. Single-leg push-ups: 4 x 12
This simple yet challenging push-up variant will force your core muscles to work overtime to stabilize the body and move it through a complete range of motion, so besides providing all the well-known benefits of the push-up, it’s also an excellent trunk stabilizing exercise.
Day 2 – Legs & Abs
#1. Jump Squats: 5 x 5
Jump squats will activate your fast-twitch muscle fibers and help you build explosive leg strength. Stand with your feet at shoulder-width apart, lower yourself down in a regular squat, then engage your core and jump up explosively. When you land, lower your body back into the squat position – that’s one rep.
#2. Paused Squats: 5 x 10
Paused reps are a great tried-and-true method to build strength and endurance and improving the functionality of a body part and can be incorporated into any exercise. For squats, you want to utilize a 3-5-1 tempo – three seconds on the lowering part, five second hold at the bottom and one second for the upward portion of the movement. Perform paused squats regularly to see noticeable improvements in lower body strength.
#3. Planks: 3 x 30-60 seconds
The plank is one of the best exercise for core conditioning – it engages all major core muscle groups, including the transverse abdominus, rectus abdominus, external obliques and glutes. In addition, planks will improve your posture and overall balance and create strong support for the entire back, thereby decreasing your risk of back injury.
Day 3 – Back and Biceps
#1. Wide-Grip Pull-Ups: 5 x 5
During pull-ups, all of your pulling muscles are working hard, especially the lats, which is why pull-ups can help you build the wide back you want. That being said, the wider your hand placement on pull-ups, the more you get to engage your back muscles, so opt for the wide-grip variant for some extra back stimulation.
#2. Lowered Pull-Ups: 3 x 8
Lowered pull-ups are a great pull-up variation that emphasizes the eccentric part of the movement for maximum back hypertrophy. They are performed by standing on any kind of elevated platform so that you can begin the movement from the top and lower yourself down as slowly as possible.
Day 4 – Shoulders & Triceps
#1. Single-Arm Push-Ups: 5 x 5
Similar to the single-leg push-ups, single-arm push-ups offer a great challenge for your entire core complex and will help you strengthen these valuable muscles so that they can support your body better at all major lifts.
#2. Diamond Push-Ups: 5 x 5
Diamond push-ups are an advanced yet often overlooked push-up variant that allows you to overload your triceps while also powerfully targeting your chest and delts. Place your hands closer so that your fingers form the shape of a diamond and lower your body down, then explosively push it upwards.
That’s it! You can perform this routine anywhere so you have no more excuses for skipping the gym – get off the Internet and start burning fat and building strong and reliable muscles right away!
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