12 Awesome Exercises That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

By on April 22, 2015

If your workout routine is becoming a bit stale, then why not try adding some of these exercise variations in to help take things to the next level…

1. Hack Squats

Perfect for – Developing extra definition in the bottom of your quads.

How to – Standing in the normal squat position, use a step or plates to raise your heels off the ground. Then simply use a normal squatting movement to go as deep as you can avoiding bouncing at the bottom of the exercise.

Make it harder – Hold a pair of dumbbells by your sides or a weighted barbell behind as you perform the movement.

2. Y-Press

Perfect for – Adding bulk to shoulders and working those stabilising muscles.

How to – Hold two relatively lightweight dumbbells in the shoulder press position. Then move the weights upwards and out in a Y shaped movement. Be careful to do this gradually and make no sudden movements during the exercise.

3. Sled Push

Perfect for – Building explosive power and endurance in the lower body.

How to – Ideally you need a weighted sled to perform this exercise, however there is an alternative. If you have a sled, mark out a track say 40 metres in length during which you have to push the sled along at maximal effort, repeat the process 10 times. Alternatively if you don’t have a sled available you can use a treadmill. Leave the treadmill in stationary mode, lean forwards onto the handrails and rotate the belt using just your momentum for 20 seconds, repeat the process.

4. Barbell T-Bar Row

Perfect for – Developing meaty lats.

How to – Wedge one end of a barbell into a corner of the room, putting weights on the other end. Straddle the bar and carefully pick it up making sure to keep your back straight. Ensuring there is a slight bend in your knees hold the bar at arms length before pulling it into your body and releasing it down again.

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5. Nilsson Curls

Perfect for – Sleeve bursting biceps

How to – In a power rack grip the upper bar with your hands whilst bracing your forearms against the lower bar, now perform a pull-up as normal. This technique forces your arms to remain still during the movement moving pressure off your shoulders and onto your biceps.

6. Reverse Pec Deck Lockouts

Perfect for – Continuing to build your chest when the bench press stops working

How to – Using a pec deck machine place your chest on the back support and grip on to the handles. Start with your palms facing each other before pulling your hands apart until they reach a point where you can feel a slight strain in your chest, once you reach this position squeeze your shoulder blades together before returning to the original position.

7. Crush-Grip Dumbbell Bench Press

Perfect for – Add size to your upper body

How to – Lie back on a flat bench holding a dumbbell in each hand over your chest, arms extended whilst he weights are touching. Begin to lower the weights toward your chest, ensuring you push the dumbbells together as hard as possible until you reach the bottom of the movement. Return to the original position and repeat the movement.

8. Towel Pull Ups

Perfect for – Building sizeable forearms and increasing grip strength

How to – Throw a towel over a pull up bar and grip either side in your hands. Whilst holding on to the towel, raise yourself up as you would with a normal pull up, lowering yourself slowly before repeating the movement. Make sure to lock your arms out at the bottom of the movement.

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9. Good Mornings

Perfect for – Targeting the larger posterior chain to strengthen your back and improve your squat and deadlift PB’s

How to – Stand with your feet around a shoulder width apart whilst holding a barbell across your upper traps. With a slight bend in your knees, use your hips to lower your torso towards the floor, keeping your back straight at all times. Once your torso is parallel to the floor slowly return to the starting position.

10. Reverse Leg Raises

Perfect for – Building a sturdy core

How to – Lay flat on a bench on your back and grip the bottom of the bench behind you. Raise your legs as high as they can reach before lowering them back to the bench slowly. Lift your legs back up again and repeat. Ensure that you control your legs throughout the entire movement

Make it harder – Instead of just raising your legs, raise your whole body off the bench, resting just the tops of your shoulder blades on the bench before slowing lowering yourself down until you are flat against the bench.

11. Plank Walk

Perfect for – Stabilising your upper body

How to – Assuming the press-up position, place your feet on a powerwheel (or a towel if needs be) ensuring your are on a smooth floor. Hold a strict plank position whilst using your hands to ‘walk forwards’ aiming for either time or distance.

12. Overhead Split Squat

Perfect for – Total body workout

How to – Place one foot in front of the other and squat down until your knee is almost touching the floor. You can begin either doing this exercise just with your bodyweight, or with a bar at chest height. Once you are comfortable with the movement perform the exercise by holding the bar above your head whilst squatting down.

This post was brought to you by GN Academy member Pete Sinclair. If you’d like to find out more about the GN Academy or apply to join then you can do so here.

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