Want to know the secret to faster gains?
The secret is… there isn’t a secret formula for building muscle or losing fat. Many aren’t consistent with a program long enough to see results and blame the plan. The fact is your body will adapt to any situation that proposes a challenge. However, variance makes for a more interesting training session and can even help expose weaknesses. To help add some spice to your routine check out our top Modern Moves – 5 Exercises that we think are worth adding into any plan.
Barbell Back Extensions
“Back extensions are a very important component in helping improve my deadlift. Exercises like this help me get stronger and prevent injury. Back extensions target the erector spinae and other smaller muscle groups that help create core strength to support the weight I train with. When performing this exercise make sure the cushion is about mid-way up on your thigh. If it's too low you will be placing excess pressure on your lower back. If the cushion is too high you will not get a full 90 degree extension. If you're doing more than 15 reps you should increase the weight.” - Luigi Fagiani // Powerlifter
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Barbell Hip Thrusts
“As a conventional deadlifter, the most difficult portion of the lift for myself and many others is the lockout. I've decided to incorporate barbell hip thrusts into my deadlift programming and it’s made a significant difference. With barbell hip thrusts you are focusing on the glute activation used at the top of the deadlift. As an accessory movement I do 4-5 sets of 6-8 reps progressively adding weight and emphasizing holding the weight at the top. By adding this movement to my program it has helped tremendously with the hip drive needed at the lockout of the deadlift.” – Kyle Sheridan// Powerlifter
Raised Heel Dumbbell Deadlift
“Pound for pound one the best movements for leg development is a unique hybrid of a traditional barbell Hack Squat and Deadlift that makes use of dumbbells. The dumbbell deadlift, with raised heels, is one of the best approaches for VMO, hip and glute development. When performing this movement, use a raised platform with an angle of approximately five to twenty degree and vary as you see fit to target the muscle slightly. Perform as a compound movement, near the start of the training session with standard rep range of a Deadlift or Squat.” - John Davies // Renegade Training Founder
“I personally like the Jefferson Squat because it really helps me to make a solid mind muscle connection to the leg muscles which is essential in bodybuilding. Also I get a ridiculous pump in my quads from doing these than from almost any other exercise which has helped with the shape of the outer sweep and you don’t need a lot of weight.
For foot placement: Think of making an “L” with your feet. As one foot is in front of the bar and the other is behind, alternate your feet from set to set as different loads and emphasis are placed on each leg during the movement. Step over a loaded barbell (preferably with 25lb plates; 45’s for taller individuals) with your right foot in front to make it perpendicular to the bar, keeping your left foot behind and parallel to the bar. Keep feet wider than shoulder width apart and toes pointed outward. Stay upright with your chest up as you squat down and grab the bar just outside your calves; left hand will grab underhand, right will grab overhand. From here, pull the slack out of the bar, push hard through your heels and squat by pulling the bar upward as you stand up to the starting position. Make sure to contract your legs as you finish the movement. Return the bar to the ground and let it rest as you would a dead lift = 1 rep.” – Victor Egonu // Bodybuilder
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Glute Ham Raise (GHR)
“I’ve implemented the Glute Ham Raise in my programming to specifically focus on glute and ham strength for carry over into my deadlift. I saw noticeable increases in my deadlift. The best way I saw to incorporate them was at the end of my deadlift session doing 5 sets of 5. It's not an exercise that anyone is going to excel at but it does build a good base of glute and ham strength. As you develop more strength you can add weight by holding a bar or plates at the torso.” - Frank Gonzalez // Strongman
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Which of these top 5 have you used in your routines? What exercises would you recommend others to try? Share in the comments section or on Facebook!
The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should it be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.