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5 Exercises To A New You

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We’ve often heard the line ‘minimum effective dose’, meaning what’s the least amount you can do, to get the most reward.

Here at Mens Fashion Magazine, we constantly get emails from people about what they have to do, to transform their physique.

I’ve gone through a selection of these emails, and scoured my gym-repertoire in the vain hope of finding big compound exercises that will work ‘muscle groups’ instead of individual muscles.

When you isolate muscles, you are increasing hypertrophy, but you’ll also have to spend longer in the gym, and you might end up with muscular imbalances.

…. We’ve all seen those guys in the gym that only do Chest Fly’s and Bicep Curls over and over, week after week.

You need your body to be working in harmony, to attain balance in your musculature. Which means focussing on exercises where your muscles work together to perform an exercise.

Here we’ve listed 5 exercises that work huge areas of your body, recruiting lots of muscles to perform these single exercises. Which means you do more, with less. Minimum effective dose.

#5 Hanging Leg Raises

This exercise works your lower abs, but you can add variations to this to work your obliques too, by twisting your legs side to side once contracted at the top of the motion.

Below is a demonstration of the exercise :

hanging-leg-raises

#4 Pull-ups

This is a compound movement. A movement that uses more than one muscle group. During this movement you’ll use stabilisation muscles to keep in check, whilst also contracting your lats (back muscles) and biceps.

It’s one of the most functional full body weight exercises around, and is one that takes the most practice for beginners. If you’re not able to perform the exercise, or lift your body, then use a weight bench beneath you, to step up and start from the top of the motion. Lowering your body as slow as you can.

Eventually you’ll be able to perform the motion all by yourself, without the bench to step on.

pull-ups

#3 – Clean and Press

This exercise is one of the most functional for transforming your body. It works your entire body. Picking the weight up from the ground and pressing it above your head.

The emphasis on this workout is explosive power. Bringing the weight up quickly to ensure a smooth press, without risking injury.

I would suggest using dumbbells for this movement as a beginner with a low weight, just to help stimulate the muscles you need for balance.

One of the main things we’ve learned in the gym at Mens Fashion Magazine is, showing off is the quickest way to injury. Don’t concentrate on pushing heavy weights to impress your friends. With this exercise you want to start of light and work your way up to asses your skill level and perfect your form.

clean-and-press

# 2 Push ups

You’ve probably already heard of this exercise by now. As Men, we’ve often had the drunken competition in the pub, or at a party as to who can perform the most push-ups.

It’s because it’s one of the most functional exercises you can perform. You need a solid core to keep your body in line. So it helps to work your abs as well as building incredible pecs, triceps and shoulder muscles.

Most people ask me ” How much can you bench ? ” …. This isn’t important for a beginner. So don’t worry about it. It doesn’t make you less of a man if you have a weaker chest than the next man. Just work yourself up to a point where you can perform at least 20 push-ups with ease, before you move onto weighted exercises like the barbel bench press.

Keep the movements slow and controlled, and hold your body perfectly parallel to the floor. Don’t slump the centre of your body downwards. This will put unnecessary pressure on your shoulder joint.

For beginners, simply drop down to your knees and perform the exercise from this position. It will help to reduce the amount of weight that your body is pushing up.

push-up

#1 Squats

Without a doubt, this is my favourite exercise, and it’s the one most avoided by men in the gym. Primarily it works your legs, but controlling the weight and steadying your core makes this a full body workout.

This exercise actually increases your levels of natural testosterone. Which is why i’ve allocated it the number 1 exercise to a new you.

Increased testosterone will promote new growth of muscle, a healthy sexual appetite and a hormonal balance within the rest of your body. You’ll burn more fat, build more muscle and actually enjoy the process.

squats

It also has its downside. As most of you enthusiasts will know. This exercise comes with a very real case of DOMS. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

For a day or two afterwards, you’ll be aching below your waist. Stairs will be an un-appreciated challenge, and sitting down on the toilet will be slightly painful.

However, as they always say ” No Pain, No Gain”

If you want to be the strongest, healthiest version of yourself, then you’ve just got to swallow your reservations and do it. These 5 exercises will completely transform your body when added into your current gym routines.

I have no doubt that you’ll enjoy using them, and the results that they bring.

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1 COMMENT

  • John Butler

    With the ‘pull ups’ your drawing has the hands facing ‘outward’. It sure is harder that way. I’m used to doing pull ups /chin ups with my hand facing toward me. I presume your way does more good as it’s definitely harder to do.

    I do a lot of sit-ups (50 at a time) which I find do nothing for my shape but are just good exercises to do for the fun of it and keeping the body moving. Also push ups I’ve been only doing ten at a time but will try to build it up to 20. But at 65 I’m not going to push myself too hard…

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