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As well as improving your mechanical energy, it also seems swapping the machines in favor of 'free'
exercises (like calisthenics) could also result in greater muscle activation.

 

Monday: Chest

Wide-Grip Push-Ups - 4 Sets of 12 Repetitions

As a general rule, the wider your hand placement on a push-up the more you engage the chest. The closer they are together the more you engage your triceps. For this reason place your hands beyond shoulder width apart and see greater improvements in the chest with this biomechanical variation.

Elevated Push-Ups - 4 Sets of 12 Repetitions

Placing your legs on an elevated platform is a great biomechanical variation to engage the upper chest muscles. For this reason elevated push-ups are a great addition to any routine for anyone wanting to subject their chest muscles to a new form of stimuli and have the body work over a different range of motion.

Single Leg Push-Ups - 4 Sets of 12 Repetitions

This is such a simple variation but try performing your push-ups on one leg. This makes the entire exercise more unstable and unilateral (with one leg or one arm) in nature which forces the muscles of the core to engage more.

 

Tuesday: Legs & Abs

Jump Squats - 5 Sets of 5 Repetitions

Jump squats are a plyometric variation of the more commonly performed squat. These are great for building explosive and strong legs, but also they are better designed to activate more, "fast twitch muscle fibers."

Paused Squats - 5 Sets of 10 Repetitions

(Performed 3-5-1. Three seconds down, five second hold at the bottom and 1 second up) *This paused variation of that is perfect for working the muscles of the legs hard. The paused reps will make your legs, stronger, bigger and more functional.

Plank - 3 Sets of 30-60 seconds

The sit-up is not the best exercise for your abs and performing thousands of them won't get you a six-pack. Train smarter, not harder and maybe re-think your ab routine.

 

Thursday: Back and Biceps

Wide-Grip Pull-Ups - 5 Sets of 5 Repetitions

As a general rule, the wider your hand placement on a pull-up the more you engage your back muscles. The closer they are together the more you engage your biceps.

Lowered Pull Ups - 3 Sets of 8 Repetitions

This is a great 'finisher' exercise for any back routine: lowered pull-ups. It involves standing on a chair or elevated platform so you can begin your pull-up at the top of the movement. Then, holding the bar tightly, attempt to lower yourself as slowly as you can.

 

Friday: Shoulders & Triceps

Single Arm Push Ups (On Knees if needed) - 5 Sets of 5 Repetitions

This is such a simple variation but try performing your push-up one handed. This makes the entire exercise more unstable and unilateral in nature, which forces the muscles of the core to engage more.

Diamond Push Ups - 5 Sets of 5 Repetitions

As a general rule, the wider your hand placement on a push-up the more you engage the chest. The closer they are together the more you engage your triceps. For this reason place your hands closer together so your fingers form a diamond shape and see greater improvements in the triceps with this biomechanical variation.

 

 

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