March 24, 2013

SPECIAL 100th ARTICLE - Everything You Need To Know About Glute Activation And Development

What can’t the glutes do?

Aside from the improved cosmetic appeal and boost to ones self-esteem that comes with having fully developed glutes, other benefits of having strong, developed glutes include, improved performance by way of being able to lift more weight with movements that take the hips through various degrees of flexion and extension/hyperextension (think squats and deadlifts), being able to run faster and jump higher, as well as relieving the lower back and hamstrings of unnecessary stress that they take on during various strength training movements and everyday functional activities (standing, walking, running, etc).

Regardless of your goal, the strengthening and developing the glutes is of paramount importance as these muscles are the biggest, strongest, and primary, hip extensors/hyperextensors, and are also responsible for hip abduction (spreading the legs apart), and external rotation of the femur (rotating the thigh/foot away from the midline of the body). The stronger these muscles are, the greater your potential becomes at seemingly everything, and the greater room they have to grow. Literally.

March 17, 2013

The Most Effective Exercises That Can Be Done While Lying On The Floor

No bench, no problem

I would imagine that, when most people think of ‘going to the gym’, lying on the floor to perform any sort of exercise is generally not what anyone would have in mind. But, performing exercises while lying on your back, on the solid, stable ground can be a very effective way to add variety to your training, and increase your strength.

Pretty much any exercise that is performed on a flat bench can easily be performed on the floor, along with many standing exercises with the help of a low cable pulley.

March 10, 2013

Everything You Need To Know About The 'Upper Chest' And How To Maximize Its Development

Focus on what you CAN control, not what you CAN’T

When it comes to muscular development there are two factors that will ultimately influence the end result in how you look. One of them is genetics, which is completely out of our control, and no matter what we do, we are limited by our genetics in our ability to develop our body to look a certain way that is most satisfying to us. Unfortunately, we had no influence on where are muscles would originate, where they would insert, and how full the bellies of the muscles will become as we develop them.

The other factor is the decisions we make as far as exercise selection, and all the other parameters that go into developing a workout program. Fortunately, we can influence how much tension we choose to subject very specific compartments of our muscles to, with the hopes of it shaping the exact way we desire. Ultimately, our only limiting factor here is our knowledge base. If you don’t know how to modify the exercises to mechanically direct a greater level of tension on the area you wish to see improvements, then progress cannot be expected to be made at an optimal pace.

March 2, 2013

The Most Effective Exercises Popularized By Iron Guru Vince Gironda

Vince Gironda is best known as a guru in the bodybuilding world, having worked with some of the best bodybuilders of his time. He left his mark on the bodybuilding world by popularizing several high volume methods that he believed were most effective for building muscle. Among them were the 10 by 10, 8 by 8, 6 by 6, 10-8-6-15, and 15 by 4 methods.

But, being a bodybuilding oriented person myself, the one thing that stood out most to me when studying the many methods and techniques that he is known for, were the modifications that he made to various exercises to direct more tension onto the targeted muscle. While the modifications negatively affected how much weight could be lifted, percentagewise, they place a greater amount of the weight being lifted onto the primary muscle group being trained, which is what any bodybuilder would want to do in the first place.