Unleash the fierce side of you while flaunting that sexy and toned back through these exercises!
- Get in the boxing stance. We’ll use the left jab throughout this article — for the right jab, everything is reversed. So for now, place your left foot in front of your right, right angled out a bit, pointing toward your opponent. Put your hands up to protect your chin, tuck your elbows in, chin down, and make sure your hips are above your feet.
- Lean forward with your elbows in and your right hand a little higher than your left. Your right is protecting your chin, playing defense, while your left is up, waiting to strike. If you are taller than your opponent and it is unlikely that he will pull off a straight right to your face, you can keep it low for greater power and visibility. Otherwise, keep it at your chin ready to parry or block.
- Transfer your weight forward and jab. Simultaneously shift off your back (right) foot (but don’t let it come off the ground) and put your weight onto your left, while throwing your left arm into a quick, powerful jab. Twitch your entire left side forward while ever so slightly lifting the heel of your left foot. As your hand comes forward, your body’s weight should come forward at the same time.
- Be sure to rotate your palm down. When your hands are held at your chin, your thumbs are facing you. But when you go to jab, rotate your hands so that your palms are facing down, thumbs slightly lower than perfectly horizontal. Think of it like a slight corkscrew motion. It’s in that twist that there’s power — kind of like the cracking of a whip.
Bent Over One Arm Dumbbell Raises
These lat raises are a great way to work the centre of your back more.
- On your hands and knees, hold a dumbbell in one hand.
- Put your weight on your hand without the dumbbell.
- Tense your lat on the side holding the dumbbell, raising your arm until it is straight out by your side.
- Slowly lower it back down. This is one rep.
- Repeat on the other side.
Dumbbell Squat and Press
This is another great combo for adding some endurance into your workout.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, or slightly wider, with your toes slightly pointing outwards. Make sure your spine is in a straight, neutral position. Make sure your weight is through your heels. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, cleaned up to shoulder height.
- Squeeze your leg and core muscles as you lower your body downwards. Lower yourself until your butt is an inch or two off the ground. Hold for 1-2 seconds.
- Explode upwards, squeezing your leg and core muscles as you raise yourself up. Push that momentum up through your arms to press the dumbbells above your head. This is one rep.
Push-ups are a bodyweight staple exercise. They are great for working your chest and triceps.
- Place your hands shoulder width apart on the floor, making sure your hands are directly below your shoulders.
- Straighten your back and legs, standing on the balls of your feet.
- Slowly lower yourself down, bending your arms until your one or two inches above the ground. Make sure not to flare your elbows out too much. At most your elbows should be out at a 45 degree angle to your body.
- Tense your chest and triceps, pushing yourself back up. This is one rep.
Dumbbell Bent Over Row
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
- Bend forward, keeping your spine in a neutral position.
- Tense your core and both lats, raising the dumbbells up towards your torso, holding at the top for 2-3 seconds.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells back down. This is one rep.
Deadlifts are another keystone exercise that you really should master. They’re also the exercise in which you’ll likely lift the most weight, so they’re fun!
- Place a barbell in front of you, and stand behind it with your shins touching the bar, with your feet hip width apart. Keep facing directly in front of you for the entire movement.
- Lower yourself down, grabbing the bar just wider than your feet. Either have your palms facing backwards, or have one forwards and one backwards. This reverse grip helps prevent the bar from rolling, which may be an issue as you lift heavier weights.
- Whilst holding the bar, squeeze your shoulder blade together and tighten your core. It is essential that you keep your spine in a straight, neutral position. Do not bend it when performing a deadlift. The deadlift is quite a straightforward movement, the difficulty comes in because you can easily injure your lower back if you’re not careful.
- Squeeze your legs and power up through your heels. Raise the barbell against your shins, keeping it close to your centre.
- As the bar raises to the level of your knees, move them back to continue lifting the bar up to your thighs. Squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement, but not leaning backwards (this is bar form).
- Slowly lower the bar back down again, pushing your knees forwards as the bar passes lower than them. This is one rep.
Clapping Push Ups
Clapping push ups are a great way to work on explosive chest and tricep power. At the bottom of your push-up, explosively contract your chest and triceps to elevate your torso in the air enough to clap once (or more) before you place your hands back. Be careful not to hurt your wrists when you land from this.
Burpees are a tried and tested killer endurance combo.
- Stand standing in a neutral position.
- Squat downwards, placing your hands on the ground, shoulder width apart.
- Shoot your legs backwards into a high plank position.
- (Optional) perform a pushup from the high plank position.
- Squat upwards explosively, jumping into the air with your hands above your head.
- Land with soft knees to avoid injury. This is one rep.
Bent Over Dumbbell Rows
Rows are a great way to tone and define your back.
- Put one knee on a bench, with your lower leg lying flat along the bench.
- Place your hand on the same side as your knee on the bench whilst leaning over. Your hand should be directly below your shoulder.
- Hold a dumbbell in your other hand, placing it on the bench.
- Tense your lat (the large muscles down the sides of your back) on the same side as the arm holding the dumbbell. Slowly raise the arm holding the dumbbell so your upper arm is parallel to the floor, and your elbow makes a 90 degree angle.
- Let the dumbbell come down slowly , rest it on the bench if you need. This is one rep.
- Repeat on the other side.