When most people finally get off their asses and hit the gym, their immediate thought is to do things they're the most comfortable with. A fan of running? Spend an obscene amount of hours on the treadmill to nowhere. Trying to squeeze your arms into extra small shirts? Head for the free weights and get cranking. Unfortunately, working out doesn't always mean doing things we enjoy, or are good at, for that matter. In order to morph yourself into a well-rounded lean machine, you need to make sure your entire body is satisfied. That mean, no stragglers.
Fitness expert and personal trainer Don Saladino of Drive495 (the guy who trains Ryan Reynolds and Sebastian Stan, among others) shared his expert tips on how to include those exercises that you usually skip over, and why it's important to suck it up to get 'em done. By following his guidelines and expertise, you'll look your best — in all the right places.
1. Squats: "In some way shape or form, we need to have this in our routines. Not everyone out there should be squatting with a bar on their back either. Instead, there should be a progression. Start by working on body weight squats to a box. Then, remove the box when you develop some confidence. After that, hold a kettle bell in front of you (called a 'Goblet Squat'). Once you master the goblet squat, you can probably begin working on some front squats. Not only is squatting a great way to work on body composition, but it's also key in getting your body to move more freely."
2. Deadlifts: "Use a kettle bell and work on sumo deadlifts. This is also a full body movement. The kettle bell deadlift is a great way to work on your hinge patterns. This is incredibly important for overall functionality of the body and it should be focused on at the gym. Hinge from the hips first. Keep your neck packed and chest tall."
3. Suitcase Carries or Farmer Walks: "It's so specific to what we do every day yet, you hardly see people doing them. You can use kettle bells, dumbbells, or a trap bar. This works on the grip, forearms, shoulders, core and legs. Carry the weight with perfect posture. Try not to favor a specific side and squeeze the weight as hard as you can."
4. Rotational Work: "The body is meant to rotate so work on it, at least a little! We have a tendency to train in a straight line with little usage of the rotational core. When we stop using specific patterns, we tend to develop weakness in the body and this is a great way to train the core but also maintain a certain amountt of athleticism that the body needs to look and feel great. Chops and cable lifts are a great option here. Just vary them."
5. Pulling Movements: "Everyone wants a big chest and shoulders, but it's important to work on the muscles of your back more. This will also help with posture. Pull-ups and rows are good examples."
6. Mobility Work: "At the very least, you should do 5 minutes a day. It's not a staple in most people's regimen, and it should be. When we discontinue mobility work, we cause the body to become rigid. We need to get people back to moving the way they did as a kid. You will feel better, look better and have the ability to avoid injury more."
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