Plate neck crunch: Lie down on a bench with your head hanging off the end of it and place a towel over your forehead with a plate on top. Simply crunch your head toward your chest. Perform a few sets before every workout and start with light weight until you feel comfortable executing the move. Don’t go heavier than a 45-pound plate. If that amount becomes too easy, focus on increasing the sets and reps instead of the weight.
3 of 6
THE PROBLEM: You Don’t Have Bicep Peaks
￼First and foremost, a biceps peak is genetic. If you don’t have a split biceps or mountainous peak now, you probably never will have guns like Arnold.
However, you can build the long head of the biceps—located on the outer portion of your arm—to create the appearance of a bigger peak when you flex. Try close-grip barbell curls and incline dumbbell curls as these two exercises provide the most amount of tension, targeting your long head the most. For incline curls, make sure to twist your pinkie toward your shoulder at the top of the movement.
A big chest is the centerpiece of an impressive physique, but most guys lack size in this area because they gravitate toward heavy presses.
DB flyes with a twist: Perform tension-inducing exercises like dumbbell flyes, but execute them with your palms facing each other. As you lower the weight, keep a slight bend in your elbow and bring the dumbbells back toward your ears in a slight arching motion with your hands. This will recruit a maximum amount of muscle as it stretches the muscle fibers in the way that they naturally lie across your chest.
4 of 6
THE PROBLEM: You Have Sore Hip Flexors
We usually move our hips in a linear, or back and forth, motion, which creates inactivity. This can cause soreness in your hips and even in your knees.
Perform two sets of 20 reps of lying abductions after you warm up. Lie on your side with your bottom leg bent and the top leg straight up and slightly back. This will keep your hips active and flexible, which will also help strengthen your knee joint and ligaments. Additionally, any one-legged body-weight movement such as a one-leg squat or deadlift, with light weight, will help strengthen the hips.
Shoulder dislocates: Grab a broom handle with a wide grip and lift the stick over your head and as far behind your back as possible. If your elbows bend at any point, your grip is too narrow. Standing cable row: This reinforces scapular protraction and retraction, a key for good posture. Set the cable with a parallel grip handle at chest height. Roll your shoulders as far forward as possible. Pull cable to your chest. Lead with your elbows and retract your scapulas.
5 of 6
THE PROBLEM: You Can’t Squat to Depth
When squatting, your hip joint should pass your knee. If it doesn’t, then you’re most likely lacking flexibility in the hips and ankles. Over time, joints stiffen if they’re not exercised properly, and when we spend most of our time sitting—at our desk, on a couch, in a car—chances are good that your joints could be next. That’s a problem since “ass to grass,” or ATG squats, recruit more muscle fibers, better stretch the muscles, and are safer on your knees because sinking closer to the ground increases hip drive, taking some of the load off of that area. Use the fixes at right to get your squat up (or down) to par.
Perform all stretches and foam roll individual areas for 30 seconds.
HIPS: Properly warm up your legs on a bike, then do static hip stretches such as standing and raising your knees to chest height.
ANKLES: Before squatting, place your foot about 12 inches away from the wall while on one knee and slowly lean the front knee toward the wall without lifting your heel. This will increase flexibility at the bottom of the squat.
BACK: Perform a set of back extensions and dead-hang pullups—with a 30-second static hang afterward—before squatting. Hyperextending your back will elongate your spine, increasing your range of motion, creating space between your discs. This will help prevent tightness in the back.
CORE: Stability through squatting is generated from your midsection. Leg raises, planks, and Russian twists will prepare your core for squats.
6 of 6
THE PROBLEM: Your Legs Look Like Stilts
If you don’t train legs consistently, you know the remedy—train your damn legs! Otherwise, emphasize symmetry and balance to upgrade your chicken legs.
Shut up and squat: Deep squats are, and always will be, your best bet for building leg mass. Divide and conquer: The idea of an hour-and-a-half leg session is enough to deter most guys, so try a new split to break things up: Quads on one day, hamstrings with back, and calves after arms. It won’t be as daunting.
Most guys tend to gravitate towards quad-dominant exercises on leg day, such as extensions and the leg press, neglecting their posterior chain. Therefore, an imbalance is created that lends itself to hip and knee soreness and injury, not to mention a drastically underdeveloped leg.
Perform variations of the deadlift, good mornings, and back extensions. These hit your posterior chain, which are made up of your spinal erectors, glutes, and hamstrings.
Lighten the load and roll your shoulders forward before initiating any rear-delt exercise. This places tension on the muscle you’re trying to target, not the middle back and traps.
Increase your lat size: To get the most out of your lats, incorporate mechanical dropsets. Start with an exercise like wide-grip pullups and switch grips every time you fail to neutral-grip pullups or chinups, which allows you to squeeze out extra reps as you’re recruiting slightly different muscles