>5 Simple Strategies for Bigger Muscles
By: Selene Yeager
“It’s great fun to watch guys trying to do squats while standing on stability balls,” says former Olympic weight-lifting coach Harvey Newton, C.S.C.S., of newtonsports.info. “But the truth is, if they just did the basics better, they’d produce the results they want without involving all the bells and whistles.”
Now hold on, Harvey. Those big balls do a lot of good. On the other hand, all these half-caf mocha-latte workouts are starting to get on our nerves. Sometimes you just want to bust a move and make more muscle.
So we asked exercise experts to help us pinpoint ways to make the classic moves we all do—squats, rows, bench presses, and crunches—work better. Follow their advice and see fast results . . . without the sprinkles.
Tap When You Squat
New York City–based trainer David Kirsch, C.S.C.S., author of The Ultimate New York Body Plan, offers this solution: Stand in front of a weight bench. Squat down until your butt touches the bench, then immediately press through your heels back to the starting position. Using the bench forces you to squat all the way down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, so the exercise will yield better results.
Give ‘Em a Squeeze
Bring the Situp Back from the Dead
To do situps right, lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent about 90 degrees, hands clasped lightly behind your head, and elbows out to the sides. Tuck in your chin, contract your abdominals, and roll all the way up until your chest nearly touches your knees. Then slowly roll back down.
Lose the Bench
A classic example is the bent-over dumbbell row. Most men lean over and brace themselves on a bench, then perform the exercise with one arm. Instead, assume a wide, stable stance and bend from the hips, keeping your back flat—and don’t use a bench. Perform your rows from that position. You’ll work your core for stability and do a bit more mid-section work. You won’t be able to lift quite as much weight, but your entire body will benefit from the move.
Whittle While You Wait
Don’t like blending upper- and lower-body workouts? Do ab work between sets. You’ll be less likely to blow it off than if you save it for the end.