Uncommon Exercise Variations – Shake Up Your Training!
Periodically changing various aspects of your training routine, such as exercise choice, exercise order, repetition range, and rest time can drastically enhance your progression as there is a constant challenging demand placed on the muscles of the body. Over time our bodies becomes accustom to the exercises we perform, so it is important we have a wide section of exercises in our arsenal to ensure we have a new exercise up our sleeve to shock our muscles with when we hit a plateau. This article illustrates three exercises which are uncommon, yet very effective. Next time you want to introduce a new exercise into your training, try one of these!
Targets: Brachioradialis, biceps brachii
Instructions: Grasp a pair of dumbbells whilst standing upright with a sound posture (knees slightly bent, back straight, chest up, shoulders slightly back and looking ahead). Whilst keep the upper arms fixed at the side of the torso, curl the left dumbbell up, rotating the wrist so the palm is facing the ceiling at peak contraction. Lower the dumbbell, but on the descend we rotate the wrist a full 180 degrees so the palms are facing the floor as the dumbbell is lowered.
The Zottman curl is a variation of the traditional dumbbell curl, but incorporates an over hand grip during the descend, which targets the brachioradialis muscle (the muscle which composes the top outer region of the forearm).
Hammer side raise
Targets: Lateral and anterior deltoid heads
Instructions: Grasp a pair of dumbbells whilst standing upright with a sound posture (knees slightly bent, back straight, chest up and looking ahead). Hold the dumbbells in front of the torso, with the palms facing away from the body. Maintain a slight bend in the elbows. Raise both dumbbells to each side of the body, until the dumbbells are shoulder height. Reverse the movement to bring the dumbbells back down.
A variation of the dumbbell lateral raise, the hammer grip works the anterior (front) head of the shoulder more effectively than the tradition palms down grip.
Arnold shoulder press
Targets: Lateral and anterior deltoid heads, triceps
Instructions: Grasp a pair of dumbbells whilst seated, with each dumbbell at shoulder height ready to be pressed above the head. Begin with the palms facing towards the torso, pressing the dumbbells over head whilst rotating the wrists a full 180 degrees so the palms are facing away from the body at the top of the exercise. Reverse the movement in a control manner when lowering the dumbbells.
The Arnold press is an uncommon twist to the seated shoulder press, with the rotation of the dumbbell bringing a unique and dynamic variation to the exercise. The Arnold press may not be suitable for those with rotator cuff issues.