Bodybuilding exercises beginners

EXERCISES

STAGE I EXERCISES

Press

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Quadriceps, gluteus.

EXECUTION: Sitting on a press and separating feet at shoulders width, placing them on the high part of the platform. Raise the machine and release the grips. Lower the platform slowly until your knees draw a 90 degrees angle, to lift the apparatus to the starting point puling across your heels and without fully extending the legs.

HOME-MADE SUSTITUTE: Dumbbell squat.

Leg extension

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Quadriceps.

EXECUTION: Adjust a leg extension apparatus so that the knees are beyond the edge of the seat. Place the back on the back support and place the legs behind the roller, extending the knees to contract completely the quadriceps and squeeze for a moment in the final position. Go down to the starting point without letting the weigh discs touch each other. HOME-MADE SUSTITUTE: Dumbbell squat.

Lying femoral curl

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED. Femorals.

EXECUTION: Face down on a femoral machine lying down and placing the knees outside the edge with the posterior part of the heels under the machine’s roller. Pull with the heels towards the gluteus, keeping the body stuck to the bench and grabbing the front handles in order to keep stability. Hold the contraction for a moment and go down slowly to the starting point without letting the discs to touch.

HOME-MADE SUSTITUTE: Static scissors.

Bench press

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Pectorales.

EXECUTION: Lying on a flat bench and grabbing the bar with the hands slightly wider than shoulders width. Take the weight out of the supports and slowly lower the bar to the lower pectoral until the arms are parallel to the ground. Keeping the buttocks stuck to the bench return the weight to the starting point.

USEFUL ADVICE: Always ask a partner’s help for major security and style control.

Contractor machine flies

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Pectorals.

EXECUTION: Adjust the seat of a contractor machine so that the arms are parallel to the floor. With the back and arms placed on its supports and the hands grabbing the handles, get the arms together squeezing the pectorals. Hold the contraction for a moment and go back to the starting point without letting the discs to touch.

USEFUL ADVICE: For better contracting pectorals, think that they squeeze together at the very center of your chest.

Z bar arm curl

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Biceps.

EXECUTION: Holding a Z bar with the hands separated at shoulders width and the knees slightly bent, you will lift the weight to the chest, keeping the elbows fixed to the sides, and squeezing at full blast in the final position. Lower the weight slowly to the starting point and stop a few centimetres before fully extending the arms.

USEFUL ADVICE: Keep the elbows fixed to the body, and never bring them forward while you lift the weight. The bar must go up till the chest height, not to the chin.

Seated pulley row

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Dorsals, romboids, medial trapezius.

EXECUTION: Sitting on a bench, place the feet on the feet support and slightly bend the knees. Grab the handle of the pulley and start wit the arms completely extended, the bacl a bit arched and perpendicular to the floor. Pull from the bar to the middle section and squeeze the scapulae, bringing them together. Hold the contraction for one second and go back to the starting point slowly.

USEFUL ADVICE: Keep the trunk static during the exercise. Do not move back or forward in the negative and positive phase of the repetition

HOME-MADE SUSTITUTE: One-arm dumbbell rowing.

Pulley pulls

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Dorsals

EXECUTION: Adjust the bench seat so that the knees are below the front support of the pulley. Grab the bar with hands wider than shoulders width and seat with the arms extended. Lean slightly back, keeping the chest out, and pull from the bar to the upper part of the chest, keeping the elbows outwards. Hold the contraction one moment and slowly go back to the starting point.

USEFUL ADVICE: Focus on using a complete interval of path. If you cannot do it, reduce the load.

HOME-MADE SUSTITUTE: Dumbbell pullover.

Sitting press on apparatus

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Deltoids

EXECUTION: Adjust the seat so that the arms are parallel to the floor when grabbing the handles with a separation wider than shoulders width. Lift the weight until extending the arms without blocking them, and slowly go down to the starting point without letting the discs touch each other.

USEFUL ADVICE: Do not let the buttocks slip from the seat when you lean back; that way you will have more strength because of the chest support, but that does not develops deltois and opens the path for a lower back injury.

HOME-MADE SUSTITUTE: Seated bar or dumbbell press

Dumbbell shrugs

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Upper trapezius

EXECUTION: Standing, holding a pair of dumbbells in each hand with the arms extended at each side, knees slightly bent and the head pointing front. Shrink the shoulders as much as possible. Hold the position for one second and lower the dumbbells to the starting point.

USEFUL ADVICES: Do not use dumbbells as weight drivers, and do not bend the elbows in each repetition. If you are unable to lift the weight with the trapezius, use light dumbbells.

Dumbbell lateral raise

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Deltoids

EXECUTION: Seat over the edge of a bench holding a dumbbell in each hand with arms extended aside. Slightly bending the elbows lift the dumbbells slowly upwards and outwards until the arms are parallel to the floor. Hold the position for one second and then go back to the starting point, stopping before your arms touch your flanks.

USEFUL ADVICE: Start using very light weights. Going for heaviest loads usually implies a deficient technique.

Back extension

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Erector spinae

EXECUTION: Facing down on a back extension bench with the hips out of the support to allow a complete interval of the path. Place the rear part of the ankles against the rollers and start with the body in straight line with the arms crossed over the chest, Lower the trunk to the floor so that the angle of the hips gets closer to 90 degrees; slowly go up to the starting point using the lower back muscles.

USEFUL ADVICE: Beginners do not need to use extra weight. Their own body is enough.

SUSTITUTE: Superman.

Pulley pulls

BADIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Triceps

EXECUTION: In front of a pulley cable and holding a W handle attached to a high pulley. Start with the arms at an almost 90 degrees angle and pull the weight downwards, keeping the elbows against your sides. Extend the arms completely and fully squeeze the triceps. Go back to the starting point and repeat as many times as necessary.

USEFUL ADVICE: Keep the trunk upright and the back flat without supporting the body against the hands. That way you will isolate triceps.

HOME-MADE SUSTITUTE: Dumbbell kick.

Shrug

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Abdominals

EXECUTION: Lay down facing up on the floor with the knees bent and the feet flat on the ground. Placing the hands behind the head and the elbows pointing straight upwards, slowly raise the shoulders from the ground contracting the abs. Raise them just a few centimetres and go back to the starting point.

USEFUL ADVICE: If you find difficult to place the hands behind your back, cross your arms over the chest. Make sure to perform the motion slowly while going up as well as down.

The home edition of training for beginners

If by any reason you have to train at home, there is no problem, supposing you have a bar and weights, dumbbells and an adjustable bench. It’s a matter of changing the described exercises with the corresponding explained below.

DUMBBELL SQUAT (THIGHS)

The motion in this exercise is the same that the multipower squat outlined on Stage II, except that here you hold a dumbbell in each hand at each side.

INCLINED BENCH FLIES (CHEST)

Lay down facing up on an inclined bench, holding a pair of dumbbells with arms extended above the chest. Slightly bending the elbows and pointing outwards, lower the weights drawing an arch to the sides until feeling pectorals stretching. Go back to the starting point, but without letting the dumbbells crash before starting the next repetition.

ONE-HAND DUMBBELL ROW (UPER BACK)

With one knee and the same hand on a flat bench and the opposite foot on the ground, grab a dumbbell with the free hand hanging to the floor. Pull the dumbbell, straight towards the waist, directing the force with the elbow, keeping it fixed to the body. Then go back to the starting point and after having completed the set, repeat with the other arm.

DUMMBELL PULLOVER (UPPER BACK)

Lying down transversally on a flat bench, the back supporting on top of it and feet fixed on the ground. Hold a dumbbell with the arms extended above the chest, grabbing the inner part of the weight with both hands. Keeping the elbows extended but without blocking them, lower the dumbbell slowly drawing an arch until it is close to the floor. Then flex the dorsals and the chest and revert the motion.

SUPERMAN (LOWER BACK)

Laying facing down on the ground with the arms extended at each side. Using the lower back muscles, slowly lift the trunk until the chest rises from the floor. Go down to the starting point without letting the chin touches the floor to rest, and repeat as many times as necessary.

DUMBBELL KICK (TRICEPS)

Standing, as if you were about to do one-hand dumbbell row and holding a light dumbbell in the free hand. Start with the elbow squeezed against the body and the arm parallel to the floor. Moving only the elbow, completely extend the arm and fully squeeze it when it’s up. Go down to the starting point and repeat.

STANDING BAR ARM CURL (BICEPS)

The motion is identical to the Z bar curl, except here the bar is straight. Grab it with both hands, separated at shoulders width.

INVERTED SHRUGS (ABDOMINALS)

Laying facing up on the ground, with the arms at the sides and clinging to the ground for support. Bend your knees 90 degrees and raise them in the air so that the hips also draw a 90 degrees angle. Always keeping both angles, contract the abs to pull the hips up until the lower back takes off a few centimetres from the ground. Hold the position for one moment, go down and repeat.

STAGE II EXERCISES

Inclined bench press

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Upper pectoral

EXECUTION: Facing up on an inclined bench and resting the feet on the floor. Grab the bar with your hands a bit more separated than your shoulders width and ask someone to help you pull the weight out. Slowly lower the bar until your arms are parallel to the ground, and then pull the weight upwards following an arch without blocking the elbows.

USEFUL ADVICE: On inclined bench the weight is not usually lift as high as in flat bench, so choose a light weight initially. As you are using a bar, ask for a partner’s help.

Dumbbell extension above head

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Triceps

EXECUTION: Sit down on a low-back support bench and holding a dumbbell between your hands with the fingers interlaced. Start with the arms extended and the dumbbell directly above your head. Slowly lower the weight behind the head until your elbows draw a 90 degrees angle, and bring the weight back to the starting point, fully squeezing the biceps.

USEFUL ADVICE: As in all triceps exercises, keep the elbows as still as possible avoiding all side movements.

Seated bar press

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Deltoids

EXECUTION: Sitting on a bench with back-support, grab the bar with the hands slightly more separated than your shoulders width. Take the weight out of its support with a partner’s help, and slowly lower it in front of your head until the arms are parallel to the floor. Then go up to the starting point without fully extending the arms.

USEFUL ADVICE: As the shoulder’s articulation is prone to be injured, make sure you use a load you can handle, and keep the motion firm and under control at any moment.

Reverse grip row with bar on multipower

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Dorsal, romboid, medial trapezius

EXECUTION: Standing, the knees bent and holding the bar with supine grip and hands separated at shoulders width. Start with your arms extended and the elbows fixed to the body. Keeping the back flat, lean over the bar and pull from it to the abdomen. Squeeze the shoulder blades trying to put them together in the final position, and lower the weight to the starting point.

HOME-MADE SUSTITUTE: Do it with a bar

Posterior deltoid raise

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Posterior deltoid

EXECUTION: Standing, grabbing a pair of dumbbells with neutral grip and leaning front from the hips until the trunk is just above the parallel to the ground. Extend the arms perpendicular to the floor slightly bending the elbows, and lifting them to the sides and upwards as you try to get the shoulder blades together. Hold the contraction for a moment, and then lower the weight to the starting point.

USEFUL ADVICE: Keep the natural arch of the back during the whole path.

Scott bench arm curl

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Biceps

EXECUTION: Adjust a Scott bench seat so that the rear part of the arms rests on the fluffy. With arms extended, grab the handles and lift the weight as high as possible. Fully squeeze the biceps and then go back to the starting point without letting the load rest.

HOME-MADE SUSTITUTE: Bar arm curl, standing.

Bar wrist curl

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Forearms

EXECUTION: Standing on a flat bench, lean front so that the rear part of the forearms rest above it and your hands stand out from the edge, which should be at wrists’ level. Grab a straight bar with your hands separated about 15 centimetres and moving only the wrists, lift the weight and squeeze. Let the bar go down until feeling how the forearms stretch.

USEFUL ADVICE: The interval is short, but you will immediately feel the congestion. Go on that way, regarding you can lift the bar to the end of the path.

Multipower squat

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Quadriceps, femorals, gluteus

EXECUTION: Standing, a bar on the shoulder and the superior trapezius, with feet separated at shoulder’s width. Release the bar. With the chest upright and the back arched, slowly lower the body until your quadriceps is parallel to the floor. Pull through the heels to go back to the starting point without fully extending the knees.

USEFUL ADVICE: Think about letting the gluteus move backwards as you go down, and when you go back to the starting point, tense the legs.

HOME-MADE SUSTITUTE: Dumbbell squat.

Heels’ raises

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Calves

EXECUTION: Set the machine so that it allows you to perform a sufficient interval of the path. Place the shoulders under the stuffing and the instep on the edge of the platform. Slightly bending the knees lift the weight as high as possible using only the strength of the calves. Slowly go down to the starting point until you feel how the calves stretch.

USEFUL ADVICE: The biggest mistake when we workout the calves is doing it too fast. Go down slowly, feel the contraction of the muscles and fully squeeze the calves.

Static scissor

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Quadriceps, femorals, gluteus

EXECUTION: Standing and grabbing a handle in each hand, one foot ahead and the other behind. Bent the front leg and lower the rear leg until the thigh is parallel to the floor. Pull through the front leg’s heel to go back to the starting point. After the first set, change feet and train the opposite side.

USEFUL ADVICE: The most important thing to remind about this exercise is to make sure that the front knee does not exceed the toes’ line when it goes down. That way we will avoid knees’ injuries.

 

Vertical bench knees raise

BASIC MUSCLES INVOLVED: Abdominals

EXECUTION: Place your body on the vertical bench so that the legs are straight and your knees slightly bent, resting the forearms on the armrests and grabbing the handles. Raise the knees as high as possible, always keeping a 90 degrees angle. Hold the contraction for one second, and go back to the starting point.

USEFUL ADVICE: To workout the lower abs, you have to raise your hips as you raise the knees.

HOME-MADE SUSTITUTE: inverted shrugs.

 

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