Maybe you used to do these bodybuilding workouts and forgot. Maybe you never heard of them before. Either way, take a look at this list of a dozen little-practiced exercises, and consider freshening up your current routine by throwing in a few of them…
12 Exercises You Are Not Doing!
One-Arm Cable Serratus Crunches (Serratus, Obliques)
Position yourself under a high pulley with a single handle attachment. Hold the handle next to your ear and crunch your body in to one side using only your serratus and intercostals to pull you down.
Stiff-Arm Lat Pulldowns (Lats)
Grab a wide bar attached to a lat pulldown machine slightly wider than shoulder width with thumbs over the bar. Bend slightly at the waist and without bending the elbows pull the bar down in an arc in front of you until it hits your thighs.
Weighted Bench Dips (Triceps)
Space two flat benches about 36” apart. Sit on one with your hands at your sides, holding the edge of the bench. Place your feet on the other bench. Have a partner put a 45-pound plate on your lap to test your strength. If you can perform 15 reps try two plates the next set. Smaller plates could be added as well. Make sure your partner is on hand to prevent the plates from sliding and to strip them off as you begin to fail.
Spider Curls (Biceps)
Lie face down on an elevated bench (assuming your gym doesn’t have a spider bench, which is a pretty safe assumption) with your arms hanging over one end. Pick up either a dumbbell, a pair of dumbbells, or a barbell and curl it up. This is similar to a preacher curl, but instead of your upper arms being at a 45º angle to the floor, they are perpendicular to it.
Reverse Leg Curls (Hamstrings)
Kneel on the seat of a lat machine with your ankles hooked under the knee restraints. Hold a bar or broomstick at one end with the other securely touching the floor at a right angle (for support). Keeping your body rigid, lower yourself towards the floor, using only your biceps femoris muscles. Once your torso is parallel with the floor, raise yourself back up until it’s again perpendicular to the floor.
One-Arm Bar Raises (Forearms)
Grasp an empty bar weighing between 10 and 25 pounds a few inches off from its center line. Let your arm hang at your side with one end of the bar touching the floor in front of you. Raise the end off the floor using only your forearm strength, until it’s parallel to the floor. This targets the brachioradialis. To hit the wrist flexors, reverse where you grip the bar and the movement itself.
Sprint Raises (Shoulders)
Grab a pair of dumbbells lighter than what you would use for laterals. Bend at the hips and knees as if you were crouching down to begin a race. With your torso at a 45º angle pick up the dumbbells. With elbows slightly bent raise one to the front and the other to the rear simultaneously. Imagine you are sprinting as you swing the dumbells in opposite directions, using no momentum, only your front and rear delts to move them.
Good Mornings (Lower Back)
Place a relatively light barbell across your shoulders as if you were going to squat. Bend at the hips, lowering your torso forward until it is nearly parallel with the floor before coming back up. Be careful not to let the bar roll onto your neck by pulling it down into the nook between your traps and shoulders.
Drag Curls (Biceps)
Grab a barbell with hands at shoulder width. Drag it up along your body as high as you can while pulling your elbows straight back. Hold at the top for a second and squeeze the biceps. This is a great movement for finishing off a biceps workout.
Palms-Up High Laterals (Shoulders)
The starting position is with a dumbbell in each hand, arms out to your sides, parallel to the floor, at what’s basically the top of a traditional lateral raise. Raise the dumbbells to a point just short of vertical above your head and lower to start position.
Cross Bench Pullovers (Lats, Intercostals, Triceps)
Place a dumbbell on one end of a bench. Squat down next to the bench and place your shoulders on it at its centerline. Hoist the dumbbell to arms length. With a slight bend of the elbows lower the dumbbell behind your head stopping just before it hits the floor and raise it again, making usre to keep your hips down and breathing deeply with each rep.