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Standing One-Arm Overhead Press


Standing One-arm Overhead Press

Targets:
All delt heads, with emphasis on front and middle heads.

Best In Workout:
Great as one of your first exercises, not only as it is a compound movement move for delts, but it also brings your stabilisers into play, and you want those fresh. You can also precede this move with front and lateral raises if you want to pre-exhaust the detls. However, if you do so, your weight selection will be drastically reduced.

Sets & Reps:
Perform 3-4 sets with 8-12 reps.

Dumbbell:
Stand holding a dumbbell at shoulder level. Do not worry about holding a dumbbell at a 90 degree angle at the start, just ensure your elbow is pointing down at the start, with the dumbbell just above your shoulder.

Opposite Hand:
Your non-working hand should be on the same-side hip. By not holding on to a stable post with your opposite hand, you automatically call upon your core musculature to a higher degree and this will cause you to be stronger in every aspect of your training. As you fatigue,, holding onto a stable post like a power rack or Smith machine is fine and can allow you to bust out a few more reps.

Stance:
With your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your abs tight, press the dumbbell straight over-head to full-arm extension. You can vary how far apart your feet are, but having a wide, solid base will help you during the move and also alleviate lower-back stress. Be sure to keep your knees unlocked and your legs fixed. Many athletes think they are stronger on the seated version, but actually if your lower back and core are fit, you are capable of lifting more weight overhead from a standing position.

You do not have to be “perfect” throughout each rep. In other words, your upper body does not have to remain perfectly straight. Go ahead and allow a bit of a dip in your shoulder as you lower and press the dumbbell overhead. This will happen naturally, especially since you are using a heavy weight.


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Barbell Hack Squat


Barbell Hack Squat

Targets:
Quads, hamstrings, glutes primarily. Back secondarily.

Best in Workout:
Perform the barbell squat early in your workout. As it is a full-body move, it is best done with heavy weight,. Also it is tough on the lower back, so you want to be fresh as possible on each set.

Sets & Reps:
Performs 3-4 sets with 6-12 reps.

Stance:
Space your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly plant them on the floor, then drop into a squat position. You need a firm foundation and it starts with your feet. If you are new to this move, or deadlift-type exercises in general, you might notice that your heels tend to rise off the floor at the start. Work to keep your feet flat, this will get easier as you warm-up and become more accustomed to the move.

Arms:
With your arms fully extended, grasp the bar using a pronated grip just outside your legs, locking your thumbs around the bar. This position should resemble the start of a deadlift, only with the bar behind you. Many people make the mistake of trying to use their arms to pull the bar up. If you bend your arms in an attempt to raise the bar, you won’t be as nearly as strong as you could be. Your arms should act as hooks, attaching yourself to the bar.

Breathe:
Inhale deeply, holding your breath as you begin the move. You want to hold your breath at the start of the move. Not only are you stronger when you do so, but it will also increase your intra-abdominal pressure and stabilise your spine while protecting you from injury. As you begin the descent towards the start (bottom) of the move you will also naturally and necessarily hold your breath.

Legs:
Drive through your heels, extending your hips and knees simultaneously until you are standing erect with the bar, exhaling at the top of the motion. At this point, the bar should be just under your glutes. The barbell hack squat is very similar to the deadlift, in that it is a pressing move for the legs. Again, if you try and pull the weight up with your upper body without concentrating on the legs, you will defeat the purpose of this exercise, not to mention risk injury. Remember to squeeze the quads, hams and glutes at the top as you catch your breath. Use pulling straps, since the amount of weight you can press with your legs will probably exceed how much weight you can hold in your hands.