Sometimes you just want to try something different or have a muscle that needs to be attacked in a different manner. Times like those require you to reach into your bag of tricks and pull out something new. Is your bag a bit empty? Not to worry, we have a nice group of exercises to tell you about that are not very mainstream but still can produce some great results.
Are you ready for them?
Dumbbell Cuban Press – This exercise works the rotator cuffs and the shoulders. It is a great warm-up or finishing exercise. Take a light pair of dumbbells and assume a normal shoulder press position. Hold the weight at head height so the elbow is bent at a 90-degree angle and the upper arms are parallel to the floor. Rotate the dumbbells forward, twisting only the shoulder joint as you lower your forearms so they are parallel to the ground. Pause and return to the upright position and then press the dumbbells overhead. Bring them back down to head height to complete the repetition.
Unilateral Bench Press – This is an exercise designed to shore up a weaker side of your upper body. You can do this press on a flat, incline, or decline bench. Grab a lighter dumbbell than you would usually use for pressing (because of the weight imbalance) and assume a pressing position. Your free hand should grab onto the bench near your waist for balance. Then start pressing slowly and smoothly. You can work just your weak side or train both sides this way.
Telle Fly – This is named after Jerry Telle, a personal trainer. Lie on a flat bench with the heaviest pair of dumbbells you use for chest flyes. You are really just going to work the negative motion. Start with the weight pressed above your chest with elbows slightly unlocked. Lower the dumbbells slowly in an arc until the upper arms are parallel to the ground. Then bend the elbows to bring the weight in over your chest and press them back to the starting position.
Incline Dumbbell Bench Row – This is a different version of a dumbbell row that prevents cheating. Lie chest down on an incline bench set at 45 degrees. Grab a pair of dumbbells and let them hang straight down and then slowly pull your elbows back bringing the dumbbells to your lower ribs. Pause at the top then slowly lower them.
Barbell One-Arm Row – These are done just like dumbbell single-arm rows but with a barbell that works the forearms and shoulders more because of balancing the weight. Position yourself with one knee and hand on a flat bench and the other leg on the ground. Grab a barbell in the middle and pull the weight toward your waist in a rowing motion.
Incline Dumbbell Triceps Extensions – Set an incline bench to 30 degrees. Grab a set of dumbbells and lie back on the bench pressing the weight overhead. Rotate your hands so the palms face each other. Keep the elbows about 6 to 8 inches apart and pointing straight up and then lower the dumbbells letting the dumbbells travel on either side of the head until they are fully stretched out, pause, and then extend. This gives a greater range of motion than the barbell version.