The story is well known. You create a new workout plan and go to the gym after work fully motivated. Unfortunately, you are not the only person who had this idea. The gym is full of people and the machines that you would need each time are unfortunately occupied. Two options open up: either you wait until the machine is free, or you use the equipment that is free at the moment. But if you then answer the question “Why are you doing this exercise?” with “Because the equipment is free right now.” you have a big problem in the long run. That’s because the exercise sequence, the order in which you do each exercise, plays a huge role. However, as with most aspects of effective strength training, exercise order can vary greatly from person to person – depending on what factors are important to you and your specific training goal.
For most people, the proper exercise order in most cases can be summarized in one sentence as follows: More challenging exercises should be performed before less challenging exercises. To clarify what this means, here are a few practical examples: Exercises for larger muscles should always come before exercises for smaller muscles. An example: back first, then biceps, not the other way around. Wondering why you should follow this recommendation? The answer is simple: all back exercises involve the biceps. However, the biceps is a smaller muscle that is weaker than the back. If you train the biceps first and then the back, the biceps will no longer have enough strength to train the back optimally. The same is true for the chest, shoulder and triceps. The chest is a large, strong muscle, the triceps are smaller and weaker. If you train the triceps first, it will fail if you train the chest. So the correct order is: chest or back before shoulders, biceps or triceps. Shoulders before biceps or triceps. Quads before calves or abs. Compound exercises should be done before isolation exercises. The principle is the same as the previous point. Examples: Bench Press before Flyes, Overhead Press before Side Lifts, Squats before Leg Extensions. Free weights or deadlift exercises before machines, squats or deadlifts before leg press, barbell bench press before incline bench, pull-ups before chest assisted machine rows. As mentioned above, it can be useful to deviate slightly from these rules. It all depends on the individual training goals. In general, however, this rule should be followed if you want to see maximum training results.
If you train more than one major muscle group in a workout
You may now be wondering what happens when you work more than one muscle group in the same workout – as most people do. In fact, many train with a split workout, such as upper body and legs. Here, many muscle groups are targeted per workout. Let’s look at the rule again. We have learned that exercises for larger muscle groups should come before those that train smaller muscle groups. Of course, that’s easy with the obvious stuff, like chest before triceps. But what about when training more than one major muscle group in a session? The answer: the rule still applies, even if you end up training each muscle group in the wrong order. That is, instead of doing all the exercises for the same muscle group in a row and then doing all the exercises for the other muscle group, you alternate. First you do an exercise for muscle A, then for muscle B, then A again… This is absolutely fine and should be done this way to make sure you are doing the exercises in the optimal order. Many people often go to the gym and work out like crazy, but then are surprised when they don’t get the results they were hoping for. One factor is the exercise order. In the long run, it does more good to wait for the right machine instead of just always taking the one that is free at the moment. With that in mind, have a great workout. Are you a fan of pull-ups? Why does every top workout program include them as a back or biceps exercise? There’s a lot of confusion about why pull-ups stand out from dozens of other back exercises, but rarely does anyone question their effectiveness. Not only are pull-ups very impressive, they also offer many benefits if you incorporate them into your program on a regular basis. Find out everything you need to know about them and what benefits they offer in this article.
Execution of pull-ups
Doing pull-ups is indeed quite a challenging thing. Moreover, if you don’t do them properly, you can do more harm than good. Follow these simple steps to do them right, build muscle and avoid injury.
- Jump up, grab the bar and hang out
- Tighten your abs and pull yourself up with your arms until your chest almost touches the bar
- Do not swing your legs from front to back or from side to side to assist the movement or make the exercise easier
=> This can lead to injury and reduces the effectiveness of the exercise.
- Now slowly lower yourself back to the starting position and repeat the process until exhausted
Now that you can perform the exercise properly, let’s show some of the benefits of doing this exercise. If you have any questions about this, our trainers from a clever fit gym near you will be happy to help.
Advantages of pull-ups
Pull-ups are easy to do
Pull-ups are very easy to organize. All you need is a solid bar and your 2 arms to perform them. You can do them at the gym, buy your own pull-up bar and do them from the comfort of your own home or just at a park.
Pull-ups as a full body exercise
Another really useful aspect is that you work out several muscle groups at the same time. Such exercises are also called compound exercise. If you are short on time, compound exercises are the way to go. Pull-ups are very efficient because each pull-up works your biceps, triceps, forearms, wrists, grip strength, lats, shoulders and core. So if you want to train as many muscles as possible at the same time, the pull-up is definitely one of the best options.
There are many variations of the classic pull up.
We all know that doing the same workout and exercises over and over again, day after day, can get very boring. It can even lead to a loss of motivation. That’s the great thing about pull-ups, because there are so many different variations that it becomes almost impossible to get bored. There are the classic wide grip pull-ups, reverse grip pull-ups, and close grip pull-ups. They’re all easy to do with the same equipment, so you’ll never have to buy new gear. Each of the exercises targets slightly different muscle groups so you can achieve desired results.
Increase the intensity
Another thing that’s great about pull-ups is that you can easily increase the intensity. Sure, the regular pull-up is hard enough, especially if you’re out of shape, a beginner, or have simply never tried it before. In that case, a few normal pull-ups are more than enough to get you sweating . Then, if you really want to up the intensity, you can always attach an extra weight to your body (like a weight vest) to increase the intensity. If you still need a challenge, you can also try doing pull-ups with one hand.When it comes to increasing intensity, there is almost no exercise as versatile as the pull-up.
Pull-ups are for weight loss
The next benefit you can get from pull-ups is that they can help you lose weight. To be fair, pull-ups don’t burn as many calories as cardio, but they definitely burn some calories. If you want to increase the intensity to burn even more calories, you can always include more reps and sets, perform them slower and pause less in between. This will definitely make your heart beat faster and boost your metabolism. Combined with a healthy diet, you will reach your weight goals.
Pull-ups strengthen your back
Another great benefit you’ll tell from pull-ups is that they work your back muscles. However, bigger muscles in your back don’t just make you look good. A strong back actually leads to a much healthier life. Stronger back muscles mean better posture and, as a result, a more pain-free life. Weak back muscles often lead to back pain. Training your back through pull-ups is an easy solution to all of these problems.
If you haven’t tried doing some pull-ups yet, you should probably get into it. There are so many benefits to pull-ups that it’s really not worth not doing them. Stronger arms, a stronger back, a stronger core, better heart health, and help with weight loss are meaningful and say enough. They are easy to do and pretty fun too. We at clever fit gym Giesing hope to have helped you and wish you a successful workout. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to contact our staff, who will help you. Interested in a free trial? Click here to schedule one. What are the best fitness exercises in the Armed Forces? Time and again we are asked what are the best fitness exercises for soldiers. However, this question is not so easy to answer… As stated in § 17 para.4 of the Soldiers Act: “The soldier must do everything in his power to maintain or restore his health. He may not impair his health intentionally or through gross negligence…..” Based on this excerpt, the Bundeswehr provides opportunities for training in many barracks, which are gratefully accepted in most cases. Unfortunately, however, many soldiers do not know how to carry out their training properly. Therefore, in the following we will present the 7 most important exercises which every soldier should include in his training plan in order to achieve maximum success. The described exercises belong in most cases to the basic exercises and are so called compound movements (compound movements). These exercises combine several muscle groups and train the interaction of several muscles and several joints involved in the movement during certain movements. The exercises are briefly described here. For a more detailed explanation of the different exercises, further articles will follow. 1. bench press The good old bench press is probably one of the most famous exercises that everyone knows in the field of fitness, but why is it always recommended?bench press is, as already explained, a so-called compound movement exercise. In the bench press, the hand, elbow and shoulder joints are involved and are instrumental in the execution of the movement. But what is the advantage of bench pressing over a regular chest press on a machine? With a machine, the range of motion to be mastered is predetermined and you can concentrate exclusively on the press. However, with the bench press, the balance of the bar also plays an important role and the fact that the shoulder is constantly under tension as the weight “presses” down from above. The body must be kept under constant tension, which ,in addition to the main muscles (chest shoulder and triceps), also involves supporting muscles. The abdominal and back muscles are constantly under tension and keep the body firmly on bench, which is elementary for adequate movement execution. 2. push-upSince bench pressing usually forces you to go to a gym, many people like to resort to the push-up. In training with your own body, the push-ups are probably the most popular exercises and like to find their way into the living room. Everyone has probably done a few push-ups quickly at home when the guilty conscience has gripped him. For soldiers themselves, push-ups are his daily bread and are not to be thought away from his daily routine. Whether they are regular, wide or narrow push-ups, each of these variations is a whole-body workout and strengthens not only the chest, shoulder and triceps muscles, but also the back, abdomen and legs. Push-ups are trained with your own body and thus prevent serious injuries. You can easily increase the intensity of the workout by using simple tools such as a weight vest. 3. pull-upsAs you have already noticed, exercises with your own body weight belong for a soldier in every good training plan and of course, in addition to push-ups, the pull-ups may not be missing. No matter if you quickly pull yourself up a staircase or clamp a bar in the door frame, everyone knows the urge to quickly perform a pull-up somewhere. Of course, pull-ups are a much more challenging exercise than push-ups, but through alternative exercises you can improve bit by bit and work towards free pull-ups. We’ll explain how to do this again in a later post (lat pulldowns on a machine, elastic bands, etc.). As with push-ups, pull-ups combine several muscle groups, allowing for very good muscle growth. In addition to the broad back muscle (latissimus dorsi), pull-ups strengthen the core muscles in addition to the arms and lead to a balanced muscle development throughout the body. 4. deadlift/deadliftsOne of the most comprehensive exercises in fitness is the deadlift. This exercise is rightfully one of the most popular workouts because it really challenges the entire body. Starting in the legs, moving to the back and abdomen, and ending with the neck and shoulders, all muscles are involved when performing the deadlift. Deadlift simulates an everyday movement execution and formed the basis of a full back workout for every soldier. Even though this exercise trains the whole body, it is preferentially incorporated in back training because the focus is definitely on strengthening the back. Unlike pull-ups, we don’t recommend deadlifts to newcomers to fitness because you really need to know how to perform the movement very well in order not to injure yourself doing it. Once you have internalized the movement, you should incorporate deadlifts into your back workout at least every other time. For a soldier, this exercise offers another practical benefit. Soldiers often have to pick up loads from the ground and carry them to another location, which is very similar to the movement of the deadlift. If you regularly incorporate this exercise into your training, you will also notice a significant strengthening during marches with baggage, as the lower back is insufficiently trained in many soldiers and can cause problems during marches. 5. squatEveryone knows them and many do them…. the good old squat. Whether you do them free or with weight, you can’t neglect your leg muscles. For all you pumpers, “If you don’t honor the legs, you’re not worth the biceps!” Every soldier should keep in mind that the legs are one of the most important things to be operational. A well-trained soldier should continue to be focused after a 30km march and not complain about aching legs. Especially in infantry the leg muscles are essential. When a paratrooper lands on his feet he should also have the strength to catch himself. Squats train not only the leg extensors, but also the calves, the butt and the leg flexors and thus lead to a very good interaction of the mentioned muscles. Far too many people focus only on your isolation exercises for the leg extension and neglect the back of the leg (leg biceps). But both muscles are very important for a healthy posture and neither should be neglected. About a detailed leg workout will follow another post and routines will be shown. Just like the exercises already mentioned, squats also strengthen the abdominal muscles. Very good core tension is one of the most important elements when performing the squat to avoid hunching over and hurting your back. 6. dips An exercise that unfortunately appears more and more rarely in training plans are dips. Dips, depending on the posture, strengthen more the chest muscles or put a greater focus on the triceps. The golden era, at the time of Arnold Schwarzenegger, have always included dips in their training plans, because they bring a very great stimulus to the muscles, causing great muscle growth. So why should you do without them?BUT: The execution of the dips is elementary. You have to have a very good tension in the shoulder area during the execution, in order not to sink in and injure yourself. Also on this subject will be another article following by describing the execution of the dips. 7. shoulder press/military press The last exercise I would like to discuss is the shoulder press. Shoulder presses should preferably be performed in front of the head, which means that when lowering, the bar is in front of the face and not in the neck. By lowering into the neck, depending on the execution, the tension in the shoulder corner joint is too high, because it overstretches the shoulder and is an unnatural movement execution of the shoulder. For big and strong shoulders, shoulder press should not be missing from your workout, whether you perform it with dumbbells or barbells. Conclusion: If possible, you should include the basic exercises in your training plan to be able to train your body ideally. Isolation exercises should be avoided, especially as a newcomer, in order to train the body functionally. The exercises were only briefly mentioned and not described in detail, because each of these exercises get a separate article. There are more pros and cons to the different exercises and especially the movement execution must be described in detail. But one thing is still important to me!!! These exercises are not easy to perform and you should perform most of the described exercises only when you have a good command of the movement execution. Don’t increase too fast with the weight, but increase the number of repetitions first. Leave your ego at home and don’t neglect your health. If you are familiar with fitness and strength training, you have probably often wondered which exercises are particularly useful for building strength and muscle mass. If you haven’t asked yourself this question yet, now is the right time. To give you some tips, in this blog we will specifically go into an indispensable part of bodybuilding: the compound exercises.
What are compound exercises?
Compound exercises are compound exercises that, unlike isolation exercises, work several muscle groups at once, using different joints for the movements. Well-known examples include the squat, bench press and deadlift. In the following text we explain in more detail why you should integrate these and many more compound exercises into your training program, especially if you want to build muscle mass mِöö:
More weight – more muscle mass
Since you’re directly working multiple muscles at once with compound exercises, you can also add more weight than you would with isolation exercises. For example, compare a classic squat with barbell, a typical compound exercise, with a targeted and isolated leg workout. The isolated leg workout is ideal for the quadriceps (the thigh muscle), but a well-executed squat works the glutes and back in addition to the thigh muscles. Not to mention the many other stabilizing muscles you benِtig for going down and coming up. By going heavier, your body produces more testosterone and growth hormones, and these promote – you guessed it – the building of muscle mass.
One of the most important aspects of building more strength and mass is progressing in the gym. Progressive Overload (progressive overload) means exposing your body to slightly greater and greater training stimuli. These are essential for anyone who wants to build muscle and gain mass. If the muscles have to do more work, and your diet and rest are matched to the load, then your muscles really have no choice but to grow. Continuous progress is difficult to achieve with isolation exercises alone. For example, with dumbbell curls, if you try to increase the weight used by 1kg per week, your shoulders and back will also be used to lift the weight. Although you are of course using multiple muscles, this type of exercise does not fall under compound exercises, as the heavy use of back and shoulder muscles indicates an improper execution of the actual exercise. Go for deadlift or bent over row instead. Because of the greater number of muscles used and the heavier weight, you can make faster progress. The biceps curl can be integrated into the training in addition to these exercises.
Another important point is the effectiveness of the workout. Since you target many muscles at the same time with the compound exercises, they are more more efficient than training with targeted isolation exercises. Another positive effect is that it takes less time. For training with isolation exercises you need significantly more time. When performing compound exercises, gym sessions can be significantly shorter and at the same time offer a more positive influence on hormone balance – significantly more effective results in muscle growth are the result. In addition, longer training sessions, with a large number of isolation exercises, increase the risk of injury.
This does not mean that you have to do your training only with compound exercises. The main focus of a good training plan can (and from our point of view should) be compound exercises. If you feel that you can demand a little more from some muscles, then isolation exercises offer an additional training incentive. When it comes to the weights, you should stay within a feasible range of sizes that is tailored to both your own technical ability and the training workload you have already completed. Clean and precise execution of the isolation exercises should always be ensured. This extra training will be reflected in your results.
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