Ultimate Guides

10 Toning Workouts For Men and Plans to Build Strong Muscle

Performing exercises to lose weight is not the only concern of the people, having a toned figure is even more important than looking thin.

Toning the muscles is to maintain a certain degree of muscle hardness that is usually lost by the little physical activity performed.

The specific gym routines to tone the body include weight training, aerobic exercises, especially a good diet, the three elements in combination will give a quick result. Continue reading

Kettlebell Results in 6 Weeks

Workout Plans & Videos

Before you begin your kettlebell exercise, you might want to get your hands on the right kettlebell. Here’s our top picks when you’re looking to get the best results.

If you want to learn how to do the Kettlebell exercise to get results in 6 weeks, here are the 11 steps:

  • Step #1: Begin a Kettlebell exercise by bending your hips

  • Step #2: Then push your glutes (mostly out)

  • Step #3: Make sure your shoulder blades are kept at the back, chest up, and keep head straight

  • Step #4: Position the kettlebell in-between the knews

  • Step #5: Keep it a little behind the heels

  • Step #6: Grab a kettlebell that weighs 15-25 pounds (6.8-11.3 kg)

  • Step #7: With both hands olding the kettlebell, push through using the hips

  • Step #8: Start motion while standing up

  • Step #9: Keep your arms straight

  • Step #10: Squeeze glutes, tightening the abs.

  • Step #11: Tighten the quads to achieve an explosive snap movement

The exercises with Russian weights, also known as kettlebell, have gained prominence lately in the training sessions displacing to the background to the weights of all the life. Continue reading

How to Do the Shoulder Press Vs. Military Press Workout Today

Shoulder press is one of the most important basic exercises and forms the optical basis for a broad appearance. A broad cross and strong, round shoulder heads make a body look agile and impressive.

Since the shoulder joint is a relatively complicated construct consisting of a so-called rotator cuff and three heads of the delta muscle, there are several exercises to bring this area of the body up to date.

However, most of the exercises should be included rather supportive in the training program to compensate for muscular imbalances, to serve the health of the joint or to tickle out the final visual touch. But shoulder press is a must-have for a well-balanced development of the deltoid muscle.

Here, heavy, heavy loads are carried not only by the front head of the delta, but also by the lateral part of the shoulders and by some synergists such as the triceps.

At this point, however, we want to clean up with a rumor that is extremely persistent: no form of shoulder pushing trained the back of the shoulder; the one categorically excludes the other.

Today we look at the following variations of shoulder press and will go through the technique step by step:

  • Shoulder press in front of the head (front press)
  • Shoulder Pressing Standing (Military Press)
  • Shoulder press behind the head (neck press)
  • Shoulder Pressing with the Dumbbell

Shoulder press in front of the head – front press

Shoulder presses before the head (also called front press) is the safest and most uncomplicated variant of this exercise. Here only the barbell or the bar is left in front of the face and not behind the head down.

In this position, the shoulder joint is much more stable, and a little more weight can be moved overall. For safety reasons, if you are in doubt, pressing the front of the machine is preferable to other types of shoulder pushing.

Of course, exchanging the exercises from time to time is not wrong, but priority should always be given to front press.

  • The exercise is done sitting down! It can be done either in the multipress or in the power rack. The backrest is not set up fully vertically, but slightly tilted backwards. The lower the inclination, the more heavily the chest muscles are loaded.
  • The feet are about shoulder width apart stable on the ground.
  • In the multi-press the bar is locked in the starting position. The bar is held in a slightly wider than shoulder-wide handle and unlocked by a short rotation of the wrists and then lowered by a controlled movement down.
  • Once the bar is at chin level, the negative phase is stopped and the weight is pushed up again.
  • In the Power rack you start with the positive phase, i.e. the rod is in the starting position at chin height. First press the bar vertically upwards and adjust it slightly backwards while pushing, so that the bar is directly above your head in the full arm extension.
  • A hollow cross is to be avoided! From 60-70 kg training weight will thank you for your whirling! Use a weight-lifting belt or support your feet on a low training bench.
  • The pole moves as close to your face as possible! The further the pole is away from your face, the higher the risk of injury to the shoulder!

Standing shoulder press – Military Press

The standing shoulder press (also called military press) is an exercise that is almost identical to the front press to the last detail: The exercise is done standing, not sitting down.

This result in some challenges for the trainees: Multipress cannot be used! Free weights or a commercial barbell are the means of choice. The fact that the back is supported by no Multibank, the risk of injury to the back is greater.

If you have stability problems in the back muscles, you better avoid this exercise! Even for beginners shoulder presses while standing unsuitable because the coordinative conditions are not yet given.

  • The technique is identical to the front press, but the shoulder press is done while standing.
  • The barbell is either transposed (i.e. the dumbbell is transported from the ground with a combination of deadlift and vertical rowing with a slight jerk up to shoulder height) or with the help of a power racks to the appropriate height!
  • The stand is more like a slight lunge (feet still shoulder width apart) to provide the necessary balance.

Shoulder press behind the head – neck press

Image result for shoulder press behind neck

Pushing the shoulder behind the head (also called nape pressing) is a very old version of the push of the shoulder, which already has its most popular times long behind. The procedure is very similar to that of the front pushing, but here the rod is lowered not in front of the face, but behind the head.

The problem: When pressing the shoulder behind the head, the shoulder joint is at the lowest point in a very unnatural and weak position. The risk of injury is much higher!

Effectively, this version of the shoulder pushing differs only marginally from the front press, only the lateral delta head gets a little more of the load.

  • The technique is identical to the front press, but the shoulder press is behind the head.
  • The backrest is adjusted vertically.
  • The feet are placed on a low bench or stepper for safety, to provide the necessary stability.
  • The barbell bar is lowered behind the head approximately at the level of the nose. The lower, the higher the risk of injury to the shoulder!

Shoulder press with the dumbbell

Shoulder press with the dumbbell is probably the most gentle way of shoulder pushing and at the same time very effective to stimulate both the front and the side delta head.

The only drawback to the exercise is the implementation of dumbbells. If these are not dumbbells with ball bearings, i.e. if the handles are rigid and cannot be turned, this may strain the wrists.

Furthermore, it is almost impossible with appropriate weight, the dumbbells to move on their own in the starting position. Help is provided by the training partner, who gives you at least one dumbbell.

  • The starting position for shoulder pressing with dumbbells is identical to pressing on the front while seated.
  • Both dumbbells rest on the thighs in a vertical position.
  • With a jerk, one of the two dumbbells is now carried up to the level of the ears, with the other dumbbell is moved in the same way
  • Both dumbbells are now pressed vertically upwards and touch lightly at the top point with the insides
  • Then the dumbbells are lowered again at the level of the ears
  • Immediately after the last repetition, when the state of fatigue is greatest, the dumbbells on the left and right of the body are lowered to the floor (whose studio leader is tolerant enough, the dumbbells can also drop)
  • The dumbbells are not (!) Lowered again on the thighs – heavy bruises, bruising, internal bleeding with threatening amputation sequence (no joke) is not uncommon!

No matter which form of shoulder pushing you decide on, always remember to progressively increase weights, train safely and neatly, and always consume enough calories and protein. The reward after a few years of hard training is broad shoulders and a great V-shape!

Mistakes to avoid

  • Do not lift the projectile along a “diagonal” path. The bar must be directed vertically upwards, only in this case the target muscles receive a sufficient amount of workload.
  • Do not neglect the heating. The military press is classified as highly dangerous movements, since the press has to do with the joints of the elbow and the shoulder. Performing a series of “warming” movements will help prepare the locomotor apparatus for loading and achieve the necessary mobility of the joint joints.
  • Do not pull at the time of applying a military press bench effort. In the logic of technical recommendations, all movements must be carried out smoothly and under control.
  • Do not move the box backwards; this is associated with a risk of injury to the lumbar spine. The reason for the “fracture” in the back is the use of weights that do not correspond to the level of physical fitness: pick up a military press load seated with a suitable bar that allows the movement to be carried out in an absolutely technical manner.
  • Do not put one foot in front of the other – which unbalances the load on the spine.


  • It is recommended to beginners to perform an exercise in a safety frame and the use of a power belt that will reduce the pressure on the abdominal walls and lower back.
  • For the primary formation of a dynamic stereotype, that is, a technically correct movement skill, it is recommended that an aspiring athlete perform an exercise with minimum loads, with an empty neck.
  • Since exercise is considered complex, do not exaggerate with its use: let the working muscles recover fully and balance the presses with alternative development movements for the shoulders.
  • Strive to find the optimum width of the grip: too narrow military press – it attracts triceps to work, wide – reduces the amplitude of the movement.

Implementation options

  • The military press can be classified according to the “position” position of the case: the classical standing variant and the sitting version are distinguished. Although for some athletes, the “sit” position is more convenient due to its stability and safety, which makes the movement of traffic from the standing position not effectively effective.
  • The traditional version of the bench is more effective military press sitting with bar both in terms of the increase in shoulder volume, and the development of its power capacity. While doing press press it acquires an “isolating” character and forces it to “yield” on the balance.
  • An alternative to classic exercise can also serve as a biomechanical bench press in Smith’s automobile. This option is more preferable for the beginner, since the simulator strictly specifies the trajectory of movement and limits the possibilities of technically committing “wrong maneuvers”.

How to increase the effectiveness of the exercise

Optimal kickback effect gives the army’s performance total amplitude benching, that is, the movement of the “swing” comes from the chest at the lowest point of the full hand extension with the projectile at the top.

How to adjust the focus of the load Continue reading

A Comparison of Pendlay Row Vs. Bent Over Row

You can have many ways to row as you have probably seen a number of methods and versions of rows at the native workout stations.

However, if you want to attain the strongest back that can withstand heavier deadlifts and exigent back workouts, it is right time to add some heavy rowing to your workouts.

Let’s compare two famous and popular rows; the Pendlay row and the Bent over row and analyze which one is better and suitable for bodybuilding freaks.

Bent Over Row:

Image result for bent over row

Before we compare them it would be better to get a brief know-how about their moves and methods.

When performing a bent over row, you are required to wide your feet as approximately as your shoulder width apart. Now, grip the bar with the palm facing your face. Place the bar on the ground, bend over, and grip the bar firmly. Adjust your body at an angle greater than 90-degrees with respect to the ground.

Keep your head and spine in a neutral posture. Now, keeps your torso parallel to the ground lifting your hips slightly up the normal position.

Lift up the bar with the help of hips extension keeping your arms stiff. Row the bar to the lower chest region without stressing biceps.

Once the bar reaches the top point, let it go back toward the ground with very controlled manner.

Keep your movement jerk-free to avoid any muscular injury.

However, do not let the bar to touch the ground and raise it upward again with the same method and muscular sync.

Pulling too much or losing neutral spinal alignment will cause an unsymmetrical muscles development.

Pendlay Row:

Image result for pendlay row

Pendlay row was originally introduced by an Olympic weightlifting coach Glenn Pendlay. This is ideal to enhance the strength in rowing muscles.

A major difference between the bent over row and the pendlay row is that when performing pendlay row you are required to put the bar on the ground after each rep.

On the other hand, you cannot put the bar on the ground when performing bent over row.

For the pendlay row, you need to grip the bar with palms facing you and a wider grip as compared to the bent over row.

You start the workout every time from the dead stop with the bar on the floor.

Maintain your body angle exactly at the 90-degree to the ground.

And row the bar with an enhanced thrust toward your lower chest region.

Keep your hips still and spinal alignment intact.

So, what are the differences?

The basic difference between the bent over row and the pendlay row is that the latter is a stricter version of the bent form.

On the other hand, the technical difference is that neither the bent over nor the pendlay put your shoulder in a position to intrude.

When performing the pendlay workout, you are required to keep your torso parallel t the floor.

Now, pull the bar to your upper chest region with having your arms at an angle in between 45-75 degree.

On the other hand, you need to keep your torso at the 45-degree angle and pull the weight toward your lower chest region. Moreover, you are required to keep the bar stranded at the end of each rep.

Interestingly, muscles involved in both workouts are same. The major difference lies in the amount of stress which is faced by the muscles erratically.

So, you can say that the results attained by both rows would be same but with different amount of muscles strength and power developed eventually.

Differences and Applications:

Some of the key differences between the pendlay and the bent over row are elaborated below.

Let’s see how these differences impact the muscular strength as well as body symmetry.

Muscular Hypertrophy

Both rows have the capability to develop back, torso and glute muscles effectively.

In order to attain the required results you just need to focus on the training span, workout volume, and suitable reps.

Moreover, you can develop muscular hypertrophy with the help of both rows. Again you need to know particulars accurately like hand placement, hips angle and rep rate etc.

General Strength

In order to attain your required strength, you must spend time on both rows equally. However, you also have to decide whether you want an overall strength or a positional strength is your priority.

If you are facing some physique issue like tightening of back muscles or squat, you need to adopt pendlay-style workout.

On the other hand, if you want to develop an overall size and strength, then the bent over body training would be a better choice.

Pendlay-type row is a perfect choice for the weightlifters because it develops hamstrings and back muscles.

This row develops significant breakthrough stick points that are essential for weightlifting activity.

That’s why trainers suggest performing the pendlay row in order to develop muscles for the weightlifting.

Contrarily, bent over row is not that much ideal for weightlifters because this row puts a lot of stress on the hips as well as lower back.

This row does not develop stick points.

Common mistakes while performing bent over row

1. Train what you want to train

The first and foremost rule of workout is to let your muscles work, not your ego. Never engage your whole body to pull or push a heavier weight beyond your muscles limit.

Total and irregular body involvement will do more harm than good.

So, when you perform a bent over row, hold your joints static, recheck the weight and focus on the muscles that you want to develop.

2. Pulling too far past the midline

Keep a keen eye on the level of lifting bar. You should never cross the midline while lifting the bar upward.

Performing too far past the midline will cause a slight dislocation of the arm bone from its shoulder end, potentially causing a serious injury.

You can optimize your workout without harming your shoulder joint. Just keep an eye on the movement and enjoy better results.

The common mistake while performing pendlay row

1. Low rep sets not suitable

Pendlay row is very easy for those who can manage the deadlifts. So, you can use row for the strength-building purpose.

However, you should perform more rep sets because dead-stop offers lower muscles tension. This row is not suitable for the very low rep sets like 3-5.

9 Powerful Trap Bar Deadlifts for Mass You Should Try

Usually, the conventional deadlift is modified to the trap bar deadlift in various gyms and workout stations.

This modification offers a wide variety of immediate and handy benefits to coaches as well as the bodybuilders.

This form of deadlift provides various ways to fulfill needs and requirements for the certain muscles symmetry and enhancement in capabilities.

These benefits range from the hypertrophy, enhancing pulling abilities, decreasing lumber stress and training beginners etc. Continue reading

Close Grip Lat Pulldown V Bar: Best Guide 2020

The Close Grip Lat Pulldown V-Bar is one of the hottest devices in the gym right now. It simulates the pull-down force and properly works the entire back muscles and lats.

By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how to do V-Bar exercises like a pro.


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Here is a Proper V-Bar Close-Grip form:


1. Adjust the sitting position so that the grip is directly above the head
2. Adjust the height of the seat front baffle and let it securely hold the legs
3. Grasp the grip, hold the chest, start with the strength of the shoulder sinking, and then pull down the grip
4. Breath pull down, suction reduction
5. Use the schematic:

Pull down the different grips and grip widths from the high position, which will produce different training effects. It is recommended that you try several grips and find the best position for your back.

The 7 biggest mistakes in Close Grip Lat Pulldown training

A Lat Pulldown and its variants are part of every good training program. Unfortunately, many athletes commit blatant mistakes in Close Grip training that increase injury and congestion risk and limit performance improvement.

Avoiding these 7 mistakes will make you safer, better trained, and make faster progress in chin-up training.

The 7 biggest mistakes in chin-up training are:

1. No pull ups to exercise

Every healthy person under the age of 70 should have the strength for it (yes, even women, where the limit can be drawn at about 60 years). Men should even do at least 3, better still 5 or more. Our ancestors could do that!

Being able to pull yourself up on a branch, a pole, or the like not only trains an important movement pattern, but is also a sign of your own basic power.

This basic exercise has been lost in today’s society due to the passively shaped daily routine and has become so difficult for many that only a few people create multiple Close Grip type Pulldowns.

Therefore, the recommendation: As a fitness parameter for pulling exercises or traction men should at least 3-5 chin-ups and women at least 1-3. More power is of course very welcome.

If you are not yet practicing this type of Pulldown exercises or rowing exercises (for beginners), you should definitely start with them.

Soon you will be amazed by the strength you build up in your upper body, shoulders and arms. And dear men: hardly any other exercise builds up muscle mass in the upper body as well as Close Grip workout.

2. Do not follow a structured Close Grip Lat Pulldown program Continue reading

7 Straight Arm Pulldown Alternative Exercises You Should Try

Straight arm exercises come in different forms. The form you choose will depend on the muscles you want to work. 

Personally, I love to use the Exercise Utility Bench because it gives you full control of my arm. You can pick it up at Amazon, right away.

Continue reading

How to Relieve Quad Sore After Squats and Get Back to Gym

A proper knee flexion training will tire your quadriceps and cause sore muscles.

The general principle of strength training is that the development you desire takes place as you train your muscles with sufficient intensity to adapt and grow.

If your knee flexion training is intense enough to make those gains, it will tire your thigh muscles and cause some pain.

Especially for beginners, the effort required for productive weight training makes this pain a bit unavoidable. However, you control certain factors that can accelerate your recovery between workouts.

Why your quadriceps are sore after squats

Strength training and other strenuous exercises can trigger delayed-onset muscle aches that begin to work out about 24 hours after a productive one. It is believed that this pain is caused by micro cracks in the muscle tissues during exercise.

Changing the physical activity or exercising your muscles to fatigue are the most common causes of DOMS. Squats exercise your quadriceps, one of the largest muscle groups in your body.

Normal soreness from strength training seems to be particularly sensitive when you feel it in a muscle group the size of the quadriceps.

Eating and drinking with sore muscles

Contrary to some claims, there may be no magic potion giving DOMS the discomfort. However, soreness is a good indicator of your progress through the regeneration of the workout.

Swelling of the thighs through intense knee flexion training may not be the most comfortable, but this discomfort helps you get two to three days of muscle recovery before returning to squatting in your weekly workout rotation.

Dehydration can make DOMS more uncomfortable, so choosing water and juice over diuretics like caffeine and alcohol can help your recovery. Sports drinks provide sugar to power your muscles.

Warm up and stretching

Stretching and warming up your quadriceps before exercise can increase the elasticity of your muscle tissue and make them more resistant to tissue ruptures.

It is believed that warming up and stretching before exercise can reduce muscle soreness in the days after exercise. It is also believed that activity and stretching during your recovery days can also relieve your sore muscles.

Recovery time

DOMS will kick in 24 to 48 hours after your knee flexion workout or any other significant muscle strain. Your quadriceps will take up to 72 hours after this workout to repair the tissue load caused by strength training.

Some treatments, supplements or nutrients may help alleviate some of the discomforts of DOMS, but your muscles need this two to three day timeline to fully recover from a significant workout.


You should always seek advice from a qualified professional before trying any remedies or treatments that you are unfamiliar with.

Before changing your physical activity level or exercise program, contact a professional trainer and ask for a personal assessment of your goals and level of performance.

This is especially important for the safety of beginners and for those who are learning how to use new equipment or make new techniques or exercises.

How to Squat when you have Knee Pain

It is a common misconception to believe that the squat should not be performed if you have knee pain. When you have knee pain, in fact, the squat should become your best friend: In fact, it is one of the first exercises to be prescribed during the first phase of knee rehabilitation.

If done correctly, the squat trains the leg muscles and improves balance and coordination. To do the squat when you have knee pain, start with Step 1 below.

Squats and pains: Are they normal? How to avoid them?

You will certainly experience muscle pains after a particular intense workout. Especially with exercises like squats , excellent for training buttocks and legs, it can happen to experience widespread pain in all legs. One of the first questions that arise is whether it is a good thing or not.

It depends! The type of pain varies a lot, some are normal, others just to avoid. Let’s see together which:

Post workout pains

The feeling of heavy legs and aching muscles. The day after going down the stairs becomes a problem? Do you feel like walking like a robot? You are experimenting with the DOMS! Quiet though, it is a physiological adaptation of the body to training.

During your workout the muscles undergo micro fractures. During rest the muscle repairs these micro fractures and grows increasing its volume.

The legs in particular have very impressive muscle bundles and require really intense workouts. The squat is one of the best exercises to train buttocks and legs, needless to deny it, if you want results you have to do things to do the math.

But this is a workout that really goes to stress in an intense way legs and buttocks. To reduce a little pain remember not to neglect the stretching immediately after your training session and to drink a lot. You will see that with constant training your fitness will improve exponentially and the pain will be less intense.

Execution pains

There are pains that are not physiological at all but that are due to poor execution of the exercise. Let’s see together what and how to avoid them.

  • Backache: Very often, you can experience pain in the lower back. The lumbar area starts to ache already during your workout and often you do not even know if it is positive and you have to endure because you are a Spartan or if there is something wrong. Well … Stop now! There is nothing positive about lumbar pain due to the squat. The squat is an exercise that allows you to train but is also a functional exercise, or a movement that you happen to do even in everyday life.
  • Male joints, knees above all, but also ankles: Even this kind of pain is not at all normal and positive. In 90% of cases (we can even say in 100% once excluded previous diseases in the joints) is due to poor execution.
  • Continue reading