Weightlifting Best Tips, Reviews and Guides

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Chest dips
Fitness PowerLifting

10 Alternative to Dips for Chest (With Illustrated Video)

To get you started on chest dips, you might want to check out the best equipment for alternative exercises. Here are our Top Picks:

If you can’t or don’t have the equipment to do chest dips, here are top alternatives:

#1. A simple push-up
#2. Feet-elevated push ups
#3. Bench press
#4. Diamond push ups
#5. Decline bench press
#6. Close-Grip bench press
#7. Forward Leaning Dip
#8. Parallel Grip Dips
#9. No Lean Dip
#10. Chair Dip Continue reading

reverse grip
PowerLifting Ultimate Guides WeightLifting Workouts and Exercises

The Reverse Grip Smith Machine Row Workout for Strength

Some of the exercises you’ll do on a Smith Machine are going to be intense.

If you want some alternatives that will still work wonders on your muscles, here are our TOP PICKS for the equipment you need.

The secret to every high-intense exercise, especially the hammer strength Lat pull is how much firmness you achieve on the floor and in your hands.

You don’t want your ankle joints to be affected nor your hands broken. So get the right footwear before you attempt this exercise.

I personally use the TERAULTRA 260 Men’s Footwear from Inov-8, it’s lightweight, and improves the friction between your legs and the ground.

For women, the F-LITE G 235 V3 WOMEN’S Footwear will do. My girlfriend still wears her own.

You need to get a few things right in order to do the reverse grip on a Smith machine.

In addition to the machine itself, you need to get your hands on the right footwear to achieve that ‘firm grip’ on your legs’ up to your torso.

The goal is to smash your performance, and not lose grip with the floor.

If you ask for my humble recommendation, I recently got the F-LITE 290 footwear from Inov-8, it’s been the best decision I have ever made.

The women aren’t left out, here’s the footwear my girlfriend likes to wear for reverse grip smith machine workout.

Before we dive in, you also want to prepare beforehand on how to recover after losing so much energy. For me, I like to drink 0+ Skinni from Oxygen Plus, it’s good!

What is the Smith Machine?

Smith machine is a machine on which barbells move along guide rails. The barbell is a machine that moves up and down along a guide rail provided in the rack part of the machine.

It is a popular machine that one can set up in most training gyms as it can be trained with feeling close to free weight training and because the machine supports the grip even beginners and ladies can handle it.

Since there is a guide rail, it is also safe and popular among women and beginners, but in fact it is a machine that is very advantageous depending on how it is used for training advanced users.

In other words, because the machine supports the gravel of the track, you can focus on just lifting the barbell, so you can drive the muscle with higher weight and higher load than the barbell training.

On the other hand, it is best to combine it well with free weight training, as there is a disadvantage that trunk inner muscle that suppresses glittering is difficult to grow if you are doing barbell training only with Smith machine.

Reverse grip smith machine row

It is possible to train almost whole body such as large pectoralis muscle, wide dorsi muscle, trapezius muscle, deltoid biceps , upper arm triceps, quadriceps femoris, biceps femoris and triceps.

Training using the Smith machine is really abundant, such as the large pectoralis muscle, wide dorsi muscle, trapezius muscle, biceps brachii muscle, triceps brachii muscle, quadriceps femoris, biceps femoris, triceps etc. It is possible to train whole body muscles.

How to exercise

1. According to their height, adjust the barbell on the Smith machine and select a rising platform just below the bar.

2. Standing on the platform, the heel is firmly attached to the platform, and the forefoot metacarpals stretch. Keep your feet wide apart and shoulders pointing forward.

3. Now place your shoulders under the barbell, keep your feet in position, lift the bar up, stretch your hips and knees until your torso is fully upright. The knee should be slightly bent; do not lock the knee.

Tip: The barbell on your back just serves as a balance.

4. While exhaling, lift the forefoot metatarsal and lift the toes as high as possible to tighten the calf muscles. Keep your knees fixed. When doing this action, do not bend anything from beginning to end. Before you start to lower your toes, keep this muscle tight for 1 second.

5. While breathing in, slowly return to the starting position and relax the forefoot bones and toes.

6. Repeat the action to the recommended number of repetitions.

Change: You can also put a dumbbell between your feet. Or you can use the doorstep to practice and use the doorframe to maintain balance.

Breathing method

  • When the weight is comparatively light, breathing is performed according to the movement of the chest. I will breathe in when the chest opens and exhale when the chest is closed.
  • In case of using heavy weight, breathe in the starting posture, lower the breath while you stop breathing, lower the bar to the chest, breathe out beyond the sticking point (lifting point, the point where weight is heaviest most, stuck point).


  • The angle of the ink line varies depending on the person. Incidentally, as the angle of inclination of the bench becomes higher (closer to the vertical), the involvement of the chest decreases and the involvement of the shoulder increases.
  • Always keep the elbow beneath the bar during exercise.
    If this is not done successfully, there is a possibility that it will not be orbit, causing an unexpected accident.

How to grip

Over grip

It is mainly used when grabbing wider than shoulder width. Pull the barbell so that it will be attached to the epigastria.

In addition to the dorsiflexial muscles, irritations are placed in the middle part and the lower part of the trapezius muscle, and the rhomboid muscle.

Under grip

It is used when grasping narrower than the shoulder width. Pull up the barbell so that it sticks to the navel. Stimulation is focused on the dorsal muscles. Strong stimulus is also strongly entered to the oval and muscle arms.

When undoing your arms stretch your arms, it will be impossible for the biceps bracelet so that the elbow will be extended to a slightly bent state one step before it stretches out.

Neutral grip

Used when doing dumbbell low, cable rowing, T barlow.
The width of the grip can be narrow or wide.
Widespread muscles, great oval muscles, brachialis muscles are trained. It is easy to concentrate and the burden is less on the waist.

Alternate grip

It is a grip that is often used in the debut lift, but it is absolutely prohibited in rowing.

If you do an action to pull your arm to do with each different grip (over and under), a considerable imbalance will occur.

Other exercises on a smith machine

1). Learn to do squats correctly

Squats are one of the best exercises you can do for the lower part of your body, focusing on the buttocks, hamstrings and quadriceps.

Doing squats on the Smith machine helps maintain balance and posture. This allows you a good posture and avoids injuries.

With the bar placed on the upper back and the lower region of the neck, lift the bar from the hooks. Slowly bend your hips and knees to lower your body, then push with your heels.

2). Work your shoulders

The shoulder press is a great exercise to work your shoulders, but movement can be difficult to control.

The Smith machine makes the exercise easier to control because the bar is locked in the machine.

Sit on a bench and hold the bar with your hands a little more than the width of your shoulders.

Press up until the arms are fully extended, and then slowly lower the bar back to the front of the shoulders.

3). Banking press observer

The Smith machine acts as an observer for a bench press, so it is a good option for when you work alone and need help.

Lie on your back and hold the bar with a wide pronation grip. Lower the bar slowly until it almost touches your upper chest and then push it back up.

This machine looks like a power rack, the only difference being that the bar is fixed, or attached on either side with sliding bars, and has hooks at various points to rest the load as well as an adjustable safety mechanism to catch up the bar if you let it go.

The strong point of a Smith machine is to be able to do everything a power rack can, but without having to move the safety bars on either side or at the height of the bar rack.

Another benefit is that you do not need a spotter when you are on a near failure load because you can rest the bar at the bottom and/or top of the movement.

The problem with the Smith machine

Now, you may be wondering, why do hardcore sports fans around the world opt out of using this machine in favor of free weights and consider it a useless machine?

The main flaw of the Smith machines is that it does not need to have balance for the exercises because the bar is fixed on two ends.

Without activation of small stabilizing muscles that bar training effectively stimulates, they in turn become underdeveloped. An underdeveloped muscle can lead to imbalances and can eventually cause injury.

This is not always the case though, if your use of the Smith machine is not constant, namely that you alternate between free weights and fixed bar workouts, you do not have to worry about this question.

The other problem is that most athletes do not realize when they use a Smith machine that they lean back to about a 5-degree incline, nine times out of ten (there are older models that go vertically without a slope , but they are gradually replaced by the oblique version).

In short, this minimal slope does not seem to be a big problem, until you try to do heavy compound exercises on a fixed bar.

For example, when looking at a person’s profile performing a squat at the free bar, the path of the bar over the entire movement time should be straight up and down.

When you squat on a Smith machine, the tilt pushes your body slightly forward, which is not the path of the natural bar if you want to keep a good shape.

This is not really a problem when a Smith machine is used sparingly and you mainly use dumbbells to make compound movements.

But when this is your default movement on free weights, you will not only develop muscle imbalances because of the lack of activation of the stabilizing muscles, but you will also develop a poor bar trajectory and be unable to comfortably do a true squat if you ever stop using the Smith machine (without having to learn the correct form one more time).

This concept can be applied to most exercises, reason being the majority of weightlifters have a general rule not to use the Smith machine and to classify it with other useless equipment such as adductor machines and abs.

How to use the Smith Machine correctly Continue reading

squat shoes
PowerLifting Squats Ultimate Guides

How to Choose Flat Shoes for Squats You’ll Love!

In the many years that I have been going for squat, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have seen squatters working out in proper squatting shoes.

It seems that while other athletes will wear specialty shoes for whatever sport they participate in, most squatters do not consider the benefits that proper shoes can make to their performance and strength.

Your bed’s mattress is for sleeping, not squatting.

But when you squat in flat sneakers it is as if you are performing the lift while standing on your bed. The shock absorption provided by sneakers is great when you are jogging, but the compressibility of the sole hampers the squat (and other lifts) in multiple ways. Continue reading

Ez Curl Bar
Deadlift PowerLifting Workouts and Exercises

Ez Curl Bar Vs Dumbbells Workout Training: What’s the Difference?

Sometimes, body workout becomes quite confusing for the athletes. Because a single workout may require various kinds of moves and different equipment.

The same confusion is faced by the bodybuilders when they come across the right selection in between EZ curl bar and dumbbells workout. It was the same challenge that most people have that made me to share my thoughts on barbell and Kettlebell deadlifts Continue reading

Straight Arm workout
Fitness PowerLifting Ultimate Guides WeightLifting Workouts and Exercises

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

Quad Sore
Deadlift PowerLifting Squats Ultimate Guides Workouts and Exercises

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

    Medicine Ball Workouts
    Fitness PowerLifting Ultimate Guides Workouts and Exercises

    10 Best Medicine Ball Workouts for Beginners That Work

    The name “medicine ball” or “Medball” sounds pretty old school. That does not speak against this versatile and effective training device. Maybe you know this big, a bit chunky ball even from physical education at school.

    The medicine ball can be used for numerous exercises. Basically, it is less intended for classic throwing, but rather is an alternative to the dumbbell.

    At the same time, he can perform excellent support exercises with him. The medicine ball training often aims to train the torso and the arms as well as to improve the condition.

    Also skill exercises, abdominal muscle training as well as a leg workout are possible with medicine balls, which confirm the numerous experiences of the users.

    It can be used as extra weight in classical exercises as well as in many special exercises. The “special exercises” and the special field of application include throwing, pushing and striking exercises. The quick and explosive power can be trained extremely well.

    What should be considered during the medicine ball training?

    The Medball already has a decent weight depending on the weight class. By dynamic throwing or pushing movements a clearly higher weight acts fast.

    Attention! Please pay attention to the following points when training with the Medball:

  • Heat yourself thoroughly to prevent injury. Rope jumping or the like is also perfect at home.
  • In general, you should be fit for health and in case of doubt always have you checked by the doctor.
  • When doing dynamic exercises in your home, remember that there are no dangerous or breakable things in the way.
  • Continue reading

    romanian deadlift
    Deadlift PowerLifting Workouts and Exercises

    How to Do Single Leg Romanian Deadlift Like a Pro

    Single-leg Romanian deadlift is a challenge to your mental alertness and body-controlling capability. The movement requires utmost body stability and a sharp focus.

    As soon as you lose your focus, you will slam your head right away into the floor. Bang!

    In order to achieve any definite benefit and a real skill, you need to grab some genuine guidelines or a conscientious coach. No coach? No problem.

    This article will help you to go from beginning to the end goal. You just need to be focused and consistent in this scenario.

    Just bear with me till the end of this article and you will have plenty of actionable insights to work with.

    The one leg Romanian deadlift, also known as 1-leg RDL is an effective lower body exercise. This is a worthy addition to your arsenal — it works whether you are a marathon runner or a soccer player as the workout offers more than the muscular strength. Romanian-style deadlift on single leg improves the strength of your hamstrings and the gluteal muscles. Continue reading

    standard barbell
    PowerLifting Ultimate Guides WeightLifting

    How Much Does A Standard Barbell Weigh and How to Measure It?

    Recent studies have shown that many people are now prioritizing fitness activities, and so there is an evolution of various techniques and workouts with each having its own set of benefits.

    Of all the workouts and exercises, the Barbell has become one of the most preferred technique when compared to any other available technique.

    Though, it is not simple like you may think, it comes with great advantages. That is the reason most people love to execute ‘Barbell deadlift.’

    To do the barbell deadlift, it is not necessary to hit the gym for sure. It will be enough if you are well-versed with all the required instructions and tips for this exercise.

    Here, in barbell approach, there is always a need to know the exact weights of the barbell.

    This is very important because the weight helps you determine the total number of heavyweight lifted.

    Also, it is important to determine the time for the exercise. Every weight differs from each other. When taken a lesser weight or a basic weight, you will have to do the exercise for a longer period than normal.

    Likewise, the period also keeps changing or differing from one weight to another. It is always a sincere advice to all the beginners and the newbie to start off with basic or the standard weights.

    The one best thing that the beginners or a newbie can do is that they can start doing simple squats and exercises with the empty bar alone. Since the empty bar is not that heavy, it will help you get the basic warm-ups and let you stay fit and work hard. This will strengthen the core and will give shape to the abs.

    Don’t rush to the heavier ones thinking that miracles will happen overnight!

    Especially gaining the muscular body, abs, and the like — it’s never possible as it is not a five-finger exercise. The person needs to be continuously motivated and focused on the fitness goals.

    Standard Barbell weight

    Firstly, the term ‘STANDARD’ barbell weight is only used to differentiate the basic ones from that of the higher standard weights.

    Image result for standard Barbell Weight

    Now to get the exact idea of the weight of the barbell, you must make sure that both the bar and the weight plates are individually weighed. This simply enables accuracy when you perform the barbell deadlifts.

    Usually, a standard bar (excluding the weight plates) weigh from around 45 pounds, the general ones. As you keep moving on, you will notice that the weights of the bars keep changing too. For instance, they mostly range from about 30 to 45 pounds.

    It is also to be noted that the weights of the bars alone vary as per the length. So, while assessing the weight of the bar you need to make sure that you have considered the length of the bar at the same time.

    Length fact of the barbell

    Image result for standard Barbell length

    If you clearly notice each of the barbells at the gym, you will likely discover that each of the barbells vastly varies from each other on the grounds of:

    • Length of the bar
    • The thickness of the bar
    • Weight plates
    • Women bars
    • Men bars

    So, you will have to look at all these aspects and start calculating the weights. The length matters. Beginners don’t opt for too lengthy and thick bars. You may end up finding it difficult to lift them.

    This will be a bad sign because you may end up with the wrong posture and might lose the confidence and motivation you acquired.

    Types of Barbells

    We are sure you are aware of the various type of barbell that is available in the market. If you don’t, no worries just read ahead.

    Here are the popular ones:

    • Olympic barbell
    • Swiss barbell
    • Standard barbell
    • Safety squat bars
    • Curl bars
    • Trap bars, etc.

    Other than the Standard and the Olympic Barbells, the others look different from each other. While some are made handy to weigh or hold them, the other has safety measure like the safety squat bars.

    Among all these barbells, the Standard and the Olympic barbells are quite popular and in extensive use in comparison to others. At your gym, you will be instructed to practice with the ‘standard barbells’ initially.

    The reason behind this is nothing but that the fact that the standard bars are light and easy for beginners.

    The Weight of empty Barbells

    Image result for empty Barbell Weight

    By the term empty barbells, we mean to say about the bar alone without the weight plates on it.

    The weight of the empty bars is usually 10 to 15 pounds. Beginners can make the best out of the empty bars. They can start their exercise sessions with the help of the empty bar.

    The thickness of the bar

    It is true that the thick bars are the best options if you really intend to lose weight or turn out to be muscular. But the fact is that the thick bars are sincerely not advisable to the beginners.

    They might feel it quite tough and will not be able to properly lift the weight. So, it’s better to be with slightly thick bars, especially for the beginners.

    The heavy or the thick bars are a perfect combo for people who aspire to be great athletes, sportsmen, or fitness freaks.

    They would all love to deadlift with the heaviest barbells out of all that they have. Quite challenging, isn’t it?

    The dimensions of the thin bars

    The thin bars usually are of dimensions ranging from 2.50 cm. The standard thick bars are about 3 cm in thickness. Choose the one that best suits your needs.

    This is so because you alone are the one that has the capability to assess your need and set up targets.

    Be wise enough while setting up fitness goals by bearing in mind that it can never be easy to accomplish or reach the goal. It is not a piece of cake. You need to have a lot of determination and dedication to the fitness exercises.

    While adhering to your fitness plans, also remember that food plays a vital role in helping your body to stay fit. Say no to junk and welcome good food and good vibes.

    Thin or thick bars – which is better?

    Well, both are good in their own ways. But yes, there are some factors that will help you determine whether the thick or thin bars are better.

    It will get quite difficult for you to deadlift with a heavy or thick bar. You can make way to overcome this difficulty by way of replacing it with a lighter or a thinner bar.

    We think, by now you have got some of the concepts clear before performing the exercise.

    Weight of the Plates

    Image result for barbell plates weight

    The best part about the barbell deadlift is that the weight of the bar can be customized as per your needs.

    The customization can be done by either adding or removing the weights from the bar. If you are well-trained in deadlifts or weights, you can do it with all plates that weigh high. Caution only for the trained ones, pros, trainer etc.

    On the other hand, if you’re a beginner or a newbie and you want to lose a few pounds — then you will be advised or instructed to go with the lightweight plates on the bar. With the lighters ones on the bar, the barbell deadlift will be easier and be motivating too.

    The barbell lifts or exercises are beneficial since it strengthens the core muscles, lower back, delivers fantastic abs to you and a good posture to the body.

    Above all, it is cost-effective to get your own set of barbells (Standard ones, provided).

    You can start doing the deadlifts with lighter weights or simple squats too. Just be careful so you don’t hurt yourself in an attempt to do a deadlift. Understand the importance of doing the exercise only as instructed.

    The one tip that will come handy for you while doing the barbell deadlift is to =&8=&. Make sure to deeply inhale while lifting and exhale while bending to the floor. Just concentrate on your breath.

    There is a lot more you can do with these weight plates alone. You can start your warm up by taking one heavyweight plate and start to warm up by way of different exercises. Do squats, bench press, and other simple exercises. That would be a great way for your warm-up session.

    Usually, the warm-up is done with an empty hand or lightly weighted dumbbells. But you can also do it with the weight plates that go on to the barbell. It would be fun and innovative too.

    Olympic Barbells

    The Olympic Barbells are heavier than that of the Standard barbells. Mostly used by the athletes and highly trained ones.

    These Olympic barbells usually weigh 20 kg (men) and 15 kgs (women). So that means that the Olympic barbells are made individually for each gender. The weight of these depends and defer as per the weight plates put upon them.

    With the Olympic barbells that weigh about 45 pounds, exercises like the squats, bench press, deadlifts, etc can be done. These exercises help you in building up a very muscular body, biceps, strengthen core muscles, etc. Overall results are greatly visible if you stick to the Olympic barbells.

    The weight plates of the Olympic barbells usually range from half a pound to 10 pounds (basis) and 2.5 pounds to 100 pounds (heavier). Get them all since the Olympic bars cannot accommodate standard weights on.

    The thing here is that the Standard barbells and the Olympic barbells slightly differ in their weights.

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