Fast Track to Bigger Muscles: You can pump up your physique in less time than you might think if you’re willing to sweat. With the right moves, you can work toward power pecs and better biceps in just two workouts a week. If you’re not active now, tell your doctor before you start a fitness program.
Bigger Arms: Hammer Curl
Start with this move to build biceps you can show off in short sleeves. Hold dumbbells so they face your outer thighs. Exhale and bend your elbows. Raise the dumbbells until their tips nearly reach your shoulders. Inhale and lower slowly.
Bigger Arms: Preacher Curl
This twist on the curl better isolates the biceps. Rest the back of your arm on a support pad while holding a dumbbell, palm facing up. Slowly raise the dumbbell, then lower it to the starting position. If any move feels wrong, check with a trainer so you do it right.
Bigger Arms: Triceps Pushdown
Grasp the handle with your palms facing down and hands 6 inches apart. Keep your upper arms near the sides of your chest. Start with your forearms parallel to the floor. Push the cable down by making your arms straight. Do this until your elbows are all the way out, but not locked. Pause and slowly return to the starting position.
Bigger Chest: Bench Press
This classic move hits all your chest muscles. Grab the bar with a closed grip, and slowly lower it until it lightly touches your chest. Exhale and press back to the starting position. A trainer can suggest the best load for you. Start with just the bar. Add weight once you can control the bar slowly.
Buff vs. Mr. Universe
What’s the right weight for you and the right number of times to lift it (reps)? It depends on your goals and fitness level now. A good start is 3 sets of 10-15 reps for each exercise. The last few reps should be tough. A mid-level workout is 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
Strong Shoulders: Front Raise
Do this move standing or seated on a bench or exercise ball. Hold the weights at your sides. Raise one straight arm to the front, up to shoulder level, while turning your palm toward the floor. If this movement causes pain, do not rotate your palms. Slowly lower the arm back down. Stand straight and keep your wrists in line with your arms. Work one arm at a time so it’s easier to keep your back straight.
Strong Shoulders: Lateral Raise
This classic move targets the deltoid muscles. Start with the weights by your sides. Contract your abs to support your back. Sweep both arms up to shoulder level to form a “T.” Keep your arms relaxed and elbows unlocked. Rotate your elbows slightly outward to focus on your shoulder muscles. Slowly lower the weights back to the starting spot.
Tapered Torso: Wide-Grip Pulldown
This back exercise develops the latissimus dorsi muscle or “lats.” It also makes your waist look narrower. Sit on the pulldown machine and grasp the bar wider than shoulder-width. Lean back slightly and contract your abs. Now bring the bar down to your upper chest. Pause and slowly return the bar to the starting position.
Abs: Kettlebell Twist
This move can help lean abs really pop, especially once you’ve lost any extra belly fat. Sit on the floor, knees bent and heels down. Lean back, keep your back straight and tense your abs. Place the kettlebell on the floor, switching from one side to the other. For faster results, hold your feet off the floor, but only if you can still use good form. If you feel strain in your back, reduce the weight, or the amount of twist, or both,
Quicker Results: Super Sets
To build stronger muscles in less time, do sets of two different exercises with little or no rest in between. At first do supersets that work opposing muscle groups. Example: a set of biceps curls and a set of triceps pushdowns.
Quicker Results: Compound Sets
After you’ve been lifting weights for a few months, you can switch up your routine. Compound sets involve two different exercises for the same muscle group without resting in between.
A chest-building example: Do a set of dumbbell bench presses and then a set of pec flys. This exhausts the muscle quickly and thoroughly, which helps it grow 🙂 🙂