by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer
Ideally, we would all benefit by having a complete and total body workout every time we worked out but who has the time to spend countless hours in the gym targeting each and every muscle group? More importantly who would want to? Like all things in life, moderation is the key. Breaking down exercises that focus on different muscle groups and working them on different days will not give you a disproportionate body. On the contrary, it will help you grow and maintain your muscles being worked while letting the muscles you worked the day before get some much needed rest.
It is recommendable you workout certain parts of your body one day and then give it a day of rest. You can either rest days between same muscle workouts or rest periods during a workout. This will help your muscles get stronger, leaner and healthier. If you have lack of muscle rest you can be overtraining and won´t see a lot of results. You will also have a decreased in your immune system, fatigue and increased your risk of injury. Don´t forget you also need 8 hours of sleep! It is important that you work hard, but also to give your body the proper rest. Make sure you have a day were you don’t exercise.
Here is a breakdown for each muscle group and the basic exercises recommended for each body part:
Strong legs are important not just aesthetically but also for everyday activity. These exercises will specifically target your front legs: squats, leg press machine, lunges and leg extensions. The back of your legs are just as important as the front part. The best exercises for targeting your back legs are: leg curls and dead lifts. If you want big, diamond shaped calves but unfortunately genetics plays a big role here. Nonetheless you can increase the size and shape of your caves to certain extent by doing calf raises (individually or together).
Men want a big, burly chest that stands out like our modern day superheroes but developing a super chest takes effort. The following exercises are essential for getting that big, strong super hero torso. Bench press, chest fly, machine fly and regular push ups will improve your chest muscles.
Having a big, strong back helps define your shoulders and helps in making your waist look smaller giving you that V shaped look. It also helps with posture. The following are excellent back exercises that will make your back look like a Greco-Roman sculpture: Rowing cable machine, bent over row, chin-ups, pull downs, pull-ups, seated row, shoulder shrugs, supine row
The lower back is important for maintaining good posture and for having a strong core to keep your abdominal muscles tight. These are excellent lower back exercises: Back extensions, dead lifts and hyperextensions
Think football player shoulder pad look. Alright so maybe not that wide and monstrous looking but you have to admit having broad shoulders is a great look for any guy. Here are some basic shoulder exercises that never fail to work: Front raises, handstand pushups, lateral raises, military presses, shoulder presses, upright row, rear delt raise.
Let’s face it. Every guy wants big guns. It’s one of the physical traits that makes them feel like strong men. Bicep curls (individually or together) are the best workout for big biceps.
Contrary to popular belief there are more exercises for the back of your arms (triceps) than for your front arms (biceps). We actually have more muscles in our triceps than in our biceps and therefore you must work them out even more. Close-grip bench press, dips, pushdowns and triceps extensions are effective workouts.
There are a variety of abdominal exercises that work the core but before you hit the mats you must be sure that to get enough cardio in your workouts. 45 minutes of cardio at least 4 days a week is a must. Some of the best workouts for the abs are, crunches, sit-ups, leg raises, (any rotational movement will engage the obliques)
You can decide which muscle groups you might want to decide on certain days. Just make sure to alternate between exercises and do a variety of exercises throughout the course of a week. Variety is the key to growth.