T Nation

List of Form Tweaks/'Secrets'


#1

Following on from the lower lats thread I thought it would be cool to get ideas of form / cues you use for particular exercises which really help.

EG - zraw saying to do any pulling movement pulling from the pinkies and Stu's layout for lats:

1- Sit upright. any lean will shift stress more to your midback.
2- Keep your elbows in front of your torso. This matters much more than grip style IMO
3- Stop the movement when your hands are in front of your face. Anything lower than that doesn't really contribute to your goals, and actually takes the direct stress OFF of the lats!
4- Certain hand positions (reverse grip or parallel/neutral grip) will be more effective in keeping your elbows in the needed groove.

Please add any suggestions that work for particular bodyparts


#2

Push your chest to the bar.


#3

double the reps you’re doing on your quad exercises

hold dumbells off-centre (hands up at the top weight) when doing lateral raises

pre-exhaust EVERYTHING


#4

When doing db or cable curls, rotate wrist outward at peak contraction as much as possible, also hold db on the outside


#5

Bent rows - Think about moving the elbows back
Side raises - head up to keep focus on shoulders and not traps
Squats - Don’t unrack the weight like a pussy - Unrack it with power and 1 step back, not 5


#6

Chinups and pullups: do them the right way. Up, pause. Down under control, stretch. Repeat.


#7

At the end of a set grip the shit out of the bar/implement and you should get an extra rep(maybe even two).

Stop short of lockout for most tricep moves and really focus on the stretch position


#8

My favourite for getting a lower back arch during squat (if you believe in that stuff)

Without bending your knees, drop/push your balls to the ground.


#9

[quote]tsantos wrote:
My favourite for getting a lower back arch during squat (if you believe in that stuff)

Without bending your knees, drop/push your balls to the ground.[/quote]

Wut?

–Me


#10

-Wide arm curls, with your pinkies around the outer ring of a barbell. Not really a tweak as the exercise is pretty old school but I have never seen someone else do it in person. I had some biceps soreness that I haven’t had in a while after trying the exercise for the first time and I feel it hits the “peak” better than the standard grip and much much less wrist strain as well. I’d imagine doing this exercise with a cable and a lat pulldown attachment would give a really nice burn as there’s no rest at the top.

-Smith machine row. Fell in love with this exercise the first time I tried it. I could finally feel how my lats are supposed to feel when doing rowing movements. Pretty much all the other rowing variations felt right as well after doing this exercise for a couple of sessions.

-Kirk Rows with a pause at the top. Like a normal shrug, shrug a barbell up, then upright row the bar till around belly button height and squeeze your traps for a few seconds.

-I like how upright rows hit my side delts but it can be quite brutal on my shoulders and wrists. One possible solution is to use a rope attachment, attach it to a cable machine, set the cable to its lowest height, take a big step back and do the upright row as usual. Sort of like a face pull but from a much lower angle.

-Heavy partials. Something that I don’t see being used much as well, other than among quarter squatters. My current favorite is doing it with overhead press from pins. The bar rests just above head, and do some dead stop presses from that position. If you’re not a midget like me, you can do this seated.

-Very high reps. Ok, not exactly an exercise, but it’s something that I’ve been avoiding for quite some time, I kept telling myself that it’s useless but actually I’m just a pussy when it comes to muscle burns. Try doing a set of 50-100 reps of curls, partial shoulder raises, calf raises etc. They work.


#11

[quote]Mizery wrote:

-Very high reps. Ok, not exactly an exercise, but it’s something that I’ve been avoiding for quite some time, I kept telling myself that it’s useless but actually I’m just a pussy when it comes to muscle burns. Try doing a set of 50-100 reps of curls, partial shoulder raises, calf raises etc. They work.[/quote]

x2 also great for building work capacity