8 Critical Exercises To Pack On Muscle
Whether you’re a gym veteran or a new recruit, here are the eight most critical mass-building exercises to pack on muscle.
GLUTES/HAMS: Romanian Deadlift
Not to be confused with the stiff-legged deadlift, the romanian deadlift is the king for the upper hamstrings where they tie into the glutes (you target the lower hamstrings better with various leg-curl moves). Basically, during the romanian-style deadlift, you keep your knees bent and your back as straight as possible. The bar is also very close to the legs throughout and combined with the body mechanics, causes the upper hamstrings and glutes to share the majority of the focus. It’s when you straighten your legs, slightly round your back and allow the bar to travel a few inches away from the legs that the emphasis is shifted to the lower back and away from the hamstrings, which is the stiff-legged version.
Inside the Lift
Like we said on the bent-over row, you’re very strong on this move, so it would be a shame for your hams and glutes to suffer because you don’t have pulling straps. Get the hint? Also, there’s a way to self-spot on this move. Head back to the bench-press station, take the bar off the rack and straddle the bench press while holding the bar. While the bench might somewhat limit the range of motion (although you don’t need to be touching your toes during this exercise) the bench can serve as a slight spot at the bottom if you allow just the slightest bounce. Besides, increasing the range of motion by trying to touch the bar to the floor is a recipe for disaster since many individuals round their backs.
Best Technique to Add Intensity
Our vote for best intensity technique during the romanian is rest-pause because you can load the bar, hit your reps and rest the bar on the bench and never remove your hands from the bar. In fact, in between mini-sets, you can actually sit on the bench and rest your entire body as you watch the clock.
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