Good training plans always have presses, squats, deadlifts, rows, and pullups. But choosing the best variants of these lifts depends on who you are and how your body is suited to them. In other words, the best bench press for you may not be a conventional bench at all.
Let your genetics determine your lifts for faster gains and fewer injuries. Heres some advice if youre having issue with these key moves.
Barbell Bench Press
Body Type: Long arms, fragile shoulders.
Long-limbed and lean guys have poor leverage for benching. Substitute floor presses, which minimize the distance the bar travels. Neutral-grip incline dumbbell presses and pushups are other good options.
Body Type: Short arms, poor ankle and hamstring flexibility.
A combination of short arms, long legs, and/or poor flexibility can cause you to round your lower back. To keep your spine safe, pull sumo (feet out wide) or place the bar on a rack 8 inches from the floor.
Barbell Back Squat
Body Type: Tall.
The king of exercises is also the king of lower-back pain for tall guys. But performing basically the same movement pattern without loading the spine directly will yield the same tree-trunk thighs without pain. Try the following:
- Bulgarian Split Squat - Studies have shown that split squats offer greater range of -motion than conventional squats and greater activation of the rectus femoris. Split squats are also a better squat variant for taller guys than the classic version.
- Dumbbell Step-up - Stepups work the quads and your balance, making them a great core exercise that doesn’t require much weight for good results.
Rows and Pullups
Body Type: Small hands.
If you can’t hold the bar securely, you’ll never be able to transfer maximum force to it. Use straps as needed to make sure your grip doesn’t fail. At the same time, use farmer’s walks to target your grip.